The Life of a Home Mom

Making New Friends in a New Town

Making New Friends

Best Ways to Meet New Friends in a New City or Town

Over the summer our family moved, we didn’t move far but to the town next to us. I didn’t know anyone. If you know anything about me you know I don’t typically leave the house to go and meet new people. Instead, I stay in most days sitting in my living room on the internet talking to my invisible friends (as the kids use to call them). Believe it or not, making new friends isn’t really hard. You just have to step out of your comfort zone sometimes.

A Few Creative Ways to Meet New friends in Town

Sometimes we just have to get creative when it comes to making new friends. The best advice is to always be yourself. Don’t purposely try to be what you think others will like because you’ll never breakthrough. The first thing you need to do is think about the types of things that make you happy. Once you have that figured out head out and start finding those just like you.

  • Explore your new town and visit some of the busy restaurants, especially the ones that you can tell have a lot of local people always stopping in. The older the better because it means the business/restaurant has been around for a while and still in business. Food and company must be good. (Tip my dad taught me)
  • Volunteer at a local pet shelter, movie theater, library, museum, etc. We live a block away from our local museum which is free so we are constantly walking over. A few weeks ago I got a paper to sign up to be a volunteer during the day since the kids are all at school. Not only will I be learning about the town history but I can meet new people too.
  • Ask your friends to introduce you to people they may know in town. Chances are if you moved just a bit away your friends might actually know someone in town. If you moved far away this might not be something you can do. We had a couple that introduced us to another couple over dinner.
  • Go to Town events, parades, festivals. Not only will you have a ton of fun getting out and learning about your area you’ll get to meet people. If you are already walking around your town you may even see a few faces you recognize in the crowds. Stop and start a conversation, if you are at a parade you can ask what their favorite one was. Ask how often the town does parades/festivals/etc. I just moved to a town that has a few festivals a year. I’ve been to one parade, another is coming soon and three different small festivals.
  • Join a Facebook Group for a Meet and Greet. Believe it or not this is something I’d never tried until I moved out here. I was added to a local Facebook Group for my area by someone I knew and there was a thread about someone wanting to meet other adults. From there a Meet and Greet Group was formed, which is how I started making new friends out here. We all met up at a local library and brought dishes to have a small gathering in one of the rooms. We played an interaction game to get to know one another, ate and chatted among each other. A few weeks later a few of us met at a local cafe to eat breakfast/coffee and had a pleasant time.
  • Walk a Dog. Hopefully if you decided to do this you already have a dog. If you don’t ask a friend if you could borrow their dog, buy a dog or volunteer to walk dogs through your local animal shelter. Walk him/her around town, hang out at the local dog park. You’ll surely meet other dog lovers at the park and can chat about what type of dog they have, how old it is, etc. Perfect conversation starter.
  • Join a gym, sign up for a sport for adults. If you are trying to get into shape or stay in shape this is a great place for you to meet others with a like mind.  After you start going regularly you’ll start noticing the same faces, introduce yourself. Maybe you can get a group started walking or exercising together and meet up every couple of days. If you like baseball there are several baseball groups that are co-ed you can join and you’ll definitely be making lots of new friends.
  • Find a church group. Joining small groups at church in your area or even at a nearby church can help you connect with other women/men and you can begin making new friends. I started joining small groups a few years ago when I first moved to CA and those groups developed a family. I loved it. Once I moved to IN I knew I’d need to join another small group and quickly went to work finding a church and then a women’s group that fit my interests.
  • Join a mommy group if you have kids. Chances are if you have little ones still at home this is a great way to meet other moms in the area. Find out where they are meeting and stop by. Let them know you are new in town and ask their favorite places to hang out, eat, if there are sports/churches in the area for kids, etc.
  • Go back to school. Do you like education? Want to learn how to cook, sew or fix things around your house? Whether you want a degree or just want to take a course or two at night/during the day this is a great way to meet other people with similar interests. Join a study group and hang out. While making new friends you’ll be furthering your education at the same time.
  • Get a job or meet your co-workers if you moved because of your job. We originally moved out to Indiana because of my husband’s job so he already knew several of his co-workers but there were new faces as well. When my son joined the military he didn’t know anyone except for the group he went to basic with and they weren’t going to the same duty station. He had to actually go to work and hang out with co-workers after work at lunch/dinner, etc. Today he goes to a few concerts with a few of those guys and attended a wedding.
  • Read a book on your front porch or head to the local library. While the front porch part doesn’t always work if you live in around other homes or small businesses you’ll hopefully have people constantly walking by. You can look up and smile, say “hello.” After a few times of them seeing you, try to ask about the weather or something. Just get a conversation going. If you are doing this at a library you can see what book they are reading, if you’ve read it make a suggestion of another or ask what they are reading and what they think of it.

Getting Your Kids to Make New Friends

It isn’t always easy for kids to make new friends either, sometimes they are heartbroken from leaving their last friends and are just reluctant. Other times kids are just shy and making new friends is painfully hard because they don’t know how to act around new people. I have three kids remaining in my own (older two are now adults and living on their own) and I know two of them would be hesitant to step out and introduce themselves to other kids.

Honestly, I never had to make new friends growing up. I grew up on a military base and kids came and went but my family stayed. I still had old friendships that didn’t move, I’d include new friends but I didn’t often go seeking new friends. I was okay with a small group. It wasn’t until I got married and we moved that I learned how hard it really was to meet new people.

My first adult best friend would happen to live across the yard from me, we’d live across from each other for almost 4 months before we’d speak. We talked over oranges, she got a box full of them and asked if I liked them. Truth is I hate oranges but I wanted a friend, today we laugh at that. I’ve moved about a dozen times since being married (unlike growing up) and have had to learn how to make new friends.

  • Sign up for a city play and Make New Friends. Believe it or not the same week we moved to town I started seeing signs for Auditions for the city play. Now my kids have never been in a play outside of school or church, but growing up I loved theatre and thought they’d get a kick out of it. I asked them if they’d at least try out. Reluctantly they said yes, it was Jack and the Beanstalk so they didn’t think it’d be very hard.All three got a role in the play and made new friends. This taught my kids that they shouldn’t be afraid of something and Bella auditioned once school started for two plays and got a part in one of them. Both boys auditioned for a Christmas play at church and are now rehearsing their lines and making new friends.
  • Go to the Park. Find out where the closest park is to your home and head on over. The park always has kids of all ages. If your child likes skateboard you may want to find out if there is a local skateboard park. When we moved into town we went to the park down the road from where we live and always carried a tennis ball and soccer/basketball down with us, just in case. I’d sit at the picnic tables or the ground while they played on the playground. As kids come they can chat and hang out or play ball. Even if they don’t know them chances are kids will include them or ask if they can play.
  • Sign up for a Sport.  Whether your child has ever played in a sport or was the MVP at his/her last school, this will surely help them make new friends. Thankfully sports are in every city whether it is big or small and they are year round. Once on a team they’ll meet tons of new faces and work on being a team. Teams get together every couple of days to practice for their meets/games so they’ll be interacting with other kids their own age all the time.

Make an Effort on Making New Friends

Keep in mind that you may have to figure out what type of things your kids like if you are trying to help them make new friends. Find their interests and go from there. If they like rocks, join a rock group, find a nature group, join a Facebook group for Kindness Rocks for their city. If they like sports or clubs these days they have them for everything. Head on over to your local Chamber of Commerce and get a pamphlet on your area. Grab a copy of the local events and together you two can figure out things they want to try.

Hiding won’t Make New Friends

Get them out of the house though and interact or they won’t be making friends. Take them grocery shopping, you never know what other kids are out with their parents. Bella (high school) was going shopping with us when we spoke to the cashier who happened to be going to the same high school. On the first day of school she found Bella and chatted with her. Loved hearing she had someone to talk with, she also found a girl that was in the city play with her there.

How do you make new friends? Do you have some suggestions we can add to this list?

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