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Play dates with the kids? This group is for dads only

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When Ryan Gross moved back to Ohio two years ago, he was hoping to join a group similar to one he was part of in New York City: a dads group.

It's organization for fathers, many who stay at home full time, to get together with their children.

Columbus didn't have such an group, so Ryan decided to start one.

"There is definitely a trend where more and more dads are becoming stay-at-home dads," said Ryan, who is also a full time parent.

The Columbus Dads Group is free for fathers to join. They meet at child-friendly locations, like Firefly Play Cafe in Clintonville, throughout the week for play dates.

"I started by asking other dads to join. It was kind of a grassroots campaign," he said. "I'd see a dad at the playground, hand him a card."

According to the group's Facebook page, there are now more than 200 members. About 40% are stay-at-home fathers, Ryan told ABC6/FOX28.

"First and foremost, we are just a bunch of active dads who like to go out with kids and kind of see the world through their eyes."

The group also has Dads Night Out, a night without the children.

It's not just for fathers either, said Ryan, grandfathers are also welcome, but moms are not. The group wants the meet-ups to be a place for men to feel comfortable discussing parenting issues.

"We like to debunk the myth of the bumbling dad changing a diaper. It's not always that. There are great dads out there who want to get the kids out."

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