TWIN FALLS • It’s hard to be single in Twin Falls.
As a twentysomething young professional living in Twin, I know how difficult it can be to meet new people in this town. We all know office romances can be disastrous, and most of the time online dating is awkward at best. If the bar scene isn’t your thing, or you don’t want to meet someone when you’re sweaty at the gym, you might think your options are limited. Plus, it’s so easy to stay at home and hibernate during the winter cold.
But over the past few weeks, I made it my mission to find some unusual or unexpected places to encounter new people.
I have good news, fellow singletons! I found a variety of events and venues where young singles can meet up. Whether you’re looking for Mr. or Ms. Right or just a way to get out and be social, here are five surprising places to meet other young singles.
1. Rotary After Hours
For community-minded singles looking to connect with other people who enjoy volunteering, consider joining the Rotary Club of Twin Falls After Hours. The club was started in August 2009 by a group of Rotarians who wanted a Rotary club with a younger feel and energy.
Ines Crespo, one of the charter members, said the club and its activities are targeted at a younger demographic. They meet at Elevation 486 at 5:15 p.m. Tuesdays, which accommodates the schedule of most young professionals. Their next event, a Valentine’s Masquerade Ball on Feb. 9, will feature martini tasting and music from The Moon Pies featuring Johnny U.
The 12 members’ projects include the Adopt-a-Highway Program, as well as fundraisers for the Crisis Center of Magic Valley and Auger Falls Park.
“We’re small, so we’ve all become really good friends,” Crespo said. “I’ve met so many people that I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet in my everyday life.”
Interested? Attend a club meeting, or contact them on Facebook.
2. Pack Walks
At 9 a.m. every Sunday, the Magic Valley Canine Social Club meets for its weekly “pack walk.” Members meet at the BLM land just north of the Perrine Bridge for a 2 1/2-mile walk. Last Sunday, my dog Max and I joined in. It was a bright, crisp day, and we went on a romp through the snow with six other dog owners and their dogs.
Brittany Triner and her two dogs, Nona and Spud, were there Sunday. Triner and a group of her girlfriends started the club four years ago to commit themselves to giving their dogs exercise during the winter. Now, the club meets year-round.
“It’s a way to meet people with common interests,” Triner said. “We come from different backgrounds, but we all love dogs, and that’s what brings us here.”
Although the humans in the group tend to be a little older, there are some younger members as well. Triner said people of all ages and dogs of all breeds are welcome. Contact the club via its Facebook page.
3. First Fridays at Rudy’s
Culinary experts and novices alike attend First Friday events at Rudy’s — A Cook’s Paradise in downtown Twin Falls. Rudy’s offers live music, wine and beer, and live cooking demonstrations on the first Friday of every month, 6-9 p.m.
Jessica Gough, assistant manager at Rudy’s, said First Friday has become more and more popular, especially with people in their 20s and 30s. Lots of groups of friends attend, so it’s low-pressure. She has seen people develop lasting friendships with the people they met at Rudy’s.
Sandy March has attended events at Rudy’s for years, and she particular enjoys First Friday.
“It’s a great networking tool,” March said. “It’s a safe, social place.”
Other downtown businesses, such as Twin Falls Sandwich Co. and the new event center Soiree 12, also offer activities those nights. In fact, Soiree 12 will offer a singles trivia night at First Friday in February, and a speed dating event at First Friday in March.
4. Open Mic Night
Yummy coffee and live music make a great opportunity to meet new people.
Moxie Java Tuscany on Blue Lakes Boulevard North offers Open Mic Night once a month. There is a featured performer each time, but anyone is welcome to take the mic and share their talent.
At January’s Open Mic Night, about 30 people of all ages came out to the coffee shop, but most were in their 20s and 30s. Musicians played original music, as well as such varied covers as Talking Heads and Ed Sheeran.
Sam Overacre has been attending and performing at Moxie Java’s Open Mic Nights with friends since the first one in June.
“Everybody just likes to jam,” Overacre said. “It’s fun to get together. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere.”
Contact Moxie Java Tuscany, 208-735-8800, to find out about the next Open Mic Night. (Check out their coffee, too. My favorite is the Moxie Milkee Way.)
5. Happy Hour on the Canyon
If you are craving a beer or a glass of wine but don’t want to go to a smoky bar, check out happy hour at Elevation 486. It’s twice daily, from 4 to 6 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to close. Andy Kauffman, general manager at Elevation, said the restaurant sees a younger clientele, especially at the later happy hour. The discounts and drink specials are friendly to the young professional’s budget.
Malan Metcalf, private events coordinator at Elevation, has also noticed that the restaurant attracts a young crowd. She has seen everything from blind dates to proposals happen at the restaurant, and said people in their 20s and 30s go to Elevation on game day.
“The bar tends to be the place to be,” Metcalf said. “People can come and get away from the really loud places, but still enjoy the game.”
I visited Elevation for the first time recently, and I can see why it appeals to young singles like me. The atmosphere is classy. The dark wood floor, fireplaces and stone-and-brick accents all create an upscale ambiance. Also, you can’t beat the beautiful view of the canyon.