If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to expand your number of social contacts and make new friends this year and you don’t know where to start, the following suggestions discuss some helpful venues:
· Try your hand at a cooking class. Many stores that sell cooking gadgets and utensils like Williams Sonoma have free cooking classes on select days. Whole Foods also has a calendar of cooking classes that varies by store location.
· Join a hiking group. You can find many listed on www.meetup.com. The Mid-Atlantic Hiking group covers the DC, Maryland, Virginia area and offers hikes of various levels of difficulty and offer several on the same day in different areas so you can choose one closes to you. Hiking helps you get in your exercise time while offering the opportunity to meet people with similar fitness goals.
· Check your local recreation guide for community events. Look for festivals or activities that you are interested in joining. You may find something interesting that you’ve never tried before such as folk dancing or country line dancing. It’s an excellent way to develop social connections with other community members.
· Meetup and/or your local recreation guide or newspaper may offer pet meetup groups and/or dog walking parks, another great way to make connections with people that you share something in common with (and gives your dog a great way to make new friends as well!).
· Join a writing or book club; it is a great way to spark conversation as you talk about the subject matter and/or your favorite characters. Create activities that generate conversation about the book and invite fellow attendees for coffee or a bite to eat afterwards. This gesture helps to stimulate friendships outside of the book topic.
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