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Ideas for meeting people that don't include bars, clubs, or drinking?
I used to go to a weekly DnD session at my local store. It was a nice weekly activity, although it was mostly kids and teens there. No one really my age. At least that was the group i was assigned to.
Go back in time and form a bigger social circle so you can meet other groups by proxy. If you are over 25 it becomes harder to build a connection in this narcissistic, nihilistic hell we call the world.
I'm actually David Blane.
I know this thread is ages old but there are some interesting and diverse responses.
Personally I tend to agree with those who say: do activities and go to places with said activities that seem to attract people you have this in common with.
I think you can meet great friends through volunteering as I have learned to do. Such friendships though need pretty mindful boundaries, since you do have commitments to another organization. What I found great about it though is that there is a shared empathic feeling, which really tends to cut through a lot of the posturing that self defense mechanisms can produce early on.
Coffee shops, libraries, bookstores, all have awesome potential. Being a recovering cannabis addict, I now avoid making friends with shared dependencies, since those sorts of bonds are usually rather flimsy, but if you have something in common, say memoir or fiction, love of literature is always a potentially fruitful conduit for building relationships.
I have had mixed results with work pals, and typically found the negatives outweigh the positives.
I have found cycling to be marvelous, not for meeting other cyclists necessarily, which does happen, but moreso for meeting everyone else out and about. I particularly enjoy fishing so when I ride past an angler I typically spend some time speaking with them, if their body language is welcoming.

I guess the one most important thing I could add is that you are giving, honest, kind, warm and put yourself out in the community, good things tend to and will generally happen.

Finding friends happens and can be a specific to time and place (at least for me) but making great friends takes time and effort with no guarantees. I suppose that is why we really must find value in the day-to-day living, staying true to ourselves and giving of ourselves and sharing with others.

Last point: I have always disliked bars and parties, but now that I do not drink or get high, I feel more comfortable voicing my own boundaries and honoring my true self. If I am in an environment that has become uncomfortable, I leave it and do not feel the need to explain or justify my leaving. "Time to go."
Friendship or fiends? Ha! Ha! (I omitted the R)

Making friends is a long-term issue. If i missed those in primary school I was bound to do the same thing in HS or college, as I did, since I'm not gregarious and have liked few ppl. In turn, few liked me. That's ok, I'm older than I expected I could live.

Birthday parties, clubs, churches serves me too little, because I loved outdoors.

A library would serve me If I picked books a woman had liked, since theology is a topic few ladies actually like and if I really liked to be a JW, I wouldn't feel confortable wearing a tie or a suit: Judgemental enviroments aren't mine. 😉

I used several online sites to Meet ppl online, in fact, meetup served me to Meet ppl interested on certain issues I like, but I moved to the countryside, so I don't belong to the places most of the belong.
The town were I live make use of parties to reunite it's ppl (I don't attend there, since they follow the syncretistic culture of the RCC and its traditions, and I don't like the music many ppl like in LatAm).

I think corporative jobs would expand any chance to Meet the friends you would like. There YOU would watch what they do or want to do. If you attend a short course of a thing you LIKE, you'll me the ppl you've liked: They pick (and expell) anyone they've like.

Assamblies or big church meetings would serve to meet friends If YOU arrive those places before the show starts. I used to have several friends, but time showed me I liked but a few, most of them women and, when I got married, I spent most of that time with my Ex and our kids. So I needed no one else for, let's admit, 20 years.

If i had one $ I would bet you would use those free appls you could use to meet ppl in your area or nearby places, but some of them have serious concerns on SAFETY: I wouldn't say I'm rich and live in Beverly Hills...

A couple of months ago, I set in my mind I wanted to meet my special one... I huggeg several squares and, while I have my daughter at the bank, that woman appeared when I was planning shopping. She seemed to be the dream of my dreams, but I realized she has too little time for the cost/price she thinks she deserves and, since I'm aware I need no friend but a woman to love UNCONDITIONALLY, I got aware of my faults, limitations and that I'm sumply daydreaming. 💤💤💤😴

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