It can be hard to make friends as an adult.
It's quite literally why Creative Kind started.
"You'd find me by the cubed cheese at every networking event with zero confidence to small talk with strangers," founder Theresa Delaney says on the local shop and craft space's website.
She decided to take things into her own hands, hosting an event to bring Tucsonans together for mingling and crafting.
"That first workshop was pretty magical, and sparked what you see now as Creative Kind," she says.
Delaney knows the struggle. Mingling with coworkers can be fun, and Bumble BFF has led to friendships, but as an adult, it's not always easy to find your people. It's a question we've been asked a lot at #ThisIsTucson — do you have any suggestions on how I can meet new people here?
If you just moved to Tucson and don't know anyone yet, or if you're just looking to expand your social circle, here are some ways to connect with other Tucsonans.
Volunteer for a local community group
From walking dogs at the Pima Animal Care Center to planting seeds at Felicia's Farm, when volunteering at a community organization or nonprofit, you're bound to meet someone who cares about the same cause you do.
There are tons of worthy community organizations and nonprofits in Tucson. Here's just a sliver of volunteering opportunities.
- United Way is hosting a massive volunteer event in October called Days of Caring!
- The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona has lots of volunteer opportunities, including serving food and working in the community gardens.
- Keep an eye out on Sunnyside Foundation's social media for volunteer opportunities, such as food drives and book sorting.
- If you're a cat lover, Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter & Sanctuary has volunteer opportunities that include shelter maintenance and special events.
Join your neighborhood association
Get involved in your neighborhood! And get to know the people you see walking their dogs or weed-whacking their yards (thanks, monsoon).
If you live in city limits, here's some helpful information about neighborhood associations in Tucson.
If you're someone who loves to be outside, here are some outdoorsy ideas that might lead you to your next best friend.
People here love bicycling so it comes as no surprise that there are several biking groups in Tucson. A number of organizations host regular community bike rides, such as:
- FUGA — A group that advocates for accessibility and mobility in Tucson's south and west sides. The rides are typically on the second Sunday and last Friday of each month.
- Button Brew House — Bimonthly bike rides from Button Brew House to 1912 Brewing Co., and back.
- Pueblo Vida Brewing Co. — These monthly rides on the last Saturday of the month start at a local bike shop, head to Pueblo Vida, then to Tucson Hop Shop.
- Tucson Women Shredders — A women's mountain biking group that rides at least once a month, ending with a social hour.
Not into biking? That's OK. What about walking and hiking?
- Art hikes — National brand Kula Cloth hosts monthly art hikes in Mount Lemmon with the help of local artist Stephanie Daniels. The next one is Sept. 24!
- Meet Me at Maynards — Explore the downtown area with these weekly social walks.
Dog parks are another way to chat with people. Bonus: You'll actually be making two friends. The human and the dog! 🐶
Here's where we get a bit more specific. From skateboarding to crafting to board games, the following list includes social groups for a ton of different hobbies and interests.
- The Tucson Botanical Gardens hosts The 2150 Club, described as a social and philanthropic club for young professionals ages 21-50 who have an interest in sustainability, community stewardship and gardening.
- BABS, Badass Bitches Skate, is a mostly female group, hoping to make Tucson's skateboarding scene more inclusive.
- Fans of "Star Trek" can join the Star Trek Tucson Fan Club, which meets monthly at Casa Video Film Bar.
- Into sports? Join a team! Check out this link for information about the City of Tucson's adult softball league. There are also soccer leagues through Maracana Indoor Sports Arena, plus rugby with the Tucson Magpies and even more through Sportspark Tucson. You can also break out your roller skates with Tucson Roller Derby.
- Commenting from personal experience, one of our readers suggested Tucson Improv Movement. The space is home to shows and classes where you can learn to write jokes and get an intro to stand-up comedy.
It might also be worth it to join Meetup Tucson, a platform that matches your interests to social events around town. Of course, as is the case with all these events and clubs mentioned, keep safety in mind when planning to meet people for the first time!
If you're someone who loves to read, a book club might be a fun way to dive into a new favorite book while simultaneously meeting new people. Here are some local book clubs to look into:
- Rez Girls Book Club — This book club meets monthly over Zoom to discuss Native and Indigenous literature.
- Pima County Library book clubs — The Pima County Library hosts a long list of book clubs including the #ReadBlack book club that focuses on Black literature, history and culture; the Rainbow Reads Book Club, which is described as a queer reading circle; and the Sonoran Sleuths Mystery Book Club, which is the place to be if you can't get enough of mysteries.
- Mostly Books virtual book clubs — Local bookstore Mostly Books hosts six virtual book clubs, ranging in topics from YA books to fantasies.
Events are a great way to be surrounded by people. When you go to concerts, festivals and markets, you can feel the warmth of the community. Though you can definitely meet people at pretty much any event in town, there are some events that are specifically designed for mingling and meeting new people. Here are a handful:
- If crafting is up your alley, check out Creative Kind. The shop and creative space hosts craft workshops and creative conversations with local artists.
- Fruit Cocktail Lounge takes place at Club Congress each month. It's an LGBTQ+ cocktail party, with the next one happening Oct. 9.
- Metaphysical shop The Ninth House hosts a number of monthly events, from Witch Talk Wednesdays to tarot salons to Witch & Stitch days.
- Roux Events hosts a number of social events, from a queer open mic on Sept. 23 to a recent Beyoncé listening hour. Roux's owner, Ashley La Russa, is also part of Blax Friday, which hosts monthly Soul Food Wednesdays to celebrate Black-owned businesses.
- Every third Sunday, Iskashitaa Refugee Network and Exo Roast Co. host dual language social hours, with casual conversations in both English and Spanish.
- Tucson Games and Gadgets calls itself a nerd bar. The Tucson Mall location has a packed event calendar, including board game meetups every Tuesday at 6 p.m. and every Sunday at noon.
- Groundworks Tucson is an arts space with a stacked live music calendar. The space is "dedicated to developing creativity and talent in Tucson's youth arts scene."
- Love dancing? You can sometimes catch bachata social dance nights at Floor Polish Dance + Fitness, where you can take a bachata class followed by a night of social dancing.
- If you're a mom looking to socialize with other moms, Tucson Moms might be a good place to start. Parents and guardians might also find luck meeting others at kid spots like We Rock The Spectrum, Wild Katz, or storytimes at the Pima County Library. The Play District lists more kid-friendly spots for those interested.
- Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association, aka the folks who put on the annual Tucson Folk Festival, put together a bimonthly Song Circle Social. Bring your instrument, share some songs and mingle with fellow musicians.
- Have a story to tell? Check out Female StoryTellers and share your story aloud!
Networking events and groups
Maybe you're a businessperson looking to make connections. Here are a few groups that might be a fit for you.
- Tucson Creative Comadres — This group hosts monthly meetups where Latina creatives and entrepreneurs mingle, give feedback and ask questions.
- Startup Tucson — Calling itself a "community-oriented nonprofit," Startup Tucson helps entrepreneurs with its workshops, networking events and more resources.
- Women, Wine, Winning Wednesdays — These bimonthly events hosted by Elle Boutique feature local business vendors, appetizers and drinks.
Social media is a powerful tool for fostering virtual connections. Here are a few of our suggestions that will put you in touch with other Tucsonans virtually, and will also help you learn more about the city!
- Reddit — The Tucson subreddit, r/tucson, is very active. It's the place to share bobcat photos or ask for suggestions on the best tattoo artist in town.
- Tucson Backyard Gardening — If you love gardening but have questions about how to plant a certain seed in Tucson, the Tucson Backyard Gardening Facebook group is a good one to join.
- Tucson Hikes — Have specific questions about certain hikes? Check out this Facebook group.
- Tucson Artists — In this Facebook group, you'll see artwork by your fellow community members and get info on upcoming art events.
- Free Plant N Garden Stands — This is a nonprofit that started with a Facebook group. The focus: free plant stands that community members have set up all around the state, allowing neighbors to take or trade a plant for free. In addition to checking out the plant stands around Tucson, the group has also started to host in-person events where stand owners can meet one another.