Summer Activities for Older Adults
The weather is getting hotter, making it the perfect time of year to enjoy spending time outdoors. If you’ve reached retirement age, the old summer tradition of visiting an amusement park to ride the roller coasters is probably no longer your cup of tea. If it is, more power to you; keep riding those coasters until you can’t take it anymore. If you’re like most seniors, though, you’re probably looking for something a bit more mellow. Read on for ten fun summer activities.
- Going to a Museum
Many museums offer discounted tickets for seniors, so don’t miss your chance to take advantage of these money-saving opportunities. Tour an art or natural history museum in your area, or look for something a bit out of the ordinary. Museums are popping up all over the country with a focus on niche interests, like collectibles, specific points in history, particular regions, and more. A quick internet search can reveal a plethora of opportunities in your area, with some just a short train or bus ride away.
Fishing is a relaxing activity that appeals to older adults. Seniors might enjoy spending time with old friends or a grandchild. Seniors can go to local fishing spots during the early morning hours or in the evening—basically when temperatures are not too intense.
- Attending Local Outdoor Events
Weekly outdoor events are becoming popular in many communities. Some places offer concerts, which give seniors a chance to hear their favorite songs, while others feature live plays or outdoor movies weekly. These outdoor events tend to take place in the evenings when it’s cooler.
- Bird Watching
Invest in a bird feeder and you can enjoy many hours of bird watching. This can be a more in-depth activity if you borrow books from a local library and identify the various birds you see. A pair of binoculars can be useful in seeing further and could help with vision issues.
- Joining Adult Classes
Many community centers and colleges offer classes during summertime. Seniors can opt for these classes and learn a foreign language. Learning stimulates different regions of the brain, preventing cognitive impairment. Interacting with other students will help seniors broaden their social circle.
- Go Swimming or Wading
Aqua aerobics isn’t just for cruise ships and resorts anymore. Many popular fitness centers and public swimming pools offer these classes, giving you the chance to stay in shape while also beating the heat. Check with your local gym or a public pool for specific class times and difficulty levels. Most of these workouts are low-impact, making it perfect for elderly individuals. Depending on the instructor’s style, though, some of these challenges can be much more challenging. If you are unsure if a particular class is suitable for your ability level, feel free to ask the instructor before signing up for the class.
- Have a Picnic
Seniors can plan a picnic with their families. They can gather snacks, a few drinks, a blanket, and perhaps some music and head to the local park to spend a fun-filled day.
Or if a picnic is not your thing, try dining al fresco. At most restaurants, the lunch menu is more affordable than the dinner menu, and the portions tend to be smaller as well. Check review sites like Yelp and OpenTable to find restaurant recommendations in your neighborhood. These sites will also tell you which restaurants have outdoor seating. Summer is the perfect season for Al Fresco Dining, so put on your favorite hat to protect your face from the sun and meet up with some friends for a leisurely lunch at a new spot.
- Go for a Nature Walk
Perhaps alone or with your grandchildren, head out for a nature walk. There are so many parks you can visit! It’s a healthy activity.
And don’t be frightened by the word “hike” if you aren’t as mobile as you used to be. There is no need to scale Mount Everest at this stage in your life unless you’ve been preparing for years. Check with your local Department of Parks & Recreation to learn about hiking trails in your area. You’ll be surprised by how many trails are rated easy or very easy, with minimal incline and smooth, well-worn trails. Put on some sunscreen, fill up your water bottle, and enjoy a relaxing stroll in the outdoors. Feel free to set the pace as fast or slow as you wish.
Flowers bloom like crazy this time of the year, so head to your local nursery or home improvement store to pick up some new plants for your garden. Don’t feel the need to redo your entire yard; even a simple flower box can spruce up your home, giving it new life. When working outside, be sure to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and back. Gardening is meant to be a fun pastime, not a chore, so take care not to overdo it.
- Join or Start Your Own Book Club
If your community does not have a book club, you can start one. Ask your local churches or library to help spread the word. Then start by just sharing books that everyone has enjoyed.
Being a senior doesn’t mean you’re bound to your home. You can enjoy many of the past-times you did when you were younger. These are just a few of the many potential activities you can try out this summer with your family or friends to make the most of the year’s warmest season. The more active you are, the more active your body will want to be; so pick your favorite from this list, get out there, and enjoy the summer!