Now that you’ve settled into your new home, it’s time to the meet the neighbors. Here are a few tips to break the ice. Go ahead, don’t be shy!

1. Throw an informal happy hour
After all that unpacking (or staring exhaustedly at those boxes that need to be unpacked) hosting a party may be the last thing you want to do. But a casual gathering involves little effort. A couple bottles of wine, a few snacks and you’re set to meet new friends. Plus this is the one time you can get away with a disorganized house and still have people over — take advantage.

2. Get some fresh air
Hang out in your front yard or on your porch. Neighbors are much more likely to stop by to say hello if they see you sitting outside with a cup of coffee than if you’re inside and they have to knock on your door.

3. Go exploring
Jog through your new neighborhood instead of hitting the gym. Neighbors will at least wave, if not stop you for a quick chat.

4. Puppy pride
Walking your dog, or playing with him or her in your yard or local dog park, is an excellent way to meet people, especially other dog lovers.

5. Cruise garage sales
You might not want to actually buy anything since you just gave away a lot of accumulated junk before your move, but perusing garage sales is a great way to meet your neighbors. Check out the local paper or Craigslist to find out where to go.

6. Hang out with your kids
Volunteering at school or chatting with other parents at the playground can result in new friends for you and your kids.

7. Dust off those oven mitts
Bringing homemade cookies to the neighbors makes a great first impression. If you haven’t unpacked your kitchen, bakery or store-bought goodies will also be appreciated. Don’t forget to stop by with dog treats to make new canine friends as well!

Once you’ve made new friends, work together to create a great environment for the kids on the block. You can read our best tips here: 6 Strategies to Create a Kid-friendly Street.