Making new friends in Houston, whether you're a newcomer or not, can seem a little difficult and even daunting at times. Where do you go in a city the size of Houston?
Fortunately, there are many opportunities to meet people in your area. The key is focusing on your own hobbies, interests or ways that you enjoy spending your time. Then it's easier to naturally meet people with commonalities.
Here are six tips on how to make friends in a new city like Houston.
1. Find friends through local Houston social clubs
Houston has many clubs relating to sports and outdoors. The largest in Texas is Bayou City Outdoors, a membership-based social and activity club. This Houston social organization plans 80 to 100 events a month (such as hiking, biking, theater, kayaking, travel, walking tours and socials), making it easy to just show up and meet new people! Its Travel 2017 calendar, for example, includes two trips a month to destinations such as an Alaskan cruise, Napa Valley tour, Scotland and Ireland adventures and more.
Houston Sports & Social Club is another option offering co-ed sports and tournaments, social activities and events. The sports this Houston social group offers include a wide range from bowling, sand volleyball and flag football to cornhole, dodgeball and kickball. They also look for ways to give back to the community through volunteering, whether it's planning their own volunteer events or looking for needs in the community. Their mission is "Meet People. Stay Active. Have Fun. Give Back." There is no annual membership fee to participate.
With our mild weather, Houston also has a variety of running clubs that help people stay fit, achieve goals for a marathon and meet new people. Some of these include Houston Fit (and its sister clubs such as Katy Fit and Cypress Fit), Houston Striders, Runner's High Club, and The Woodlands Running Club. The groups sponsor weekly runs and info sessions.
2. Meet people with similar interests through Houston Meetups
This social app is all about joining people together in real life around a common interest. According to their website, their mantra is simple: "When we get together and do the things that matter to us, we're at our best." Meetup brings people together to do, explore, teach and learn things that give them joy and help them live more fully.
Houston has a huge variety of Meetup groups ranging from stroller moms and entrepreneurs to singles, art lovers, travel buddies, sports folks, outdoorsy types and those just wanting to discover Houston. These groups have calendars full of events to pick and choose from that will make meeting new people in Houston easier.
The Meetup site can be accessed at meetup.com or through the app. There is no fee to join a group.
3. Houston area mom groups
New moms crave time with other moms to share adult conversation, get feedback and attend baby/toddler outings. Bellaire Young Mothers is one example, at 1,000 members strong! The group offers moms a Book Club, Foodie Club, Moms' Night Out and new mom meals. They also plan playgroups for the kids and volunteer in the community.
Heights Kids Group is another local group composed of 1,000+ families who live in the Heights. It offers playgroups, babysitting co-op, book club, potlucks, family events and more for children from birth to school-aged.
4. Catch up with old classmates through alumni groups
College graduates can connect with others from their same university through alumni groups. With a city so large, chances are your college has representation with a Houston chapter. For those who participated in a sorority or fraternity, Houston has local groups for those as well.
5. Young professional philanthropic groups of Houston
Those in the younger crowd can participate in a young professional social group for their favorite nonprofit or arts organization. These groups develop a community of young supporters through social activities and cultural engagement. Some offer perks such as discounts or special invites to exclusive events. A sample of these local groups include Art Crowd (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Ballet Barre (Houston Ballet), SCENE (Alley Theatre), Flock (Houston Zoo) and Young Professionals Group (Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation).
6. Lifelong learning courses
Why not learn a new skill or brush up on something you put on the back burner years ago – like a learning foreign language, cooking, art, public speaking or computer skills? Several local organizations offer continuing studies or lifelong learning classes for fun.
Lone Star College has a Leisure Learning option for adults to learn new skills at its many campuses throughout Houston. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University offers both personal development and professional development classes.
Unfortunately, Leisure Learning Unlimited, a Houston institution for 37 years, is now closed. I took classes with them in the ‘90s when I first moved to Houston!