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10 Great Ways to Meet Mom Friends in the Lakeland Area

Mom Friends in Lakeland

Making mom friends is intimidating. And hard. And often outside our comfort zone. The effort it takes to strike up a conversation can feel draining. And the fear of rejection is real. We get it!

But we all need friends through this journey of motherhood, someone to talk to when things are hard, and someone to go adventuring when you discover new things to do with kids near you.

We are here to help with a few encouraging tips and a list of mom groups near you and actual local places where moms congregate. If you are looking to make mom friends you are one of MANY and we want to help you find one another!

First, a few encouraging tips for meeting other moms:

#1 – Realize many of the other moms you’ll find at these places are in the same boat – looking for community, fellowship, and a chance to connect with another mom and have an adult conversation. You are not alone.

#2 – Try somewhere new. When in doubt, keep it simple. Put yourself in places where other moms might be and just enjoy yourself. If you walk away with a potential new friend, great! If not, at least you got out of the house and made the effort. There can always be a “next time.”

#3 – Be willing to step outside your comfort zone. Smile. Make the first move and introduce yourself. Have some conversation starters in mind…

  • Ask about their kids (it’s the one thing we all have in common!)
  • Do your kids get along?
  • Are you from Lakeland?
  • Where else do you go to get out of the house?
  • Are you a working mom? (We mean other than the full-time mom job of course)
  • Think about what you might want someone to ask you…

Whether you’ve got 3 kids under 5 that are with you all day, or you’re a working mom who only has nights and weekends free, or you’re a mom of older kids who might look strange showing up alone at story time {ie – you need another option}, we’ve got you covered. Read on for a list of ideas for meeting fellow moms.

The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center

The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center opened in November 2022 at Bonnet Springs Park. The Children’s Resource Center offers classes on a weekly basis for children from infants through age 5 where parents and children will learn and socialize as they participate in fun, stimulating, developmental activities. They also offer a breastfeeding support group, infant massage, toddler sign language, and more. These classes are FREE and a great opportunity to meet other moms and caregivers, advance registration is required. Learn more about The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center. {formerly known as Family Fundamentals}

Florida Children’s Museum

We have a brand new children’s museum in Lakeland! Get the scoop on the Florida Children’s Museum that opened at Bonnet Springs Park.

Our local Children’s Museum is a great place to talk to other moms without it feeling awkward. Strike up a conversation while you hang out in the tot spot or in City Play. Being with your kids while they play will give you an easy topic – most moms love to chit-chat about their kiddos.

Library Programs + Local Storytimes

Most of our local libraries offer storytimes and other activities for kids during the week for babies through teenagers. With 16 libraries in Polk County, you can find one near you and do some post-storytime socializing.

Even though moms of older kids might write off this option, DON’T! If you’ve got kids in that “in-between” zone – where you still have to take them and pick them up but they don’t really need your participation, stick around… the programs are usually less than an hour long and other moms are probably doing the same thing. We try to include all of the library activities on our calendar, but your best bet is to check with your nearest library for a current schedule.

The Florida Air Museum also has a weekly storytime for toddlers and preschoolers that includes an engaging story time surrounded by airplanes. Located at the Aerospace Center for Excellence + SUN ‘n FUN campus. Upcoming dates are on our calendar and on the museum’s Facebook page.

Summer Library Programs story time Lakeland Polk County FL

Storytime Calendar for Lakeland + Polk County

Are you looking for a fun storytime adventure to enjoy with your preschooler or toddler? Check out this calendar of upcoming story time events at local libraries, museums, and community organizations.

Local Playgrounds

We can guarantee you’ll find other moms at the playground! (Unless it is empty of course)

We have an abundance of great local playgrounds where you can relax and watch your kids play while hoping to strike up a conversation with another mom nearby. A few favorites that you probably won’t find empty – Common Ground, the Rotary Playground at Lake Parker Park, multiple playgrounds at Bonnet Springs Park, and Barnett Park & Sunflower Playground (this one is fully gated making it ideal for 5 & under).

Check out our list of shaded playgrounds or see a full list of Lakeland area playgrounds.

Funtasia at Family Fun Center + Indoor Play Areas

If you’re looking for a “cooler” way to meet other moms, head to Funtasia at Family Fun Center. One of the largest soft play areas in the country, Funtasia is active entertainment for all of your little ones ages 12 & under. Your children will explore a 4 story maze of tunnels, tubes, slides, and obstacles. Kids will have a ball interacting with each other and finding their way through all of the fun activities while you enjoy the air conditioning and relax knowing your kids can’t leave the gated indoor playground.

There are also special times for toddler jump at local trampoline parks, toddler open gym at some of the local gymnastics facilities, and other special indoor play times just for little ones. {More details coming soon}

Mommy & Me Classes

You’re guaranteed to meet other moms at a Mommy & Me Class. Options include music classes, gymnastics classes, swimming classes, art classes, farm classes, and more. Visit our Toddler Activities Guide for more info on each of these options.

Swim Dynamic offers Story, Sing & Swim – an interactive class intended to facilitate learning at the preschool level. During these small group sessions, parents and children will join an instructor in the water for a short story and some sing-a-long fun as we navigate a series of themes. Each parent will be hands-on with their little one during this class.

New Mom Groups

If you’re a brand new mom or mom to a baby under 12 months, there are a lot of opportunities to meet other moms with babies. (Nevermind the fact that you’re all so exhausted you can hardly carry on a conversation!) If you’ve been searching for mommy groups near me, start with one of the groups below.

♥ Lakeland Regional Health hosts a Breastfeeding Support Group, a time for sharing and support for breastfeeding moms, led by Certified Lactation Consultants. All breastfeeding moms and nursing babies welcome. Also for expectant mothers who are considering breastfeeding their newborn. They also have other expecting and new parent classes. Click here to see upcoming dates.

Lakeland Babywearing is a group for parents interested in babywearing and beyond to connect. Head over to their Facebook group and request to join and check out upcoming events.

The Nest offers a variety of pregnancy classes (find your mom tribe before you ever give birth!) as well as new mom support at their weekly weigh-in clinics. They also have a postpartum support group and infant massage classes. Check out their calendar for upcoming events.

La Leche League provides support for breastfeeding moms through mother to mother support, encouragement, information, and education. Meetings are held twice per month and both pregnant and breastfeeding moms are welcome along with their babies.

The Carol Jenkins Barnett United Way Children’s Resource Center offers a weekly breastfeeding support group led by lactation facilitators from community organizations. This group is FREE and a great opportunity to meet other moms, advance registration is required on Children’s Resource Center website.

Church Groups, Fellowship Groups, + MOPS Groups Near You

Church and church related activities are a great place to meet other moms AND know that you likely share similar values.

Even if attending worship on Saturday or Sunday doesn’t provide much opportunity for fellowship, many churches offer Bible Studies, small groups, playgroups, and more. Looking for a church home? Ask for suggestions in the Lakeland Moms Group.

Moms of Lakeland (formerly MOPS at Church at the Mall) reaches local moms with weekly gatherings where they will find biblical community and encouragement with other moms. Weekly gatherings include Bible study, guest speakers, brunch, and crafts while providing preschool childcare in a safe and nurturing environment. Moms of preschool and elementary-aged children are welcome to attend! Childcare is available upon registration for children birth-preschool. Meets at Lakes Church (1010 E. Memorial Blvd. Lakeland, FL).

♥ The Mom Tribe Bible Study meets at First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland and welcomes new moms to come join the group. Coffee, snacks and FREE childcare are provided.

W.O.W – Women of the Word at Ardella Baptist Church in Lakeland is a Bible-based program for moms of preschoolers and school-age children designed to help young moms grow spiritually, encourage them in their role as a mother, and provide a safe community with other moms.

Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) is a free, interdenominational, in-depth Bible study that helps people know God and equips them to serve the Church effectively throughout the world. Women of all ages and Children 0-5 are welcome. Groups meet at Medulla Baptist Church in Lakeland, other groups in Lakeland, Lake Wales, and Plant City are listed on the BSF website.

Heart for Single Moms Ministry at Harvest Church in Lakeland provides connection and support specifically for single moms. They have online zoom meetings as well as monthly in-person connection nights.

Pray and Play at First United Methodist Church is a special time for non school-age children and their caregivers. Held on a weekday morning to connect and grow together as we navigate the joys, challenges and ever changing phases of life with little’s.

MOPS has a 40+ year history of bringing moms together, face to face. Whether you are an adoptive mom, young mom, seasoned mom, foster mom, stepmom or any other type of mom, you are welcome at MOPS. A MOPS meeting typically includes practical teaching through speakers, demonstrations and videos. You’ll get to have honest conversations with other moms who understand the joys and frustrations of motherhood. There is a minimal cost to join a MOPS Group ($100 or less for the year). Local MOPS Groups include Access MOPS in Lakeland, Christ Community Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, MOPS Church of the Redeemer in Winter Haven. Check the MOPS website to find a MOPS group near you.

Fitness Classes

Moms who sweat together stay together, right??

Local workout facilities, exercise classes, and gyms with child care include the YMCABurn Bootcamp South Lakeland, Crossfit OCI, Just Move North Lakeland and Just Move South Lakeland. With the kids taken care of, you can strike up a conversation with another mom and not worry about being interrupted!

Facebook Groups + Playgroups

In addition to the Lakeland Moms Group {details below}, there are an abundance of Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people online and in-person. Do a search for groups in your area and see what you can find. This is an especially great option for those of you with older kids!

Looking for a local playgroup? Two we know of that plan activities via Facebook are PALS and Lakeland Mommy & Me Playdates.

Get Involved at School

Perfect for moms of kids ages 5 & up, school is one of the best places to make mom friends. I guarantee your PTO/PTA is always looking for volunteers! Whether you sign up to count box tops or plan the entire spring carnival, you’ll be hanging out with other moms that have kids somewhere in the same age range as yours. Plus as a reader pointed out, it is often a lot of the same parents volunteering and as you see each other on a regular basis friendships will form naturally. Call your school’s front office to inquire.

Service Groups + Business Development Groups

If you’re searching for a way to meet other women without the kids in tow AND make a difference in our community, a service organization might be just what you’re looking for.

♥ The Junior League of Greater Lakeland is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The Junior League is exclusively educational and charitable and hosts multiple events during the year.

♥ The Junior League of Greater Winter Haven is a group of local mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, and business owners who volunteer time and resources through a variety of engaging opportunities to assist those most in need in our community — their fellow women and children.

♥ The Junior Woman’s Club of Lakeland is a non-profit, volunteer organization serving the greater Lakeland area since 1928. “We provide our members with training and experience in volunteer community service as well as personal friendships.”

Are you a business owner or looking to advance your professional career while networking with other women? Check out ABWA – American Business Women’s Association, Lakeland Downtown Chapter. The members are involved in achieving their career goals through personal and professional development, as well as networking their businesses at monthly events.

Lakeland Moms Group on Facebook

While it is often easier to meet friends in person, the Lakeland Moms Group on Facebook is another opportunity for you to connect with other moms and set up playdates and plans to meet IRL. I {April of Lakeland Mom} started the group in 2016 to provide a space for moms get answers and advice from other local moms. It has grown into an active group of over 10,000 members who are incredibly generous with sharing information and encouragement.

While we don’t currently plan any in-person events (it is on our wish list!) if anyone is willing to organize and host a playdate, moms night out, or other activity for fellow moms we are happy to set up the Facebook event details within the group and get the details out to Lakeland Moms!

Places to Go with Mom Friends

Once you find those mom friends, don’t miss our list of ideas for mom-only activities in our Mom’s Night (or Day) Out – Lakeland Style post, and our Lakeland Coffee Tour where you can find a new place to meet up for great coffee and even better conversation.

More places to go with mom friends + kids:

Now go on and put yourself out there. YOU are amazing and anyone you meet would be lucky to have you as their newest mom friend!

Motherhood + Parenting Guide

Check out our Motherhood + Parenting Guide for more articles on motherhood, social groups, 1-on-1 time with kids, and more.


About the Author: April Mucci

April is the owner of She has lived in Lakeland since age 2 and is passionate about our community and connecting families with local resources. She is a mom to 2 boys (12 + 15) and a mini goldendoodle, wife to Matt. She loves reading, saltwater fishing, concerts and live performances, and working on Lakeland Mom!