One of the hardest parts of being an adult is making new friends. Unlike the playground growing up, there are very few structured opportunities for adults to meet each other in a social setting. If you add the craziness and stress of moving into the mix, it can start to feel like the easy thing to do is become a hermit and sit in your apartment all day watching Netflix alone.

Thankfully, making friends in a new city, such as Sacramento, is not as tough as it sounds. Here are 9 ways to meet some great new friends if you are willing to put in the effort.

1) Libraries with Community Bulletin Boards:

the first stop for everyone in a new city should be the public library. You’ll not only get to know your new home to see what services it provides (libraries aren’t just for books anymore!), but they also have great bulletin boards for local meet-ups of like-minded people, maybe disc-golfers, crocheters, escape-room enthusiasts?

2) Local Parks and Recreation Department:

if you’re at all outdoorsy, or wanting to be, now’s the time to start following your parks and recreation department online (Facebook and Twitter). They constantly take guided hikes where you can learn the lay of the land, get out in nature, and meet new people.

3) Church:

Becoming a new member of a church is a great way to integrate yourself into a community and make yourself feel at home. Because religion is steeped in tradition, churches have a way of making those who are new to the area feel welcomed more quickly. Larger congregations should also have lots of ways to meet-up in smaller settings with women’s or men’s only bible studies and even singles groups.

4) Take a Class:

Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? Or have you always admired good cooking but didn’t know where to start yourself? Moving to a new place is a blank slate for trying new things, and what’s better than making friends with people who are all on the same page as you? Getting to know people who are also beginners can be a great bonding experience to forge lasting friendships.

portrait, adult, woman

5) Local Social Networks:

Social networks have changed the way we interact with our neighbors, but if you’re new to the area, you may not yet know who yours are, get to know the neighborhood by joining Nextdoor.com. Nextdoor requires all users to have verified proof of their address, either with a postcard mailed to them by the service or by registering with a credit card matching their address (don’t worry, they won’t charge you). This verification adds an extra step of security to your virtual neighborhood, and now you can start getting in touch!

6) Go to Your Favorite Hobby Shop:

It’s always nice to get to know people who have the same passions as you, so find out where your local hobby shop is, and start there. Are you a comic book nerd? Artist? Check out the local shop and chat with the workers, mention you’re new in town and ask if any local occasions happen throughout the year, which may interest you. You’ll end up with a new friend/acquaintance or headed in the right direction of some cool events.

7) Take Up a New Sport or Game:

Going to a golf-course can sound intimidating, but as a single, they’ll pair you up with others who you’ll get to know throughout the round, and who knows? By the end, you could end up with a life-long love of the game. But if golf sounds like too much head on over to your local YMCA, memberships are always fairly inexpensive, and constant activities are going on, so there’s always something to do. Join a pickup basketball game, or try out racquetball.

8) Volunteer:

Would you like to get to know your new city but also give it back? Consider volunteering. It’s a great way to get to know people with big hearts who you might not ordinarily cross paths and work together to better the place in which you live. If you don’t know where to start, call food banks, homeless shelters, pet adoption centers, and even senior centers.

9) Dog Parks:

If you have a furry friend who also needs to get to know her new home, then a dog park is a great place to start. Getting out in the fresh air makes for fun interactions with new people and new dog friends. You’ll get to meet all kinds of people who all have the same thing in common as you, a love of dogs.

The real secret to meeting people is just to get in the habit of trying new things. Only new experiences can forge new bonds of friendship, so they just won’t happen if you refuse to go to new places and try new things. Just by moving, you’ve already taken a big risk. So now go all the way and explore everything your new city has to offer!