A woman's hands as she puts together a puzzle

Building community requires intentionality and consistency. However, the process of getting there can seem daunting and intimidating. Don’t let fear paralyze you. Let courage lead the way as you put yourself out there to foster deeper connections. We’ve taken the guesswork out of coming up with ideas for making friends.

Here are 10 ideas on how to intentionally create community:

1. Invite friends over and prepare dinner together. Don’t forget the Darling Dinner Cards!
Mealtime is great for bonding. Add meaning to the dinner by allowing everyone to contribute.

2. Host a game night.
Game night’s are full of antics, laughter and a good amount of healthy competition.

3. Plan a day trip.
Roadtrip to a nearby city or landmark. Think: Great playlists, snacks, laughter and adventure.

4. Have a bonfire.
Don’t forget the ingredients for the s’mores and anything you will need to build the fire!

5. Drop off cookies or a baked item at a neighbor’s door with a kind note.
Turn the “people who live nearby” into true neighbors and friends with a little intentionality.

6. Try out a class in person or virtually.
Trying out a new activity is such a great way to meet people.

7. Have a painting night.
If you have a paint or watercolor set (and if not, we’ve got you covered with the Darling Watercolor Paint Set), invite friends to join you!

8. Make tie-dye or indigo dye t-shirts with friends.
Grab your fabric and dye. Tie-dye is a fun hands-on activity for everyone!

9. Show up early.
Find the nearest gym and sign up for a class! Every week, arrive 10 minutes early and say hello to each person before class starts.

10. Write letters to far away friends.
Send a kind word of encouragement to a friend who you haven’t caught up with in a while.

Bonus Ideas for Community Building:

Go for a walk with a friend.
Next time you head out to walk your dog or go for a run or hike, text a friend! Invite them to walk with you and show them around your neighborhood.

Meet a friend for coffee or ice cream.
Quality time is always the priority. Take the time to get to know a new friend or a long-standing friend better over a warm drink or sweet treat!

Go camping!
It’s time to experience the great outdoors. Grab your hiking gear and head to campgrounds nearby. Bonus points: Come prepared with fun bonfire games for the group!

Start a book club.
Do you have a favorite book? Is there a new book that you cannot wait to read? Invite your friends to read it with you. Plan a weekly book club where you discuss each chapter and dive deep into the storyline together.

Participate in a seasonal activity.
In autumn, pumpkin patches and apple orchards open up. Around Christmas time, there are outdoor ice skating rinks and Christmas light shows. In spring, there are festivals, and summertime offers a variety of concerts, outdoor sports events and drive-in movies. Pick an activity in celebration of the season and invite a few friends to join you!

Bring a friend dinner.
Whether it is a sick friend, a friend who just had a baby or a friend who recently lost a loved one, a warm meal shows you care. Sometimes, the kindest actions are the small, practical gifts we give to others.

Have a movie night at your house.
Did a long-anticipated movie just drop on a streaming service? Is there a movie series you love that a friend has never seen before or vice versa? Turn it into a movie night! Don’t forget the popcorn and snacks.

Drop off flowers to a neighbor or friend.
Small acts of kindness make a difference. Drop off a beautiful bouquet of flowers and leave a note.

What are some ways you spend quality time with friends? How do you foster community intentionally?

Image via Tony Li

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