February 11th is National Make A Friend Day, and we thought we’d put together a guide to making friends in the 715. It’s not easy to make friends as an adult, but the 715 has plenty of opportunities to foster connections. Find some common interests, keep showing up, and you’ll soon have a community of friends! Settle in for this guide and maybe you’ll find something that might spice up your life.

Valley Girls Cycling

Valley Girls Cycling has been around since September of 2022, and it encourages community between women cyclists, from newbies to experienced riders. They do informational sessions about cycling, bike rides, and even races. They’re gearing up for a spring and summer full of bike rides, but they’re still riding this winter.  If you like biking, this is a great place to foster community!

CORBA

The Chippewa Off Road Bicycle Association (CORBA) is trail-focused. They maintain about 9 trails for biking and other outdoor activities, and promote activity on the trails by organizing rides and races. It costs $50 a year to be a member, and you can participate in their 8-ish events, like the Red Flint Firecracker, a bike race, or their winter snowshoe, fat-bike, and ski races. 

Dotters Book Club

A book club is a great way to make friends and meet people. Dotters, an indie bookstore in downtown Eau Claire, hosts a monthly book club featuring the works of underrepresented authors. Happy reading!

Blue Ox Running Herd

Blue Ox Running, a runner-focused store in downtown Eau Claire, hosts free group runs every week on Thursdays at 6pm. If you’re into running, head to their Facebook page to see where they meet (usually at the store) and meet some people while getting in a workout. As they say, “fast or slow, let’s go!”

Chippewa Valley Developers Group

Like to code? Whether you’re a hobbyist, student, or professional, if you’re into coding, check out the Chippewa Valley Developers Group. They host monthly meetups, share information through newsletters, and are a great place to meet other developers. 

Eau Claire Board Game Group

Love gaming? If you’re into board games, the Eau Claire Board Game Group is a great place to find people who are into the same things as you. They have a large group on Facebook, and host weekly and monthly events. And, as they say, “all are welcome.”  (Another opportunity for board game fun is the weekly game night at D2 Gaming in Eau Claire on Friday nights at 7pm.)

Volunteering

Volunteering is the perfect opportunity to help others and foster friendships. Make it a regular thing and you have a group of people you see regularly! Check out Agnes’ Table, the Community Table, Eau Claire Humane Association, or any other local volunteer opportunity. Do some research to find something that is meaningful to you, and you’re well on your way to helping others, making connections, and feeling connected to the community!

Trivia

Weekly trivia is a great way to meet new people, because it’s regularly occurring, there’s a friendly sense of competition, and you get to learn new things. There’s trivia in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Bloomer, Boyceville, Menomonie, and more! Search “trivia” in our events calendar to find your vibe. 

Eau Claire Young Professionals

A networking group is great for your professional and personal development. Check out Eau Claire Young Professionals for a great networking opportunity. They host networking, community involvement, and professional development events. 

Western Wisconsin Golf Club

Get it, “golf club?” Anyway, if you’re into golf, check out the Western Wisconsin Golf Club to hear about events, people to golf with, and buy and sell equipment. Golf connoisseurs and newbies alike will find something valuable in this group.

Open Mics

If you like to play music, write poems, or do comedy, check out the open mics around the area. There’s no better bonding experience than really putting yourself out there. The Plus has an open mic on Tuesdays (this is where you’ll find a lot of the folks with Clearwater Comedy, which is a great community). The Lakely has an open mic as well. Happy performing!

Fiber Arts Clubs

Do you like to knit, crochet, dye, or work with fabric and fiber? There are a good number of fiber arts clubs around the area – search “knit” in our events calendar to find them. Work with others, get advice, and enjoy each other’s company while you create!

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