Where to make friends in Seattle

Break the Seattle Freeze’s ice with classes, meetup groups, and hobbies.

A room filled with pinball machines and people playing tabletop games

Raygun Lounge mixes pinball wizardry with Magic: the Gathering + other tabletop gaming.

Photo via @jedi206

Whether you just moved to the 206 or have been here all your life, it might seem hard to meet new people.

Our suggestions on where to socialize are based on finding new buds through your passions and interests — so even if you don’t meet your BFFL (best friend for life), you’ll still have a good time.

While we know you have our trusty SEAtoday event calendar to help you connect with the community and learn new things, we want to help you branch out a little with these local groups and events to find your new clique.

The website Meetup can be a useful tool to find local groups. In Seattle, there are groups for different interests — cinema, running, model train building + coffee — as well as identity groups like organizations for women.

For the outdoorsy types

Gearhouse | While this shop is primarily a place to check out some outdoor gear, the business also prides itself on acting as a gathering point for people headed out to the trails or slopes. As a member, you’ll have access to organized events and the group’s Slack channel, instructional courses, and a bunch of other people who love the great outdoors.

The Mountaineers | The Seattle branch of this nonprofit community is its largest. Expect regularly planned excursions, news about local hiking trails, and all kinds of courses for those who want to pick up a new pastime.

Brooks Run Club | Need a little extra motivation as you prep for your next race? This runners group based out of the Brooks Trailhead running store meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. for a trot of varying lengths. Plus, they usually convene at Fremont Brewing after for extra bonding time.

Seattle Recreational Adult Team Soccer (RATS) | Whether you’ve ever played soccer before or not, this nonprofit league is a great way to get active and have a little competitive fun. Seasons run all year long.

QPOC Hikers | Geared for queer people of color and their allies, this inclusive group likes to trek the trails as a group — so no need to worry about taking too long if you’re generally a slower hiker. It’s all about the group experience here.

For the indoorsy types

Northend Makerspace | This Pinehurst work space has events and groups that appeal to all sorts of crafty individuals whether you’re looking to join a knitting group, learn how to use 3D printers or woodworking tools, or just sit down for a board game.

Booze and Lasers Book Club | This book club meets once a month to discuss a science fiction or fantasy novel over a couple of drinks at Third Place Books’ Seward Park location.

Charlie’s Queer Books | Primarily a LGBTQ+ bookstore, this biz also hosts regular book club events and craft making workshops.

10 students of the eXit School of Dance in Seattle pose on a hardwood floor

The eXit SPACE School of Dance has three locations in the city.

Photo via eXit SPACE

For the artsy individuals

eXit SPACE | Looking to get back into dance after taking a long break or want to try out something entirely new? This local dance studio company has a whole Basic Series of classes that range in style from ballet to hip hop to burlesque. They also have a wide selection of drop-in classes for those who are a little more advanced.

Art Cont’d | Hang wiith other art nerds in this club that goes on art walks, meets with curators, and engages in in-depth conversations about themes behind the pieces they’ve looked at. Intended for age groups between 21 and 40(ish).

For gamers galore

Raygun Lounge | If you’re hoping to nerd out with locals, roll the dice at this Capitol Hill gaming hub every Tuesday at 6:30 for open Dungeons & Dragons meet-up sessions. BYOB (bring your own bard). The bar also hosts other types of tabletop gatherings, including Magic: The Gathering.

Seattle Chess Club | Oh, okay. We see that we’ve got some big brains in the house. Come test your strategy skills (or learn the game) in these regular meet-ups across town. Boards are provided.

Metro Seattle Gamers | Play tabletop sessions with published game developers and give them feedback on their work. Or just get really down deep into more complicated games with experienced players.

For nature lovers

Birds Connect Seattle | Previously the Seattle Audubon Society, this group of bird watchers schedules regular field trips throughout the state. Beginners are welcome.

Seattle Astronomical Society | Wondering at the expansive nature of our ever-expanding universe is a great way to bond with others. Join one of this group’s star-gazing parties or a monthly meeting to get the low-down on recent discoveries.

Puget Sound Mycological Society | Mushrooms are fascinating little things. Learn about them with other local nature enthusiasts and join experienced groups on foraging walks.

More from SEAtoday