Spring has sprung and chances are your wardrobe isn’t the only thing that needs sprucing up. It’s time to turn our attention to our social lives. Our social what? My point exactly.
Gone are the days when warmth and a place to sit down were our number one priority, now that going out means choosing between a dark, crowded bar or a loud, sweaty house party. But with spring comes warm weather and a revived desire to get out of the bars and meet new people. Here are five activities that are sure to air out your social life.
I love being outdoors and enjoy spending time with people who like being out in nature too. That's the genius of a hike; it creates an easy and natural setting for mingling. Groups of people naturally pair off in twos and threes while walking along, usually determined by one's natural walking speed. But as people speed up and slow down and when the group takes rests or convenes for lunch breaks, it provides a natural way for people to mix and switch up their walking partners. If you are looking for an opportunity to introduce a friend to new people or combine two separate social circles, this is it!
2. Botellón (BO-tey-OWN)
I experienced my first Botellón during my time living in Spain and tend to favor it more than arranging a picnic. If your Spanish isn’t as rusty as mine, the name—translated “big bottle”—gives you the gist. You invite some friends, grab a bottle to share, and set up a blanket somewhere.
Botellón was originally introduced as nighttime boozing in lieu of spending money at bars and clubs, but this adaptation is less about the drinking and more about spending time together outside. The perk of Botellón is that it doesn’t require all the planning and packing entailed in a picnic. Call Botellón at 3 p.m., bring a frisbee or football, a sleeve of crackers, and a chunk of cheese. It’s fun to see who shows up and is another great opportunity to invite new people and meet friends of friends.
3. Start your own League
If you are looking to meet new people, especially new people of the male variety, you will constantly be urged to join a sports league—and for good reason! There are few things that send men flocking like the combination of sports and women. If you can’t beat 'em, join 'em.
But if the commitment and fee makes you balk, start your own league! Invite your friends and encourage them to spread the word. Meet after work and keep it as consistent as possible, as regularity is a helpful tool for forging friendships and feeling familiar with one another.
4. Create Your Own Meetup
Do you wish you had more time to work on your craft? Whether you are a painter, poet, novelist, journaler, or even just a reader, it’s helpful to have some encouragement to spend time on your hobbies during your free time. It’s also nice to meet others who enjoy creative activities, whether it’s the same as your specific interest or not.
Many people are intimidated by the random assortment of people that can be found on sites like Meetup. But, if you ask your friends, chances are they also have an artistic hobby that they have “no time” to do. Arrange to meet a few like-minded friends somewhere that inspires the imagination—like an art museum or a park—and settle down for a few hours of quiet work, then grab dinner or a drink afterward. Encourage your friends to invite new friends. You will be surprised to see who turns out, and it will be fun to watch the group grow!
5. Dinner Club
Contrary to popular belief, dinner club is not just for your parents. Cool kids are doing it too! And let's face it, if you haven't yet tapped into your culinary skills, well, you might want to start. Besides, what better people to practice on than your friends. Start with a small group and leave room to invite some newbies each time. Have fun trying new dinner, dessert, and cocktail recipes! This is another great activity to start with those friends who you wish you knew better; creating a tradition like dinner club is sure to bring you closer together.