I am no stranger to the allure of a comfy couch, a glass (or two) of wine and a Netflix queue to last me through the weekend. But when Netflix-and-chill weekends turn into Netflix-and-chill months, and you realize you’ve spent more time with your cat lately than any other human, well, it’s a problem.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not judging anyone for falling into a full-blown state of winter hibernation—it’s easy to do when the temperatures outside are tundra-esque and you’ve watched so much Sex and the City that Carrie’s social life feels like your social life. That said, you do need a social life of your own making: Research shows that connecting with others socially has myriad benefits, from bolstering our immune systems to reducing rates of anxiety and depression.
So, if you’re sequestering yourself because you simply don’t know what else to do when the temps drop below freezing, here are seven Philly groups and regular gatherings that will force you to get out and talk to people, from book clubs to quizzo nights. Enjoy!
(I promise: Your beloved couch will still be there when you get home.)
If you’d rather be reading: Girls Night In
This book club, with chapters in nine cities including Philly, gives you the best of both worlds: You get to cuddle up in your coziest chair, book of the month in one hand and hot cocoa in the other, and dive into a book all by your lonesome.
Then, once you’ve read up, you get a much-needed escape from your (very cozy) home during the monthly book club meetup. Held in different coffee shops and book shops around town, these meetups serve as gathering spaces for women to talk books and make friends.
See? Best of both worlds.
If you’d rather be working out: November Project Philadelphia
This free fitness group meets twice a week, rain, shine, snow or whatever else winter has in store for us (please, no Snowpocalypse). They meet on Wednesdays at 6:25 a.m. at the Art Museum steps and the same time on Fridays at various locations (check their Facebook for info).
All are welcome and it’s hard not to make friends—each workout kicks off with hugs from your burpee neighbors.
If you’d rather be online shopping: First Friday
Free drinks? Art? Shopping? First Friday—when local galleries, boutiques, cafes and more invite neighbors in for drinks and socializing on the first Friday of the month—offers all this stuff, plus lots of potential for meeting cool people in your neighborhood.
In other words, First Friday has online shopping in your pajamas on a Friday night totally beat. Businesses often post about their goings-on on Instagram, so follow your favorites to know where to go.
If you’d rather be buried in your sketchbook: Second Saturday Sketch
Calling all artists and wannabe artists! This one is for you: During this monthly two-hour hang at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, free after museum admission, you’ll come together with a group to draw from the inspiration of Rodin and sketch your own masterpiece. Materials are provided and striking up a conversation with your neighbor is in no way frowned upon.
If you’d rather be running: Chasing Trail
This running group is different from many: For starters, they pride themselves on being an inclusive weekly gathering for any and all runners, regardless of pace. This accepting, we-don’t-take-ourselves-too-seriously attitude lends itself well to socializing, so you’ll often find runners refueling with brunch or snacks together after the run.
If you’d rather be doing a crossword puzzle: Pub Quiz at National Mechanics
For the person who knows everything and prefers to flex this knowledge by completing the New York Times crossword every Sunday, let’s try something a bit more adventurous, shall we? Like, say, this weekly quizzo night at Old City’s National Mechanics.
This lively Wednesday-evening affair will satisfy your need to show off your brainiac skills, and you might just meet some trivia-loving friends in the process.
If you’d rather be cooking: Join a cooking meetup
Philly has a slew of cooking meetups, where folks from all over the city get together over a dinner they all chip into. Some have specific themes, like veganism or vegetarianism, while others are based on location. Whichever you choose, you’re guaranteed to get two things out of it: a meal and conversation with someone other than your cat.
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