Broaden your social circle
Tue Jan 11 2011
Photograph: Michael Procknal
Your number of Facebook "friends" is well into three figures, but is your addiction to social networking contracting your real-world social life? If you thought group activities were for losers, recall the stigma attached to online hookups in the not-too-distant past. The antithesis of geeky, Urban Escapes (urbanescapesnyc.com) was founded by skydiver, mountain-bike racer and triathlete Maia Josebachvili. Excursions and vacations combine adrenaline-packed pursuits with booze—the perfect bonding situation—but the emphasis is firmly on the activities, not forced connections. "We never pitch our events as chances to find new people, but if you put a bunch of people together on a bus or a ski mountain, and they're having a great time, naturally connections are made and that's something that we pride ourselves on," says national director Bram Levy. "A lot of friendships and romances have blossomed from our events."
The Night Snow Tubing & Pub Party package, every Saturday throughout the winter, whisks you off to 800-foot runs in Bergen County, New Jersey, followed by a buffet and beer at a local hostelry. Trouble is, the budget-friendly trips ($59) are so popular they sell out within hours of being posted on the website of Urban Escapes' new parent company Living Social (livingsocial.com). Other upcoming activities include Shootin' & Drinkin' in Manhattan (who knew there was a rifle range in Chelsea?) and an action-packed five-day Mexican adventure on the Yucatn peninsula, including rappelling and zip-lining through lush rain forest (plus a water park with an open bar), for $450 (airfare not included).