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Newcomers eKit: Make New Friends

Make New Friends

Okay – so you’re at least partially unpacked, and a neighbor or two has dropped by to welcome you to the neighborhood … but you’re craving some socialization, and want to really get to know this town.  We’ve got you covered!  The following are groups, programs and organizations that will help you make new friends while having fun in Darien.

Newcomer’s Club

You’ve probably already been told by your realtor or neighbors about the “Newcomers Club,” or perhaps “Wine Tasters” or “Gourmet Group” or “International Club.”  We know countless people who say their very closest friends were established through these groups when they first moved to Darien, and cannot recommend one (or more of them) strongly enough.  They are all offered through the YWCA Darien/Norwalk Newcomer’s Club — exploring this organization should be at the top of your to-do list. Here’s the website.

Network of Working Women (NOWW)

Are you a working woman, with no time to meet new people during the week and only limited time on the weekends? The YWCA Darien/Norwalk also has a group for you: the Network of Working Women offers an active email listserv, where fellow working women answer questions and offer recommendations about various local issues and/or service references, as well as a once-annual cocktail party, Saturday playdates for moms, and more.  The membership consists of a lovely group of women who are eager to help each other out, whether it’s a question about preferred local hairdressers or a real-time organization of carpools into/home from Manhattan when train service is interrupted. We have personally experienced the amazing cameraderie and support offered by this group – most of whom we have never met – and believe it to be a lifeline for working women in the area.

M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Preschoolers)

Whether you’re a newcomer to town or simply new to being a mom, there are two groups designed to offer support and inspiration.  The first is called M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Preschoolers), and despite its name, it is actually a support group for moms of infants through preschoolers.  MOPS offers not only childcare for little ones, but “mom-care” for Moms.  Once her children are settled, the MOPS mom joins a program tailor-made to meet her needs. She can eat a lovely breakfast (and not have to share it!), and she can engage in adult conversation!

A MOPS morning includes a speaker who will inspire moms in topics relating to womanhood, marriage, child rearing and relationships from a Biblical perspective. Discussion follows in small groups where each mom is free to share her joys and struggles with other moms who truly understand. Finally, a craft time promotes a sense of accomplishment through creative expression.

Meanwhile, the MOPPETS program provides loving, quality childcare for infants through age six. Moms can relax as their little ones are having fun in age-appropriate classrooms of their own. A MOPPETS morning is filled with stories, songs, snack, playtime and lots of love! Here is the 2014 Registration Form.

MOPS helps mothers recognize that when they take time to meet their needs, they are more effective in meeting the needs of their families. There is a spiritual – though non-denominational – foundation to each session.

Mom’s Oasis Ministry

Offered through the Noroton Presbyterian Church to moms of all faiths, this once-weekly morning session includes childcare for the little ones and a structured morning of discussion and workshops for moms of infants through 5 year-olds on topics of parenting, relationships and more. Breakout groups are organized according to similar ages of children, creating supportive circles of moms with similar experiences.

Mothers of Multiples

Connect with fellow moms of multiples from Darien and in surrounding communities.

Senior Citizens

Thanks to the phenomenal services of At Home in Darien, a gorgeous new Senior Center in the Town Hall, programming offered by the Darien Library and Darien Community Center and more, Darien offers the opportunity for a vibrant social life for seniors!

Volunteering

If you’ve got a giving spirit and an interest in community leadership, you might consider exploring the wonderful variety of not-for-profits in Darien, each of which relies on volunteers to help support their objectives. A couple that are near and dear to us are the Darien Nature Center and the Darien Library. You can peruse a comprehensive list of community organizations here.

Places of Worship

Local churches offer instant community: check out this list to find one that works for you.

Country Clubs

Darien’s country clubs each have a unique character and offer varying amenities ranging from tennis, golf, skeet shooting, sailing and swimming to dining and special events.  Here’s a complete list for you to review: but be forewarned that waiting lists are multiple years long and, although each club has its own membership application process, they all require sponsorship by at least one current member … so you’ll need to get to know a few members in order to apply.

Speaking of socializing, how about some scoop on babysitting and childcare?

Next: Babysitters & Childcare

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