Being at home with little people is by turns joyful, exhausting, and fulfilling, but getting out of the house is a must, too. It is a chance for your baby or toddler to meet other children and play. And an opportunity for you to have a hot drink and a treat, chat to other mummies, make new friends and feel less isolated. 

Not everyone finds it easy to make to start conversations in a room of strangers. In fact, my twins were nine months old when I made it to my first mums' coffee morning. I was nervous, but the Baby & Child magazine team made me feel so welcome, and the other ladies around the table were so affable and chatty that I felt at ease straight away.

It was great to be out of the house, talking to adults and enjoying a hot cup of something nice. I followed that by joining a buggy fitness group. I'm no fitness guru, but being outside, doing something for myself while the little ones ate their body weight in Ella's Kitchen snacks became - and still is, three years’ later - a weekly event in my diary. 

 Here's our pick of the friendliest and best regular coffee mornings and mum groups around the emirate:

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Event: Jebel Ali Playgroup 

Venue: Evangelical Church Hall, Jebel Ali

Days: Sunday and Monday

Timings: 9-11am

Cost: Dh20 for one child or Dh30 for the family 

Age range: 0-3 years 

Contact: UCCD Toddler Time on Facebook 

One of the longest running drop in playgroups in Dubai. With rooms set up with different activities (craft, cars and trains, dolls and kitchen, slides, trikes, snacks) children never get bored. An incredibly friendly and welcoming group run by volunteers who go out of their way to chat and get to know you. There is tea, coffee, and a large biscuit tin, as well as snacks for the children. The last half an hour involves a short story followed by songs. 

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Event: Babies & Bumps Coffee Morning 

Venue: Reform, The Lakes Club

Day: Tuesday 

Timings: 10am onwards 

Cost: Free to attend, coffee and cakes extra 

Age range: newborn until walking toddlers

Contact: Sandpit babies & tots Facebook page 

Babies and bumps coffee morning takes place every Tuesday inside Reform, providing a chance to meet other pregnant mums or those with babies. With fresh coffee, easy parking, the chance to pick up some groceries at Choithrams, or even get a quick pedicure from the nail spa next door afterwards, what's not to love about this weekly get together?

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Event: Sunbeams mums and tots group 

Venue: Little Land Nursery, Umm Sequim 3 

Day: Tuesday 

Timings: 9.30-11 am 

Cost: Dh30 

Age range: 0-4 years 

Contact: 054 447 3058

A weekly pay-as-you-go playgroup that is very similar to Jebel Ali, offering craft activities, games and toys for little ones, plus hot drinks and cake for mums as well as a snack for the kids. There is a story, songs and bubbles to finish off the session. It's a small, friendly group which is perfect for mums and tots to make new friends and have fun. 

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Event: Manor Mums & Minnies 

Venue: Manor Primary School (SZR)

Day: Thursday (during term time)

Timings: 10.30am-12pm 

Cost: Dh50 per family per session 

Age range: 0-3 years 

Contact: 0585 190268

A small group of amiable mums who meet up every Thursday morning for a coffee, biscuit, and chat. The little ones can play with toys, books, trikes, and be creative with the craft options, while mummies go about making new friends. At the end of the session there are songs, and the babies and toddlers get their chance to make some noise with musical instruments. 

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Event: Outside play date at Reform 

Venue: Reform, The Lakes Club 

Day: Thursday 

Timings: 9.30am onwards 

Cost: Free to attend, coffee and food is available from the restaurant.  

Age range: walking onwards 

Contact: Sandpit babies & tots on Facebook 

Toddlers and pre-schoolers have the chance to enjoy the climbing frame and slides at Reform, ideal during the cooler weather, burning off energy and making friends, while mums can watch from the outside seating, catching up and meeting new mums with a hot coffee and a delicious treat from the restaurant. 

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Event: Mums and tots 

Venue: IDEA Early Learning Centre 

Day: Monday 

Timings: 8.15-10.15am

Cost: free 

Age range: 0-3 

Contact:https://m.facebook.com/groups/1529735670377581

A purpose-built nursery on the edge of Victory Heights opens its doors to mums and tots for a morning of play, chat and coffee. Run by parents, this informal group meets in the community room, often with talks by experts offering advice. A great location with easy parking outside, and a stimulating environment inside.

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Event: Buggy Fitness 

Venue: Al Ittihad Park, The Palm

Day: Monday and Wednesday 

Timings: Monday 9.30-10.30am

Wednesday 8.30-9.30am

Cost: Dh300 for six sessions, or Dh60 per session 

Age range: 0-4 years 

Contact: 052 619 9515

Meeting outside Caffe Nero at the Golden Mile Galleria twice a week, this group of mums come armed with baby/toddler, trainers, and a buggy (although, despite the group’s name, this is optional). The exercise classes provided by lovely Olivia take place in next to the play area so toddlers can either sit in their buggy, play in the sand, or join in with the group. These are always a popular sessions, made special by Olivia, a mummy herself who goes above and beyond making you feel good about yourself. The group coffee afterwards is fabulous for a catch up. 

Check out our Mummy Morning videos and photos to see the sorts of coffee mornings and play dates that we run at Baby & Child

 OTHER PLACES TO LOOK:

Many mums’ groups have pages with information on regular meet ups most of them are free or with a minimum charge. 

Here are some groups to follow.

Sandpit babies and tots Facebook page - sharing info about weekly meet ups 

Baby & Child mummy mornings - like them on Facebook, and reply to secure a spot on their monthly events 

Malaak Mama and Baby care - they run weekly events

Babies and Beyond run various sessions but their Mummy and Me Mondays are really popular. Check out their page as events change. 

Expatwoman run regular coffee mornings - see their website for more details 

Blossom Burj Nursery often run free events and talks - like them on Facebook and join their mailing list. 

Kids Zone, Souk al Bahar run coffee mornings including a hot drink, croissant and two hours play for Dh50dhs. Find them on Facebook for more information. 

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