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15 Fun Activities for Older Adults
What do retired people like to do with their time? You may believe it's limited to endless games of Bingo or doing 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles. There's more to the world of senior living than these stereotypes, and people are actually doing quite a lot within their Golden Years.
Just take a look at this list of top activities for seniors. If they appear to resemble the things that younger people like to do, you would be correct! Age does not have to limit you, and embracing your older years may be more exciting than you ever imagined.
The most fun activities for seniors to do
You don’t have to only choose one activity on this list. In fact, you could mix up your week with several of the following for maximum enjoyment.
1. Video games
Are you surprised to see this as a #1 pick for leisure time? While the idea of picking up an Xbox controller may seem overwhelming, the truth is that many modern games are easy to learn and can come with some cognitive benefits, too. The science supports older adults trying games of all kinds, but those with 3D environments outrank the competition.
Whether you choose to play classic arcade hits or get into online battles with friends, this is a pastime that you can enjoy for a lifetime—and that may also improve your memory.
2. Cooking clubs
Does the thought of preparing another meal bore you? You may need some inspiration to spice up your next menu. Cooking clubs are a great way to meet people and learn about cooking styles that may not be common for your background or geographic region. Learn about recipes from all over the world, master the air fryer, or get a quick course on Sous vide. The best part of this pastime is getting to sample your final creation.
3. Art class
Art is a hobby that never goes out of style, whether you’re creating a pre-made craft to hang on your door for the holidays or imitating the brush strokes of Renaissance greats. Art classes typically welcome newcomers and are available at community colleges and senior centers. For added enjoyment, bring a friend so you can learn together.
Helping the younger generations be their best can be rewarding for both parties. If you’re into the idea of spending an hour or two a week with a young person, this may be an exciting way to pass on your wisdom and help enrich the lives of others. Most mentorship programs let you pick the activities. Choose between shooting hoops, enjoying a meal, or just having a nice conversation. What difference could you make for at-risk youth in your community?
5. Business clubs
You may have retired from the world of sales and marketing, but that doesn't mean you have to stop participating in today's competitive ecommerce landscape. Business clubs allow you to invest in a product that you can sell online for a profit. Members collaborate on everything from the marketplace platform to how much to price the wares. If you can make a homemade item that's in demand or have a background in sales, you're at a significant advantage.
If you need fun activities for seniors you can do outdoors, consider using your green thumb. Gardening has evolved to include even those with limited landscape space. If you have access to a patio and a five-gallon bucket, you have what it takes to nurture a plant to its finest form and even enjoy the fruits of your labor. Gardening is best when done in groups, so share your best plant tips with others.
7. Book clubs
Do you love to read? This popular pastime isn't limited to books selected by pop culture gurus, and you can set your sights on any literary title you choose. If your club is passionate about the great Russian novel, for example, feel free to go for it! From War and Peace to a light-hearted YA rom-com, a variety of books have their own fan groups eager to discuss their merits. Ask your local librarian if they know of any groups that meet in person, or choose from the many online clubs featured through Goodreads.
Nature lovers will be excited to learn that birding is very much alive and well these days. It's available to both the avid birder who has been scouting birds for years and those who are just getting started with their first-ever season. Those who aren't sure where to start should check out the guidance provided by the Audubon Society. It has lots of information about the hobby of birding, including how to get the birds to come to you.
9. Music group
Did you ever want to start a band? Well, now is the perfect time to grab a friend or two and start-up something in true harmony. Older musicians are actually quite common, with some playing just for themselves and others performing at local charity events. No matter your expertise or comfort level, this is a rewarding option in the world of activities for seniors.
10. Fitness classes
Do those spin class ads intimidate you? Don’t feel left out. Exercise classes are geared toward all fitness levels, with many gyms and senior centers catering select courses just for those in the older adult category. If you haven’t worked out in a while, consider a walking class or water aerobics. You’ll find your fitness groove in no time, giving you a healthy way to stay connected with others.
11. Film club
Movie buffs may enjoy one of the more entertaining indoor activities for seniors: starting a film club! Get together to watch old and new movies, then share what you loved or hated about them. If you don’t have anyone nearby to share your picks and pans with, consider some of the shared viewing options offered by streaming platforms. Some of them let you stream at the same time as a friend.
12. Writing group
Everyone has a book in them. If you’re interested in getting it out, you may be a good fit for a writer’s group. You could choose to self-publish or just keep your story to yourself. Those in your group can help critique and inspire as you go.
13. Knitting and crochet
Of all the craft activities for seniors, knitting and crocheting are some of the more notable. You could create gifts for others or sell them in a shop. Plus, if you do this with friends, it could lead to meaningful moments and delightful conversations.
You can choose to take a DNA test or simply explore your family tree. Joining an online geology site like MyHeritage.com makes it easy to see where you came from and who you may be related to. This hobby is growing as one of the more popular and unique activities for seniors.
Yes, it’s possible to get out there again, and dating is still a top choice of social activities for single seniors. Simply letting friends and family know you're available may be a great first step, because they could have someone in mind. There are dating apps made specifically for seniors, too.
The best thing about this list is that most of the ideas are low-key and don’t require a lot of physical exertion. Still, if you are concerned about how your body will respond to new levels of activity, be sure to check in with your physician or health provider. It’s better to be safe so you can enjoy these activities for years to come.