Most dads groups around the country have some form of a dads’ night out – sporting events, camping trip, fishing, dinner out, bowling, or hanging out in someone’s man-cave. If you are a new group who haven’t ventured to do it yet or an existing group that haven’t done it in a while, it’s time to get back on the dad-wagon of a group night out.  I find Dads Night Out (DNO) to be one of the most integral pieces of being part of a group.

Recently, a dozen dads got together for a few hours to forget we are in a recession, put our responsibilities aside, and enjoy the company of other dads without the kids.  The live NFL draft was taking place a few blocks away so we kept tabs on the action, plotted options for our late summer Fantasy Football draft, as well as discussed future dads night out options (less expensive than this one, of course).

Why is dads night out such an integral part of our group? Fraternal rather than paternal…camaraderie…great food…get to know some of the guys on a more personal level.  We definitely don’t get out as much as we would like because most of us are fairly new parents so with a free sitter (our wives/partners) we took full advantage of the dozens of steak joints available in NYC and landed at renowned, The Palm Restaurant. Some of you may agree that the place is not known for its grandeur, but rather for the food.

The scene: One pound, NY Strips around the table except for one who opted for the more tender filet mignon. The wine and beer flowed (and spilled in some cases), the conversation was loud and boisterous, and jokes were made about who was babysitting the kids in the morning (many parents can empathize that an argument could be made for the need of a morning sitter- it’s not like our kids got the memo:

Dear child,

Dad is going out tonight and he may be out late and indulge in a few drinks.  Please make sure you sleep late, wake up in a lazy mood so you want to veg on the couch for a while, and your voice level should be kept in a low tone only.

Thanks for your understanding.

Dad

This particular dads night out felt a lot like participating in a bachelor party, minus the “legs.”

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get together with some of the dads on a regular basis without the kids.  It is an integral part of building the kind of lasting relationships that go beyond parenting.  Other groups like The Lincoln/Omaha Group “get together monthly for a Dads Night Out to share food, drinks, and conversation.”  The Austin Dads group, the Seattle Dads group, Kansas City Group, and numerous others all promote that they have a monthly dads night out.  Even if you are not a member of a group…grab a few local dads, and get out once in a while to watch a game, grab a burger & a beer, or blow off some steam.  Get it on your social calendar – you will be glad you did!