It’s great to have pals who knew you back when you were wearing chokers the first time around. But unlike in the movies, it’s not always possible to keep your tight-knit circle of childhood friends physically close by in each stage of your life.

If you’ve moved to Charlotte for work or are re-discovering the Queen City as an adult, it’s time to develop new friendships. When you’re looking to branch outside your normal social circle, here are a few good places to start:

(1) Skillpop

Have you ever wanted to learn handlettering, basic car maintenance or how to take better Instagram photos? Skillpop’s pop-up classes are a great way to learn a new skill and find friends with common interests. Classes are affordable, too. They’re typically priced between $20 and $45.

(2) CreativeMornings

Rather than sluggishly pouring yourself coffee, kickstart your day with a thought-provoking talk. CreativeMornings/Charlotte features a different guest speaker each month, with topics ranging from survival to serendipity. Click here for upcoming dates. Tickets are free, but they go quickly. It’s the perfect venue for meeting other early birds.

(3) Young Affiliates of the Mint

If you love the arts, the Young Affiliates of the Mint is for you. The organization is specifically for young professionals who want to support the Mint Museum through fundraising activities and community involvement. They put on a number of events worth attending throughout the year, including their Derby Days party.

(4) #InstabeerupCLT

Networking can be awkward, but #instabeerupCLT zaps the stuffiness and makes it easy to chat up new people. Each month, the group meets at a different brewery around town. Leave your business attire at home and grab a beer instead. It’s low-pressure and perfect for boosting your connections.

(5) NC Yoga Bar

Meet fellow yogis and ditch the routine studio experience with NC Yoga Bar. The pop-up yoga studio hosts classes all around Charlotte, including at the McGill Rose Garden, the Mint Museum, and at breweries like Sycamore Brewing and Sugar Creek Brewing Company. A single class is $10, or you can buy a five-class “passport” for $40. For a class schedule and more details, click here.

(6) Run clubs

Pound the pavement and expand your social circle at the same time by joining a run club. Charlotte has plenty to choose from, but a popular option is NoDa Brewing Company’s Run Club. It meets Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Running store Run For Your Life also puts on a range of programs, perfect for both newbies and more advanced athletes. Check out their options here.

(7) Join a sports team

Your gym class hero days may be over, but you can still relive those shining moments through organizations like Sportslink and Sports Connection. Whether you want to play volleyball, kickball, softball, soccer, or basketball, there are plenty of leagues looking for a ringer.

(8) Hands On Charlotte

Do some good and meet new people at the same time when you volunteer with Hands on Charlotte. The organization offers a flexible schedule, so regardless of when you have time to volunteer or how many hours you have to give, there’s an opportunity available. You can do anything from tutoring children to playing bingo with seniors or teaching basic literacy and math skills to adults. Hands On Charlotte’s website has more information about how to get involved.

Photos: John D. Simmons/Charlotte Observer; Leland Holder/CreativeMornings; Remy Thurston; Scott Brotherton

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