Join a team
Does an evening of dodgeball, bowling, kickball or inner tube water polo followed by a party sound like your kind of night? If you’re laid back and fun-loving, the NYC Social Sports Club wants you. Members of charity-focused Zog Sports may be a smidge more athletic and competitive, but they also enjoy plenty of post game happy hours. Focusing on the LGBT community, Gotham Volleyball , the city’s premiere gay sports organization, serves up volleyball games and training in a supportive, friendly environment.
Sign up for a Meetup
Walking into a room full of strangers is a lot easier when you know that you all have something in common. Meetup is an online network of local groups that allows individuals to organize or join groups of like-minded people and then meet with them face to face. Are you an aspiring actor , night owl, or amateur photographer? There’s a Meetup for you. Each week there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different Meetup groups that get together in a variety of city venues. Whatever your passion, be it architecture, knitting or cuddle parties, chances are there’s a nearby Meetup coming up just for you.
Hang out at book stores and readings
Bookstores are the apex of free Wi-Fi and entertainment. On any evening, you’re sure to find free musical performances, book signings and discussions, and a thriving café culture. Chains like Borders and Barnes and Noble are often spacious even by suburban standards, but unlike their suburban counterparts, top authors and celebrities are sure to stop by on their promotional tours. If big chains aren’t your thing, Strand Bookstore also hosts a mix of literati and celebrity authors. For an edgier scene, leave the bookstores behind and stop by the Happy Ending Lounge for the monthly In the Flesh Erotic Reading Series, take in some poetry at the KGB bar. This Feb. 14, they’re hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Day poetry reading.
The New School and NYU are city universities that offer hundreds of classes and certificate programs for adults. Classes are scheduled with flexible or evening hours to accommodate your work schedule. Learning hubs like Mediabistro and the non-profit New York Open Center also offer classes and programs for adults. If you’d rather not commit to a full course, they also have one day intensives or lectures. Each year, the NYPL offers a staggering 25,000 free programs city-wide, including classes, panel discussions, film screenings, lectures and concerts.
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Volunteering through New York Cares is a great way to try out a lot of different volunteer projects. Attend a short orientation and you’re on your way to tutoring kids or teaching low-income adults crucial job skills. You can work alongside other volunteers to improve city schools and parks or deliver food to the elderly and homebound. Animal lovers can help care for neglected and abused animals. A large time commitment isn’t necessary; the amount of time you spend volunteering is entirely up to you.
For other volunteer opportunities, click here.