Recreation ideas for seniors to stay active and social (2023)

Aging can make participating in physical activities more challenging, but staying active and socially engaged remains essential for older adults. The trick is finding enjoyable activities that fit your current needs and abilities. After all, research shows that being physically active and socializing contributes tobetter physical and cognitive health as you age.

It is essential that older people do not feel discouraged if they can no longer participate in the activities they once loved. Instead, they should explore alternative leisure options tailored to their needs. This change in perspective opens the door to new experiences and opportunities to stay active and connected with others.

Consider a group exercise class

There are many group exercise classes and activities designed specifically for older adults that can help them stay active and social. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • water aerobics: Low-impact but fun, water aerobics is a great way to stay in shape while taking advantage of the calming properties of water.
  • Yoga: Gentle yoga poses help strengthen and lengthen the body with minimal stress on the joints and ligaments.
  • hiking clubs: Start or join a walking club in your neighborhood or local park for a nice way to get some fresh air and meet new people.

To find and enroll in these classes in your area, follow these steps:

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  1. Check local community centers and gyms for deals.
  2. Use search engines like Google to find classes near you. Enter keywords like “senior fitness classes near me” or “senior yoga classes in [your city]”.
  3. Contact senior organizations or community groups for information on fitness classes or clubs specifically for older adults.
  4. Word of mouth can be a great way to find classes.

Once you find a suitable class, sign up and try it out. Group fitness classes are not only a great way to stay active, but also an opportunity to make new friends and social connections.

go to a live concert

Concerts are fantastic opportunities to connect with like-minded people while enjoying the magic of live music. Musiccan reduce stress, improve mood, and increase social connection. For older adults, outdoor concerts can be a great activity. They offer the opportunity to get away without leaving the city. Many parks and outdoor venues offer free concerts and events throughout the year.

Organize your own club

Starting your own club is a great way to bring people together, share common interests, and foster social connections. Plus, staying active and engaged with your community is fun and rewarding.

Consider what you like to do, and then find a club to do that activity. This could involve reading, gardening, crafts, playing games, or cooking, depending on your interests.

If you're ready to start your own club, here are some tips:

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  • Choose a topic or activity that interests you. Brainstorm with friends and family who want to join the club.
  • Find a suitable gathering space (eg parks, community centers).
  • Advertise the club in local newspapers, on social media platforms or by word of mouth.
  • Set up a time, invite members, and make sure everyone knows the rules and expectations.

Dedication and enthusiasm make it possible to create an enjoyable group experience for everyone involved.

local treasure hunt

Discovering hidden gems while walking can be an exciting and rewarding experience. One way to add an element of adventure to your outdoor activities is touse a metal detector to look for buried treasure.

Similarly, organizing a scavenger hunt is another great way to explore the local area and look for rare and valuable coins or trinkets. You can create a list of items to find or clues to follow, encouraging participants to get out and engage with their environment.

Whether you're exploring local parks, beaches, or historic sites,get a detector and hub kitbefore embarking on your next adventure.

Play virtual sports or other video games.

Esports and virtual fitness games or apps can be fantastic tools for older adults who spend more time indoors but still crave physical activity. Some popular video games and esports for older adults include:

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  • ring shaped adventure: Available on Nintendo Switch, Ring Fit Adventure combines adventure gameplay with fitness.
  • beat saber: Beat Saber is a virtual reality rhythm game in which players cut blocks representing musical beats with virtual lightsabers.
  • deportes kinect: Kinect Sports uses the Xbox Kinect sensor to track player movements as they participate in a variety of sports, including bowling, soccer, and tennis.

Incorporating esports or virtual fitness games into your routine is a great way to stay active while having fun.

Sign up at a local gym or pool

Most public gyms and indoor pools, like the YMCA, offer activities and services tailored to people of all ages and abilities. Some examples include individual exercise classes, group exercise sessions, yoga, and even indoor rock climbing (depending on location).

To find and join local gyms or pools, follow these steps:

  1. Start by looking for gyms and indoor pools in your area.
  2. Visit the websites of the facilities you are interested in to compare their offers. Find amenities and services that fit your interests and fitness level.
  3. Visit the facility in person to familiarize yourself with the surroundings and the equipment.
  4. Learn about available membership plans, prices, and discounts. Some facilities may offer senior discounts, special promotions or flexible payment options to fit your budget.

Once you've found a gym or indoor pool that meets your needs, sign up and enjoy the benefits.

Go on a neighborhood tour

Spending time in your neighborhood and getting to know your neighbors has numerous social benefits. Getting familiar with the people around you helps create a sense of community and belonging, which leads to greater well-being and happiness. In addition, a strong network of neighbors can provide support and friendship, making daily life more pleasant and safe.

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To break the ice with neighbors and start forming connections, try these tips:

  1. If you see a neighbor outside, take a moment to say hello and introduce yourself. A friendly greeting can open the door to future conversations.
  2. If you notice that a neighbor needs help, offer to help. This simple gesture can create goodwill and generate a connection.
  3. Host an informal gathering, such as a potluck or block party, to encourage neighbors to mingle and get to know each other.
  4. Join or establish a neighborhood association, watchdog group, or even a social club to create opportunities for interaction and collaboration.

By taking the initiative to connect with your neighbors, you will enhance your social life and contribute to a stronger and more vibrant community.

Sign up for art classes.

Engaging in artistic activities has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental health and social development, regardless of age. According to a study published in The Gerontologist, participating in art programs cansignificantly improve the quality of life of the elderly, cognitive function and well-being.

Different kinds of art that would specifically benefit older adults include:

  • PaintMay help improve fine motor skills and stimulate cognitive function.
  • Designit's a relaxed way for older adults to explore their artistic side and improve their observation skills.
  • ceramicso Pottery classes provide a tactile therapeutic experience that can help with stress relief and self-expression.
  • Photographyit can encourage older adults to explore their environment, capture memories, and develop new skills.

Depending on preference, most art forms can be practiced at different levels, from beginner to advanced. To find art classes in your area, search online or visit nearby art centers and community colleges for possible offerings.

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Volunteering offers numerous benefits to both the individual and the community. By spending time and energy helping others, seniors can find purpose, build new relationships, and stay engaged in the world.

Here are some ways older adults can volunteer their time:

  • animal shelters;
  • local schools;
  • community gardens;
  • Food banks and community kitchens.

Ultimately, the many activities available to older adults can help promote physical, mental, and social well-being. By taking advantage of these opportunities, seniors can stay healthy, active, and engaged for years to come.


Recreation ideas for seniors to stay active and social? ›

Try out free demonstration exercises classes at your local senior center or fitness center. Go for a hike in a park. Participate in community-sponsored fun runs or walks. Yard work such as raking, digging, and planting can keep you active.

Which recreational activities best suits for the elderly? ›

12 Fun Recreational Activities for Seniors
  1. Volunteering. One of the blessings of retirement is having the time to give to those in need. ...
  2. Walking. Although it may seem simple, walking is a great way to stay fit and take advantage of nice weather. ...
  3. Reading. ...
  4. Swimming. ...
  5. Dancing. ...
  6. Yoga or Tai Chi. ...
  7. Woodworking. ...
  8. Knitting or Crocheting.
Jul 22, 2022

What are the age appropriate activities for 65 and older people? ›

Older Adults (65 years and older)

At least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking. At least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles. Activities to improve balance such as standing on one foot. Aim for the recommended activity level but be as active as one is able.

What can a senior citizen do to keep busy? ›

9 great activities for seniors with limited mobility
  1. Spend time reading. Reading is a fantastic activity for older adults. ...
  2. Explore a variety of hobbies. ...
  3. Exercise regularly. ...
  4. Get creative. ...
  5. Spend time outdoors. ...
  6. Play games! ...
  7. Enjoy movies, TV shows, or music. ...
  8. Participate in charitable works.

What are five examples of social activities? ›

Examples: watching theater, singing, painting, crocheting, learning about arts and craft, traveling and sightseeing, and bird watching.

What are some meaningful activities for an elderly? ›

8 Meaningful Activities for Seniors
  • Art Classes. Are you looking to show your creative side? ...
  • Volunteering. Volunteering is an enjoyable and rewarding activity for seniors. ...
  • Yoga. Practicing yoga can have a significant effect on the mind and body. ...
  • Live Music. ...
  • Journaling. ...
  • Gardening. ...
  • Exercise Classes. ...
  • Hiking.
Apr 18, 2022

What are 5 recreational activities? ›

Examples of recreation activities are walking, swimming, meditation, reading, playing games and dancing. Leisure refers to the free time that people can spend away from their everyday responsibilities (e.g. work and domestic tasks) to rest, relax and enjoy life.

What leisure activities do old people prefer? ›

  • Crafting. Let their artistic spirit flow with any assortment of crafting options. ...
  • Gardening. For an elderly loved one who enjoys the outdoors, gardening is an ideal option. ...
  • Walking & Exercising. ...
  • Higher Learning. ...
  • Reading & Writing. ...
  • Cooking & Baking. ...
  • Volunteering. ...
  • Music & Dancing.
Mar 12, 2020

What physical activities do elderly enjoy? ›

Types of Activity for Older Adults
  • Walking or hiking.
  • Dancing.
  • Swimming.
  • Water aerobics.
  • Jogging or running.
  • Aerobic exercise classes.
  • Some forms of yoga.
  • Bicycle riding (stationary or outdoors)

What is one activity that the older population retirees enjoy? ›

According to one study, four of the top five activities most commonly cited by seniors as being their favorites are, by their nature, very active. They include walking and jogging, gardening and yard work, playing sports, and other physical pursuits.

What can seniors do with their free time? ›

Connect with family and friends

Play cards or other games with friends in person or online. Travel with a group of older adults, such as a retiree group. Video chat or call your friends and family members. Try different restaurants with your loved ones.

What makes the elderly happy? ›

Focus on abilities.

Older adults who focus on what they can do and find rewarding, rather than any decline in abilities, are happier. According to a study in The Gerontologist, accepting aging and adapting to age-related changes is vital to successful aging and well-being.

How do I stop being lonely as a senior? ›

Here are ways for older people to connect with others, and feel useful and appreciated again.
  1. Smile, even if it feels hard. ...
  2. Invite friends for tea. ...
  3. Keep in touch by phone. ...
  4. Learn to love computers. ...
  5. Get involved in local community activities. ...
  6. Fill your diary. ...
  7. Get out and about. ...
  8. Help others.

What do seniors need the most? ›

What Services Do Seniors Need Most?
  • Personal Care. One of the most in-demand services for seniors is personal care. ...
  • Medication Management. ...
  • Nutrition and Meal Support. ...
  • Mobility and Transportation. ...
  • Healthcare. ...
  • Money Management. ...
  • Safety and Security. ...
  • Social Interaction Opportunities.

What are three 3 activities for social well being? ›

To increase your social wellbeing, consider the following activities: Keeping regular contact with your friends. Spending quality time with your loved ones. Engaging in volunteer work.

What is social recreational activities? ›

Social activities and recreational activities are any activities that you can be involved in within you community that sparks your interest. Join in on group and centre based activities where we can assist you to participate in the community.

What social activities can I do? ›

33 Best Social Hobbies to Meet People (Even For Introverts)
  • Host a Game Night.
  • Learn a Language.
  • Attend Workshops or Conferences.
  • Yoga and Acro Yoga Classes.
  • Dance Classes.
  • Writers Groups and Workshops.
  • Woodworking Classes.
  • Join a Band or Take Music Classes.

What are two lifetime activities that you would enjoy participating in as you get older? ›

5 activities you can enjoy for a lifetime
  • Bocce ball. ...
  • Swimming. ...
  • Yoga. ...
  • Pickleball. ...
  • Disc golf.

How do you make seniors feel valued? ›

5 Ways to Help Older Adults Feel Valuable
  1. Let Them Help with Household Tasks. ...
  2. Get Them Involved with Cooking & Meal Planning. ...
  3. Encourage Them to Consider Selling Handicrafts Online. ...
  4. Help Them Document Their Personal Histories. ...
  5. Seek Their Input on Family Issues or Events.
Dec 10, 2021

What are unique recreational activities? ›

  • Goat yoga. No, not goats doing yoga. ...
  • Standup paddleboard yoga. This is another kind of yoga: in the middle of a lake, balanced on a floating paddleboard. ...
  • Slacklining. ...
  • Parkour. ...
  • Live-action role play. ...
  • Nordic walking. ...
  • Sculling. ...
  • Yoga on horseback.

What are 4 recreational activities? ›

Other traditional examples of outdoor recreational activities include hiking, camping, mountaineering, cycling, canoeing, caving, kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, running, sailing, skiing, sky diving and surfing.

What do seniors do all day? ›

Relaxing in retirement

They use their newfound free time in a variety of ways, including taking up new hobbies, relaxing at home, watching TV and lingering over daily activities. Many retirees also continue to work or volunteer.

What to do at 70 years old? ›

Below are some great fun ideas for seniors to do.
  • Board Games. ...
  • Art/Drawing/Painting. ...
  • Journaling/Writing. ...
  • Hiking/Nature. ...
  • Theater. ...
  • Go to the Local Senior Center. ...
  • Go to a Movie. ...
  • Volunteer.

What type of indoor activities are popular among older people? ›

Fun Indoor Activities for Older Adults
  • Tai Chi and Yoga. ...
  • Board Games, Cards, and Puzzles. ...
  • Arts and Crafts. ...
  • Knitting and Crocheting. ...
  • Cooking and Baking. ...
  • Watching Movies. ...
  • Reading. ...
  • Journaling.
Mar 10, 2021

How far should an 80 year old walk each day? ›

Older adults who walk three to four miles a day — 6,000 to 9,000 steps — were found to be 40 to 50 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those who walk a mile (2,000 steps) a day, according to research published in the journal Circulation.

What is the most popular physical activity for adults? ›

popularity is the % of people who have a positive opinion of a physical activity. Find out more
  • 1 Walking78%
  • 2 Swimming72%
  • 3 Gardening70%
  • 4 DIY68%
  • 5 Bowling65%
  • 6 Pool64%
  • 7 Miniature golf61%
  • 8 Shopping60%

What is a good hobby for retirees? ›

Blogging is one of the best hobbies to take up in retirement. It's not just a way to share your experiences and thoughts with others, it's also a great way to stay connected with friends and family, meet new people and make new connections, and it can even help you create a business or side hustle if you want to.

What do the happiest retirees do? ›

The happiest retirees know very well how to travel, play and explore, and they wholeheartedly engage in three or more hobbies on a regular basis, says Moss. “Curiosity may have killed the cat, but a lack of curiosity kills the happy retiree,” he says. Keep in mind, it doesn't really matter what your interests are.

What do happy retirees do? ›

Happy retirees often spend much of their careers actively laying the financial groundwork for their retirements. Careful deliberation about investment strategies, diligent and regular savings and other planning helped position them for a relaxing and financially independent life.

Which is the biggest expense for most retirees? ›

Housing—which includes mortgage, rent, property tax, insurance, maintenance and repair costs—is the largest expense for retirees. More specifically, the average retiree household pays an average of $17,472 per year ($1,456 per month) on housing expenses, representing almost 35% of annual expenditures.

What does friends of the elderly do? ›

Friends of the Elderly is an Irish volunteer based charity established in 1980 to bring friendship and companionship to older people living alone or who feel lonely. Since opening our doors we have been working to improve the lives our older members by offering emotional and social support.

What should people do is free time? ›

You don't have to do something strenuous. You could just go for a coffee, go to the cinema, play a sport or just chill out somewhere calm. Play games. You could play a board game with a sibling or just a simple one on a tablet.

What is the hardest part of aging? ›

Surprising Health Challenges of Aging
  • Weight Gain.
  • Sleep Problems.
  • Nutrition Problems.
  • Fragile Bones.
  • Cancer.
  • Depression.
  • Memory Loss.
  • Alcohol Tolerance Changes.
Aug 15, 2022

What is an example activity of social activity? ›

Social activities are activities that involve communication and interaction with others. These are built into social systems such as work, school and culture.
108 Examples of Social Activities.
ActivismArts & Crafts
Community GardeningConcerts
Cooking Classes / Cooking TogetherCosplay Events
Cycling TripsDance Events / Classes
49 more rows
Dec 4, 2021

What are considered social activities? ›

anything that brings members of a community together to interact like dancing, games and street parties. SOCIAL ACTIVITY: "Social activity is a event or pursuit that brings members of the community together."

What are two examples of social activities? ›

The best social activities
  • Going out to eat. We all have to eat, and enjoying a meal with friends can be one of life's greatest pleasures. ...
  • Board games. Grab your friends and host a board game night. ...
  • Meeting up for coffee. ...
  • Movie nights. ...
  • Pick-up sports. ...
  • Volunteering together as a group. ...
  • Video games. ...
  • Hiking.
Jan 4, 2021

What are some social needs of the elderly? ›

The social needs of older people are diverse. They focus on both the intimate and the peripheral members of their networks. When satisfying social needs, reciprocity is important. The feeling of connectedness to others and to a community or neighbourhood contributes to wellbeing as well as a feeling of independence.

What are social interaction activities? ›

Social interaction is an everyday tool that people use to connect, exchange ideas, learn, grow and form relationships. Social interaction can help students use their learned skills and create long-lasting friendships in a classroom environment.

What is social recreational? ›

Social recreation offers a chance to socialize and meet people with similar interests- an important benefit in itself. Along with physical and social benefits, outdoor activities can lead to an increase in confidence, improved creativity, and self-esteem.

What are some examples of social health activities? ›

7 Real-Life Examples
  • Keeping regular contact with your friends.
  • Spending quality time with your loved ones.
  • Engaging in volunteer work.
  • Taking classes at a local community center.
  • Joining a group based on your interests.
  • Celebrating your traditions and culture.
  • Participating in community events.
May 2, 2021

What are social and community activities? ›

Community activities are diverse, fun, and provide a wide range of opportunities for social skill development. Meeting people, maintaining conversations, collaborating with peers, following directions, and problem solving are a few social skills to practice in a community setting.

What is social extracurricular activities? ›

Extracurricular activities can be offered through school, community, or religious organizations. Examples include clubs, school newspapers, music groups, student councils, debate teams, theater, volunteering programs, sports, and youth groups; programs sometimes include academic components.

How do you plan social activities? ›

How to Organize a Social Event?
  1. Create a Plan. The first step in action should be creating a plan and timeline for your event. ...
  2. Set a Budget. You will want to set a budget for your social gathering event. ...
  3. Choose a Venue. ...
  4. Send Out Invitations. ...
  5. Fine Tune the Details. ...
  6. Greet Your Guests. ...
  7. Catering. ...
  8. Bid Your Guests Farewell.
Jul 18, 2022

What are examples of recreational activities? ›

Examples of recreation activities are walking, swimming, meditation, reading, playing games and dancing. Leisure refers to the free time that people can spend away from their everyday responsibilities (e.g. work and domestic tasks) to rest, relax and enjoy life.

What are 2 activities related to social community? ›

Theater, activity camps, volunteer work, sports, arts, bonfire nights, and educational trips are some of the fun social activities for teenagers. Game nights, bowling, and live events can also help teens spend more quality time with their peers outside of school.

What are 10 social needs? ›

Social needs are also referred to as 'love and belonging needs'. Examples include love, intimacy, friendship, family, feedback, acceptance, and belonging. What is this? Once people's physiological and safety needs are met, Maslow believes people need to have their social needs covered.

What are the 7 physical needs of the elderly? ›

6) Practical care at end of life – Physical needs
  • Oral and mouth care. To make the person comfortable if they are not drinking well.
  • Nutrition. ...
  • Hygiene. ...
  • Pain relief. ...
  • Bowel and bladder care. ...
  • Positioning This is for comfort and to allow the person to be active if they are able but to rest when they cannot participate.


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