I was helping a patron locate a French conversation group today, and I got some help from Tim Sheehan at the Derry Public Library. Tim suggested a web site called Meetup.com. You can enter your zip code and specify an interest (or not, if you're open to something new) and get a list of relevant groups. The default is a 50-mile radius, but you can specify 5 to 100 miles.
This list isn't complete--groups have to register with the site--but the diversity of the interests is amazing: Human Soles and Doggie Paws of Manchester (for walkers and their pooches), Manchester Area Wine Lovers Club, New England Brew and Blues Club, Rockin' Moms and Rollin' Kids; Nashua Women's Poker Club, etc. The organizations share the descriptor "meetup," which means simply a way to connect with people who have a common interest.
In this day and age when it's so easy to sit at a keyboard and interact with others only online, it's great to see that someone has created a site that will get you out the door for some f2f (face-to-face) time with real people. And we did find a French conversation club, too.