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Alan E7 

Dear Brain, I am a Dad of an 8 month old living in East London (Forest Gate, E7) and I am on extended shared parental leave. Please can you tell me about any good Dad and baby groups or events (e.g. yoga / film / comedy / pub social) taking place vaguely near me (I can travel by car too)? I use Hoop but am finding events targeting Dads are few and far between. Thank you Alan

TOP RESPONSE
Adam Shoesmith 
Hi Alan - I took six months shared parental leave in 2015-16 and live in Stratford so similar experience to you. Your nearest baby cinema is Stratford Picturehouse - every Tuesday morning. As my son got closer to 12 months, I found it harder to keep him settled and in one place so cinema got harder. If your little one is not too mobile yet - you can easily get to Hackney or Greenwich picturehouse on public transport too. In six months, I found just one other dad on shared parental leave, which pretty much sums up your experience sadly. I found no Dad specific groups during my time off. There is another world in south and west London in terms of parenting but that was always a step too far from me. To finish on a positive note - my wife and I set up Wake Up Gigs last year in response to a lack of live music and bands playing gigs that parents and all the family can attend. We set up shows on Sunday afternoons in Shoreditch, next one this Sunday. We've put a dad on the poster to show that this is an event that all ages and all members of the family can attend.
ALL RESPONSES
Dad in constant need of help 
There's never anything for dads! All I can ever find is mums groups at best and then you're always seen as the token dad. And every time you go it's "Where's [wife's name]". I'm in a different area but I'd like to know some good ways to approach this problem in general.
Dadah to one 
Hi Alan - I completely agree - it's a nightmare finding anything dad friendly (I also agree with the comment above). However, there was a soft play at the Atherton Leisure centre if I remember correctly. I haven't been for a while though... (I assume that's near to you?)
Lisa Tantrum 
Have you tried the Children's Centre at Kilmorie School? They do Baby Gym on Mondays which gives your baby access to more toys than they'd have at home and nothing too over-organised: http://www.kilmorieschool.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/2016-timetable-from-January-March-2017.pdf
Lisa Tantrum 
Also, we're talking to Dulwich Picture Gallery about co-hosting a special early opening for people bringing babies and toddlers: they're keen to run an early morning viewing of the Vanessa Bell and Patti Smith exhibition. Dads will definitely be both welcome and represented. Will keep you posted!
Guest1208 
Have you looked at Kay Rowe's free services for kids? They have a whole load of events. I doubt anything will have a dad focus to be honest but I'm sure there'll be dads there. here's a list of their events for the upcoming months - http://www.kayrowe.newham.sch.uk/documents/childrens-centre/5-Forest-Gate-Q1-2017.pdf
Alan E7 
Thanks fellow Dads and others for your comments. There was Dad and baby yoga in Hackney but whenever I check up on that it shows as cancelled. There's also something called Dads' Time at Kaye Rowe Children's Centre that I haven't tried yet so I'll give that a go.
Ben Tantrum 
Hi @Alan E7 - I hope Kay Rowe works out! Do come back to let us know. If you come across any dads on your travels get them to sign up as we need their brains to answer questions like this!
Adam Shoesmith 
Hi Alan - I took six months shared parental leave in 2015-16 and live in Stratford so similar experience to you. Your nearest baby cinema is Stratford Picturehouse - every Tuesday morning. As my son got closer to 12 months, I found it harder to keep him settled and in one place so cinema got harder. If your little one is not too mobile yet - you can easily get to Hackney or Greenwich picturehouse on public transport too. In six months, I found just one other dad on shared parental leave, which pretty much sums up your experience sadly. I found no Dad specific groups during my time off. There is another world in south and west London in terms of parenting but that was always a step too far from me. To finish on a positive note - my wife and I set up Wake Up Gigs last year in response to a lack of live music and bands playing gigs that parents and all the family can attend. We set up shows on Sunday afternoons in Shoreditch, next one this Sunday. We've put a dad on the poster to show that this is an event that all ages and all members of the family can attend.
Alan E7 
Hi Adam, thanks for the fantastic post. Great to hear about Wake Up Gigs - I've just 'interested' your Facebook page. I'm a singer-songwriter and have been trying to unearth family-friendly Sunday afternoon gigs / open mics so this is right up my street. I'll message you separately about this. I've recently come across Acoustic Sundays in Islington and Held at Hucks in Walthamstow but nothing specifically baby-friendly like your Wake Up gigs. Exciting! Also, thanks Ben and others - this Parenting Brain has been a great help.
Ben Tantrum 
Brilliant! Really glad you found it helpful 🙌🙌🙌😁😁😁 please spread the word! We need more brains to help answer questions and spin the karma wheel ✊️
Celine Bell 
Our local Idea Store (library) does "Who let the Dads out" every Saturday morning. Rich Mix does baby cinema on Monday and Hackney Picturehouse's Wednesday baby cinema often had a dad or two. Thanks for being one of the first to pick this up - hopefully our sons will feel less alone than you when it is the norm in the future.
Sophisticaz 
Children's Centre's were designed as hubs where any parent can go and get information ask there they might know. Do you have a Family Information Service there? They might have some info otherwise try Facebook. Sorry in Cornwall not much use.
Lisa Tantrum 
'Who Let The Dads Out' is a very funny name, and strikes the right tone, I think - slightly dadtronising, but at least establishes a sense of humour about it. I have also had this one flagged up for me on your behalf: a dad's group at The Lloyd Park: http://www.thelloydparkcentre.co.uk/index.php/our_services/our_services/timetable

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