Welcome to Dads Group Spotlight, where we highlight Dads Groups across the country and sometimes our neighbors in Canada. Maybe you know someone that might benefit from meeting up with these dads who need a social outlet or support. Go to our Find A Dads Group page to find one in your area!

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What is the name of your dad’s group?

SF Dads Group

What cities or area do you serve?

The San Francisco Bay Area

How many active members do you have?

131

How long have you been a group?

We were founded on March 19, 2014 so 8 months.

Who are the organizers of your group?

Beau Coffron and Mike Heenan

What was your most successful event?

Success is relative. We feel that any time we can get families together for a brief reprieve from their otherwise hectic lives, we have met our metric for success. Any time we get just the dads out to an ever-important Dad’s Night Out for a roundtable chat or a fun, physical activity or some low-key shenanigans we have successfully bonded, decompressed and by all accounts had a blast. Our recent VIP tour of the brand new Levi’s Stadium was definitely one for the ages. We partnered with Britax for International Babywearing Week and were afforded a bunch of brand new baby carriers for our babywearing dads to experience the once-in-a-lifetime, exclusive tour, hands free, without missing a minute with their little ones. In addition, we received donations enough from our supporters to bring close to thirty additional dads, partners and kids along for the day.

How many events do you suggest per month to keep members interested and active?

Since we are a relatively new group, we’ve been primarily following the leads of our veteran City Dads Group affiliates. In that regard, we’ve seen everything from two events per month to a full, fifteen event slate.  Since our group covers such a vast geographic area, ideally we’d like to see our members constantly suggesting Meetups in their own proverbial necks of the woods and filling up the calendar. As of yet, we are averaging four or five a month. We are looking forward to a surge of activity in the coming New Year.

Do you offer playgroup meet ups? How many times a week do you have playgroup?

Yes. Sponsored, high profile, heavily coordinated events like our recent Dad’s Night Out at the San Francisco Craft Beer Festival are beyond amazing and worthy of our extreme gratitude. However we also stress the importance of unencumbered play for our kids. We call it getting back to our roots. Just your average, doting dads and their active and energetic kids convening on a playground for some casual fun. We are fortunate to have such a year-round, regional focus on outdoor activity and municipalities that cater to the needs of children. The Bay Area is, in essence, park-and-playground central.  We try to do a weekly Playground Playgroup that rotates from city to city. From the lushly gardened carrousels of Golden Gate Park and Yerba Buena Gardens, to the myriad, traditional playgrounds that pepper the entire Peninsula.

How did you get the word out about your group to your community?

We are very active on our social media channels. We are easily found via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Every comment, like and share helps to increase our reach to dads all over who may be in need of our available parenting talks, educational workshops, children’s playgroups, fun full-family outings, or Dad’s Night Out. In addition, our friends in the parenting community have been an invaluable, supportive resource for getting the word out. Local events, venues, museums and moms groups have all reached out to us and assisted us in reaching out to others. Then, of course, nothing beats a good old-fashioned hand shake on the playground. Every day we are meeting new dads who are interested in gathering, collaborating and growing our community.

Do you offer Dad’s Night Out Events?  Where do you go?

Most certainly. In our short time as a group we’ve done everything from a local watering hole to a full-fledged Craft Beer Festival on a pier, jutting out into the bay. We are, as we speak, partnering with a “to be announced” supermarket chain to put together a holiday foods tasting event for Dad’s Night Out, and on December 2nd we will be conducting our Dad’s Night Out at a local community service event in an effort to “give back” to the Bay Area Community that has been so immensely supportive of us. #GivingTuesday

What is the age range of the children in your group?

We have expecting dads as well as dads with sons and daughters that are “out of the home,” so the ages span the full spectrum. Despite our diversity of background, ages and interests (kids and dads alike) we root ourselves to that one unifying commonality. We are dads.

Do you meet in a common place in your community or at members’ homes?

Nowhere is off the table. We’ve yet to meet formally at a member’s home, but deep, meaningful friendships have been forged within the group so a lot of us are frequent guests at one another’s homes as it is. As we move into workshopping with expectant and new dads, like the demo discussion at last week’s SF Birth and Baby Fair with group member Andrew Gentry Law, MFT, I’d imagine that more intimate household settings will be appropriate to some of our future gatherings.

What advice would you give dads who want to start their own group?

If you build it, they will come. Never has there been a more apt cliché. The void is obvious, the need is tremendous and the reward is astounding. All the information you need about joining or starting a local dads group can be found on the City Dads Group website.

What is special or unique about your group that sets you apart from other dad’s groups?

Again, we focus primarily on the common thread of being dads. The more dads groups, the better informed, conducted and invigorated we are, as a society. I will say that living in the San Francisco Bay Area is a tremendous plus, with our mild climate and focus on communal activity in general. It is an amazing place for dads to get out there with their kids and explore, play, socialize and grow.SAMSUNG CSC

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