Longmont offers many opportunities to get out, learn and meet new people

TinkerMill in Longmont

TinkerMill. (Photo: Tinkermill).

There are local groups of almost any interest or passion. Find a walking/running partner or group, learn a foreign language, participate in cooking groups, music jam sessions, painting, art, dining, hiking, therapy, mindfulness and more. The best part of joining a group is that you can also volunteer to make other people’s lives brand new and interesting. Here’s a few of our favorite organizations you can get involved with.

From soldering to welding to sewing and 3D printing, what you can learn at TinkerMill is pretty limitless. Erin Hoard, Executive Director, said, “We like to say ‘What CAN’T you do at TinkerMill?! Not much!’ We teach skills that folks can take into the workforce and use to find jobs. From woodworking to our machine shop and laser cutters, we are teaching practical information, to learn how to use our machines and tools and be able to take that knowledge and apply it to outside projects, or job creation. We have classes happening every day of the week. There are also groups that volunteers start, like the Astronomy Club, which meet at least monthly.”

CE Raum, a volunteer and vice president of the board of directors, actually moved to Longmont because of Tinkermill. He said, “When we were moving to Colorado many years ago, rather than moving and then finding a makerspace, I decided to find the best makerspace on the Front Range and that’s what moved me to Longmont. It’s just huge, and there is no other place with such a wide range of activities. I came because of the dedicated stained glass area, but every six months I find some other activity all set up with people who want to share their knowledge, and I try something different! I love our Sunday
2 p.m. tour days because when we show them around, people are wide-eyed with wonder. They’ve never seen anything like it.” 

Just a short drive from Longmont, the Erie Social Club is a wine, whiskey and cocktail bar located in Old Town Erie that offers a number of social events throughout the year. Upcoming events include social hours, Trivia Tuesdays, Wine Wenesdays, Flight Fridays, Knitting and Crocheet Night, Book Club, Book Swap and much more.

The Presser Foot: Melody Munson and Von Yetzer.

The Presser Foot: Melody Munson and Von Yetzer. (Photo: The Presser Foot).

There are more than 125 people who meet at The Presser Foot in Longmont every month, according to owner Melody Munson. There are groups for art, modern and traditional quilters and other sewing arts such as embroidery and applique. Because of Project Runway, garment sewing has become increasingly popular as high schools are offering fashion design classes. “Sewing is a solitary hobby until it’s not,” Melody said. “The women who come here have such social interaction; they’re doing what they love together. If they’re stuck they bounce ideas off each other.”

Von Yetzer started coming to The Presser Foot 16 years ago when she moved to Longmont. Now she’s involved in five groups through the Longmont Quilt Guild. She’s in charge of the applique group, she’s learning how to hand embroider, she’s in the Featherweight group for the little old Singer Sewing machines, and she’s learning how to paper piece. The fifth group is one of her favorites – it’s Bee Sew Brave, a group that creates quilts to honor military veterans. “We come here to sew together, socialize, learn from each other, share ideas and enjoy the camaraderie,” she said.

Just going by the numbers, The Senior Center must be the busiest place in Longmont. 

Amy Hodge, Senior Recreation Program Supervisor, said there are as many as 185 programs quarterly in history, science, humanities, culture and general interest such as Spanish. There’s counseling on services such as Medicare and Medicaid, groups that skydive together and very cool off-site group trips. Amy said there are some exciting new programs for caregivers. There are over 300 volunteers who help with all of the many programs.  

Longmont Senior Center.

Longmont Senior Center. (Photo: Longmont Senior Centert).

The Senior Center also delivers more than 400 Meals on Wheels a day including volunteer Charline Long, who delivers on Tuesdays and helps pack the meals on Wednesdays. A former Document Control and Publications Manager for an aerospace corporation, Charline is a good example of the volunteers who are involved with the Senior Center. During the summer she helps check in golfers for the Friday Senior Golf League and helps with the programs and events such as checking in for
bus trips.

The Callahan House is a historically designated home built in 1892 and given to the City of Longmont in 1938 by Alice and Thomas Callahan who opened a small dry goods store on Main Street called “The Golden Rule.” Their successful stores were throughout the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast states. There are many events and meetings at the Callahan House, and the garden is always open to the public when other events aren’t booked.

Callahan House has a Volunteer Advisory Board, as well as several clubs that meet at the house regularly. According to Callahan House Manager Brittaney Hastings, they are recruiting new Volunteer Advisory Board Members to begin serving in June of 2024. Folks can keep an eye out to apply for the board by visiting longmontcolorado.gov.

Additionally, Callahan House will be hosting an event called Club-A-Fair in August which will showcase clubs currently meeting at Callahan House and looking for new members as well as provide information to new clubs who might be interested in hosting regular meetings at Callahan House. Details for this are still being finalized.

Interfaith Quilters of Longmont was started in 1986 by women representing several different area churches. There are now about 100 volunteers from all faiths and beliefs who are dedicated to making a difference in the community. All year long they make quilts that are sold at the annual Quilt Show and Sale and the proceeds are donated to the O.U.R. Center and Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley.

Novice and expert quilters of all skill levels are welcome. Guests can bring an idea and use the group’s fabric and notions to make a quilt for their sales or join one of the works-in-progress and lend a hand. There’s always someone willing to help or teach if needed. Interfaith Quilters meets every Monday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests can come whenever they want and stay as long as they can and are advised to bring a bag lunch.

The Longmont Public Library makes it possible for you to find a book club that suits your needs and desires. Book Clubs include:

  • Books in a Bag, a program that supplies books for clubs, complete with discussion questions, a biography of the author and summaries of other books available for 10-person clubs.
  • In-person book groups including First Thursdays Book Group, Second Mondays Book Group, Great Ideas Reading & Discussion Group, Deep Thoughts Philosophy Reading Group, Book Chatter podcast for adults.
  • Virtual Book Club World with your pick of fiction, non-fiction, teen, romance, business, good news, science fiction, mystery, thriller, audio, pre-publication, classics, AuthorBuzz and First Look. 

By Linda Thorsen Bond,
Longmont Magazine