In addition to being a source of fun, entertainment, note-comparing, germ-swapping, and polysyllabic conversation, good playgroups can save an at-home parent's sanity, too.
But for a whole host of reasons, they can also be awkward or even unwelcoming for dads. And if you're not plugged into the girlfriends network or hanging out on urbanbaby all day, it can even be hard to find a playgroup in the first place.
A DT reader an SAHD with a 3-mo daughter emailed wondering if there are any good dad groups in lower Manhattan [he's in the East Village], and though I didn't know of any offhand, I thought I'd open the question up a bit:
1) First, anyone know some good, daddy-friendly downtown playgroups?
2) How do you go about finding a playgroup, or a parents' group?
3) What makes a good playgroup? [e.g., location, kid's age range, demographic similarity, degree of planning, etc.]
4) What's it like starting a dads' group, what works, what doesn't, and what does it take?
5) Any playgroup success or horror stories that others can learn from? [Or, barring that, that are impossible not to share?]