Living Here Guide

Want to meet new people? Start here

On nice weekend days breweries such as Sycamore Brewing and Legion Brewing can be packed with patrons flocking to their patios to enjoy the weather.
On nice weekend days breweries such as Sycamore Brewing and Legion Brewing can be packed with patrons flocking to their patios to enjoy the weather. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

It’s great to have pals who knew you back when you were wearing braces. But unlike in the movies, it’s not always possible to keep your tight-knit circle of childhood friends physically close by in each stage of your life.

If you’ve moved to Charlotte for work or are re-discovering the Queen City as an adult, it’s time to develop new friendships. When you’re looking to branch outside your normal social circle, here are a few good places to start:

(1) Skillpop

skillpop.com

Have you ever wanted to learn handlettering, basic car maintenance or how to take better Instagram photos? Skillpop’s pop-up classes are a great way to learn a new skill and find friends with common interests. Classes are affordable, too. They’re typically priced between $20 and $45.

Skillpop_2017 Observer file photo
Skillpop classes cover a variety of interests at an affordable price. Charlotte Observer file photo

(2) CreativeMornings

www.charlotteiscreative.com

Rather than sluggishly pouring yourself coffee, kickstart your day with a thought-provoking talk. CreativeMornings/Charlotte features a different guest speaker each month, with topics ranging from survival to serendipity. Go to charlotteiscreative.com for upcoming dates. Tickets are free, but they go quickly. It’s the perfect venue for meeting other early birds.

(3) Young Affiliates of the Mint

www.youngaffiliates.org

If you love the arts, the Young Affiliates of the Mint is for you. The organization is specifically for young professionals who want to support the Mint Museum through fundraising activities and community involvement. They put on a number of events worth attending throughout the year, including their Derby Days party.

(4) #InstabeerupCLT

Search the hashtag #instabeerupclt on Instagram

Networking can be awkward, but #instabeerupCLT zaps the stuffiness and makes it easy to chat up new people. Each month, the group meets at a different brewery around town. Leave your business attire at home and grab a beer instead. It’s low-pressure and perfect for boosting your connections.

Remy ThurstonInstabeerup-7
The #instabeerupCLT group meets at a different brewery around town each month. Remy Thurston

(5) NC Yoga Bar

www.ncyogabar.com

Meet fellow yogis and ditch the routine studio experience with NC Yoga Bar. The pop-up yoga studio hosts classes all around Charlotte, including at the McGill Rose Garden, the Mint Museum, and at breweries like Sycamore Brewing and Sugar Creek Brewing Company. A single class is $10, or you can buy a five-class “passport” for $40.

(6) Run clubs

www.nodabrewing.com/noda-brewing-run-club; www.runforyourlife.com/train-local

Pound the pavement and expand your social circle at the same time by joining a run club. Charlotte has plenty to choose from, but a popular option is NoDa Brewing Company’s Run Club. It meets Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Running store Run For Your Life also puts on a range of programs, perfect for both newbies and more advanced athletes.

(7) Join a sports team

www.sportslinkus.com; www.sportsconnectionnc.com

Your gym class hero days may be over, but you can still relive those shining moments through organizations like Sportslink and Sports Connection. Whether you want to play volleyball, kickball, softball, soccer, or basketball, there are plenty of leagues looking for a ringer.

Scott Brotherton (9) (1)
Joining a team is a great way to meet sports-minded friends. Scott Brotherton

(8) Hands On Charlotte

www.handsoncharlotte.org

Do some good and meet new people at the same time when you volunteer with Hands on Charlotte. The organization offers a flexible schedule, so regardless of when you have time to volunteer or how many hours you have to give, there’s an opportunity available. You can do anything from tutoring children to playing bingo with seniors or teaching basic literacy and math skills to adults. Hands On Charlotte’s website has more information about how to get involved.

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