How to Meet People in Los Angeles
Being new to the city is intimidating. See our guide on how to meet people in Los Angeles to ease your worries.
Whether you are a recent transplant or just want to expand your friend group, trying to meet new people for friendship or romance can be intimidating even for the most gregarious and outgoing of residents. Knowing where to meet people in Los Angeles can seem like a personal and logistical challenge, but with a little know-how and some courage, you can get out there and start making new and meaningful connections. How do I meet people in Los Angeles? Read on for some tips.
As long as you have some extra time in your week, you can do some volunteering. Volunteering offers a wealth of benefits, from fulfilling your own personal sense of responsibility to making meaningful contributions to causes and organizations in your community. It also happens to be a great and convenient way to meet some like-minded individuals. The best thing about volunteering is the sheer amount of opportunities out there. With so many non-profit organizations in the city, it’s easy to find one or two volunteer opportunities that suit your specific interests and talents. If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Los Angeles, most organizations offer a variety of opportunities suitable for all ages. Just the smallest sampling of organizations that you might look into include:
- Midnight Mission – Headquartered Downtown, Midnight Mission provides education resources, counseling, training, and job placement for homeless communities throughout the city. From meal service in the Midnight Mission’s kitchen to tax preparation to tutoring for all ages, the organization truly offers a wealth of volunteer opportunities for all skills and interests.
- APLA Health – Originally founded as AIDS Project Los Angeles in 1983, APLA Health is one of the largest non-profit HIV organizations in the United States. Los Angeles is a huge, diverse, vibrant city that offers a wealth of activities. APLA gives an opportunity for growth to encompass the mission of health care equity for LGBTQA+ and other underserved communities and individuals living with AIDS/HIV. This includes broadening overall access to care, developing strategies to eliminate HIV transmission, and working to improve existing health policies. Volunteering with APLA Health generally comprises four different forms: client access, food pantry, nutrition/administrative, and special events.
- Black Girls Code – Black Girls Code is on a mission to empower girls of colors between the ages of 7 and 17 with skills in technology and computer programming, all while promoting ideas of leadership and community. It’s about instilling girls with curiosity and confidence and helping them grow into an increasingly digital world. While the group does look for experts in STEM fields to teach and lead workshops, even if you aren’t an experienced coder, the organization still needs volunteers for managing social media, providing IT and tech support, and providing general assistance in the office.
- Inner-City Arts – One of the most effective arts education organizations, Inner-City Arts gives kids (from elementary to high school) hands-on instruction in visual, performing, and media arts from professional teaching artists. The organization provides a safe and encouraging space to develop their creativity and embrace new forms of art and expression. Inner-City Arts also provides community growth opportunities through performances, programs, and events, all hosted at the Rosenthal Theater. Studio volunteers can work alongside teaching artists to help kids learn, while those currently working in creative sectors can provide professional guidance through career fairs and career shadow days where you can bring a student to work and show them just how cool your job is in person. Even those not creative sectors can help out through theater assistance and providing general administrative support.
Join a Book Club
If you’re already an avid reader, you’re halfway there. Joining a book club helps you spread your love of literature and expand your brain, but really, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy some wine, chat about books and art, and maybe make some new friends in the process. There is a huge range of book clubs throughout the city that focus on everything from modern award-winners to diverse classics. Check the Los Angeles County Library or local bookstores, like The Last Bookstore or Skylight Books, to track down a book club that meets your reading interests.
Join a Sports League
You don’t have to be a pro to join a sports league. Whether you have a moderately accurate jump shot or miss the schooldays of playing kickball, adult recreational leagues are gaining in popularity, offering a wide range of opportunities to get active, improve your skills, and meet new people along the way.
The Eagle Rock Yacht Club is home to an adult dodgeball league that also partners with a local rec center to provide original programs to kids in underserved communities. That includes cooking classes, community gardening, and a kid-centric version of dodgeball.
Hone a Craft
Art classes can help you hone your skills or learn a new craft entirely, all in good and friendly company. You don’t have to be a Frida Kahlo to take an art class. Even beginners have to start somewhere. The Brentwood Art Center is a nonprofit that was founded in 1971. The center offers art classes for all ages and skill levels. Each class is small and individualized, ensuring that you get the instruction that you need while also getting to know your group more intimately. Instructors comprise talented working artists and educators who aim to help you build on your own creativity while integrating processes, concepts, and existing structures. Classes range from all forms and media, including painting, mixed media, and even some digital art fundamentals.
If you are more into performance art, Los Angeles can cater to your needs, too. 3rd Street Dance has been teaching Angelinos to dance for over 40 years. Offering both private lessons and full classes, the studio can teach you all styles of dance, from ballet to swing to hip hop to jazz. It’s a good way to learn new beats, improve your rhythm, and get in some exercise all at once. For those working on their comedy, the Upright Citizens Brigade offers a huge range of improv and sketch comedy classes for all ages and skill levels.
While bars are a great place to celebrate your birthday in Los Angeles, the bar trivia scene has witnessed a huge boom lately, and it’s the perfect place to show off some of your random knowledge while enjoying some drinks and meeting new people. While many teams do comprise groups of friends, others always need that extra member who happens to be extremely knowledgeable about the 90s era NBA. From Angel City Brewery to Lucky Baldwin’s Trappiste, you’ll find trivia nights throughout the city. Even if you don’t win (usually the prizes consist of gift cards or free merchandise), you get the chance to interact with new people and get some good food and drink at the same time.
Meeting people can be hard in any city, especially one as vast as Los Angeles. No matter the venue, method, or activity you choose, remember that a lot of it depends on putting yourself out there, trusting your intuition, and trying new things. Friendships can be surprising and occur in unexpected ways. Whether you meet a new friend on the dance floor, at a volunteer meetup, or at other social events, there are many ways to form a new friendship in LA. Improve yourself and expand your horizons, and usually, new and friendly faces will find you.