Whether you’re new to town or a lifelong Birmingham resident, let’s face it — it can be difficult to make new friends as an adult. Our fast-paced digital world makes good old-fashioned face-to-face interaction a little less common, and sometimes, a little more daunting. If you’re looking to expand your social circle, here are 10 fun ways to meet people in BHAM!
Experiment with a new group at The Gathering Lab.
For those who want a science-backed approach to making connections.
More info: thegatheringlab.com
All it takes is eight to 12 folks making dinner together with a little help from science. That’s the premise behind The Gathering Lab’s “The Dinner” event. They curate diverse dinner groups based on shared values and interests and provide a loosely structured evening with dinner prep, participant pairings, and conversation starters, all designed for authentic connection. Two important rules of note: no phones and no saying what you do for a living.
The science of human bonding is of particular interest to Janet King, Birmingham native and founder of The Gathering Lab. “We started The Gathering Lab because we believe it’s time for a modern solution for how we socialize, especially how we build meaningful connections in our city and workplace,” King said. Since its inception in Birmingham, The Gathering Lab has expanded into twelve cities. You can join their waitlist here.
Make plans with Meetup.
For those looking for ways to connect over unique shared interests.
More info: meetup.com
Meetup brings together like-minded people to do whatever they’re into. Search Birmingham’s long list of Meetup groups and find your fit. Love to craft and chill? Join the Birmingham Yarn Witches. Just want to make a new friend? Join the Let’s Be Friends group or the Introverted Girlfriends group. Want to meet new folks around a good board game? Yep, there’s a Meetup for that, too. Whatever your interests, Meetup can help you find your people.
Join a sports league or fitness class.
Birmingham is teeming with tons of sporty activities to join. Whether you’re into competitive Pickleball, hiking, yoga, or meditation, there’s a league, class, or club for you.
Railroad Park offers a variety of free, seasonal fitness classes, including Zumba, Yoga, Line Dancing, Hip Hop, and Kickboxing. They also offer a Seniors class tailored for older adults. Check out their schedule here, and get ready to make a friend!
If you’ve caught the Pickleball bug, Birmingham has plenty of opportunities to play and meet fellow Picklers. Check out the Pickleball of Birmingham Facebook page (listed above) to get plugged in.
You can also make friends like a kid again and join Birmingham’s kickball league with Go Kickball.
Make a new friend while making something new.
Looking for a new hobby, and maybe a new friend too? Birmingham has you covered with organizations that seek to connect people with their creativity and the community. Learn the basics of 3D printing or woodturning at Red Mountain Makers, or try your hand at ceramics and screen printing at MakeBHM. New classes are constantly popping up, so keep an eye out for your next new hobby (and your next new friend!)
Join a group bike ride.
Birmingham has a lively cycling scene with several opportunities to find your people on a good ride. You can join the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (BUMP) club and enjoy top-ranked trails across the city while getting to know fellow mountain bikers. If a city ride is more your speed, join Redemptive Cycles downtown every Thursday evening for their Trample group rides. Both groups are open to all skill levels and strive to connect riders with fellow enthusiasts.
Get some steps in with the BHAM Babes Walking Club.
For women who want to celebrate movement with a supportive group.
More info: Visit the BHAM Babes Walking Club Facebook Page.
If you want to level up your step count while making new friends, the BHAM Babes Walking Club is for you. The club started in April 2023 and has expanded to walking groups all over Birmingham and beyond. Groups are informal and range in age and fitness level. Everyone is welcome, and no one gets left behind. Some groups add meals or activities to their walks, but positivity and friendship are central to every stroll.
Test your knowledge at Sidewalk Cinema’s monthly movie trivia night.
For the film buff (or trivia fan) looking for like-minded folks.
More info: sidewalkfest.com
Calling all movie buffs: The Magic City has the perfect event for you! Once a month, cinephiles test their knowledge at Sidewalk Cinema’s movie trivia night. Start the evening with their Filmmaker Happy Hour at the cinema bar, and then get ready to challenge your cinematic acumen. Get connected with Birmingham’s premier independent movie theater and share your passion with fellow movie lovers.
Hop on a Pedal Tour mixer.
For those who want to meet new people, do some sightseeing, exercise, and enjoy a good beverage all at once.
More info: birminghampedaltours.com
Birmingham Pedal Tours offers a unique and fun way to make new friends. The pedal bus can ferry up to 14 people along the bar-hopping tour for a memorable night on the town. They match each mixer group by similar interests to ensure a good time. Hop on solo or take your ride-or-die and pedal around, enjoy a good drink, and meet some new folks.
Join a coworking space.
If you love the flexibility of remote work but miss the daily chit-chat around the office water cooler, a coworking space is a great way to add a little human interaction to your workday. There are several coworking spaces around Birmingham that offer an array of amenities, including workspace for creators at Red Mountain Makers and MakeBHM, mentioned above. If you just need a desk, a meeting room, and some friendly faces, there are plenty of options around town to match your location, office needs, and budget. Check out our profiles of the women behind two popular coworking spaces in The Magic City — Creed63 and Forge.
Mix a drink with ShotSocial, or grab a beer with the Beermingham Babes.
Birmingham’s bar scene is on point, but it can still be an intimidating way to meet new people. If you’re a beer enthusiast, join the Beermingham Babes on their next outing and have a built-in community as you enjoy your favorite local craft brews. If cocktails are more your flavor, sign up for a mixology class with ShotSocial and learn to mix fun drinks with new friends.
No matter who you are or what you’re into, remember: You’ve got a friend in BHAM!
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