The Windy City. The City of Big Shoulders. CHICAGO!
Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the United States with a whopping population of 2.7 million! That 2.7 million people means there are plenty of opportunities to make new friends!
Whether you're new to Chicago, have been living there for ages - making new friends is always fun and Chicago does NOT disappoint!
If you're not sure where to start in making new friends we've put together a solid list of suggestions that are excellent ways to make new friends!
- Join The B Hive Apiary Chicago! We, of course, have to add ourselves as the number one way to make new friends in Chicago! The B Hive Apiary hosts events all througout the year on a consistent basis to help women from all backgrounds develop authentic connections with other women.
- Find a business networking group or networking events. If you're a #bossbee we always recommend finding groups who host regular events! Whether its a happy hour, or a seminar we always suggest finding a group that's specific to your business or background. If you're not sure where to start the Young Professionals of Chicago is a great place to start!
- Get out and volunteer. It's a tried and true suggestion but there are some pretty great organizations that you can volunteer for that are pretty social. Check out places like VolunteerMatch for different volunteer opportunities! Whether you're into volunteering with pets, young women or other areas - you're bound to find a ton of great volunteer opportunities! Stay tuned for partnerships with The B Hive Apiary and local organizations!
- Actually show up to events! Don't just say you're going to go and not show up - there are thousands of events on Eventbrite and on Facebook! Not only for adults but for those of you who have kids, there are plenty of kid friendly events! Register for an event, actually show up and introduce yourself to someone! There is bound to be someone else who is there looking for a friend. This is our number one suggestion on how to make new friends in Chicago - and how to keep them! Show up!
- Join a fitness class. Austin is super active, which means there are tons of opportunities to exercise in a group setting. From Camp Gladiator to Crossfit gyms to organizations like SweatLife (who plan a ton of fun fitness events in Chicago!) - there's really something for everyone. Yoga studios are all over the city and Barre Classes are starting to gain more popularity here! On a budget? A lot of fitness studios offer free classes or trial periods and you can find a bunch of free fitness classes on eventbrite!
- Head to a Dog Park or a Dog Friendly Patio (When its nice out!). To say that Austin is pet friendly is a supreme understatement. Pets are allowed nearly everywhere and everyone seems to have a dog. There are plenty of dog parks to hit up around the city and with a dog in tow you both you and your dog will make new friends.
- Join a sports league - If you're into social sports like volleyball, softball or running - there are plenty of groups to join. It's a great for women and men to make new friends since many of the teams are co-ed! You probably won't find Angela or Erica getting down on a court or field - but we're always happy to route on a friend! We highly recommend for Chicagoans to check out Chicago Sport & Social! They're a well established group!
- Ask for referrals - It seems silly, but friends of friends is one of the easiest ways to make new friends in a new city. Ask your coworkers if they know anyone who's interested in what you like! Or ask around for people from back home if they know anyone in Austin (someone always knows someone). Have them introduce you and make plans!
- Take a class - whether it be a cooking class, a business themed class or just a class on something fun. Education is an easy way to find a new friend. Sit next to someone you don't know and strike up a conversation. You'll automatically have something to talk about (the class) and are learning something new in the process!
- Go watch a sporting event! (Yes, even if you're not into sports!) Going to watch a Bears game or a Blackhawks game is a great way to make a new friend or two! Grab a partner to join you at the bar and cheer on your favorite team! Throw back a few beers and get to socializing over a hopefully exciting game!
We want to know! What other ways have you used to make new friends in Chicago? Drop them in the comments!