Play Ball, Any Ball

Meetups Offer Fun and Games for Grown-Ups

 If you’ve ever moved to a new city or set out to experience new things or learn a new skill, you probably understand how difficult it can be to meet people who share your interests.  Luckily, Meetup provides dozens, if not hundreds, of opportunities to meet new friends, lovers, and team mates, nearby.

Meetup is an in-person social network of like-minded people.  Say you enjoy motorcycles, but don’t have any friends who ride.  Visit Meetup, and you’ll find a group that rides every Saturday, leaving from Hammond Park .  Like to knit?  You’re guaranteed to find a knitting group near Dunwoody Village Parkway.  From arts and crafts to music, sports to animal lovers, there is a Meetup for everyone.

A favorite is the Sandy Springs Walking to Running Meetup, a small group for those who want to jog but aren’t experienced enough, physically, and need to walk to build muscle and endurance.  The group meets weekly, mostly in the morning hours, and provides support and training so each member can one day run for exercise and enjoyment.  If you desire a more relaxing exercise, Yoga & Meditation in Sandy Springs meets several days and times each week, and encourages participants to bring friends.  The Dunwoody Running Group is more than 800 members strong and jogs a different route each week.  Different distances, times, and days are available, and most members go out for dinner and drinks after runs.  If jogging isn’t your sport of choice, there is wiffleball, volleyball, soccer – literally any sport you can think up.

“One of the benefits in participating in a Meetup are the options of activities,” said Venicia Clark.  “It’s refreshing to not have anything planned, and then log onto Meetup and see a few events that are going on that day or night.”

Whether you run or play kickball, volleyball, pickleball, or underwater hockey, there is an outdoor Meetup for you.  If you enjoy hiking, jogging, geocaching, or swimming, you’ll find some like-minded folks.  There are groups for men, women, African-Americans, seniors, children and with Dunwoody and Sandy Springs’ wide population variety and our pleasant weather, you should have no problem finding a Meetup that suits you and your interests.  And if, by some reason, you can’t find an existing group, start your own in five minutes and for a small fee.   And, whether you’re a retired pro soccer player or a soccer mom, most groups welcome all skill levels.

But why are the outdoor Meetups some of the most popular?  What’s the draw?  Because people, of all shapes, sizes, races, and creeds, love to be outside.  There are so many resources in our neighborhoods, from the parks, walking trails, and recreation areas, and residents want to take advantage of that.  Meetup, in general, is successful because it lets people use the internet to meet new friends and then get off the internet and live their lives.  And with the team-focused sports Meetups available, nervous first-timers needn’t feel intimidated, because it’s a group dynamic.

Meetup was founded in the days just after September 11, 2001.  CEO Scott Heiferman realized that he and his neighbors were talking, socializing, and generally meeting up with one another more than they ever had before; what if he could make something positive and lasting result from that tragedy?  In summer of 2002, Heiferman, along with a small team, launched Meetup.  There are currently more than 200,000 Meetups, 22 million members in 181 countries worldwide.

Details

Visit Meetup.com and after a short list of questions and a confirmation email you are free to search for whatever Meetup you want, either by type or location.  Download the Meetup app to stay connected on the go.