By Troy Petenbrink

Researchers have found that people with strong social networks live longer and are generally physically and mentally more healthy. Unfortunately, various circumstances can sometimes make it difficult to meet new people and build that reliable social network of friends. Finding an activity that you already enjoy and others also enjoy can often make the process of meeting new people easier.

International Club Of DC

The rich diversity of Washington, DC makes for great opportunities to meet people from all around the world. The International Club of DC is perfect for individuals who are seeking to meet other internationally-minded people and enjoy unique cultural experiences. It hosts multiple events each month ranging from Argentine Tango lessons and wine tastings at various exclusive museum tours and holiday parties. Similar in scope is the Smithsonian Associates, which also produces educational and cultural events.

Food & Friends
219 Riggs Road N.E.
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 269-2277

A wonderful way to meet new people and do good for others is to volunteer with a local charity. Food & Friends is an organization that prepares and delivers meals for its clients with chronic illnesses such as HIV, cancer, and diabetes. It values its volunteers greatly and works hard to make the experience fun and socially rewarding. is often cited as one of the best places to volunteer in the DC area. If meeting people committed to protecting the environment is more to your liking consider Anacostia Riverkeeper, It hosts frequent river clean-up outings and educational programs.

DC Fray
951 V St. N.E.
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 290-1969

If you like being physically active and want to meet other active people then DC Fray is for you. It operates dozens of sports leagues that focus on being social outlets and less on the competitive nature of the activities. Softball is one of its most popular leagues but there is also tennis, bocce, and dodgeball along with more than a dozen other options. Team DC also has information on sports leagues that cater to the LGBT community but are open to everyone.

Related: Best Bars for Singles in Washington, D.C.

The Washington, DC Film Society

Movie buffs are sure to connect well with others at The Washington, DC Film Society. Members enjoy exclusive preview screenings and discounted tickets to film events throughout the year including the organization’s annual Oscar party and the Washington, DC International Film Festival. Another great option is The Cinema Club, which also holds screenings and discussions.

S Street Dog Park
17th & S Streets N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 673-7647

There is often an instant bond between dog people. And one of the best spots to meet other dog owners is at the S Street Dog Park near Dupont Circle. It’s a completely fenced park with artificial turf that attracts a very social crowd who visit from many parts of the city.  Volunteering with the Humane Rescue Alliance is another excellent way to meet caring animal people.

Related: Best Volunteer Opportunities for Art Lovers in Washington, D.C.