If you’ve just moved to Omaha, meeting people may seem a little overwhelming. Gone are the days when making friends was as easy as introducing yourself or sitting next to someone in class. As an adult, it’s hard to put yourself out there, especially if you’re in a brand new place.
But don’t fret! Omaha’s unofficial claim to fame is that we are “Nebraska Nice,” which means it’s normal here to be friends with your grocery store clerk, to have a conversation with a neighbor while walking your dog, or to meet a new friend at a local event. In fact, WalletHub recently named us one of the most caring cities in America. So it’s not that hard to make new friends here — you just have to know where to find them!
To help you on your friend-making quest, we rounded up some of our favorite ways and places to meet new people in the Omaha area.
Join a Meetup Group
Photo courtesy of Emily Chilson via Wood & Knit Be Nice Music Studio
Playdates aren’t just for children anymore! With the popular website, Meetup, you can connect with like-minded individuals in different local groups. No matter what you’re interested in—from meditation to technology to kayaking—there’s a local group that you can join! Read on to find some of our favorite local Meetup groups, or visit the Meetup website to start searching for your perfect gathering.
Perhaps the most relaxing gathering in Omaha, Stitchers meets every Thursday and Sunday evening at Wood & Knit Be Nice Music Studio. Whether you’re a knitter, a cross-stitcher, an embroider, or a crocheter—you’re welcome to join them!
Omaha Paddlers is a group for kayaking enthusiasts that meets once a week during the warmer months for a sunset paddle. They also organize monthly trips including a full moon paddle and a river trip.
Are you a local developer? Beer && Code Omaha may be perfect for you! Their casual meetups are held at local breweries where attendees are encouraged to bring their laptops and work on a side project or goof around with other coders.
This local group is open to women of all ages and backgrounds with meetings almost every Saturday! The premise is super simple: just grab a drink of your choice and then sit and chat about anything and everything with other Omahan women.
Warning: this group is not for the faint of heart. Fright Club is for Omaha locals who love everything horror including movies, games, music and more. If you’re interested in connecting with local horror-lovers, check out their calendar to see when they’ll be meeting next.
Take a Class
When you think about taking a class as an adult, it’s usually to help pad your resume and climb the next step on the corporate ladder. But sometimes it can, and should, be just for fun!
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to create your own craft beer or how to salsa. No matter what you’re curious and passionate about, you’re in luck: Omaha is home to countless ways for you to indulge your desire to learn. We even have a full list where you’ll find our favorite classes in the area—from virtual reality to beekeeping!
Find a Local Book Club
One of the easiest ways to connect with someone new is to discuss your love for a book or a favorite author. So if you love to read, a book club is a fabulous place to meet new people. The Omaha Public Library even has a section on their website where you can search for clubs and see what they are currently reading. Or, better yet, start your own club with your neighbors, coworkers, or your brand new friends from Meetup!
Hit the Gym
You know what they say — friends who sweat together, stay together! Joining a gym, yoga class, or any other sport is not only a great way to stay healthy, but it’s also a great way to meet new people. Plus, the Omaha area just happens to be full of fantastic gyms, studios and CrossFit boxes where you can get fit and make friends at the same time! Check out our guide to the 20 best gyms in the Omaha area to get started.
Take Fido For a Walk at a Nearby Dog Park
If you’re a dog owner, one of the best places to meet local, like-minded individuals is at the dog park! Not to mention Fido will be able to make some new friends too. Thankfully, Omaha is an incredibly dog-friendly city. Not only are we home to some incredible local businesses that will welcome your pup with open arms (and a few hidden treats behind the counter), but we also have some spacious dog parks where you can interact with other dog-loving Omahans.
A few of our favorites include the Chalco Hills Recreation Area, Hanscom Dog Park, Hefflinger Dog Park and Jewell Dog Park—all of which offer wide, open spaces, off-leash areas and plenty of people. Check out our complete dog owner’s guide to Omaha for more information about all of the above — and more.
A great way to find people you have something in common with is by getting involved in causes that matter to you. While that doesn’t mean you’ll make friends with everyone in Omaha who wants to save the red-breasted goose, it does mean you’ll be putting yourself in the company of people who care about the same things you do. Plus, it never hurts to lend a helping hand in the community.
Whether you want to roll up your sleeves and help build a house, want to give away some of your houseware or are looking to donate some money—there are hundreds of causes in Omaha that are looking for your support. If you want to help make our communities better, check out our guide to some of our favorite Omaha area charities and organizations.
Test Your Knowledge at Trivia
Whether you’re a geek who drinks, a pub quiz taker, or just a newbie looking for something fun to do on a weeknight, we can all agree that trivia nights are a great way to spend the evening. On every night of the week, bars across town will light up with teams competing for gift cards and bragging rights by answering questions about celebrity news, old movies, sports, history, literature and more. Not only are trivia nights great places to test your knowledge, but they are also bursting with locals looking to have fun and meet new people. So bring a few friends along to compete or travel solo and join a brand new team when you get there—just don’t forget to keep your mind sharp!
Looking for a local trivia night to put on your calendar? Click here to read our complete guide to trivia nights in the Omaha area.
Will you be trying any of our tips to meet new people in Omaha? Let us know how it goes in the comments and on Instagram using #TheDodgeVoice!