Choosing Social Opportunities for the Family

One of the challenges facing us today is finding opportunities for children to form lasting friendships among like-minded families. Here are a few hints to help you find your crowd:

1. Event Calendars

Most communities distribute a monthly or bi-monthly publication that contains an events calendar. This listing provides dates, times, locations, and descriptions of a wide range of activities including the age of attendees, and associated costs.

2. Online Communities

There are numerous blogs and social media groups that list local activities. You can these lists by searching online under your community name or particular interests. Being part of an online group gives parents an opportunity to get to know members online before attending an event and make an assessment about likelihood that the group will be a good match.

3. Local Library

The public libraries often have regular activities for children including story times, crafts, puppet shows, and many others. Check out your library’s activity calendar and get to know the children’s librarian. They may know of additional local activities including some that are specific to your families’ interests.

4. Children’s Museums

Most children’s centers, whether they are nature, art, or fun-focused, have periodic educational programs. This is a great place to meet families who have similar interests.

5. Be Proactive

Sometimes what you are looking for just doesn’t exist. It is up to you to make it happen. Once you decide what you would like to do, you need to find a place to meet. Sometimes libraries or schools will let you use their facilities for free or a small fee. You can begin with your family and a few families that you know.

Your success depends, to some degree on your ability to keep your expectations open. It takes time to get to know people. And, things don’t always turn out as expected. I have had great experiences in groups that I found to be very different from their advertisements. Try to attend a group about three times before you decide to continue or not. Not every family can be there every time. If you make a quick decision, you may lose out.