This post first ran in August 2017, as reported by Lauren Levine. Updated by CharlotteFive Staff February 20, 2018.

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 and tend to sell out.

Upcoming Charlotte classes include: DIY Hacks for Home Decor (Feb. 28, 2018), Navigating Linked-In (Feb. 28, 2018) and Terrarium Design Workshop (March 7, 2018).

(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.

The next speaker: Darryl Gaston on March 2, 2018, at the Fillmore Charlotte. This 8:30 a.m. event is part of a series on the theme of courage.

Bonus: If you miss the event but are looking for inspiration and a conversation starter, you can catch a recording of recent speakers on topics like anxiety, curiosity and context here.

(3) #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.

Next #instabeerupCLT: Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 at 6 p.m. at the Unknown Brewing Co.

Bonus: The event is free — just buy a beer and join the conversation.

(4) 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 payment details, click here.

Bonus: As of February 2018, the weekly schedule shows Sunday classes at 11 a.m. at The Hop Shop — with $3 mimosas involved.

(5) 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. at the North Tryon location. 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.

(6) Other brewery fitness events

For all things brewery fitness, local startup Work For Your Beer has you covered. To them, “beer fitness” is a lifestyle. Their calendar keeps you up-to-date on everything from brewery yoga classes, to run clubs, to bike-and-brew events. Check out the classes here.

Upcoming fitness opportunity: Twerk For Your Beer at Legion Brewing this Saturday, Feb 24, 2018 at 10 a.m. in Plaza Midwood. This high-energy dance cardio class will kick off Legion Brewing’s “Beauty and the Beets” beer release party, and will be followed by brunch and a pop-up shop featuring local female-owned businesses. Just $6 gets you the class itself and a taste of the featured beer! More details 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.

Prefer spectating? Head to a sporting event of one of Charlotte’s lesser-known sports teams, from the Charlotte Roller Girls to the Carolina Energy.

(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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