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How to make friends as an adult in the Okanagan and Kamloops

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KELOWNA - Don't you wish making friends was as easy as it used to be in kindergarten? When you're five, all you have to do is sit next to someone in the sandbox and give them a Fruit Roll-up. Bam! Best friends. 

As an adult, this tactic doesn't work so well. But don't give up on your social life yet.

Here are some grown-up ways to meet new people, outside of a nightclub.

1. Join a Facebook group

In the Okanagan, there's plenty to do year-round. The key to building a network of friends is to find people that love your hobbies as much as you do. If you like hiking, join a HikingAddiction group in your area. There are groups for Kelowna and Kamloops with thousands of members. People post reviews of local hikes, and plan trips free for anyone to join. There are also more general groups, designed for anyone looking to form platonic friendships in their area, like Sophisticated Social - Kelowna, which has an average of 10 posts a day and just under two thousand members. If you need help moving, this is a good place to ask around.

For Penticton locals, there is Penticton Events & Social Group, where members let each other know about fun things to do around town, upcoming events and offer activity suggestions. Another great page to follow is the Okanagan Young Professionals Collective, which is an organization based out of Kelowna that frequently hosts networking socials in the community, in addition to partnering with other local organizations for events. 

If you and your dog are in need of some companions, there plenty of dog groups to choose one. There's Kelowna Dog Owners and Kelowna Dog Walk/Hike/Run Group, Kamloops Dog Group and Kamloops Dog Lovers, Vernon Dogs, Penticton dogs and Penticton Dog Discussions.

If you're a mom, there's Vernon Moms & Munchkins, and several Mamas for Mamas groups for different areas in the Okanagan. And of course, Okanagan residents love their wine, so there's Okanagan Wine Friends or the Penticton Wine Club.  

If you can't find anything that suits your specific interests, create your own group! 

2. Volunteering

There are countless organizations in need of help in the Okanagan, and nothing brings people together like working hard to help others. In Kelowna, the Gospel Mission is always accepting help to serve meals for the homeless, and signing up for Soup Sisters is a great way to meet new people making soup for the Kelowna Women's Center. Kelowna Actors Studio also relies on volunteers to take tickets at their performances and escort patrons to their seats. 

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In Vernon, NexusBC has compiled a database with varying volunteer opportunities, for positions varying from handyman to gardener to Emergency Response Team Responder with the Canadian Red Cross. The Seniors Wellness Society in Penticton is also looking for volunteers to assist with driving, office support, shopping, cooking, social outings and many more. 

The City of Kelowna, The City of Kamloops, Interior Health and the BC SPCA all have volunteer positions open too, so there's plenty of opportunities to choose from.

3. Join a rec sports team

If you're a sporty spice, join a local rec team in your area. In Kelowna, there is Urban Rec and leagues through the Parkinson Rec Centre, not to mention drop-in sports at the Okanagan YMCA.  

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Here's a list compiled by the City of Kelowna showing location, enrollment fee and availability for tons of rec sports in Kelowna. Outdoor recreation is also available through the City of Vernon, and there's a Kamloops men's soccer league and a men's rec hockey league in Penticton. 

If you have any more ideas on how to meet people in the Okanagan and Kamloops, leave a comment below or shoot us an email at

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 801-9235 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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