A toast to dads

Minnesota is home to many moms’ groups, both virtual and in real life.

Groups just for dads, however, are in shorter supply. And yet fathers today, according to 2016 data from the Pew Research Center, are spending triple the amount of time parenting compared to the dads of the 1960s. (Mothers have seen a profound increase in their parenting time, too, but that’s another story.)

In this month of Father’s Day, we wanted to point out three organizations geared toward men raising kids: 

Twin Cities Dads Group: Part of the nationwide 12,000-member City Dads Group, this community of actively involved Minnesota fathers hosts playgroups several times a month at playgrounds, museums, sporting events, zoos and more, plus Dads Nights Out. 

Check out the organization’s schedule, including regular Friday visits, for example, to the Elm Creek Park Reserve playground in Maple Grove, followed by beverages at the kid-friendly Omni Brewing Co. nearby.

Fathers Eve: Founded by St. Paul father John Francis, this annual national event on the night before Father’s Day celebrates the “brotherhood of fatherhood” in more than 50 cities around the U.S.

In the Twin Cities, two public events, plus a few private ones, are set for June 15 to raise awareness of the importance of fatherhood as well as funds for nonprofit agencies that support dads. Each event includes a new-year’s style toast to dads at 8 p.m.

Public events will be at the Big Thrill Factory in Oakdale and Burl Oaks Golf Club in Minnetrista with festivities from 6–10 p.m.

At the Oakdale event, tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Admission includes food from 6:30–7:30 p.m., one beverage, one raffle ticket, mini golf, mini bowling and games such as hammerschlagen and bags. An optional axe-throwing tournament costs $10.

In Minnetrista, a $25 admission includes driving range access, one beer and one raffle ticket, plus games and activities. 

National At-Home Dad Network: The St. Paul Fathers Eve event will benefit, among others, this group, which is set to present HomeDadCon 2019 in Minneapolis Sept. 26–28, targeting families in which fathers are the primary caregivers of their children. Their motto? “Dads don’t babysit. It’s called ‘Parenting.’”