Finding great activities to do as a senior isn’t always easy. Below is a comprehensive list of all the best activities we know. Everything is divided between indoor and outdoor activities to make it easier to find something that suits your needs. Here’s the full list of activities:
The Best Outdoor Activities for Seniors:
Going on a walk is great for the body. Even if it’s only 20-30 minutes per day, the fresh air and change of pace can make a big difference in mood, circulation and overall health. If you are a senior, try to make a habit of going outside by foot or by wheelchair at least once per day, and if you are a caregiver or adult child with aging parents or relatives, encourage them to spend time doing the same! Soon it’ll become a habit and you won’t even have to think about doing it each day.
Riding bikes is a great way to see the outdoors and get some exercise. Check with your local town about whether any bike paths are available near you, so that you won’t have to worry about cars and pedestrians. Your town or county Parks Department should also be able to provide you with locations and maps for bike paths in your area if you cannot find them on your own.
Going for a bike ride once or twice a week will improve circulation and cardiovascular health, and it’s a great activity for seniors whether you ride alone or turn it into a group activity.
There are a wide range of sports that make great activities for senior citizens. The only limiting factors are your physical ability and overall interest level. Use the list below and choose whatever fits your individual requirements and interests.
- Water aerobics
Gardening is a great way for seniors to spend time outdoors while getting a moderate amount of physical activity. Depending on how much time and energy you want to spend, you can change the size of your garden and the size of the plants you grow. This is one of the best activities for seniors because you can do as much or as little as you want. If you love gardening, you could spend hours per day. If not, it can still make a nice casual weekend activity, and you don’t have to leave the front yard to do it!
Finding an outdoor hobby that you truly enjoy will allow you to relax, spend more time outside the house, and feel excited about what you’re doing each day. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Bird watching
The Best Indoor Activities for Seniors:
Plays and Movies
Sometimes you just want to get out of the house and be entertained without having to participate in physical activity or think too much! Movies and plays make great activities for seniors who want to relax for a few hours and don’t feel like staying cooped up in the house.
Many theaters offer senior discounts as well so be sure to ask!
Games and Puzzles
Games are a great way to pass the time if you don’t feel like leaving the house, or during bad/cold weather. Playing card games, checkers, chess, tic-tac-toe, connect four, trivia games, scrabble and other board games are all great indoor activities for seniors.
Consider puzzles as another great option. Working on puzzles helps keep the mind sharp and alert. Try jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, word search puzzles, or math puzzles like Sudoku.
Dancing is great aerobic exercise. You can go out dancing at a local establishment or find classes to take at gyms, community centers, or dance schools in your local area. If you’re not sure what to try, consider learning ballroom dancing, tap dancing, salsa dancing or jazz dancing.
Get in the car (or walk if it’s close enough) and go shopping, visit the mall, or go to your favorite restaurant. This is a great activity when you feel like getting out of the house, grabbing some fresh air, but don’t want to do anything too strenuous for the day.
Projects around the house make great activities for seniors. You’ll be improving your home and working toward something that you’ll be able to enjoy every day! You can do small projects like changing the tiles in a bathroom, repainting the kitchen cabinets, or adding a new bookshelf to get rid of some clutter!
A recent study found that seniors who played musical instruments performed better on cognitive tests than those who did not play an instrument.
If you have always wanted to learn to play the saxophone, guitar or piano, go to your local music store and ask if they offer private lessons for seniors who are at a beginner’s level.
Chances are they’ll either be able to help you, or will be able to point you in the right direction and recommend a good teacher for the instrument you want to learn.
If you enjoy music but don’t want to learn an instrument, you can take voice lessons and practice becoming a better singer instead. You might even meet some other musicians-in-training who you can sing or play with.
Learn a Foreign Language (And Plan a Trip)
Studying foreign language is exciting and mentally stimulating. Even fifteen minutes a day will add up over time and help you become conversational in your language of choice.
You could even use this to plan a trip too! Decide 6-12 months in advance where you’d like to go, and begin to learn the language that’s spoken there. Duolingo.com is a great free site to get started with most common languages.
This will be a fun way of looking forward to the vacation, staying on track with your language lessons, and turning this into a unique and memorable experience.
Spend Time at a Local Senior Center
Most senior centers organize a variety of games like bridge, checkers, and other card games, as well as programs and exercise classes. You may also be able to find group trips you can sign up for.
Senior centers provide a wide variety of activities so you won’t be stuck doing things you do not enjoy. And you’ll meet other people who share similar interests based on what you choose, so it’s a win-win.
Be sure to ask your local center about classes and workshops. Each one will vary a bit in what they offer, but you’ll be surprised by how many great activities for seniors they have available.
Volunteering is a great way to get out of the house, interact with new people, and help out in a meaningful way! There are thousands of charities and organizations out there that need good help! They appreciate people like you, with valuable experience, who are willing to donate their time to help others.
Here are some establishments and civic organizations that often need volunteers:
- Tax preparation services
- Nursing homes
- Music venues or concert halls
- Any local tourist attractions, visitor centers or historic sites
Indoor hobbies are a great way to stay active within your own home, and to create something you enjoy. If you have a favorite hobby already, keep spending time doing what you love. If not, or if you feel the urge to try something new here are some ideas:
- Learning/enhancing computer skills
- Wine or beer making
- Writing (more on this coming up!)
- Creating a website to track your progress with any of the above
Reading and Writing
You can write short stories, work on your memoir, learn to write poetry, or anything else that catches your interest. Visit your local library for resources that will teach you the basics to help you get started.
Try journaling as well. It’s a great way to express your thoughts, work through anything that might be troubling you, and improve your overall happiness.
If you prefer to spend your time reading and studying subjects that interest you, rather than writing, local library will have everything you need for that as well.
As one final option, you can look to join a book club or writer’s club in your local community. You can find one that is made just for seniors, or join a mixed group and discuss your reading and writing interests with a wide range of people in the community!
Whatever you do, remember to spend time doing the things you love. Think about which activities make you the happiest, and dive in. If you prefer to do things alone, great! If you want to be around others, there are plenty of good options above to meet like-minded people (senior centers are a good place to start).