Saturday, June 7, 2014. The weather? A perfect 80 or so degrees, blue skies, no humidity, a nice, cool breeze. The company? Outstanding: Dads and moms with exuberant and incredibly well-behaved kids.
In a shady section of Central Park’s Great Lawn near its famous Turtle Pond, 95 people gathered for the annual NYC Dads Group “Father’s Day” family picnic, sponsored by Britax/BOB. The turnout proved to be the largest in the NYC Dads Group’s five years of picnicking. Could a day be any more idyllic? Actually yes.
Before the picnic even began, before the bubbles and Frisbees, 16 families in the NYC Dads Group community gathered at the Central Park’s 60th Street/Fifth Avenue to meet up for a leisurely stroll through the park to the picnic destination. Britax rewarded each family with a new Affinity stroller, a wonderful gift from a truly consumer-oriented company as Kate, Brita’s representative, asked each family their thoughts on the stroller and urged us to offer ways to improve it. As we walked through the twists and turns of the park and made our way down “the mall” to Central Park’s famed Bethesda Fountain, Kate gave out apples, pretzels, raisins and drinks to hungry kids and parents.
My wife and I had a great time during the walk as I caught up with a dad I hadn’t seen in some time and learned that membership to the Bronx/Central Park/Queens Zoos is tax deductible! Who knew? Meanwhile, my wife learned that one fellow NYC Dads Group member was an old college friend she hadn’t seen in 16 years!
The relaxed walk through the beautiful park lasted about an hour and a half and once we reached the picnic spot, we were welcomed by the NYC Dads Group’s other co-founder, Matt Schneider. Kate gave us a helpful demonstration of the Affinity stroller’s features. We then spread out our blankets and watched as our kids chased a couple of ducks that picked the wrong place to hang out. As more and more families arrived, it felt like a reunion. It was so wonderful to see many of the dads I know and talk with their partners and children not to mention meeting people for the first time. We discussed everything from childcare to Sesame Place to what a great time we were having watching our kids roll around in the cool grass, run and play with balls, hang out in trees (under supervision, of course), and eat the delicious Panera boxed lunches.
Bubbles were everywhere and our kids went crazy for them. Us parents lounged and took pictures. We talked and laughed and enjoyed the incredible weather and terrific company. We spent hours at the park, and before the picnic broke up and families went their separate ways, we gathered for a huge picture in celebration of such a special day.
Families relax at the fifth annual NYC Dads Group Father’s Day family picnic in Central Park on June 7, 2014.
**Sponsored event** NYC Dads Group has an ongoing relationship with Brtiax/BOB where they compensate us for a series of sponsored events. We only work with brands and service providers that we believe in and use ourselves. Opinions expressed here are our own and have not been influenced by the sponsor.