Making Friends in Grand Rapids

We know that moving to a new city can be overwhelming and a little bit nerve wracking when it comes to getting plugged into a community, so we’re here to share some ways you can easily meet people and make friends in West Michigan! We also recognize that making friends as a young adult/adult can be difficult and stressful, especially when our attention is drawn to our devices and phones, so even if you’ve lived in WMI your whole life and are just looking to get more involved or you just moved here, I hope that this post will give you some ideas on how to get plugged in and meet some new people in the community! 

The first thing to think about when getting involved is to notice where your interests lie, and then look for events and clubs that incorporate those interests! 

Thankfully, West Michigan has plenty of great clubs, sports teams, and events that go on around the city for you to get involved with!

Continue reading for a list of places to make friends in the area!

First, let's talk about GR Rec Sports

GR Rec Sports is an adult sports club for those in the Greater Grand Rapids area! From first time players to established athletes, everyone is welcome! GR Rec Sports provides a way for adults in GR to make new friends and lasting memories! Join a league today at their website! 

Another great way to meet people in GR if you love a good walk is Hot Girls Walk GR!

If you’re on social media and/or tik tok, you may have heard of the ever-trending term “hot girl walk” and seen many girls make videos of them going on “hot girl walks.” Well, Hot Girls Walk GR is on Instagram and has created a community of women meeting together to take walks together around GR, and any and all women are welcome! Follow them on Instagram to follow along with their walks and find out when the next walk is! 

Do you have a passion for exercise and working out?

SweatNET offers a variety of activities for anyone to enjoy! They have classes and events that include barre, cycling, yoga, running, cardio, and so much more that SweatNET members can join for free!

 So what does it mean to become a SweatNET member? 

First of all, it is SO affordable! A membership costs $9.95 a month! Members can take advantage of free / discounted monthly events, local content featuring our awesome community, meditations, exclusive deals & discounts with +100 local businesses, and nutritious recipes. And the best part is that you get to be involved with incredible community fitness events while also meeting new people and connecting with the local community! 

We’ve got another great sports club for y’all!

Best Damn Sports club is yet another adult sport league in GR. This includes fun, social, co-ed, laid back sports for ages 21+ to enjoy in the span of 7 weeks. They also partner with some awesome local bars and offer food and drink specials! 

Maybe you're not looking to connect with people over fitness activities, but love board games!

House Rules Board Game Lounge offers a way for players to meet, greet, and play on Tuesday nights from 5pm to 11pm! The groups are often casual and fun which makes for a great way to meet new people and make some friends!

Are you a big fan of book clubs?

Well, we have good news for you! Books and Mortar in GR holds 3 different book clubs throughout the year. The 3 book clubs vary in genre and age range, and you can learn more about what each one entails and sign up on their website! 

Brush Studio downtown Grand Rapids is a fantastic creative outlet

Brush Studio offers a variety of classes and workshops that you can sign up for on their website.

Get connected to a local church!

West Michigan is known as the place with a church on every corner, which means there are a ton of options when it comes to your choice in church/denomination/etc. Getting plugged into a church community is a great way to meet people and make friends and most churches have programs such as small groups and bible studies throughout the week! Just look up churches in your area and visit it or check out their website for weekly events. 

Two places we recommend if you love dancing:

The Grand Rapids Original Swing Society has swing dancing downtown Grand Rapids every Tuesday night. Show up and meet people while you get your swing dance on! They even have lessons every week at 7pm. Check out their website to see the schedule and locations each week!

The Alaskan Pipeline has line dancing and line dancing lessons throughout the week each week from Wednesday-Saturday. Check out their Facebook page for all the details! 

Bringing your pup to a dog park is another great way to meet people!

People in West Michigan love their puppers! There are dog parks all over the community that you will truly love. Some of our favorites include the Grand Ravines dog park in Allendale, Covell dog park in Shawmut Hills, Grand Rapids, and The Pack in Comstock Park!

Looking to volunteer?

Volunteering is another GREAT way to meet people while giving back to the community. One of the things we love most about the West Michigan area is the fact that there are countless options when it comes to volunteering. Below is a list of some of our favorite non-profits with volunteer options, but this is only the start to the opportunities in the area! We encourage you to look up volunteer opportunities near you and explore all the options!

Dwelling Place

New Development Corporation


Habitat For Humanity

AYA Youth Collective

And finally, maybe you’re just a social butterfly who loves a good chat with a friend over coffee or lunch!

You can even step out of your comfort zone a bit and start a conversation with a stranger at a coffee shop or local lunch spot, and even though this sounds a little bit far fetched, people truly love spontaneous conversations amidst their mundane schedules and you could really connect and get along with someone after a conversation as simple as complementing their shoes! Even saying hi to the person sitting next to you and simply asking how their day is going can make a big difference!

It’s hard for us to pin point a favorite coffee shop, but here are some great ones to walk into and start a conversation: 

Roots Brew Shop

Wildroast Coffee

Aldea Coffee Grand Haven

Ferris Coffee Holland

If nothing on this list caught your eye, don’t fret because the list doesn’t end here! Websites like and have endless lists of local activities for every niche. Find a new hobby/activity to try and look up whatever that may be on one of these websites to start your adventure,  then attend the event and hopefully meet some cool people in your niche!

We understand the struggle of connecting to a community and we hope this post can be a helpful resource when it comes to meeting people and making friends in the West Michigan area!

The Local Element West Michigan

Connecting YOU to your local community 

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