Author Archives: Social Circle

About Social Circle

Social Circle is a group of individuals who develop friendships and share good times. We drink together, walk together, we go on holidays together. In addition to the free cinema nights, restaurant visits and nights out, you will meet many like minded people, share great new experiences, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

10 Ways to Survive (and Thrive!) in Quarantine

How to Stay Sane & Make the Most Out of Lockdown

How’s everybody doing out there? We hope you’re living life well at home, but if you need a little help getting through, we at Social Circle are here for you!

Now, we’ll be the first to admit, as a business grounded in social interactions (“social” is in our name, after all), it’s been tough to stay positive, but we’re doing our best, and channeling our hearts and minds into working on our new online Social Circle Community. Soon we hope to bring you fun online events, like coffee catch-ups, quizzes, movie nights, and more, so be sure to check back soon.

In the meantime, we’ve put together our top ten ways to beat back boredom and combat loneliness while we’re all staying safely at home.

1. Find a routine and stick to it.
When you’re stuck inside, it’s easy to lose track of time. Nights, days, weeks… it all starts to feel the same, but one of the best ways to fight off that feeling of monotony is by establishing a routine.

Resist the urge to stay in your pajamas all day. Take a shower, get dressed, have breakfast… do all the things that keep you feeling human and as normal as possible. If you’re working from home, block out times for breaks, too. Then use those breaktimes to go for a quick walk outside if you can, or at least around your home.

2. Start a new book.
Dive deep into your been-meaning-to-read list and take your mind on a trip to a fantasy world. No list? No problem. Reach out to friends and family for their favourites, or check out goodreads.com for personalized recommendations based on the books you’ve read and loved in the past. LINK to social circle book club

3. Keep moving.
The physical benefits of exercise are well known. You know, benefits such as making you stronger, burning calories, and helping to prevent or improve conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. But regular cardio can also help up your mental game.

Through the release of endorphins, exercise can help boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve your sleep—all great moves if you’re looking to combat that cooped-up quarantine feeling.

There are many free workouts available on YouTube, and more can be found floating around Facebook right now as personal trainers and the like look to keep in touch with their clients online. You can even combine your activity with social time by video chatting with a friend and doing your favorite workouts together.

 4. Unplug.
Too much news—especially right now—can most definitely be a bad thing. Constant live news updates are a surefire way to disrupt your concentration and make it very hard to stay positive. Resist the urge to hit that subscribe button!

Choose a single news source you trust, then limit yourself to just a few checks a day—and the same goes for social media. Step away from the scroll and immerse yourself in other activities, whether that’s work-from-home or any of the other suggestions on this list, and give your nerves a break.

5. Get organized.
Been meaning to tackle that overflowing closet? Or finally organize the kitchen? Start now. There’s no better time to focus on straightening up your home life than when you’re stuck spending so much time there.

But first things first: choose your guru. From Marie Kondo’s mindful, joy-based method of Tidying Up, to the minimalist style of Joshua Becker, there are numerous ways to finally conquer the clutter and create a comfortable oasis in your home.

6. Put your sewing skills to work.
When your mind is reeling from the latest headlines, sometimes a sense of purpose can be all it takes to get you on firmer mental footing. One idea? Pull out that sewing machine and get to work sewing masks.

As hospitals the world over struggle to secure enough PPE (personal protective equipment) for healthcare workers, many are turning to homemade cloth masks for whatever protection they can get—and that means anyone with a sewing machine, some cloth, and a bit of elastic or hair ties can help.

A quick Google search will lead you to hundreds of how-tos for homemade masks, and YouTube is full of DIY videos as well.

7. Learn something new.
Make the most of your time at home to learn a new skill. Maybe you’ve always wanted to play the guitar or learn to sew. The internet is full of how-to videos, walk-throughs, and DIY guides to help you learn how to do just about anything.

If you don’t have a burning desire to try something personally? Consider some career development instead. Sites like LinkedIn offer premium subscribers a wealth of classes and courses to help you do your job better. And with experts predicting a tough job market once the pandemic has ended, it could be a smart move to give you an edge over any future competition.

8. Get social.
Social distancing doesn’t have to mean your social life is over. Now is the time to get creative while getting the gang back together—virtually of course.

Apps like Zoom, FaceTime, and others make it easy to gather for an online happy hour. But if that’s getting old, try other online gatherings instead. Perhaps a virtual dinner party where everyone makes (and eats!) their own dish. Or a virtual game night. The possibilities really are endless.

9. Take up a new hobby.
Maybe it’s the next great novel idea that’s been floating around in your head for years, a burning desire to bake, or a love for painting.

Mark some items off your bucket list while you have the time, and you just might find something worth keeping up long after this is all over.

10. Watch something.
And finally, we couldn’t sign off without mentioning the streaming elephant in the room. From Netflix to Amazon Prime, and everything in between, the catalogue of film and television content waiting to be streamed is enormous.

So go ahead, grab a bowl of your favorite snacks and binge-watch that new series everyone’s talking about. Even better? Get some friends together for an online watch party and chat your way through the whole thing.

Reasons to take a break in Galway

Galway is a holiday haven on the West Coast of Ireland

Galway is a holiday haven on the West Coast of Ireland

We love exploring Ireland. If you are thinking of a short break from Manchester then you cannot beat the Emerald Isle.  In a few short weeks we will be in Glorious Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Galway has something for everyone’s. If you are wondering where the craic is then just take a look at the reasons to take a break in Galway.

Traditional Pubs, Music and Dancing.

Galway’s got one of the liveliest pub scenes in Ireland. Step inside the warm wooden nooks and crannies of Tigh Neachtain’s on Cross Street and you’ll happily lose hours listening to traditional irish music whilst sipping a glass of whisky or guinness. Other great spots in the city include Murphy’s and Garavan’s. We will be sniffing out the liveliest spots across the City. Truly enjoy the Craic as talented dancers use the bar as their stage as the fiddlers play a lively tune.

Glorious Galway Food.

Galway is a foodie heaven. The food scene includes incredible cafés, bistros, traditional pubs and fine-dining restaurants that are kicking the culinary ball right out of the park. The markets give us ample opportunity to sample some homemade delights and haggle for a bargain.

We are fortunate to be based within a few minutes walk of some great restaurants.  We fancy the traditional fayre and music at McSwiggans, as well as trying the Oysters and Seafood Platter in Galway Brasserie on The Corner.  Have you ever dreamed of eating at a Michelin Starred restaurant?  Now is your chance to check it off your bucket list! The award winning Loam is a stone’s throw from our hotel.

Walk along the Beach

Who would have envisaged a beach holiday in Ireland!  We can stroll along the 2km-long sandy promenade at Salthill, and watch the brave (or stupid!) dive from the harbour.   Tradition dictates that you should “kick the wall” at the end of the promenade for good luck. If you don’t fancy that, then why not just grab some fish and chips, sit on the beach and watch the light change over the Atlantic.

Explore Connemara (& Meet its Ponies)

The wild beauty of Connemara is just a short journey away, so we can stretch our legs as we discover the castles, beaches and rugged coastline of Connemara. The Connemara horizon is dominated by more than fifty magnificent mountains in four tightly packed ranges, the Twelve Bens, Maum Turks, Partry and Sheffrey. There are various walking routes for all levels of fitness that lead to some hidden gems.

A highlight of Connemara is its wild Ponies

A highlight of Connemara is its wild Ponies

Of course, no one can talk about Connemara without mentioning the free roaming ponies. Horse lovers can ride out in the moorland – even if you have never ridden before. Find out more about these beautiful animals at one of the many studs dotted around Connemara.

Breathtaking Beauty in a Day.

Fancy a day trip? Galway has some of Ireland’s most exciting attractions right on its doorstep. We’re talking the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, the Aran Islands and the wild beauty of Connemara.  We fancy this trip to the colourful village of Doolin where you can cruise to the Aran Isles, pick up a sweater, and marvel at the Cliffs of Moher on the boat home.

The Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking

The Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking

Why not join us in Galway?

We are jetting off to Galway from Manchester on Friday 5th April 2019 . Why not come and join us?   Social Circle offers Manchester-based professionals the opportunity to meet new people, try new activities and enjoy short breaks in the UK and abroad. There are no hidden costs and our weekends away are hassle-free

 

Manchester Singles: Do this one thing to find Love.

Manchester Singles? Finding love is simple

Manchester Singles? Finding love is simple

With Valentine’s Day approaching it is natural that many Manchester Singles start to turn their attention to finding their true love.  Everywhere you look there are matchmaking apps, adverts from dating gurus, and speed-dating events in Manchester. Yet for many a relationship still  proves elusive. So if you are looking for love- read on for a simple, but effective strategy.

Swipe Left on online dating.

The dating industry is booming, with apps such as Tinder and Happn bringing in a staggering £11.7bn to the UK economy alone. Yet swiping right seems to only bring in new ways of being heartbroken.  After hours of texting and screening out those ‘wanting fun, it can be a punch in the guts when the nice normal person who you had a date with seems to disappear off the face of the planet.

It is no surprise that people are feeling fatigued when considering dating.  Increasing numbers of Millennials and Gen Y are resolving to stay single. But what about those of us who still are hanging onto the hope to romance following the breakdown of a long term relationship or divorce?

Have you actually tried meeting new people?

We know you have been asked this a million times.  We could hear you eyes rolling.

Maybe you are already switched onto the idea that getting out and meeting new people is the best way to find a date.  Thomas Edwards, founder of The Professional Wingman, would agree.  

“The biggest advantage to meeting potential dates in real life is getting to experience their vibe right away, which is something no online dating platform can deliver,” “This increases your odds of making good choices on who to go on a date with. There’s no better way to gauge attraction and chemistry than to be physically present with someone.”

This is why various speed-dating events and singles nights are so popular.  Yet from our experience, these events are lacking. The combined time pressure, expectations and eyes on the rest of the room could quickly kill off any romance.  

Time to phone a friend?

It seems the secret to finding lasting love seems to be to ask a friend.

This traditional approach to love was the number one way to meet someone special in 2018.  39% people found their partners this way –  beating online dating and hanging out in bars combined.

But what if you have exhausted this option too?  

It is our friends who often introduce us to other singles when we say we are lonely.  For some this may have been successful, but you may also have had some cringe-worthy moments.

Good news Manchester Singles. The solution is oh so simple

You just need to expand your social circle.

Our advice is to start by joining in activities you enjoy.  Perhaps you like to go to the cinema, or even walking in the country (or both!). Either way, you are more likely to find new friends by connecting with like-minded people.  It even led our founder, Steve, to find his true love too.

To make it even easier to meet new people, we have organised a special mingle party for those who are single on Valentines day.  It is not a dating event. Just a chance to relax, meet and mingle with new people and find new friends at one of Manchester’s hottest venues.

Want to get fit and lose weight? Ditch the Gym.

Getting fit and losing weight does not have to mean joining a gym.

Getting fit and losing weight does not have to mean joining a gym.

 

It’s that time again.  You look down at your slightly soggy bits and tell yourself that 2019 *is* the year you will achieve your dream body.  The ‘offers’ from local gyms look so tempting and you sign up for a year long contract without a second thought. The gym gear and protein shakes are on sales and on your shelves.   After all you will go this year, right?  Just stop. You know how this ends. If you want to get fit and lose weight this year: Ditch the gym.  Why waste money on expensive memberships when there is another way. 

Newsflash. Joining the gym is not the key to happiness.

Let us spell this out to you.  

Losing weight will not magically transform your life.

Your weight or shape does not define you, or your happiness. So don’t let any gym advert tell you otherwise.

You may feel miserable about the way you look.  But that is about a lack of self-love and compassion rather than what your body looks like. You deserve to feel happy and loved right now.  Just as you are.

We tell you this because if you tell yourself –I will be happy when …  you will put too much pressure on yourself which will ultimately lead to failure.

Likewise if you are putting off other goals such as joining a dating site or meeting new people until you see the magic number on the scales – you are placing too high a burden on yourself. Placing all those expectations on yourself a means that your inner bully has some real ammunition when you skip a session or have pizza. 

Ironically, allowing yourself to be happy and accepting yourself – just as you are – will lead to you taking steps to improve your sense of health and well-being.

So exercise  or lose weight because it makes you feel good – and in ways that you enjoy-  rather than pinning all our hopes on romance showing up when you hit that magic number.

Is it really a priority?

It is worth mentioning that even if you are carrying a spare tyre, be honest about whether you want or need to commit to achieving your best body now.  

You may find that your focus is best served by focusing on more pressing matters such as money or relationship issues as these often drain us of energy and resources.  Of course, regular exercise can increase your sense of health and wellbeing.  But over committing yourself only leads to burn out. 

If this is the case be kind to yourself.

Focus on your main goals for now as you can decide to exercise more and be healthy any day of the year.

Even if you do want to focus on your body and wellbeing, you don’t need to go to a gym every day or go on a strict calorie controlled diet.  In fact fitness professionals advise against this as you need to rest and recover between exercise sessions. 

Sticking to a consistent routine gives better results in the long run.

Be SMART to be successful.

Do you want to know why most people fail their new years resolutions? It is often because their goals are not Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based.

Saying you need to lose 20lbs is missing key motivating factors. Dropping a dress size by the end of January may not be realistic either. Fails also come from joining gyms or trying out a new diet because you have told yourself you *need* to get fit, or lose weight, when you have no endgame in sight.

Therefore, figure out what you really want. 

Why do you want to get fit?

What will you be able to do when you achieve your goal?

Drilling down on your dreams will give you a better insight.

If you think ‘getting fit’ looks like being able to run a race then  it is better to say ‘I will run my first 10k by June 2019.  Likewise, the goal to lose weight a can be replaced by ‘ I will lose 10lbs by my holiday in April or ‘I will be wearing a size 12 dress to my best friends wedding in September.’  

Even just general goals can be made SMART. I need to get healthy can be ‘ I will incorporate exercise into my routine at least 3 times a week.’ or ‘ I will go out walking on a weekend’.

 

Find your sweet spot.

 Gyms are not bad places, but  be realistic about whether you want to go – rather than thinking you *should* go. For some, the gym is a personal retreat, for others it is clinical and isolating. If you are really undecided you could always get a free pass.

The good news is that there are  fun ways to get fit without joining a gym.  You can achieve your best body ever – but as a side effect of enjoying an overall healthier lifestyle.

walking can help you get fit and lose weight

walking can help you get fit and lose weight.

So lets look at how you could do this;

  • If you find yourself excited by the prospect of a goal such as climbing Ben Nevis, then the best way to train is to get out and walk as much as possible. In fact walking is said to be as effective for weightloss as running and carries less risk of injury.  You definitely don’t need a gym for that.
  • If you would rather exercise in a group setting rather on your own –  Joining a class will give you both a chance to try something new and an opportunity to meet new people.
  •  Signing up for a triathlon or a race?  you could join local running clubs where you will get excellent advice on training and preparing for an event.
  • Maybe you have always wanted to try a new activity and can incorporate that into your fitness goals.  Some of our members swear by Man v Fat football, we also have keen riders and dancers too.

Don’t forget to reward yourself.

No we don’t mean that you can inhale a chocolate bar for simply getting a sweat on.  But you do need to plan rewards for reaching major milestones.  

Aiming for a 10k race?  Why not have a nice massage when you are able to complete 5k. 

Wanting that beach body?  Take yourself on a city break  when you have lost 10lbs. 

Or you could do all these things, meet new people, and try all those healthy new activities right now.

No gym needed.

Surviving your family at Christmas.

Its the Christmas dream....until the kids start arguing

Its the Christmas dream….until the kids start arguing

Christmas is T minus 48 hours away. Many of us have put on our Out of Office, wrapped our presents, and are preparing for the annual family get together. But when the festive glow fades and you are all cooped up in a living room, a family Christmas dream can quickly turn into a nightmare.  We have had plenty of experience dealing with family drama at Christmas so we rounded up some great advice from Social Circle HQ. So here is our guide to surviving your family at Christmas.

Accept them for who they are.

Uncle Nigel may voice a few right wing opinions.  Grandma may ask if you have tried ‘batting for the other side’ because you have been single too long. Your brothers may get into a burping competition and Mum’s screams of frustration from the kitchen may be heard from miles around.  It is annoying being expected to help clean the kitchen whilst the teens are snapchatting their friends. Just breathe. Offer to help with cooking or even take them out if forty years of mum moaning that ‘she does everything’ is wearing thin.  

Whilst we are not saying you should put up with toxic behaviour,  it is far easier, for one day, to accept them for who they are and try and see the humour in the situation – any awkward or embarrassing moments will make for a good belly laugh when you meet your friends for post-Christmas drinks.  Believe us when we say we all have stories to tell.

Invite a friend (and use them as a human shield).

Really this one pays off all round.  One of our hosts is often kidnapped by friends who insist she shouldn’t be alone at Christmas. Rather than feeling guilty, she quickly realised she was saving her friends sanity too. Your family suddenly adopt their best behaviour and lavish attention on your friend – which is always appreciated – and you have a wingman/woman to turn to when everything gets a bit much.   

Remember that whilst your family may be a deep source of shame for you – your friend loves you for who you are – meaning that they are more likely to help you see the funny side of Aunt Magda’s quirks or point out that your cousins boasts about his promotion or new car may mean he is lacking in other areas. *snigger*

Put yourself first.

The ultimate survival tip is to put your own well-being above any traditions or guilt trips you may have been subjected to.  If your family relationships are really strained and toxic then you can make other plans if it is best for your well-being. You could visit friends or even take yourself on holiday. Spend the day on your own if that is what is best for you. (If that feels a bit raw due to a recent break upread this)    If you do go, don’t feel you have to stay – book a hotel nearby if necessary.

Even if you want to see your family – you can still need a little mental break.  Take the family dog for a walk. Take a book to read whilst the family watch the same Christmas films for the hundredth time.  Go for a nap.

Remember, it is just one or two days, and a great opportunity to make memories with your nearest and dearest. Even if those memories belong in a sitcom.

So share your own Christmas funnies below and have Merry Christmas from Social Circle HQ

Christmas Party Do’s & Don’ts.

It is the time of year where the invites roll in - but do you know your Christmas Party etiquette?

It is the time of year where the invites roll in – but do you know your Christmas Party etiquette?

Social Circle attended our annual Christmas Ball this weekend.  Typically, there were a number of companies and groups in the same place. It served as a rather eye-opening reminder of the etiquette of Christmas socialising.  We have put together some Christmas Party Do’s & Don’ts so you can truly relax and have a great time without f**king up your career or relationships.

DO: Wear something that makes you feel gorgeous and comfortable.

The ladies in attendance at the Ball looked stunning in their various plunge line jump suits and high heels but it was not long before the discomfort started showing.  Constantly pulling at your top or staggering on your heels is a sure sign that you are not 100% confident and comfortable which will impact on your memories of the event.   There are beautiful clothes for every size and occasion.You can be both elegant and comfortable, so choose wisely and let your confidence shine.

DON’T: Make a tit of yourself in respect of the dress code.

It goes without saying that you should observe the dress code for any event.  Yes, you may be a person who gives zero f**ks and maybe you are known for being a bit quirky.  However, if you are at an event with your colleagues and others in your industry then a failure to follow the rules could cast doubt over your professionalism and affect promotional prospects.  Even socially, putting two fingers up to social norms or failing to observe attention to detail can cause difficulties when socialising and alter people’s perception of you.

Wearing a coloured suit and paisley shirt when everyone is in black tie has all eyes on you for the wrong reason. Likewise, not checking the fit of your dress before you go bouncing around on the dance floor did lead to one woman repeatedly exposing her boobs to everyone in the room. All credit to her, she didn’t let the wardrobe malfunction phase her but it could have been avoided by a little attention to detail (i.e tit tape and tighter straps).  

Maybe this sounds a bit judgemental – but if you genuinely did not care you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

DO: Pace yourself.

When the prosecco is on free flow and numerous rounds are on the boss, knocking back the drinks becomes a little too easy.  However, know your limits. You don’t have to drink alcohol, and if you do make sure you drink slowly and have plenty of soft drinks too.  Pacing yourself will mean that you recover quickly the next day, and have some great memories.

DON’T. Drink to oblivion.

Alcohol impairs your judgement. The temptation to tell your boss what you think of her or make a move on your office crush may suddenly seem like the best idea you have ever had.  (spoiler – it’s not) Drinking to the extent you black out or throw up is not only a social faux-pas, especially with colleagues, but could compromise your safety. If you do find you hit your limits, call it a night and get a cab home.

Looks like fun, but will they regret it in the morning?

Looks like fun, but will they regret it in the morning?

DO:  Take the opportunity to chat to new people.

Even if you are at friends or a work function, the fact that so many people are in the same room is a really good opportunity to meet new people. Maybe you have never met  or they are only the voice at the end of a phone. Go over and say hello. We found asking people to take photos was a good icebreaker, as was finding a mutual favourite tune on the dance floor.  Avoid talk about work, politics or religion and try to find thing you have in common.

DON’T:  Be the Christmas Creep.

Alcohol, everyone looking their best, and the prospect of another single-mas seems to bring out the desperate and downright creepy in some people.  Flirty eye contact, if reciprocated, can be fun. Full on death stares are just scary. By all means dance closer to your intended and try and strike up conversation. But gyrating behind your intended or the constant slut drops on that good looking colleague just strikes everyone as a bit needy and is a source of unwanted gossip.  The worst case scenario is that you could lose your job for getting a bit touchy-feely with the gorgeous Nicole because you did not take no for an answer.

DO:  Relax and Have a great time.

Christmas is a great time to relax with friends and colleagues and share a sense of achievement at another year of success. Have fun, enjoy the surroundings and laugh and dance to your heart’s content.

DON’T: Prioritise social media

Yes – parties are challenging for those who prefer online to face to face contact.  However, it is time to physically tear yourself away from your phone. You don’t have to check in online, constantly take pouty selfies or ignore your friends and colleagues in preference to social media. Of course, take photos and get silly in the photo booths. But you cannot build great memories if you are glued to your phone and not in the room.

So have fun at your Christmas Party, and have a very merry Christmas from all at Social Circle.

Social Circle at the Ball. As captured by a very nice but tipsy bystander.

Social Circle at the Ball. As captured by a very nice but tipsy bystander.

24 Ways to Socialise this Christmas: A Socialites Advent Calendar.

We have the ultimate Christmas List for Socialites.

We have the ultimate Christmas List for Socialites.

Are you feeling the festive spirit? Don’t want to limit yourself to the office party? If you are looking to try new activities and meet new people in Manchester this winter then check our own version of an Advent Calendar for Socialites by exploring 24 Ways to Socialise this Christmas.

Unleash Your Inner Child.

You don’t need children to enjoy these fun activities. Grab some friends and get very silly.

    1.Head out to with friends to  Salford Quays on the Trial of the Snowman. There are twelve          painted Snowman dotted around the Quays and Media City. Can you find them all? We did!

  1. Make like an Arctic Explorer by travelling through the Ice Caverns in Manchester, battling with polar bears and even a Yeti on your way to the heart of Santas Grotto.  If you are a good girl or boy, you may even get to meet Santa himself. What do you mean you are 31? We are going!
  2. Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Ste-phen.  Whether you are the next star of the Voice or mumble along and hope no one notices, there is nothing like a bit of Carol Singing to get you feeling all festive.
  3. Why not catch a Panto?  You can shout ‘he’s behind you’ all you want at comedian Les Dennis and marvel at the stunning scenery as we follow Cinderella in her quest to meet Prince Charming.
  4.  If nostalgia, Christmas party anthems  and a little bet gets your jingle on, then Grosvenor Casino are offering a fun evening that will get you Rocking Around the Christmas Tree and hopefully leaving with some gold coins in your pocket.

It does not matter if you are 35 going on 6 - come meet Santa

It does not matter if you are 35 going on 6 – come meet Santa

Sparkling Performances.

Christmas is not just about falling asleep in front of the TV during Home Alone.  It can be a great way to explore your cultured side by seeing the best in theatre, dance and of course film.

  1.  Swan Lake is at the Lowry until 1st December 2018.  This award-winning re-imagining of Tchaikovsky classic features a talented all-male cast which shattered traditions  in this passionate and witty modern masterpiece.
  2. Ah we love a little festive romance. Why not watch Love Actually and hold back the tears at *that* scene whilst a live orchestra plays the music?
  3. We all love the ultimate Christmas movie, Die Hard!  Come watch a screening in the beautiful Victoria Baths for a little nostalgia.
  4. Horror fans will love Grimmfest screening of Krampus at Manchester Central Library.  Included in the price is a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. Lovely!
  5.  If you love  musical zombie films (who doesn’t) as much as Christmas then Anna and the Apocalypse is a real treat. We have it on very good authority that it is brilliant. Keep an eye on the Social Circle calendar for more!
  6. Have a Wicked Christmas at The Palace Theatre this year. Winner of over 100 international awards, Wicked has been casting its magical spell across the world for over a decade.

Get in the Festive Spirit.

Nothing Beats Mulled Wine at Christmas

Nothing Beats Mulled Wine at Christmas

Want something to make your cheeks rosy?  There are lots of lovely places where you can have a cheeky tipple.

  1. If you cannot wait until December (we can’t) then why not join us in exploring Didsbury’s hottest bars for a pre-Christmas warm up? .  We are meeting at the Metropolitan on Friday at 8pm.
  2. Collect a mug, fill it up with mulled wine and get  exploring Manchester’s Christmas Market. If you fancy company then come join us?
  3. How about some bubbles or even a delicious Baileys Hot Chocolate as you listen to some Christmas Music and chat to new friends at the Elizabethan in Heaton Moor.
  4.  You cannot get more festive than dressing up as Santa and heading to some of the best bars in town with a great bunch of people.  Expect plenty of festive spirit and laugh as you ho-ho-ho along with the epic Santa Pub Crawl.

Festive Foodies.

Christmas in Manchester is perfect for Foodies.

Christmas in Manchester is perfect for Foodies.

Christmas brings out the foodies in all of us, as it is a chance to savour the finest treats as we reward ourselves for a busy year.

  1. If you want a sophisticated treat then why not have a festive afternoon tea, complete with mince pies, at the beautiful Hotel Gotham?
  2. Join us for a festive sunday lunch at The Lime Tree where you can enjoy such treats as  roast turkey or beef and Christmas pudding ice-cream.
  3. If you want to take a break from Christmas shopping and enjoy a lavish 3 course dinner at Harvey Nichols then you can enjoy the festive menu for just £30.
  4. Of course if you need something for your own Christmas table then check out the makers markets in Manchester NQ for some delicious treats, or even sample some vegan festive fayre at the festival.

Work off those mince pies.

Fancy a Jingle Bell Jog? (c) Sports Tours International

Fancy a Jingle Bell Jog? (c) Sports Tours International

It may be Christmas but you can still have fun whilst working off a few mince pies.  These events have the feel-good factor of raising money for charity too!

  1. Run, Jog or Walk around Media City in your Santa suit for the annual Jingle Bell Jog on 1st December 2018.

21.If you like actual snow at Christmas then why not pop along to watch, or participate, in the Santa Ski on 10th December 2018

22.Christmas would not be the same without ice skating, whether you are a semi-professional or have never tried it, you can skate to your heart’s content at First Street in Manchester

23.If you enjoy walking then Dunham Massey has lit up the estate with baubles and lights.  If you want to avoid the crowds then come join us for a crisp morning walk around Styal Woods.

Party like it is 2019

  1. If you want to welcome the new year in style, join our NYE party at Albert Schloss.  Expect free flowing prosecco, mouth-watering canapes whilst you watch some of the best burlesque performances and dance to live music until the clock strikes twelve. (and beyond).  Places are limited so get booking.

Our Gift to you!

As you have been very good this year and decided to have a lot of festive fun, we are offering you socialites a whole month of socialising for just £5.  Quick, this festive offer is only open until 30 November 2018 so you best get your sleigh and ho-ho-ho all the way to a a festive season full of fun and new friends.

25 Thrifty Ways to Socialise on a Shoestring

There are very thrifty ways to Socialise on a Shoestring.

There are very thrifty ways to Socialise on a Shoestring.

 

As Christmas approaches, it is natural to be feeling the pressure to both socialise and watch our pockets so we can afford presents for our friends and family.  We have to admit that we are no strangers to putting a round on the credit cards at times. But given we all need to watch the pennies, we came up with 25 Thrifty Ways to Socialise on a Shoestring.

Debt at Christmas time is a serious issue.  One third of british households put Christmas on Credit, with many falling behind on essential household bills. The problem we found is that much of the advice out there says ‘ cut down on socialising’.  Well Okay maybe you want to spend the Christmas season watching old movies in your pyjamas. But for those of us who like to get social, the current advice on being frugal is frustrating.

Follow our handy guide and enjoy time with friends without the fear of those awkward phone calls to your credit card company. Psst – We even have a little bonus tip right at the end.

Love cinema? Skip the popcorn for a pocket friendly trip.

Love cinema? Skip the popcorn for a pocket friendly trip.

Thrifty Theatre & Film Lovers

  1. Invite your friends round to watch a classic film at yours. Do what we do and get everyone to vote on what film they want to watch.
  2. Skip the popcorn and drinks bought at the cinema and take your own.
  3. Take advantage of discounted cinema tickets such as Meerkat Movies or look out for price drops earlier in the week.  If you really want to see the latest blockbusters then click here.
  4. Go to a film festival.  You get to see new and independent films and often the tickets are much cheaper than your standard blockbuster movies.  
  5. Sign up for the mailing list at your favourite theatres and get notified when there is discounted tickets to big shows.  The Lowry offers £5 tickets to locals, but you have to grab them whilst you can!

You can save money when out for drinks.

You can save money when out for drinks.

The Drinks are on Us.

  1. Have a wine and cheese party at home where people bring their own.  Set the maximum expenditure as £10 and vote on your favourite wine.
  2. Head to a bar that offers a deal on your favourite tipples, look out for extended happy hours or bottles.
  3. Have a Cheap Challenge on any bar crawl.   You set a budget for the evening and see how many drinks you can have within your budget.  Winner gets any spare change, or a drink bought by the others. You would be surprised how competitive it gets!
  4. Have a mix and match party, get everyone to bring a spirit and mixer (again set a budget) and have fun making your own cocktails.
  5. Limit how much you have.  It sounds simple, but just a one or two drinks followed by soft drinks means you get to socialise, keep a clear head and money in your pocket.

Be a frugal foodie by hosting dinner parties.

Be a frugal foodie by hosting dinner parties.

Frugal Food Lovers.

  1. Order water for the table.  Drinking water helps curb your appetite and will save you pounds and calories from overeating.
  2. Share!  Again another simple tip but ordering shareable dishes splits the costs.  Alternatively, choose mini desserts alongside coffee to reduce the bill.
  3.  Have a potluck supper.  Winter is great for having an at home dinner party.  Jazz it up and make it themed, or simply choose who brings what and relax and enjoy yourself.
  4. Dine out midweek when restaurants are offering low cost set menus.
  5. Host a murder mystery party at home.  You can download kits and set the menu. It is good fun.

Take friends to an art exhibition for free!

Take friends to an art exhibition for free!

Culture without the credit cards.

  1. Art Galleries and Museums are generally free admission.  Enough said.
  2. Look out for free events such as those offered by Quays Culture.
  3.  Start a thrift book club.  Set a theme, head to a second hand book store or download free titles from Kindle, and get discussing!
  4. Join in a PopUp Painting Event and give the artwork as a gift.
  5. Indulge your inner History Geek by joining a guided walk around the area.

Spend a thrifty afternoon crafting with friends.

Spend a thrifty afternoon crafting with friends.

Daylight Savings Time:

  1. Meet with friends for coffee and Grab a freebie using perks from apps and mobile phone providers such as O2
  2. Go thrift shopping.  Set a budget and hit your local charity shops.  
  3. Put together a picnic and head out to the countryside or park for a walk.

24.Grab your friends and head out for a day trip to another City to explore its culture.

  1. Get crafty.  We love making decorations and cards with friends over snacks at home.

While these are simple ideas, they can have a big effect on your finances and happiness overall.  The trick is to set a realistic budget for socialising and prioritise events accordingly.

In this way, saving money is a lot like trying to lose weight.  You can absolutely have that pizza but it may mean you eat lightly for the rest of the day to ensure you stay within calories.

While you might not want  to say you’re saving money, your more astute friends might notice that you’ve become a bit more resourceful. If anything, that’s a pretty awesome quality to have in a friend.

Want to socialise for less than 65 pence per day?

Want to socialise for less than 65 pence per day?

Bonus Tip

If you still like to go out and meet new people, then you could consider joining a social group like Social Circle.  We offer hundreds of free events every, such as cinema outings and walks, every month from 65p per day. That’s less than a chocolate bar! You can even try an event for free!

So what money saving tips do you have for socialising?