Like moms, dads need support too! That’s where City Dads Group comes in. City Dads Group, founded by two at-home dads, is a resource for expectant fathers. More than just an online community, City Dads Group organizes meetups from fun, family outings to dad’s night out events, and a New Dad Boot Camp to prepare dads-to-be and new dads for fatherhood. Redefining what it means to be a modern dad, City Dads Group is a great resource for dads living in a “mom world of parenting.”
City Dads Group will be at the 2017 Chicago Baby Show, on August 26 and 27, at Navy Pier, when the nation’s largest show for expectant and new families comes to Chicagoland. A family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler – from top products to trusted parenting experts – the Chicago Baby Show will welcome thousands of expectant and new parents from Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, and beyond!
Tickets to the Chicago Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.
We spoke with one of the co-founders of City Dads Group, Matt Schneider, to learn more about the brand and what new parents can expect at the Chicago Baby Show.
For someone unfamiliar with City Dads Group, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?
City Dads Group is a dynamic and diverse community of fathers dedicated to being active in their children’s lives and, by example, redefining what it means to be a dad in the 21st century. City Dads Group has more than 8,000 members across 26 chapters in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States. The largest and most active chapter, with more than 1,600 members, is its flagship organization in New York City. We also run a group blog and host a bi-weekly podcast, The Modern Dads Podcast.
Tell us about City Dads Group. When did it start and how has it evolved since then?
Lance Somerfeld and I, friends and former teaching colleagues at a New York City public school, each became at-home dads in 2008 out of a desire to play an active role in the raising of our kids and out of practicality—financial, logistical, and otherwise. However, we often found ourselves as the only fathers at children’s events and playgrounds.
To correct this, in November 2008, we founded the NYC Dads Group.
Initially, composed of a handful of fathers wanting to arrange play dates and outings with their children, it grew to more than 900 dads who bonded over their children and a desire to change the face of modern fatherhood through word, deed, and example. Buoyed by this success, we decided in 2013 to expand the concept throughout the United States by helping start similar groups in other major metropolitan areas under the umbrella name City Dads Group.
What are the most popular and newest services from City Dads Group?
Meetups: City Dads Group brings together a diverse community of fathers, with and without their children, for social interaction and support. Our group frequently schedules: group playdates (in public or private settings); outings to museums, parks, and playgrounds; Dads’ Nights Out (movies, sporting events, bars); educational workshops; and special events (family picnics, trips to ball games, sponsored events).
New Dad Boot Camps: New Dad Boot Camps offer expectant and new dads a frank discussion along with practical advice and hands-on training in essential parenting duties. These include: holding, feeding, changing, bathing, swaddling, and comforting your baby. These NYC-area workshops are facilitated by a nationally certified trainer, a City Dads Group member, who helps connect experienced dads and their babies with new fathers / fathers-to-be to talk about the opportunities and rewards of caring for their children.
What sets City Dads Group apart from similar groups?
City Dads Group is a community of parents who defy the “doofus dad” stereotype. We don’t believe in “woman’s work” or “dad duties” – only “parenting.” We are highly inclusive with dads of all races, ethnicities, religions, and so on.
Unlike many online parenting communities, we are not just virtual. We have a hands-on membership that regularly takes part in group activities—true “boots on the ground”—in most major U.S. metropolitan areas.
What can parents expect from City Dads Group at the Chicago Baby Show?
We will host the Dads Lounge, a place for new and expecting parents to meet “veteran” dads from our group. There will be changing tables and comfy chairs for parents to feed their babies or just to relax. We will also host abbreviated versions of our New Dad Boot Camps on Saturday and Sunday.
To learn more about City Dads Group, check out citydadsgroup.com.