25 Fun Activities for Seniors
Now that we are headed full-swing into the holidays, we thought it would be fun to talk about some fun activities, especially for seniors with a lots of time on their hands.
As we get older, the activities we used to enjoy either become difficult to continue (in some cases impossible), or just don’t appeal to us like they once did. Obviously, there are many factors that come into play. For example, you have to take into account the individual’s health, mobility, mental acuity, sight, hearing, and other physical factors that could limit their abilities to perform certain activities.
There are also outside factors that could limit activities, like weather, distance/location, fees for entry or participation, and number of participants required.
What we’ve included below is a list of 25 different activities, broken up in groups of five, that addresses some of the limitations from above. While these are geared towards seniors, they are not necessarily limited to seniors. In fact, during the holiday season, it might be a good opportunity for family members to bond over some fun new activities!
5 low-impact activities to get you moving:
- Walking – You can walk alone or with friends. You can walk around the block, walk around the mall, you can walk at a local track (college, YMCA, or maybe high school after hours), walk around your house or apartment, or even walk on a treadmill. If you can walk, this gives you lots of options. You can walk at a pace that’s comfortable for you, and a distance that feels safe.
- Dancing – Once again, you can dance alone or with friends, although, many may argue it’s more fun with a group. Like walking, you can dance just about anywhere, with or without other people around…it just depends how comfortable you are dancing in front of others. You can even “chair dance”, where you move only your feet while sitting in a chair. There’s no wrong answer. You can go out to a venue that offers dancing, or you can dance right in your living room, the choice is yours, just have fun!
- Gardening – This requires some amount of space, inside or outside. If you have a spacious yard, you can choose a large garden, or you can choose a vertical gardening solution, that takes up a small amount of space. Depending on the space you have inside your home, you can create a greenhouse space, or even just some potted plants in the corner. The important thing is that you’re active, and you have fun.
- Yoga – This is best started at a local facility with a trainer, if possible, and a conversation with your physician to be sure it’s acceptable for you. There are options for doing Yoga at home, like DVDs, streaming shows, and yoga on TV, you just have to be sure you are doing the movements correctly and safely. Yoga is another activity that’s fun with a group.
- Croquet or Bocce – These games involve some movement, as well as the equipment to play them. Typically, they are played outside, especially Croquet where you insert the wickets and end posts into the ground, but you can also find indoor-friendly versions of these games, provided you have the space to set up. You also have to understand the rules, and they are typically most fun played with at least 3 additional players. A quick search on Amazon revealed Bocce sets starting around $10, and Croquet sets around $30.
5 activities that are a bit more strenuous: Please be sure to consult your physician before starting/attempting any of these activities.
- Tennis or Pickleball – Both of these activities take place on a tennis court. Pickleball is a newer sport, played on a tennis court with some additional lines added creating a smaller playing area. It’s basically a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping pong, you can find out more about it by clicking here.You can also watch a cool video of people playing by clicking here. It’s fairly easy to learn, and is less strenuous than tennis. On the other hand, if you love tennis, get out there and play! If you can get together with 3 friends, you can have fun, enjoy social time with friends and/or family, and get some exercise. Many neighborhoods (especially in the south) have tennis courts, and there are often community parks nearby with courts as well.
- Frisbee – This is a fun activity that can be as relaxing or energetic as you choose. If you have the space, and/or the creativity, you can even play Frisbee Golf – which is like regular golf, only with a frisbee instead of a golf ball and clubs. You and a friend can have a simple catch, or you and several friends can have a frenzied frisbee fling. There’s even Frisbee Football, if you’re feeling really ambitious. So, grab a disc, and get out there and throw…
- Golf – Here you will need to visit a golf course, however, you can also choose Pitch & Putt (usually 9 holes, and a smaller, shorter version of a traditional golf course), or Miniature Golf (putting only, with obstacles like Clowns, right angles, and windmills. Typically more fun with friends and/or family, it’s a great way to bond, and share some laughs. There are even indoor miniature golf facilities in certain areas, so the heat or cold doesn’t have to be a factor.
- Horseshoes – While this has traditionally been an outdoor activity, with heavy metal horseshoes along with two stakes that are driven into the ground, there are now plastic or rubber sets available as well for indoor play. The traditional metal horseshoes are heavier, and might be harder for some individuals to toss, while the rubber or plastic versions are lighter and friendlier for all ages and mobility levels. This is usually played with two teams of two, but can be done with as few as two people (or one person, if they just want to practice by themselves), or, if you are creative and rotate, you can play with more. A variation on horseshoes is Cornhole (beanbag toss), which can also be played inside or out.
- Volleyball or Badminton – This requires a fair amount of space, and a way to attach the nets, but can be a ton of fun for a group of people. It’s easiest with at least four people total, two per side (although, just one on each side is possible with some modifications to the rules), and traditional play consists of six team members per side. Since you are not competing in an Olympic event, you can decide how you want to play, and with how many, as long as you all agree on the rules. Just have fun!
5 activities for those with limited mobility:
- Card Games – There are many to choose from, everything from various forms of Solitaire, to more elaborate games such as Bridge and Pinochle. You can play solo, or you can gather a group and play a game with friends. Card games are a great way to spend time with family or friends, socialize, and have some fun.
- Board Games – Similar to card games, there are board games you can play solo, like Mahjong, to games of strategy played with one opponent like Checkers or Chess, or games you can play with multiple people ranging from Chutes & Ladders to Monopoly to Scrabble. Just like with card games, board games allow you to play with all ages and share laughter and joy.
- Painting – For those with a flare for the arts, there are various forms of painting that can be both relaxing and enjoyable. If you just want to mess around and have a good time, you can finger paint – no talent required, just some finger paint, a large piece of paper for a canvas, and a protected area, like a table with a protective cover (even plastic garbage bags can work). If you want to take it more seriously, you can try water colors or even oil painting. Want to take it to the next level? Look for a class being held in your neighborhood or community.
- Cooking – Yes, you read that right, cooking. While some think of it as a chore, others really enjoy it, and consider it their own version of art. When you’re preparing a large meal, depending on your kitchen space, two or more people can work together to prepare the various foods. Two or more can cut vegetables, for example. Another option, if one person loves cooking, and the other has an affinity for cleaning up the dishes, then one can prep and the other can clean the dishes as the person cooking finishes with them. If the kitchen is small, the dining room table can temporarily be used as a prep station – maybe take a trash can out there and someone can peel or cut veggies while sitting at the table. There are many different options, be creative and, most importantly, have fun!
- Laundry – You’re thinking, “What???” But, think about it for a moment…You don’t have to do it alone, you can fold along with one or more others, so there is a social aspect. It’s active, but really doesn’t require a lot of mobility. You can do it sitting or standing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t need a full range of motion to fold. It actually gives you an opportunity to bond with other family members when you all do it together.
5 Outdoor activities – Sometimes it’s just nice to be outside, weather permitting:
- Picnics – If you have a park nearby, or another outdoor public recreational space, it’s simple to pack up some simple food and drinks and go on a little picnic. Once again, this can be an activity for one person, or many people. If weather is an issue, you can even do an “indoor picnic”. Be creative, and take the time to enjoy the moment.
- Bird-watching – With or without binoculars, it can be fun to see, and identify, various species of birds in your area. There are resources online, like audubon.org, or you can find a bird guide book at a local bookstore, or Amazon, to help you identify different species. If you do this with two or more people, you can have a friendly competition to see who can see and identify the most species of birds.
- Hiking – This doesn’t have to be Appalachian Trail level hiking. It’s not a race, but a time to be out in nature and enjoying time alone or with others, and just being in peace. A way to escape the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.
- Fishing – If you are in a public area, you need to make sure fishing is permitted, and you will also most likely need a fishing license. The good news is that fishing licenses typically only cost a few dollars, and even the local Walmart usually sells them, along with live bait, and other fishing gear. You don’t have to spend a fortune to grab the basic necessities for a fun fishing experience. Check the local laws, and figure out if you are fishing to “catch and release”, or if you want to fish for fish you can eat. There are resources online to help you with some of these questions.
- Garden Walk – You don’t have to do an “official” garden walk to enjoy walking through a flower garden. Whether it’s on your own street, or you visit a local attraction, it’s a pleasant and relaxing experience to simply enjoy the varieties of flowers. It’s a take on the old expression, “Stop and smell the roses”, only it’s not limited to roses, and not limited to smelling them. If there is an actual flower garden within a reasonable driving distance, by all means, check it out. If not, is there a local park, or greenhouse, or other area nearby with an assortment of flowers you can visit? You can get a little bit of exercise, and the scent will do you good.
5 Various and different activities – These last 5 activites require varying degrees of mobility, but they can all be fun and rewarding in their own way. There are no hard and fast rules, be creative:
- Knit or Crochet for Charity – Lots of people knit or crochet hats, sweaters, scarves, etc. as a hobby. It gives them an activity, while sitting, and even do it while watching TV, or sitting around chatting, especially when they’ve been doing it for some time, and don’t even have to think about it as they go. It can also be an opportunity to donate to charity. If one person or, better yet, a group of folks with this skill, get together with this in mind, it’s an opportunity to not only keep their minds and hands busy, but also to donate to a worthy cause.
- Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen – Depending on where you live, there are almost always shelters, soup kitchens, or other organizations that cater to the homeless that can always use volunteers to help. The folks that visit these places often feel forgotten and lonely, and provide a wonderful opportunity to do something good for others, while staying moderately active. There are many ways to help that can be tailored to an individuals’ needs, abilities, and health, so as to ensure it is safe for both the visitors as well as the volunteers.
- Pet a dog – It’s a win-win! The dog will absolutely love the attention, and you’ll be amazed at how much better you will feel during and after. If you don’t have a pet, and don’t have any friends or family members close by with a willing pet, the local animal shelter will often welcome folks in to give the dogs attentionf
- Read to children – Whether you simply read to your grandchildren, or you visit the local bookstore and volunteer to read for storytime, it can be both fun and rewarding to read stories to children. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can consider acting out some of the actions in the book, to really draw the kids into the story. Watch their faces light up as you bring the book to life in front of their eyes.
- Do a puzzle – This could be a jigsaw puzzle, or a puzzle like Sudoku or Word Finds, a Crossword, or even a Maze. The key is that it makes you think – exercise your brain. In fact, there is even research supporting that puzzles can help either reduce the impact of, or slow the progress of dementia. Like our muscles, exercising our brain in this way is a healthy and positive experience.
This is, by no means, a complete list of potential activities, but we hope it will at least give you some ideas of your own, of some things that will not only be fun, but also help you and/or your loved ones get be active, and even share some quality time together.
While it is the holiday season right now, these are not seasonal activities, although certain times of the year do present additional activities in certain areas. For example, around the holidays, there are often activities at churches for putting together shoe boxes of gifts for the less fortunate. Depending where you live, certain times of the year will be colder or hotter than others, and the temperatures will be limiting factors for outdoor activities.
The important thing is that you find something you love doing and get out there and do more of it. We never know how long we have on this planet, and it is up to us to live each day, each moment, to the fullest, and only we can define what that means to us.
If you or a loved one could use some assistance in your home, whether it’s to help with shopping trips, some simple companionship at home, or even certain health care at home, we would love to speak with you. There is no cost or obligation for a consultation, our experts will sit with you and discuss your situation to help determine the right course of action for both your circumstances and your budget. Give us a call (678) 494-8129 or you can send us a message through our website by simply Clicking Here. Like you, we want what is best for you and your loved ones, and we are here to help.