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Free Or Inexpensive Ways To Make Connections And Meet Friends In A New City

Updated on January 23, 2015
Ah, the joys of unpacking...
Ah, the joys of unpacking... | Source
A quilting club hard at work
A quilting club hard at work | Source
Fresh produce at a Farmers' Market
Fresh produce at a Farmers' Market | Source

Moving to a new city where you don’t know anyone is often exciting and overwhelming. In addition to finding a place to live, attend school, or work, you also need to know how to meet new people. For those on a tight budget, it’s helpful to know a few inexpensive or free ways to meet potential friends after relocating.

Virtually all cities have a public library, and, with few exceptions, there is no cost to get a library card. With a library card you can check out books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and other items. In addition, you can often use a library computer to print files (for a small fee) from a flash drive, check your email, and complete other online tasks. Libraries also host free events which range from author readings, craft classes, and book clubs. Book clubs are recommended for anyone who likes to read and wants to meet fellow readers. The library is one place to find out about book clubs. You may also learn about them from a posting on the local craigslist page. Craigslist can provide a wealth of information about upcoming events and other groups you may be interested in. If you are musically inclined and would like to join a choir or a band, information about this may be available on craigslist. You can also look for “band members wanted” postings on outdoor bulletin boards in town.

For those who prefer an active lifestyle, it is often possible to connect with a local outdoor club. While a small fee may be charged to join these clubs, the ability to hike, bicycle, and otherwise enjoy the outdoors with others may be worth the price.

Another way to connect is attending free events held at the local university. From prominent speakers to author readings to movie viewings with discussion afterwards, there is often something worth checking out.

If you are interested in attending church, finding and joining a church is one of the best ways to make new connections. Larger churches typically offer various Sunday school options, as well as providing the opportunity to connect with a Bible study, young adult activities, community outreach events, or go on a mission’s trip.

Yet another option is asking your family and friends if they know anyone in the city you are relocating to. Such connections can prove invaluable, especially if you are moving to a city hundreds of miles from where you family lives. Connecting with a local who may know the best play to shop for groceries, get a haircut, or buy a used car can save you time, money, and potential frustration.

Many towns host a Farmers Market during the warmer months of the year. This is an excellent way to meet local farmers and artisans, as well as potentially hear free live music while browsing through the stalls. Free outdoor concerts are often advertised on outside bulletin boards in the downtown of many cities, as well as mentioned in the local paper.

If you own a dog, finding the local dog park is another inexpensive way to meet new people. If you prefer to sample locally-made wine, free wine tastings are sometimes offered at local vineyards. Local breweries may also have free or inexpensive samples to try.

For anyone who enjoys quilting or knitting, groups dedicated to these activities are often available. Of course, if there isn’t already a group dedicated to your favorite activity, this gives you an opportunity to start a group. If you feel comfortable enough asking your coworkers if they know anyone else who shares your interest in archery, designing graphic novels, or organic gardening, it’s amazing how many connections are possible by asking around.

One inexpensive way for art enthusiasts to make connections in a new city is by visiting local bookstores when they are featuring paintings, photographs, and sculptures by local artists. In addition, art galleries may occasionally host free or inexpensive promotional events.

If you are single and interested in making a love connection, you might want to join a free online dating site such as to see if there is anyone in your new city you would like to meet in person for a cup of coffee, a meal, or a movie. It’s also possible to ask your coworkers, classmates, or people at church if they know of anyone you might be able to make a love connection with.

Making new connections isn’t always quick or easy, yet knowing where to begin in this process can help ease the transition to a new place. These suggestions are by no means exhaustive, and, thankfully, other options, such as joining a chess club, exist for those who may not be interested in local art or becoming a member of a quilting club. A willingness to ask around and knowing where to look are essential, and hopefully, with a little footwork and courage, you’ll soon start to feel at home in your new location.


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