Try These Alternatives to Book Club This Summer

Try out one of these fun, social and stress-free ideas with your mom pals this summer.

If the idea of a book club evokes anxiety about actually finding time to read the book, much less force your brain to analyze subplots and themes, you might want to try another way to connect with friends this summer. 

Here are alternative “clubs” that are anything but anxiety-inducing!

Binge Club

Finding time to watch a 45-minute dramedy on Netflix is infinitely more feasible than finishing that 400-page novel in a month’s time. First, select a show or series that ignites a spark in your group. Looking to lighten up? Try stand-up comedians. Want some spice? “Sex/Life” is sure to unearth single-lady vibes. Royal obsession? “The Crown” is a dramatic feast of the political and personal life of Queen Elizabeth II. Gather to watch together, or screen separately and dish monthly at your meeting.

Pitch-In Club

Charities are always in need of volunteers and can provide an ideal way to connect with friends and a cause at the same time. Gather up a group with similar interests and skills and match with a volunteer organization. Here are two to consider: Humble Design fully furnishes home interiors for individuals, families and veterans that are emerging from homelessness. Volunteers can help sort donations in the warehouse or assist on deco day. Through Lasagna Love, volunteers prepare lasagna each week and deliver them to the doorstep of a local family in need. You can get together and bake, then take turns delivering. 

Culture Club

Chicago is a city full of culture, and much of it remains unexplored by residents. In addition to the Art Institute and Lyric Opera, there are dozens of cultural gems ready for you to visit. Have one person in your group captain the monthly outing by organizing the details and researching how to make the experience stellar. For example, attend a concert of a music genre you don’t normally tune into — check out Live Wire Lounge, SPACE Evanston, Ravinia or Thalia Hall. Or, visit an art gallery that has a specific focus, such as Gallery Guichard in Bronzeville, which specializes in art of the African Diaspora. 

Childhood Revival Club

Did you love to draw as a kid? How about tap dancing? Exploring nature? Playing the piano? Now is the time to resurrect the hobbies from your youth, this time with friends! Each person in the club finds a group class that speaks to them, then the others tap (literally) into that inner child.  

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