Ideas for Activities to do with Friends and Places to Meet New People
Ideas for Gatherings/Events/Things to do with Friends
(Build Intimacy, Positivity, and Play!)
- Take a gym or dance class that none of you have tried before, e.g. Afrobeat, Bhangra, Pole, Zydeco
- Go for a morning hike to see the sunrise
- Do a high-intensity activity like skydiving, zip-lining, or paintballing
- Do a themed 5k or Fun Run race.
- Go to a trampoline park and act like kids
- Team building games
- Go to an ax throwing or archery range
- Join an amateur sports team together
Intellectual / Emotional
- Attend a lecture by an unfamiliar speaker on an unusual topic at an unfamiliar place
- Go to an exhibit for an unfamiliar artist
- Play a new board game together
- Make your own pub trivia team and play
- Solve a murder
- Take a new class together (see below)
- Express gratitude
- Enrich your conversations and talk about the tough stuff
- Toastmasters (speaking club)
- Work at a coffee shop together
- Go to a museum
- Analyze your horoscopes
- Watch TV or movies together and talk about them
- Talk about your love languages
- Read the same book as your friend about a topic you both share an interest in, then plan to discuss your opinions and ideas around it. (Or join a book club together)
- Meditate or pray together
- Talk in-depth about the meaning of life
- Search “Things to do in ____” and do one of the touristy things you haven’t done.
- Escape Rooms
- Go to an amusement park you’ve never been to (Like Holiday World)
- Do a scavenger Hunt together (find an online scavenger hunt for your city)
- Try a new off the wall hobby together like Bird Watching
- Volunteer together to help an organization that none of you are familiar with
- Go to a convention (see below)
- Go to this website: Atlas Obscura and find a unique place to explore in your city
- Be a spectator at a game that none of you is familiar with
- Go to a meetup for something you’ve never heard of
- Get off the train somewhere you’ve never been and take a neighborhood discovery walk
- Go to a protest or demonstration
- Go on a wine / beer / food tour
- Have a picnic in a park
- Have a spa day
- Go apple or pumpkin picking
- Go out for a happy hour
- Send each other handwritten letters/notes
- Make each other handmade/meaningful gifts
- Go See a new play or musician together
- Take the strangest cooking class you can find
- Go to an art class or workshop that’s new for all of you, like pinhole camera making, ceramics, puppet-making, screen-printing, or glass blowing
- Visit a music shop and play around on unusual instruments
- Go to a jazz or music club
- Go to a comedy club
- Cook a meal together
Conventions, Festivals, and Retreats
(Yes, these all exist, and more can be found!)
- State/County Fair
- Music Festivals
- Any Concert, Lecture, or Live Podcast
- Farmers Markets
- Food/Drink Fests
- Art Fairs
- Film Festivals
- Burning Man
- Baking Contests
- Eating Contests (peppers, pie, etc)
- Shakespeare Festivals
- Races (car, run, boxcar, etc…)
- Work/professional development conferences
- Self-development conferences like NVC
- Teacher training retreat
- Yoga retreat
- Wellness retreat
- Hot air balloon
- Book/lit conventions
- Rainbow Gatherings
- Friendship Festival
- World Science Festival
- National Storytelling Festival
- Surf School/Retreat
- REI Women’s Adventures
Ideas for Classes/Groups/Clubs to Join –
Try these with friends to build connections or go to them alone with the intention of meeting new people!
- Gym Membership
- Yoga Class
- Kickboxing Class
- Running Club
- Skating Club
- Spin Class
- Hiking Club (ALDHA)
Also: Barefoot Hikers Club
- Martial Arts
- Volunteer Lifeguard
- Swimming Club
- Rock Climbing Club
- Sports Fanatics Club
- Ski Club/Clinic
- Sports Clubs
- Surfing Meetup
- Join a Triathlon team
- Any Sport you can think of
- Mountain Biking
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Water Polo
- Art Class
- Dance Lessons
- Ukulele Club
- Photography Course
- Poetry Slams
- Improv Class
- Open Mic Night
- Community Theatre
- Cooking Class
- Music Ensembles — rock band, local orchestra
- Chess Club
- NYC Area Friends of JRR Tolkien & Fantasy
- Sci-Fi Clubs
- LARP Groups
- Ecstatic Dance Meetup
- Circus Collectives
Off the Wall
- DnD Campaign/ Group
- Battle Reenactment club
- The British Lawn Mower Racing Association
- The 20 Minute Society
- Cheese Tasting Club
- Kazoo Club
- Scooter or Segway club
- Unicycle Club
- Cookie Cutter Collectors Club
- United States Othello Association
- Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
- Bug Eating Advocacy Club
- New York Parrot Playgroup
- Paranormal Research Group
- Pokemon Go Weekly Adventure
- Boardgame Meetup Groups
- Table Tennis Club
- Disc Golf
- Any Hobby you can think of, i.e.:
- Sword Fighting
- Aquarium aquascaping
- Master Gardening
- Bird Watching
- Car Collecting
- More below!
- Book Club
- Language Class
- Bridge Club
- Gardening Club
- Politically affiliated groups
- Veterans Organizations
- Bible Study/Religious Club
- Self Defense or CPR Class
- Tai Chi Group
- REI Classes (Or Home Depot, Michael’s, etc)
- Rotary Club
- Grief Support Group
- Fan Club
- Identity related groups (Latinx, LGBTQ+)
- Age Club (i.e. Over 60s Club)
- Dad’s Group (or Mom’s group)
- Wine Club
Random Activity Generator
It doesn’t even need to be an “official” club! If you meet a few people you like by chance at the neighborhood pool, why not make a thing of it and meet them there at the pool every Thursday afternoon? Making a schedule will help not leave things up to chance.
Check calendars at places you like (like a rock climbing gym). Most of the time, there is a dedicated day of the week for certain events like “Ladies Climbing Night” or “Dad’s Climbing Night”, etc… which is a great way to meet similar people.
See a club or event that isn’t offered in your area? START ONE!
Search Tools For Finding Events and Groups/Classes
- Weekly alternative/local papers — most places will have a local paper or a paper specifically dedicated to events / things to do
- Walking around your city
- Posters at the coffee shop/deli/shop
- Start paying attention to flyers and bulletin boards everywhere
- Bars, restaurants, and cafes
- People you know
- Go to larger community events (Like a farmers market or summer festival) and collect flyers from the performers or booths there.
Online (Local Listings)
- Search engines
- This is a logical place to start. You can search for things like:
- (your city) event listings
- (your city) dance lessons, softball leagues, etc…
- (your town) volunteer opportunities
- (your city) concert venues
- “Things to do in _______”
- Facebook/social media groups
- The websites of venues that hold events
- Local Reddit page
- Local Craigslist
- University’s listing of clubs, teams, and organizations
- Community center or community agency websites
- Your town’s official website
- Travel guides
- Through a specific organization’s website
- Following venues on sites like Facebook or Twitter
- REI Events and Classes — REI offers tons of classes on everything from bike maintenance to avalanche safety. Learn something new and meet people with similar outdoorsy interests to you.
Ideas for Other Ways to Meet Folks
- Meet your neighbors
- Join Nextdoor
- Say hello to neighbors you see in the street/hallway.
- Ask for a recommendation — “Do you know a good place to get coffee around here?”
- Hang out outside or in community spaces — that is what they are there for!
- Walk your dog/kids/cat/self around the neighborhood regularly — you’ll start to see familiar people and you will become familiar to them too.
- Take your pet to the dog park.
- Throw a party or cook a meal. Invite your neighbors, ask them to bring a side or dessert or drinks and voila — neighborhood mixer potluck!
- Brown bag it — Invite colleagues to join you and have an office picnic
- Exercise — Go to the gym, do a spin class, etc.
- Arrive early — meetings, classes, etc… arriving early allows you to introduce yourself and get to know the people around you a bit before getting down to business.
- Say thanks — write a thoughtful note to a colleague, neighbor, etc… that did something nice for you. It can also be out of the blue like “Thanks for always brightening my day!”
- Schedule connection time — leaving things to chance is neglecting our need for friendship. Schedule a time to do something fun, call a friend, or have a chat.
- Host an event — From a small virtual happy hour, to a bike ride around the neighborhood, to a dinner party–the level of planning and involvement is up to you, the important thing is that it gets people together and leaves space for connection.
- Meet your friend’s friends — With a common friend, the ice is already broken allowing for easier bonding
- Talk to/meet your colleagues — if you work from home, consider joining a co-working space.
- Attend workshops and retreats (See Below)
- Use your kids — If you have children, see any activity they do as an opportunity for you to meet new friends. Chat to the other parents on the sidelines at soccer, invite other families over for playdates, etc…
- Find the local hang out for people you identify with — i.e. the local gay bar, the bar that plays the sports games you like, the park where people rock climb, or the coffee shop where artists sketch.
- Attend local events — Art fairs, farmers markets, food fests, etc…
- Go to a convention or festival (see below) — If you don’t have anyone to go with, don’t be afraid to go alone!
Events and Happenings
Ways to Communicate and Connect
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- We Should Get Together — Online social connection club
- GirlFriendCircles — Created by Shasta Nelson, author of Frientimacy
- Living Room Conversations – Healing divides starts with conversation. — Chat with people virtually about the topics you’re interested in.
- Postpartum Progress, a nonprofit dedicated to helping pregnant and new moms find local peer support and educational tools.
Meet People and Find Events
- DownToMeet — Find or organize local groups and events.
- FriendMatch — With FriendMatch, you can make friends from nearby or from around the world.
- BarkHappy— Discover the dog-friendly world near you
- I wanted to do that…Just not alone!! (New York, NY) — The mission of this group is exactly what the name implies, we want to provide good company and a positive atmosphere to experience those things that, for whatever reason, you either weren’t able to do before or don’t get to do often enough.
Additional Online Resources
- Belong Center – Consultancy to support anyone wanting to create a community anywhere.
- Intentional Communities — Find, join, and learn about intentional communities around the world.
- Honeydue — A finance app for couples that can also be useful for roommates or friends who share expenses. Google | apple
- BookClubz — Bookclubz makes organizing a book club simple.
- Say goodbye to that tangle of emails so you can focus on reading and being together.
- Free Coffee With Aubrey — One woman’s way to meet people in her new city was to offer them free coffee. Read about the people she met and be inspired by the risks she took to meet people.
- Housewarming Invitation Templates | Canva — Make and print invitations to invite neighbors and friends in for some connection.