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Ways to meet people as an adult in Madison 👋

It’s harder than we thought, but we’re up for the challenge.

608today Mendota lakeside

The only thing better than a good view is a good view with good company.

Photo by @quietpockets

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Making new friends is hard, you’re not crazy. It’s scientifically proven that adults have a harder time making new friends than children — but why?

University of Maryland psychologist Marisa Franco says organic friendships require two ingredients:

  • Continuous unplanned interaction
  • Shared vulnerability

Both are most commonly found in children and can be rather hard to come by for full-time professionals, parents, and busy Madisonians. The fix? Create opportunities that foster these ingredients — don’t worry, that’s where we come in. We’re rounding up a few ways to meet people + make new friends in Madison.

❤️ Give a little, get a little

Dane Parks volunteer Program | Check out the DCP events calendar to help with projects like habitat restoration, field research, and park advocacy.

Urban League of Greater Madison | Spend time networking in the ULGM community + volunteer to help mentor and tutor local students.

City of Madison engagement opportunities | The City offers 15 unique programs from library programming to community park activations.

🏙️ Get out on the town

Trivia nights | Meet other brainiacs in the 608 + mingle over a shared love for local, general, or themed trivia.

Dance classes | Local venues such as The Brink Lounge offer a series of dance instructionals, many of which are no experience or partner required. A great place for a meet-cute, if you ask us.

Unique drinking spots | Strike up a conversation with a stranger over video games at I/O, fine art at Dark Horse, or espresso + world literature at Leopold’s.

They say it takes 50 hours to develop a casual friendship with someone and 200 for a close friendship — so take it slow, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Remember, you can always find plans in the 608 through our events page.

Know of a great local spot for mingling? Let us know.