YWCA Princeton Area Newcomers & Friends Club

YWCA Princeton Area Newcomers & Friends

Join/ Renew Now

For over 60 years, YWCA Princeton Area Newcomers & Friends  has welcomed people to our community from around the world, nation and state.

You don’t have to live in Princeton to be a part of Newcomers & Friends. Members come from all over the area including Montgomery, West Windsor, Plainsboro, Lawrenceville, Cranbury, Hillsborough, Hopewell, Pennington, Monroe and more. Some are only part-time residents, living elsewhere much of the year.

Contact our Membership VP at newcomersmembership@ywcaprinceton.org to learn more, or to receive a copy of our detailed monthly newsletter to find out about upcoming open events and meetings. We invite you to attend one Friday with Friends, one social coffee, and one interest group activity before joining.


Events such as Friday with Friends and Social Coffee are not currently being held. Updates will be provided as to when these activities can safely be resumed. Please refer to the Interest Group section for a full listing of the NEW summer interest group offerings as well as the existing interest groups that will continue to meet during the summer-either virtually or in-person if possible.

Friday With Friends

Are you eager to expand your knowledge of educational, cultural and community issues? At our monthly Friday with Friends, you will meet and hear acclaimed speakers from business, political, civic and educational circles.

Recently we’ve had presentations on: First Ladies of the US, History of the Institute for Advanced Study, D & R Canal, Alice Paul – NJ’s Heroine for Equality and Up Close and Personal with Albert Einstein.

Social Coffees

Social Coffees are a great opportunity to meet and greet friends in a relaxed, unstructured atmosphere while enjoying refreshments and coffee. Feel free to stop in, one of our friends will be happy to introduce you to everyone.

Interest Groups

We invite you to check out all of our Interest Groups! A complete list of all groups, descriptions and meeting days, times and locations is below, just click on the tab. It’s a great way to meet women that share a common interest and get involved in Newcomers & Friends.

Most Interest Groups meet monthly in the YWCA’s Bramwell house, member’s homes, or off-site for designated outings. As a club member, you may participate in as many of the groups as you wish, as often as you wish. This list changes from year to year to reflect the interest of our members. If your special interest is not represented, you are encouraged to start a new group! Contact newcomersinterests@ywcaprinceton.org for more information or to join an interest group.

Join us today to form new friendships and to become part of a vibrant community!

Private Facebook Group Public Facebook Group

Friday with Friends

Friday with Friends is held on the 2nd Friday of each month from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, from September – June. (Please note that December, March and June are off-site and members only.) Most events are held at the YWCA Princeton and include a new members welcome, an overview of monthly activities, and a guest speaker. Lunch is served for $10 and a reservation is requested. Babes in arms welcome. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact  newcomersfwfrsvp@ywcaprinceton.org

Social Coffees

Social Coffees are a great opportunity to meet and greet friends in a relaxed, unstructured atmosphere while enjoying refreshments and coffee.  Feel free to stop in, one of our friends will be happy to introduce you to everyone. Social Coffee are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month, from 9.30am to 11.00am, September – June at YWCA Princeton’s Bramwell House.

Special Member Events

Special Member Events take place periodically throughout the year and are described in the monthly member newsletter and on the calendar.


Interest Groups meet monthly or weekly and are the cornerstone of the Club. Our members determine our Interest Groups so if you think something is missing, start one!

Summer 2020 Interest Groups

Brain Games – (an online interest group)

Are you ready for some new Brain Games?
Brain Games was one of our first Newcomers online groups. The idea of this group is to encourage our members to challenge their brains on a daily basis with activities they enjoy. We all don’t think the same or enjoy the same Brain Games; but the good news is, there are so many games we can choose from. In addition to Crossword, Sudoku, word search, or puzzle books, there are tons of games to play online or from your phone.

So if you’re game, let’s get started! Please email Wendy if you want to be part of our new Brain Games interest group, starting this summer.
Wendy Lazarus, interestgroupsnow@gmail.com

WALKING IN SKILLMAN PARK – Tuesday & Thursday Mornings at 8:00 AM beginning July 2

This new interest group will meet in the cool of the morning for an early walk. Come and join us on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in July and August and become a charter member of this group. Take advantage of the cooler morning air and get your exercise out of the way!

Skillman Park is located near the Village School in Montgomery Township. The route is a flat, paved loop that takes around 45 – 50 minutes to walk at a comfortable pace. We will sensibly social distance with masks being optional, not required. An email will be sent to those interested with additional details. Please email Wendy if you want to join us to walk.

Wendy Lazarus, interestgroupsnow@gmail.com Patti Natale, pattinatale@verizon.net

Pickleball, beginners and intermediate – 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, mornings, starting July 14 Mercer County Park Tennis/Pickleball Center

We ask that participants wear masks, bring water, and bring their own paddle, available at Amazon  or from Walmart. (We will also have some extra paddles for people to borrow.) Mercer County Fees are $7/time or player can pay $35 (62 and older) or $70 (under 62) to join the MC Park tennis/pickleball through the end of 2020. The yearly fee allows you to play free, unless you are playing in the evening and they have to turn on the lights for you.

If interested in Pickleball, please contact:
Betty Dominick, bedominick@gmail.com Maryanne Knutson, mycabeza2001@yahoo.com


Have Bike Will Ride – various Sundays at 5:30 pm

HBWR is a new warm-weather bicycling group. This is a leisurely ride off-road on park trails or small towns with very slow or no traffic. Some ideas are Skillman Park, Duke Farms (when they reopen), portions of the D&R Canal Trail, Village Park in Lawrenceville, and portions of the Lawrenceville-Hopewell Trail system. We will probably ride for about an hour. The flatter the better for me, it’s really going to be an enjoyable ride!

The specific meet up location and ride details will be sent by email to members of this group before the ride. If there is a coffee shop along the way, we’ll stop for a drink and a visit.

Days: Sunday, July 12, July 26, August 9, August 23. We won’t ride on a rainy day. Time: We will plan to ride at 5:30p.m.

Please have water and appropriate clothing for riding bikes. You need to be able to transport your bike to the location we plan to start. If you want to ride but have no way to transport your bike, let us know and maybe we can make it work.

As you probably know my motto by now…let’s Have Some FUN!!! Lydia Oakes, LydiasTravelingKitchen@gmail.com

Picnics in the Park

We had a great turnout for our first (socially distanced) picnic on July 4th. Stay tuned for an invitation to our next picnic! Please bring your own food and cutlery, your own drinks, and your own chair to sit on. You may also want to bring tick spray. We will not share food or drinks at this picnic. We will sit at least 6 feet apart and with that in mind we may need to break into several smaller groups since a large circle would be difficult for conversation. We will meet in the same area that we have in the past. In Mercer County Park, head to the parking lot for the Marina (the area where they rent the pedal boats and rowboats). As you enter the Marina parking lot, we will be on the LEFT side of the parking lot AWAY from the lake, back in the trees near the volleyball courts. If you have any questions about getting there, please call or email one of us.

Joan Tyson, 908-217-8013, joantyson@miryruncottage.com Maryanne Knutson, 609-802-9121, mycabeza2001@yahoo.com Kendra DiPaola, 609-751-7281, kendra.dipaola@gmail.com

Understanding Race–Thursdays, August 13, September 10, and October 8 at 4pm

Are you interested in gaining a deeper understanding of issues around race and exploring where that might take you? Join us to read and discuss books about race. Please read the first book, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi, or view one of the author’s talks before the first meeting, if possible.

Theparticipants will select the other 2 books as well as whether we meet online on Zoom or outside with masks while social distancing.


Join the Understanding Race email list by contacting:
Maryanne Knutson,  mycabeza2001@yahoo.com Kendra DiPaola,  kendra.dipaola@gmail.com

Investment Club – meetings tbd if there is enough interest

Anyone who is interested in investing or wants to learn more is welcome to join. We will hold an organizational meeting to work out the details. We will all start out with $10,000 paper money. You will decide how to invest that $10,000. Every Sunday you will value your investments and when we meet once a month we will compare notes. You will need to justify your portfolio, why you bought certain stocks and why you continue to hold or why you sold. This means that you will need to know your investments intimately.

You will work hard for those paper profits. But more importantly you will get to know yourself, how you feel about money, and the abundance it may or may not create within yourself.
If you are interested, come join us with a notebook and pencil. Contact me to get on the email list and help get this group started.

Farida Mistry, farida1mistry@gmail.com

Current Interest Groups which will CONTINUE to meet this summer

Please check your June newsletter for descriptions of these groups, and contact the group’s chairperson to join in and get on the email list:

Books by Moonlight – July 1
Book Talk – July 21
Exploring Family History – July 31s Fun & Games – July 7, 21

Great Artists – July 15
Jin Shin Jitsu – July 7, 14, 21, 28
Lunch Bunch – July 6, 20
Pins & Needles – July 9 (note new chair Mary-Anne Roden, and Nancy Crosta)
Teen Talk


This list changes from year to year to reflect the interest of our members.  If your special interest is not represented, you are encouraged to start a new group!  Contact newcomersinterests@ywcaprinceton.org for more information or to join an interest group.

Join Now

Join us today to form new friendships and to become part of a vibrant community! We encourage you to contact our Membership VP at newcomersmembership@ywcaprinceton.org to learn more or help with questions.

Debbie Ridder, President
Ruth Lang & Donna Wolfe, Programs Co-VPs
Janet Perkins, Membership VP
Leslie Sullivan, Social VP
Sarina Prior, Interest Groups VP
Sonia Lee, Marketing VP
Marie-Christine Polidori, Communications VP
Mary-Anne Roden, Treasurer
Ann Strootman, Recording Secretary
Marla Burchell, Past President/Parliamentarian