By Tere Scott

International Friendship Day is July 30, but you don’t have to wait for an obscure holiday to look for new friends. Spark up a conversation while letting your dog play at a dog park, talk over a mutual hobby, or get to know new people while sipping on a cup of coffee. Start by pursuing your own individual interests, and look for like-minded events focused on things you enjoy. Are you a new parent who wants to connect to others who just started their family, looking for play dates with your kids, want to meet others with the same spiritual ideals at church, or find more studious friends at the library, it’s time to meet a new friend in the process. Meet locals with interests similar to yours at these area locations.

The Coffee Cartel
2 Maryland Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63108
(314) 454-0000

Nothing brings people together like talking over a meal, dessert or a cup of coffee. Meet new people and find friends while sipping on your favorite brew. There is always something going on at this Central West End coffee house that is open 24 hours a day. Connect with others who have similar interests with events like a Benefit for Shriner’s Hospital to free chocolate covered strawberries on Valentine’s Day or finding camaraderie in fellow sports team fans.

America’s Center
701 Convention Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
(314) 342-5036

When you are interested in and participate in specific lifestyle circles, you will find a convention to match your interests. From FIRST Robotics international competitions to religious revival meetings, there is bound to be a convention for you where you will meet people with like mindedness. Waltz the large center during the annual boat or car show and meet others who are doing the same. Talk with vendors at the show or convention of your choice, and make business and personal friendship connections.

South Broadway Art Project
3816 South Broadway
St. Louis, MO 63118
(314) 773-3633

Whether you’re into pottery, fashion design, or a teen wanting to get a head start at an apprenticeship, connecting over a hobby like art is a great way to meet new friends. Get your hands deep into creating art at this gallery that is a not-for-profit whose main goal is to enrich lives in the community through art. Check the events calendar for updates and public events, or stop by for a pottery open studio. All of the events and classes are affordable, so you don’t have to break the bank to meet someone new.

Related:  Top Hobby Shops In St. Louis

St. Louis County Library Headquarters
1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63131
(314) 994-3300

Libraries are so much more nowadays than a quiet place to sit and read a book all alone. Take one look at the website, and you’ll notice that there are plenty of events that cover just about every topic imaginable. Find storytime for your kids while you meet other parents with similar interests. Look further and notice that there are also events for metal detector enthusiasts, photography buffs, a place to find writing friends, explore topics you are interested in while meeting others who share your interests like playing card games, upcycling, knitting, crafting, or hanging out for Bingo.

Tails & Trails At Queeny Park
1675 South Mason Road
St. Louis, MO 63131
(314) 615-PAWS

There are non-pet lovers, people who love their cats, and then there are those who share your love for dogs. Hook up with fellow dog lovers when you take your four-legged friend out for a day at the dog park. Unleash your dog to pant around the 5 acres filled with water and agility skill stations. While you watch your pup at play, strike up a conversation with another dog owner.

Related: Top Pet-Friendly Camping Spots In St. Louis