New to town? Here are 8 awesome ways to get connected in Austin
According to a 2015 Census report, an estimated 157 people move to the Austin metropolitan area each day. Were you among them? In a city growing by leaps and bounds it may be difficult to find your tribe, but we’ve identified eight groups and activities in Austin that may make the transition easier.
Jump in and make new friends who share your interests.
For runners who happen to like beer:Austin Beer Run Club
Yes, indeed it happens every Wednesday. Show up at 6:30 pm at Uncle Billy’s on Barton Springs Road and join in the fun. Following your 5K, reward yourself for burning off those calories with a cold brew. Austin Fit Magazine named the weekly get together as the 2015 Editor’s Choice for Best Incentive to Start Running.
For dog owners: Yard Bar
In 2015, Yard Bar opened with the intention of bringing together not only pups but also their owners. For a fee, Fido can mix and mingle to his or her heart's content at the dog park policed by “bark rangers,” while owners can eat, drink, and be merry. If the phrase “love me, love my dog” resonates with you, this might just be the place to meet your next Romeo or Juliet.
For foodies:Austin Food and Wine Lovers
Founded in 2009, this group boasts over 4,000 members. A great way to explore the city, the group visits restaurants and wine bars throughout the city — some well-known and some hidden gems — for tastings, dinners, and lectures. The first offering for 2016 features a four-course dinner with wine pairings hosted by The Rotten Bunch on Tuesday, January 19, at 6:30 pm.
For aspiring two-steppers:Broken Spoke
You moved to Texas and you love to dance. A visit to Austin’s most famous dance hall, The Broken Spoke, is in order. Terri White, voted the best two-step instructor by Texas Highways magazine, will have you two-stepping, swing dancing, and getting into "Cotton-Eyed Joe" with the best of them in no time. Get there early to sign in because classes fill up quickly. Classes run Wednesdays through Saturdays, 8:30 to 9:30 pm.
For hikers and tree huggers: Austin Sierra Club
This is a very active group, and in addition to monthly meetings, the club offers many day outings with activities including hikes, urban walks, bike rides, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, cave tours, birding, and conservation service projects. Each trip is posted on the group Meetup calendar and is led by qualified volunteers who have received certification training.
For patrons of local music: Black Fret
You are now living in theLive Music Capital of the World, and there is no better way to get to know local musicians and their patrons than by becoming a member of Black Fret. Founded in 2013, the group hosts intimate private concerts and events. Members nominate and choose artists to receive annual grants culminating in a year-end concert and awards ceremony.
For politicos: LBJ Future Forum
Catherine Robb, LBJ's granddaughter and a local attorney, founded the LBJ Future Forum in 2002 as a means of involving younger generations in the library and its programming. Future Forum is now a membership organization for leaders of all ages. The purpose is to engage members in dialogue about current issues — local, state, national, and international — and to encourage greater community involvement. With access to interesting speakers ranging from former presidents to authors, and the library's exhibits, discussions, and social bipartisan activities, you will be set to join this group in watching the upcoming election returns in November.
For bibliophiles:BookPeople Book Clubs
Austin is one of the few remaining cities that boasts a healthy, independent book store. Not only does BookPeople host the coolest and most interesting authors on tour, but you can find a book group dedicated to almost any genre you can imagine. Every BookPeople group meeting is free and open to the public. Established, coordinated, and moderated by BookPeople staff, a wonderful perk for members is 10 percent off book club picks during the month of discussion. Our choice for January is the New and Noteworthy Book Group, which meets Thursday, January 28, at 7 pm, and is reading The Incarnations by Susan Barker.