MOMS Club connects neighborhood families

MOMS Club families gather for toys, pizza and a costume parade at an October event in Armatage. Photo by Michelle Bruch

A long-running MOMS Club in Southwest Minneapolis works to connect moms who live near each other.

“It’s nice because you get to know moms in your neighborhood,” said Laura Murphy, who heads the Minneapolis Lakes chapter.

About 29 families with 50 kids participate in the nonprofit club. They live in neighborhoods spanning Kenwood and Lowry Hill to Armatage and Kenny. The group is welcome to all ages, but most kids are preschool age and younger.

“We can end up with a big crowd, which is fun,” Murphy said.

She said the group works well for moms who stay home full-time or part-time, as most events take place during the day. Along with bigger events for the entire chapter, moms can join smaller weekly playgroups with the families that live closest to them.

Murphy said she joined while she was still pregnant.

“Three other women had babies within a month of my daughter,” she said.

She said moms appreciate sharing notes on everything from preschools to kid-friendly coffee shops.

Kingfield resident Meryl Downing said she initially joined another moms’ group that sent her to meet-ups all over the suburbs, so she appreciates the neighborhood focus.

“It’s easier to meet up and easier to see people,” she said.

Downing said she’s met good friends through the group, and it’s been nice for her kids to meet friends their own age.

“I needed it,” she said. “I had no mom friends.”

“A lot of my female friends went back to work,” said Andrea Roeger, a Whittier resident with two kids.

Tangletown resident Kristine Leege said she recently moved to Minneapolis from San Francisco with a four-year-old and 16-month-old.

“I needed something to go to with other adults to talk to during the day,” she said.

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MOMS Club hosts a cookie exchange around the holidays, an egg hunt in spring, and service projects where kids can participate, such as park cleanups and lunch packing. The club makes a donation to a nonprofit each year.

The club asks for a $25 annual membership fee, and anyone is welcome to check out an event before joining.

The International MOMS Club has more than 2,000 chapters in the U.S. with over 100,000 members. For more information, contact [email protected]