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:
Event: Jebel Ali Playgroup
Venue: Evangelical Church Hall, Jebel Ali
Days: Monday and Tuesday
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.
Event: Babies & Bumps Coffee Morning
Venue: Reform, The Lakes Club
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?
Event: Sunbeams mums and tots group
Venue: Little Land Nursery, Umm Sequim 3
Timings: 9.30-11 am
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.
Event: Mum & Baby Group
Venue: Kid's Island Nursery
Contact: 04 394 2578 or 04 394 9394 (Between 8am to 2:30pm)
Join this free, weekly fun-filled morning of activities for kids, including play dough exploration, free flow playtime and singing. You are encouraged to bring your own snacks and dads are welcome too. There's free parking outside the nursery, a beautifully shaded outdoors area, and kids can even get access to the nursery's lovely sensory room.
Event: Outside play date at Reform
Venue: Reform, The Lakes Club
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.
Event: Mums and tots
Venue: IDEA Early Learning Centre
Age range: 0-3
Contact: Call 800 4332 352 or join https://www.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.
Venue: Cheeky Monkeys, Arabian Ranches 2
Day: Sunday and Wednesday
Contact: Sally at 055 530 7163
A fun fitness class designed specifically for mums. You can come alone or bring your little ones. What's better than a morning meeting new people and getting fit?
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 Instagram or Facebook, and reply to secure a spot on their monthly events
- Malaak Mama and Baby care runs weekly events
- Babies and Beyond run various sessions but their Mummy and Me Mondays are really popular. Check out their page as events change.
- 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 Dh50. Find them on Facebook for more information.