4 Tips to Find the Fun in a New City


This was my first New Year’s Eve in Indianapolis with all my friends being over the age of 21. It was also my first New Year’s Eve living in Indy. Naturally, a fun evening had to be planned to commemorate so many firsts.

We ended up going to the New Year’s Eve party on Georgia St. It was a first for the city, and it showed in some ways. While I wasn’t surprised with how many people were packed in the bars, I was surprised with how much of an area was blocked off for the actual event. Georgia St. is only 3 blocks long, but for some reason only 1 block was reserved for the event. Even if it was the city’s first major New Year’s Eve party, 1 block for the entire city’s all age event seems ridiculous.

That being said, the concert was really fun. I’m glad to hear that Indy is planning on doing this next year, so hopefully they’ll learn from their mistakes.

This is the kind of event that mainly locals hear about. While there were a few articles and news stories about it, they were short pieces at best and easy to miss. Most of the people seemed to have heard about it through the grapevine. This is easy if you’ve been in the area for a while, but those who recently relocated might have a harder time.

Remember in August when I quoted a Forbes.com article that the average worker stays at their job about 4 years before moving on and majority of Millennials expect to stay less than that? That hasn’t changed much in the last 5 months. Many people move to completely new cities every year. So how do you find fun events in your new home when you haven’t established yourself enough to be part of “The Grapevine?” Here’s how.

1. Google it

I know it sounds obvious, but a simple Google search will bring up some interesting results if you know where to look, especially for holiday events. I found the Georgia St. event by simply looking up “Indianapolis New Year’s Eve.” When you find an event that sounds interesting, change your Google search to that specific event to get even more details. After reading an article mentioning Georgia St., I began searching “Georgia St. New Year’s Eve Indianapolis.” That brought up more detailed articles that gave me enough information to decide to check it out.

2. Use Meetup

Meetup.com is a great website for both personal and professional use. I’ve mainly used it to find business conferences to attend, but I know people who have also had great success using it to find events and activities to do during their free time. Several clubs also use Meetup so the site is a great place to find regular events that can help you make new friends in your new city.

3. Just look for the signs

It’s another obvious answer, but staying on the lookout for signs about upcoming events is another great way to find things to do. I’ve read about concerts on marquees and found great trivia nights will out at local bars all by reading signs. Next time you’re out, especially at a place you want to visit again, scan the room for signs about upcoming events. They’re often posted at the front door, by registers, or behind the bar, but they could be anywhere so always look out for them.

4. Ask around

Ask your coworkers! You have to talk to them anyway, and they all know you just moved, so why not ask them for some great places? They might even know some hidden gems you can’t find online. This works better for restaurants, bars, or concert venues than individual activities, but it’s still nice to have a few locations to suggest when meeting up with friends. Who knows, your coworkers could even invite you to these places so you can check it out right away!

If you’re anything like me, you like staying busy. Moving to a new place can be hard on your social life, but relocating doesn’t mean you’re life is over. Whether you’re looking for something to do for the next holiday or just a regular weekend, these tips will help you plan the perfect outing. So go forth, my fellow New In Towns, and become a social butterfly in your new city!

Solana, Jesus. Party time ! in Istanbul / Fiesta! en Estambul. 7 Jun. 2007. Online image. Flickr. 2 Jan. 2015. https://flic.kr/p/QRTMV


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