“I just moved to a new city and am trying to make friends. What are some of the different types of social clubs for young adults I could look into? I would love to find some sports, hobby, or other activity clubs I could join for free in my community, but don’t know where to start. Do you have any advice or examples of social clubs for adults looking to make friends?”
Making friends as an adult is hard, especially for people who are shy. The pandemic has also made it hard for people to make new friends, as many have been following guidelines to stay at home. It can be scary to join a club or attend a local event alone but getting out and being more involved in clubs and activities is one of the best ways to meet people and find friends as an adult.
In most places in the US, there are many options for people who are looking to meet new people and make friends. Looking for clubs and activities online or on local event calendars is a great place to start your search. Before you begin your search, it can help to take some time to think about the activities you enjoy and what kind of people you are hoping to meet.
This way, you can target your search to clubs and events where you’re most likely to find like-minded people. According to research, you are more likely to form friendships with people you have things in common with, so reflecting on your own interests, beliefs, and goals is worth the effort.
Consider the following questions when looking for clubs and activities to make new friends:
- What activity or sport do I most enjoy?
For example, do you like boxing, volleyball, or hiking?
- What games do I like to play?
For example, do you like to play chess, video games, or poker?
- How do I like to spend my free time?
For example, do you have a hobby or activity you love?
- What places do I like to go when I leave home?
For example, do you like to swim at the pool, sit in the library or be outside in parks?
- What personal goals do I have for myself?
For example, do you want to lose weight, volunteer for a cause, or be more creative?
- Who do you most easily relate to?
For example, do you want to make female friends or meet other people your age?
- Where are you most likely to meet like-minded people?
For example, are you more likely to be seen at a gym, library, or large social gathering?
- Where have you met friends in the past?
For example, were you on a swim team, did you meet friends at work or in classes?
- What kind of social life are you trying to build?
For example, do you want one or two close friends or a large group of friends?
Do some research online to find out what clubs and activities are available in your community. Keep in mind that you may need to try a variety of clubs and activities in order to find one that feels like a good fit for you. Make an effort to attend at least one club or event a week until you find one that feels like a good match for you.
Below are 10 different examples of clubs and activities where you can begin meeting people and making new friends.
Volunteering for a cause you believe in is a great way to make a positive impact in your community while also making new friends. These activities also help connect you to people who share your values and beliefs, making it more likely you’ll meet people you can relate to.
Also, volunteering allows you to spend a lot of time with people, work together collaboratively, and bond over shared values and goals, which can all help you develop close friendships.
Volunteering is a great option if you really want to form close, strong friendships with people, rather than more shallow friends to have fun or party with.
If you have a more active lifestyle or are trying to get in better shape, consider joining a gym or exercise class. This can be a great way to reach your health goals while also meeting like-minded people. It may even be possible to meet a walking partner or accountability buddy who you can work with to reach your health goals.
People with exercise partners often describe feeling more motivated to reach their goals and more supported in their efforts. If health and fitness are important to you, exercise or fitness classes can be a great place to meet other athletes and fitness buffs.
If you enjoy crafts, art, or have a creative hobby, joining an art class can be another great way to make new friends. There may also be clubs or groups for local artists that live close to you, which could be the perfect way to meet other creative people.
Some wrongly assume they aren’t the “creative type” because they are defining creativity in a very narrow way. There are endless ways to be creative, and also many ways to turn these artistic hobbies into ways to make new friends, including:
- Culinary classes to learn or improve in cooking or baking
- Painting, sketching, or sculpting classes at a local college or art studio
- Classes to learn a new type of art like glass blowing, woodworking, or metalwork
- Classes in graphic design, website design, or in specific programs like Adobe Illustrator
- Meetups and classes in photography, video editing, or using software like Photoshop
- Gardening classes or community gardening clubs
Support groups can be great social clubs for people who are struggling with a specific issue, like getting over the death of a loved one or overcoming an addiction or mental health issue. Many churches also offer support groups or courses designed around spiritual activities or growth, and these are often free to join.
In these groups, you may be able to bond with other members who have similar experiences and struggles as you. Because sharing and providing emotional support to someone both help to foster trust and closeness, friendships can develop more quickly in these groups. People in recovery from a mental health or addiction issue can also use these groups to manage symptoms, maintain their recovery, and support others with similar problems.
Another way to meet people and make new friends is to attend groups, meetups, events, and clubs for people in the same career or industry you work in. Besides helping you meet new people, getting more involved in your industry can also help your career. Sometimes, these professional networks can help you land a new job or reach a professional goal.
Here are some ideas about how to get more involved in clubs that benefit your career:
- Joining meetups for self-employed people, small business owners, or entrepreneurs
- Becoming a board member of a professional organization in your industry
- Getting involved in conferences or clubs geared towards your line of work
- Volunteering for unpaid positions in your industry
- Attending training and professional development activities for people in your industry
- Inquiring about committees at your company or job you could get involved with or join
Another way to meet people is to get more involved at a local level. Join your HOA or neighborhood watch group, the PTA at your child’s school, or another committee or club in your community. This can help you to make a positive difference in your town while also getting to know your neighbors.
Getting involved in your community is a great way to establish yourself, especially if you are new to town or hoping to become well-connected. Those interested in forming a wide network of connections in their community often use these clubs and committees as a starting point.
If you enjoy sports or competitive team activities, consider looking for clubs or activities that are recruiting members for their team. Team sports provide a unique opportunity for bonding, as working together in a collaborative way towards a shared goal helps to foster trust and closeness. Many team sports have multiple practices and games each week, allowing close friendships to form naturally.
It’s easiest to form close friendships with people who you have a lot in common with. For this reason, many people want to find friends who are the same age, race, or gender as them. Others are interested in joining clubs with people who have similar lifestyles or goals, which clubs can also help with.
For example, many communities offer clubs that allow you to connect with people who are:
- The same political affiliation as you
- Interested in similar causes or social justice issues
- Similar in their religious or spiritual beliefs or affiliation
- Members of the same race, ethnicity, or subculture as you
- The same age as you (e.g., groups for the elderly or for young professionals, etc.)
- The same gender, sex, or sexual orientation as you (e.g., LGBTQ clubs, women’s groups, men’s groups)
- In similar places or situations in life (e.g., new moms, young professionals, college students, etc.)
Even if you’ve already completed your education, there may be specific skills or topics you want to learn more about. In most cities, there are classes offered by a local university, training group, or other institution. Many of these will be geared towards adult learners or people who are interested in learning a specific skill or hobby.
Signing up for a course or class is a great way to meet people and make friends while also learning something new. In some cases, your employer may even cover some of the costs of a class, especially if it’s related to your job. Classes aren’t clubs, but they can provide the same opportunities to meet people and make friends, especially if you attend in-person.
Here are some ideas for classes and courses to meet people and make friends as an adult:
- Professional certification classes related to your career
- A hobby, craft, skill, or trade at a local university or community college
- Foreign language courses
- Courses offered by a professional life or job coach
- Bible study classes at a local church
If you can’t find any clubs you want to join, try getting out and doing more in your community. Keep an eye on your local newspapers or websites that have local event calendars and try to make it to an event once a week.
The more time you spend in public, the more likely you are to meet people and form acquaintances. Over time, these acquaintances can develop into friendships. Getting out more, starting more conversations, and meeting people is the best way to set up an opportunity for these relationships to form.
It can be challenging to make friends as an adult, but joining clubs and attending activities and events in your community is a great way to begin meeting people. Targeting clubs, activities, classes, and events that you are interested in or enjoy is important. These provide the best chances for you to meet like-minded people you want to become friends with.
Often, the people you meet at clubs and events will also be trying to meet people and make friends. If you find a club you enjoy, try to attend meetings regularly. The more time you spend talking and getting to know people, the more likely friendships are to develop naturally.
Many people begin their search online. Look for event calendars, local news outlets, and meetups that list upcoming events. You can also conduct more specific searches for sports activities, card clubs, or other hobbies like chess, boxing, or crafts online.
Adults with disabilities can often find local clubs for people with disabilities on meetup.com, their local newspaper listings, or by looking for local advocacy groups. Some non-profit groups that work with people with disabilities may also have more information on local clubs and activities.
There are many types of social clubs for adults. For example, most communities have chess clubs, book clubs, and clubs for people interested in travel, politics, or religion. Choose clubs based on your interests, and keep trying new ones until you find one you like.