Please explain what a play date is. I get that parents schedule a date for their kids to play with each other, but I don't exactly know how it's supposed to work. Is the focus mainly for the kids or is it more an excuse for the parents to socialize?

It's not something people do in my neck of the woods. We live next to the biggest playground in our town. I've never seen parents huddled together while their kids play. It's a small town, so the most I've seen are 2 other families there at the same time, but no one ever knows each other and everyone's usually just busy watching and playing with their own kids.

Please explain how a typical play date works.
- Who initiates? How?
- Where do you go?
- How long does it usually last?
- Do you bring your own activities?
- Is it typical to bring food?