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Moving to the Upper Valley? How to Meet People in Your New Town

Group of Friends Having Fun OutdoorsWho are the people in your neighborhood? There will be the people that you meet each day: postal workers, firefighters, dentists, grocers, and bakers (as told by a classic Sesame Street song). And while greeting the people you run into with an appropriate salutation is important, many folks moving to the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont will want to foster new friendships in more meaningful ways. 

The younger members of families moving to a new town can expect a certain amount of the friendship making process to happen organically over time, as they start classes in new schools and participate in their favorite sports or activities. Adults moving to a new town can often find friends in a similar fashion, but it will require a bit more effort. 

An article titled “7 Secrets to Making Friends as an Adult” posted by Psychology Today in September of 2022 outlines the process. The article’s key points include: 

  • Assume people like you. 
  • Don’t wait for friendship to happen organically. 
  • Pursue a hobby in a group and keep showing up. 

Bicycling groups, running groups, book groups, cooking groups, philosophical groups, and snowmobiling groups are all popular ways to meet people that share your interests and worldview. But don’t be afraid to try something new. You can find like-minded friends in an activity you haven’t tried and you might even find your new best friend at the annual cardboard sled race! There are groups both large and small for activities. If you can’t find a group for a particular activity you can always start one yourself on the Meetup social media platform. Get Busy! Join a Group! Make New Friends! 

With that in mind, here are some existing groups in the Upper Valley to help you meet people in your new town. Sports 

Upper Valley Mountain Bike Association: The local chapter of the VMBA (Vermont Mountain Bike Assoc.) is the UVMBA located in Lebanon, NH. The UVMBA is made up of volunteers who work to maintain and expand access to non motorized trails in the Upper Valley of NH and VT. When you become a member you join in on the fun of group rides, and volunteer for work days for trail maintenance (the club will usually provide tools and donuts, but you’ll need to bring your own water and bug spray). Individual membership is $60 and membership for a family of four is $120 for the 2023-2024 season starting April 1st, 2023. 

Upper Valley Running Club: Annual membership for the Upper Valley Running Club is $20 for an individual and $35 for a household in 2023. The club is part of the Lebanon NH Recreation and Parks Department. The club meets twice a week all year long for runs on Saturday mornings and track on Tuesday nights. The club welcomes inexperienced runners with its “Couch to 5K” program. Get off the couch, get in shape, stay healthy and make some new friends training and competing for 5K-12K races held in New Hampshire and Vermont. 

Arrowhead Cardboard Sled Race: The annual Arrowhead Cardboard Sled Race in Claremont, NH is scheduled for Saturday, February 18th, 2023. This is a fun event for crafty folks who enjoy a little friendly community competition on the sledding hill. There are categories for youth and adults, families, and businesses. Sleds will be judged both for artistic merit, and construction (sled construction is limited to cardboard and tape), and costumes are factored into scoring. Awards are also given to the fastest sleds that complete the run without falling apart. 

Snowmobiling Clubs: There are a lot of snowmobiling clubs in the Upper Valley. There are 7,000 miles of snowmobiling trails in New Hampshire and over 5,000 miles of snowmobiling trails in Vermont to explore. Joining a local club is a great way to get the lay of the land, and make new like-minded friends. 

Groups (large & small) 

Upper Valley Humanists Association: There are 18 members of the UVHA. It is a fellowship group for non religious people located in Norwich, Vermont. There is a colorful group of people who have identified or associated with humanist organizations over the years including Kurt Vonnegut, Bill Nye, Carl Sagan, Gloria Steinem, Katharine Hepburn, and Gene Roddenberry. 

Albert Einstein wrote on the subject in “Essays in Humanism” published in 1950. His belief, in part, states that the goal of human existence is in building “a community of free and happy human beings who by constant inward endeavor strive to liberate themselves from the inheritance of antisocial and destructive instincts.” 

Lebanon Gourmet Cooking Meetup: There are 671 members of this cooking group located in Lebanon, NH. Upcoming events include a Chinese Potluck on January 20th, 2023, a French Potluck on February 17th, 2023, and an Indian Potluck on March 17th, 2023. The events are being held at the Kilton Public Library. The organizer moved to the Upper Valley from Washington, D.C., and started the group to celebrate international cuisine with other like-minded foodies. 

Hanover Book Group: There are 33 members in the Hanover Book Group. The group meets once a month in New Hampshire to discuss the books being read, get to know each other, and have fun. The current book selection is “Circe” by Madeline Miller. Members will meet at Molly’s Restaurant & Bar to discuss the reading on February 9th, 2023. 

The staff at LindeMac Real Estate is looking forward to helping you find your perfect Upper Valley home in New Hampshire or Vermont. A new town, with new people and new friends, is waiting here for you to discover. Contact us today!

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