Now that you have moved and gotten settled into your new home, how about looking for ways to connect with your local community? While the thought of making new friends and getting established in an unfamiliar area can feel daunting at first, you can make it easier on yourselves and your family by following these 10 top tips:
Take Fido for a walk around the neighborhood.
To meet other people, be visible. Go for a walk or a run around the neighborhood. Pets offer an easy, natural excuse for making small talk so bring Fido with you whenever possible. Explore different routes and nearby parks. For everyone's safety, follow local laws and be sure to keep Fido leashed except in off-leash areas.
For more information on dog off-leash areas in the Seattle, visit here.
Be friendly and approachable.
Offer a smile and friendly greeting when meeting other pet owners walking their dogs or coming across neighbors gardening outdoors.
Introduce yourself and your family.
When your children accompany you on your walks, use the opportunity to show them how to break the ice with your new neighbors by introducing yourselves. Make connections by complimenting your neighbor's landscaping or asking for advice on local service providers for home repairs and maintenance.
Get involved in your children’s school.
School are an extension of your neighborhood community, offering another convenient way to meet local families. Get active in school activities with other parents and offer to host family gatherings in your new home when you feel comfortable doing so.
Look for volunteer opportunities.
People who volunteer with local organizations are the lifeblood of a community. Check out your neighborhood association for a list of volunteer activities, events and organizations. Join a work party to enhance your neighborhood's curb appeal. Offer your baking or office services. As you become engaged in volunteering, not only will you be contributing to the betterment of your community, you will also make new friends along the way.
Sign up for classes.
Find others who share your interests by enrolling in local classes. Whether your interests range from arts and crafts to foreign languages and cultures to wining and dining, chances are good for connecting with kindred spirits in community classes.
The city of Seattle has partnered with Next Door Media to create private social networks serving neighborhood communities. By joining your neighborhood site, you can stay informed about events happening in your area. Find referrals for service providers, last-minute babysitters, items for sale or upcoming block parties. Post your questions, comments and advice. As always when interacting with others on-line, respect the rules of engagement with your fellow neighbors.
For more information, visit here.
Meetups offers another way to become active in your community by joining or creating your own group of like-minded individuals. Search for meet & greet mixers for Seattle newbies, writing and photography workshops or groups in whatever your area of interest.
For more information, visit here.
Frequent neighborhood businesses.
Patronize your neighborhood coffee shops, restaurants, hardware store and other businesses as a way to engage with others in your community. Get to know the local baristas and discover new family-friendly hangouts in the process.
Get a library card.
Ask your local librarian for information about events, organizations and classes in your community. Libraries often host author readings, book clubs and neighborhood meetings, often providing one-stop-shopping for your community needs.
Join a gym.
Get fit AND connected to your community by joining your local gym. Check out the cost of becoming a member or inquire about drop-in classes.