If you’re new to Chengdu or even if you’ve been here for a while, it can sometimes feel like it’s hard to find new activities to do or new groups of people to hang out with. Chengdu Living contributor Hyobin posted a great guide recently on Living with Purpose in Chengdu, a huge part of which is “finding your community.”
Until recently, I find myself falling into a routine: seeing the same people, eating at the same restaurants, going to the same places to hang out, and so on. And as much as I love those people and places, I know the city has so much more to offer. But recently, more and more meet up groups forming around particular hobbies, interests, or goals have begun popping up; sometimes I’ll hear about it from a friend, or sometimes a conversation on the Forum will give birth to one. Inspired by the initiative taken by some of these people, I decided to collect and put a spotlight on some of the meet up groups, so anyone with interest can find like-minded people.
Attached to each of these groups is a QR code which you can scan to gain access to the WeChat group associated with the meet up. Feel free to scan any of these QR codes, even if you have just a passing interest. Note that some of these QR codes will expire on June 24, but if you find this article after they’ve expired, just leave a comment and we’ll get you in the group!
And if we’ve neglected to mention a particular meet up that you think people should know about, leave a comment and we’ll keep this post updated!
#1: Painting at Color Me Fun
Color Me Fun (?????represents a series of fun events that are dedicated to bringing unique artistic experiences to people who are looking for inspiration, a new social network, and a respite from day-to-day work and study. Our current program is to host painting parties for individuals, couples, families, and organizations in Chengdu who might never painted before. We are in a process of expanding our “services” to other experience-based activities such as dim sum cooking with tea tasting, themed dinner (we’re thinking “murder mystery”) and more. We want to create a fun environment for people from different cultures and backgrounds and allow them to learn something new about themselves from creating a piece of art and being part of a story.
Language skills: Depends on the event but join us anyways!
Skill level: No specific skills are required.
Tools/gear needed: No specific tools or gears are required.
Admission fee: ¥180 which covers 1) the admission fee, 2) material use, 3) a free drink (alcohol or non-alcohol, depending on the venue), and 4) your own painting (or other artwork)
Frequency of meetup: At least once a week. May close during holidays but are open for private parties all the time.
Location info: We host our painting parties at different venues which are always cafes and bars in Chengdu. Most of the venues are easy accessible by metro subway. We will announce the location in the event information.
Jason Wang (Event Manager): 18981804313 , Lei Yan (Marketing Manager): 18227658119
#2: Bike Rides with Natooke
Natooke regularly posts information regarding rides we do in and around Chengdu. Most well-known is our weekly Friday Night Ride, which has run every week for the past two years. Our rides offer a great opportunity for all types of people. If you are a speed racer or just looking to get out and exercise a little bit, even if you’re not super into bicycling, these rides are great for all kinds of people to get together, see the city, and socialize.
Language skills: No language skills necessary
Skill level: Any experience level
Tools/gear needed: A bicycle. No special requirements, just has to work! If you don’t have a bicycle, we offer rentals.
Admission fee: Free
Frequency of meetup: Once a week.
Location Info: Natooke Bicycle Shop
#3: Swing Dance at the Shamrock
Chengdu Swings is China’s oldest strictly West Coast Swing Dance Club. Founded in 2012, Chengdu Swings has danced into the heart of Chengdu and is now a Tuesday night staple at the Shamrock Bar. There is a free dance lesson every week from 7-8 for those out there with two left feet and it conveniently overlaps with Shamrock’s happy hour (5-8). West Coast Swing is modern swing dancing danced to modern music. Expect to dance to everything from Clapton to Gaga in our weekly mix of blues and pop tunes. So stop on by, catch your favorite sports team, chow down on some great western food, and dance the night away with us.
No English or Chinese necessary. Free classes are taught in English, but we have many fine Chinese speaking dancers who can fill in the gaps.
Skill level: No skill required. If you can walk you can dance (promise).
Tools/gear needed:Nothing special needed. If you like, you can pick up some dance shoes, talk to the teacher first for suggestions.
Admission Fee: Free
Frequency of meetup: Every Tuesday: Free lesson: 7pm to 8pm. Dancing from 8:00-10:30.
Location Info: Shamrock Bar ????? right off of the Nijiaqiao subway stop
Contact Info: [email protected]
Relevant Links: www.chengduswings.com
#4: Pet Sitters
Not exactly a meet-up group. This is a growing group of laowai pet lovers who want to look after your pet while you enjoy a much-needed break. Ping the group, find a match, meet in person, and off you go!
Language skills: Mostly English speakers, I believe.
Tools/gear needed: Nope
Fees: That’s between you and the sitter.
#5: Chengdu Gaming Federation
Each week, on Wednesday nights at 9pm, we meet at the Machu Picchu bar in Chengdu to play and discuss games together. Machu Picchu has a 100? screen, comfortable seating, and great atmosphere for a low-key weeknight. We most like independent and retro multiplayer games, so those are the ones you’re most likely to see us play. On the Chengdu Gaming Federation website, you can see which games we’re playing each week. Join us on Wednesdays at Machu Picchu or get in touch.
Language skills: No language skills necessary.
Skill level: All skill levels welcome.
Tools/gear needed: Nope, but if you have extra controllers are sometimes helpful.
Admission fee: Free
Frequency of meetup: Every Wednesday at 9pm.
Location Info: Machu Picchu on Chengdu Places
#6: Listening Party Meetup
Chengdu music enthusiasts may meet once weekly or monthly to listen to new releases. The WeChat group is great place to learn about new music and meet new people.
Language skills: No language skills necessary.
Tools/gear needed: Ears and open minds
Admission fee: Nope
Frequency of meetup: Once a week or once a month.
Location Info: TBD
#7: Escape the Room
And finally, the meetup group that inspired this post. There has been an explosion of “escape the room” type entertainment businesses in Chengdu in the past several years. Essentially, you are put in a room with clues and the purpose is to use the clues to find your way out of the room. These rooms vary in difficulty and dependency on knowledge of Chinese. There is one located in the Poly Center, one in the Eastern Music Park, one in Wide-Narrow Alley, and probably more that I’m not aware of. This a really fun and unique alternative to the normal entertainment options in Chengdu and the group that gets together for these knows how to have a good time!
Language skills: Chinese and English speakers welcome. Some of these rooms do require basic or higher level Chinese.
Admission fee: The price range for these places goes from 350 to 600, but the price is split between several people so it turns out being between 40 to 150 a session.
Frequency of meetup: Whenever enough people can agree upon a time to meet. Nice group because anyone can take the initiative to meet up.
Location Info: Will change each time
If you know of any meet up groups that I’ve neglected to mention, leave a note in the comments and I’ll add them to the post!