By: Chelsea Sayegh on January 6th, 2017
Fun and Affordable Things To Do for Seniors Looking to Get Out of the House this Winter
Winter’s arrival doesn’t have to equate to a boredom sentence for seniors living alone at home. Whether you’re stuck in a rut with your aging loved one or simply looking for a new activity to add to the lineup, there are near-endless ways to get older adults up and out of the house when the thermometer drops. Read on for a roundup of nine fun and affordable places for seniors this season. But that’s just the start of it when it comes to enriching the lives of aging loved ones --winter, spring, summer or fall.
1. Explore Your Town
It’s a common joke among native New Yorkers: Many of them rarely -- if ever! -- go to major tourist destinations, such as the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building. But this phenomenon isn’t limited to the Big Apple. In fact, townies and city-dwellers alike admit to overlooking the attractions in their own backyards. So why not make time this winter to play tourist with your aging loved one?
You don’t have to live in a major destination like New York to find plenty of fun and affordable places for seniors. Pick up your local paper and flip to the Calendar section for a complete list of events and attractions guaranteed to make you both see where you live in an entirely new light.
2. Browse at a Bookstore
Amazon may have changed the way we buy books, but there’s no substitute for the good, old-fashioned bookstore experience. Take a trip to your local bookstore to peruse the shelves, check out the magazine stand, or attend an author reading or event -- just one of many ways to make senior visits more meaningful.
3. Take a Yoga Class
One of our favorite fun and affordable places for seniors? A yoga studio. Yoga is good for the body and soul, and continues to have health benefits -- well into the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. From minimizing hypertension and strengthening bones to reducing anxiety and lifting the mood, there are many reasons to do yoga...along with equally many ways to practice at all levels and abilities. Seniors and caregivers alike will enjoy stretching their bodies while relaxing their minds.
Other good spots for finding yoga classes for older adults? Your local senior center, gym or community college. Caregivers also have plenty to gain from yoga, including restorative effects, which can support more meaningful time with aging loved ones.
4. Visit a Museum
Museums aren’t only a great destination during inclement weather, but they also offer wonderful learning opportunities for seniors. While many museums are free, others offer deals for older adults -- including everything from free admission days to steep discounts on admissions. Do your research in advance to find out where to go and when. (Don’t see a senior rate? Ask. Not all organizations advertise their senior discount programs.)
Also, be sure to take your aging loved one’s interests into consideration when selecting a destination. For example, a lifelong hoops lover will look forward to a trip to the Basketball Hall of Fame, while an Impressionism enthusiast will likely prefer visiting an art museum.
If your aging loved one is a Bank of America cardholder, meanwhile, he/she can participate in their innovative Museums on Us program, which offers free general admissions to more than 150 participating museums on the first weekend of every month. You can even sign up to receive text message reminders about eligible weekends!
5. Head to the Local Bingo Parlor
Who doesn’t love the thrill of yelling “Bingo”? Many senior centers, churches, and community centers host bingo nights for seniors. Wondering where to find a bingo hall near you? Call your local Chamber of Commerce or use this handy Bingo Locator, which lists thousands of bingo halls in both the US and Canada.
But not all fun and affordable places for seniors involve leaving home. Consider hosting your own bingo night for friends and family. This is also a wonderful way to promote multigenerational fun -- both the young and young at heart will enjoy playing together. Plus, it’s a foolproof way to banish senior boredom while making the most of your time as a family.
6. Take a Step Back in Time
Many seniors have fond memories of the meals of their youth. And while they may not be as commonplace as they once were, you can still find a classic diner, drive-in, or dive for lunch with a side of nostalgia.
Or, take a completely different approach by inviting your aging loved one to get in on the latest trend by joining you for a lunch date at a popular food truck.
7. Celebrate Summer in the Winter
Cold winter days make many of us pine for the phenomenal feel of summer. Caregivers can offer seniors a taste of warm weather to come by planning a day in homage to this eagerly anticipated season. Whether you take a drive to the beach or visit your favorite ice cream parlor together, your aging loved one will delight in the whimsy of an unexpected “moment in the sun.”
8. Get Your Paint On
The arts are good for seniors across everything from physiological healing to cognitive function. Why not get your aging loved one’s creative juices flowing by heading to a local paint-your-own pottery store or signing up for an instructed paint night together?
Even better? Adopt a “more the merrier” approach and invite along other friends and family members to join you. Not only will aging loved ones derive all of the wonderful advantages of embracing their inner artists, but they’ll also leave with meaningful keepsakes of priceless time spent with loved ones.
And as it turns out, art is just one way to help seniors get a brain boost. From keeping a journal to planting something together, many activities can stimulate your aging loved one’s brain.
9. Go Antiques Shopping
Browsing through an antiques shop is a bit like going on a treasure hunt: You never know when you’re going to find something completely amazing. If your aging loved one collects something like Depression glass or Fiestaware, you’ll both enjoy hunting down the perfect score to add to his/her collection. If not, with some time to explore and an open mind, who knows what wonderful things you’ll discover? Don’t miss this great opportunity to reminisce and share memories as well!
Antiques stores are also perfect places for scouting out interesting holiday decorations -- one of many holiday activities which caregivers and seniors can share together.
The best part of this roundup of fun and affordable places for seniors to go this winter? These nine are just the start! From visiting a tea house to taking a factory tour, there are hundreds if not thousands of other ways to maximize winter fun with your aging loved one. For more valuable content on helping seniors lead positive and purposeful lives, download our free e-book, 82 Meaningful Visits: Fun and Easy Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Aging Loved One
About Chelsea Sayegh
I started working as a Marketing Coordinator for United Methodist Homes in October of 2016. I work on public relations, website management and community planning for their award winning independent and assisted living communities. As a graduate of Ursinus College with a degree in Media and Communications and a passion for serving nonprofits, United Methodist Homes has become my home away from home. I spend my days working in a community filled with smiling faces, helpful hands and wonderful residents. I have a passion for assisting seniors and take great pride in being able to promote a company with such a positive mission and values. As an individual committed to learning and growing, I have jumped right into this exciting career!
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.