Stroll’s Top 5 Guide to Making the Most of Your Neighborhood

neighbors gathered at a dining table

We want you to fully enjoy the neighborhood and community you worked so hard to live in.

Neighbors don’t let neighbors waste their time without community

You didn’t just choose any neighborhood. You chose the neighborhood to raise your kids, build your dream home, find belonging, live within walking distance of the local scene, or [insert your reasons why here]. You worked your way up to this exclusive community. But now that you’re here, are you making the most of your neighborhood?

We want you to fully enjoy the neighborhood and community you worked so hard to live in. That’s why Stroll magazines were created – to deliver resident-driven stories and build community every month.

Imagine a world where you not only know ‘so-and-so’ down the road with the cute dogs, but you actually have dinner once a month with Hank and Sara after learning you’re from the same hometown. Not only do you wave to the nice lady two doors down every time you pass on a walk, but you now know you both have a passion for gardening and swap seedlings and garden stories every spring. The MD down the road? She’s on speed dial. And your best friend and confidante just so happens to be Suzie down the road. You walk into the local coffee shop and the owners not only know your order but your name. And you know all the best shops to find everything you could need – basically, you’re a local insider with roots that run deep.

It takes a lot of time and effort these days to get in deep like that. A Pew Research study found only about half of Americans say they know some of their neighbors – a mere 26% say they know most of them. But that doesn’t even touch how well they know the people next door.

The barriers to these scenarios are all too common. What adult rings a stranger’s doorbell asking if they want to be friends, after all? Falling short of a neighbor “meet cute” – where you just happen to find out a niche similarity to your fellow dog’s best man at the park – we both know it’s a long shot. It’s safe to say we could all brush up on some helpful tips for how to engage with the people and businesses around us without feeling too awkward.

Let’s dive into making the most of where you live!

1. Share Your Knowledge

Everyone has something they can pass on to their fellow neighbor. Whether it’s sharing the name of your favorite massage therapist or you have the hookup with the hottest interior designer in the area, we can all help when someone needs a solid recommendation. And let’s not forget about your personal expertise. Are you a local business owner or physician? Don’t be shy to let others know. Spending time and money in your community feels so much more worthwhile when you have a personal connection with the businesses and people who surround you.

2. Get Involved With a Local Passion Project

Everyone has their “thing,” whether it’s animals, music, exercise, or good food. If you have a penchant for tacos and margs, we’re willing to bet others do too! You could start up a supper club that meets once a month at suggested local eats. Poll your neighbors to see if they want to go on regular walks, or enlist a workout buddy to make the gym more fun. And of course, there are lots of ways to volunteer at your local shelter, community center, or boys and girls club.

3. Ask For Help

It can be a little awkward to admit our own neediness, especially as capable working adults, but friendships can be forged (and sometimes thrive) when we’re vulnerable. Most of us love to be asked for help. It’s like a little confidence boost when someone finds you knowledgeable or responsible enough to help them where they are falling short. So go ahead and ask your neighbor for that cup of sugar – or if they have any tips on finding a trusted daycare.

4. Host a Book or Articles Club

If you’re a book lover, this might be a no-brainer opportunity to find other local bibliophiles and chat once a month over wine about the latest bestseller. If that seems like too much of a time commitment, may we suggest a neighborhood articles club? Run similarly to a book club, the time commitment is much more achievable! The group discusses the latest from the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, dealer’s choice. Have a different person in your group suggest a news or magazine article to discuss to keep it interesting. Think of it as less prep time and more time for planning the Instagram-worthy charcuterie spread. These events are bound to get the whole group talking and bonding in no time.

5. Read Up On Your Neighborhood

If you’re one of the lucky ones who receives a Stroll magazine delivered straight to your mailbox all about your neighborhood, this is an easy one. If not, if there’s a chance to read up on your neighborhood history and those who live around you, we highly recommend it. Imagine knowing just the right questions to ask the stranger down the street to get to know them best. That’s one of the things we love most about Stroll monthly issues. The families, pets, and businesses featured in the magazine get to share what they’re up to, in to, and how they best enjoy the area. We’ve had so many residents open up their neighborhood magazine to find a connection they would’ve taken years to forge. If you don’t have a Stroll in your neighborhood and you love building connections (as evidenced by reading this article), take a look into launching one for your community.

It’s time you feel connected to the community you call home. Take a leap and try one of these tips for building community and discovering so much more about the places and people around you. We know it will be worth it.