Out of all of the places we have been stationed, Monterey has been one of the easiest places to meet people. This is partly because it is a small town, but also because there are so many opportunities to connect with others. That being said, the first three months we were here, I still had all of those normal PCS thoughts of “will I actually find good friends here, will I have a social life, how will I survive life with a toddler and a newborn with no friends?” Ahhh. Oh woe is me, right? I remember meeting a neighbor and thinking, “Okay, we could be friends.” But then what, do I go knock on her door and see if I can borrow a cup of sugar? Meeting new friends can seem so daunting at first. I promise these feelings won’t last long if you make a decision to jump right in. You might actually have to invite that neighbor over for coffee, and you might actually have to go to that new spouses ice cream social that you’re dreading. But before long, you’re going to have your people. Depending on your interests, there’s a group for you, an activity to go to, or a place for you to have coffee and share with other Moms. That first month or two in a new place is always a little scary; so to get past that, here are eight great ways to meet new moms in Monterey:
- MOPS-Mothers of Preschoolers: MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers and is for Moms, Pregnant Mommies to be, Adoptive Mommies and Children ages 0-5 years. MOPS is a group that gets together twice a month with other moms. There’s usually food and coffee involved, and the best part, CHILDCARE! You get to talk to moms for a few hours while your little darlings are well taken care of. If you have a little one that’s still nursing or too young for the nursery, they are always welcome to sit with you during the meetings. Here in Monterey, there are two MOPS groups. One meets at Shoreline Church and the other at Carmel Baptist Church. These groups fill up fast so be sure to contact the coordinator as soon as you know you’re moving here.
- Toddler Classes and Activities:
A great way to meet new moms is to get involved in classes and activities. If you live in military housing, there are weekly free KinderJam classes you can register for each month. The Monterey Recreation Center offers classes for children of all ages with sports, dance, swim, gymnastics and more. Rising Star Gymnastics offers a weekly toddler playtime and classes for all ages. Libraries around the peninsula host free story times for babies and toddlers. You can also visit any of Monterey’s wonderful parks and find Mom’s hanging out with their kiddos.
- Parents’ Place in Pacific Grove offers age appropriate classes for moms and babies up to three years old. They also have speciality classes that include Mom and Baby Yoga, Tots in Motion, Food and Art Plus, and Wonder of Science. Moms and Dads rave about their experience with Parents’ Place. It’s a great way to connect with your little ones and meet other parents.
- Mommy and Me Workouts: All around the peninsula, you will find awesome Mommy and Me Workouts. Stroller Warriors is a free running club with predominantly military spouses that meet twice a week to run and work out. They have group meet ups and Moms Night Outs too. Stroller Strides is also a fun group in Monterey and your first week is complimentary. Stroller Strong Moms, meets twice a week at two different parks, your first class is free. Check out these groups and see which one is a good fit for you.
- The Parenting Connection of Monterey: Supporting parents and caregivers of babies and children, this group offers play and learn playgroups (PAL) for ages 0 to 5, specific programs for parents and creative tinkering and art programs for kids. Play and Learn Playgroups are a two-hour class that parents and caregivers attend with their child. Each class includes art and crafts, a structured circle time with movement, music, a story, and a different parenting topic for discussion with the adults.
- Facebook Groups: This is a convenient resource to find a group of moms that cater to your interests. There are several groups including Military Moms of Monterey, Monterey Baby-wearers, Monterey Happenings for Families, MBOSC, Monterey County Birth Group, Perpetual Bargain Fair, Wellness Warriors Monterey, Salinas/Surrounding Area Moms and Tweens Meet Up, Homeschoolers and more. Whatever you’re interested in, there’s a group for you in Monterey. To find these groups, go to the search bar in Facebook and look for the group name.
- Meet Ups: Check out Meet Up.Com and you will find a TON of groups. From Cycling, Hiking and Volleyball to wine and food pairing, MOMS Clubs, Parents with Toddlers and Expectant Moms, you name it, there’s a group for it.
- Get Plugged In To Your Community: Many of us have opportunities to meet other moms right in front of our faces and yet we never take advantage of them! I’m talking about our churches, neighborhoods, PTA’s, NPS, DLI, co-workers, and more. Say hello to your neighbor, bring a new mama a meal, and attend a new spouses social! The best way to make new friends is to get out there. With all of the fabulous parks here in Monterey, say hello to the Mom pushing her child on the swing. We’re only stationed here for a short period of time so jump right in and you might meet your new best friends.
Do you know of a great group or an awesome way to meet other Moms in Monterey? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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