These days, most of us turn to Facebook for news of the latest local events. When we scroll through the social media platform, we instantly know when a friend is attending anything from a concert to a wine tasting to a political rally.
Facebook has been useful for me when I want to learn about events in my neighborhood–and which friends are attending them. But it’s not a search platform, and I’ve found that when I want to actively search for events and activities, other tools have proven more helpful.
So which are the best platforms for keeping up with interesting events? Here are some of my favorites:
Personal Interests and Hobbies: Meetup
Meetup showcases a wide range of events and is a fun platform for finding activities that match your specific hobbies. The platform has options for almost every interest–whether it’s photography, public speaking, or marathon running. By searching based on these interests, you can find events like group photography walks, public speaking practice, or marathon practice runs.
Overall, it’s a great tool for exploring new hobbies, attending events that appeal to your specific interests and meeting friends and community members who share those interests.
Sports Games and Shows: Gametime
Gametime is my go-to platform for the biggest events: concerts, sports games, and shows. The platform lists “hot events” (like Golden State Warriors) and “hot categories” (like concerts), and it also lets you search events by both city and event type.
The app is particularly useful since it sends notifications to your phone to suggest relevant events nearby. As an added bonus, the app is set up for spontaneous buying, so you can purchase mobile tickets even after the event starts and get really good last-minute deals.
Neighborhood Happenings: Nextdoor
When I want to search for small-scale neighborhood or community events, I check Nextdoor. The website functions as a private social network for people in certain neighborhoods to share updates with one another. These updates include anything from babysitter recommendations to lost cats.
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Most importantly, the platform’s updates are useful for learning about neighborhood events that otherwise wouldn’t be easily discovered online. Is there a pancake breakfast at the county fire station? Is there a free book giveaway at the local library? What about a block party downtown? To find out about low-key events around town, NextDoor is a helpful resource.
Travel and Vacation: Airbnb
Airbnb is most commonly used for renting vacation homes, but it’s also a useful place to look for events, which the platform calls “Experiences.” These experiences are typically hosted by local community members rather than companies, so they feel less like an organized tour and more like hanging out with a local for a day.
Airbnb events are some of the best ways to learn more about a city and its culture. For example, you can join chocolate tasting events lead by locals living in Brussels or street art walks in New York City.
Tech Conferences: Tech Events
For those of us in the tech world, the Tech Events website is a good place to start looking for events. The website gathers event information from all over the world and lets you search by city, as well as by keyword and driving distance.
Events range from startup conferences to informative talks to coding meetups. They’re particularly relevant for people wishing to network, meet like-minded people in tech or business, or simply attend an interesting lecture.
Volunteer Opportunities: VolunteerMatch
Volunteering is a great option if you’re seeking an inexpensive (or free) activity that is also personally fulfilling. A helpful resource for finding volunteering events is VolunteerMatch, where you can search for volunteer opportunities in various locations around the world. Some of these opportunities are ongoing activities that can be adapted flexibly with your own schedule, while others are scheduled events throughout the month.
Whether you want to attend a basketball game, volunteer at the upcoming food drive, or learn about events in your neighborhood or favorite vacation spot, there are a host of different platforms to keep you updated with events near you. A scroll through your Facebook feed or a quick Google search might not yield quite the weekend event information you’re hoping for, but one of these event-specific platforms almost certainly will.