Summer is in its prime. We’ve had our Fourth of July celebrations, experienced the summer solstice, and now we’ve still got a couple of warm months to look forward to. If you live in a state with seasons, that means you’ve got a limited amount of time to really get out in nature and enjoy yourself without having to pack on the layers to keep warm!
We’ve already talked about the benefits of spending time outdoors for aging adults, but sometimes, going for a walk around the block can get a bit monotonous. Not everyone has a swanky summer cottage to jet off too during the warmer months of the year, which means some creative thinking is required if we want to get our daily dose of vitamin D. For those seniors looking for some variety in their outdoor activities this summer, we’ve put together a little list of ideas for you and your loved ones.
Volunteer- Find a local theater, performing arts center, or library that welcomes volunteers. If you don’t mind animals, a local animal shelter or even a small zoological park could be fun for seniors looking for some more social interaction as well as fresh air!
Got Special Skills? Share Them- Unfortunately (and this could be my opinion only) the wisdom and skills that many seniors have acquired over their lifetimes are extremely priceless. We’ve got a lot to learn from older generations, if we only ask. If an aging adults in your family is a knitter or knows how to can fruits or tie fancy fishing knots, help them find a community center or summer camp that allows them to share those skills with younger generations.
Try Out Your Green Thumb- If you haven’t already tried gardening, and many people have by the time they reach their golden years, give it a shot! Maybe you’ve tried it in the past and you weren’t a fan, so maybe try growing tomatoes this summer instead of landscape your entire property. There is something extremely rewarding about watching a living thing grow and flourish because you’ve taken care of it.
Go Fish- Take a fishing excursion with the goal of having fun only. Don’t worry about bringing home dinner, rather, find a fishing pier or river where you and your aging loved one can pull up a couple of chairs and a picnic lunch while you cast off and see what you can catch! Don’t forget to bring that sunblock.
Find A Local Book Club- Yes, this technically could be an “all year round” activity, but the long days in the summertime offer more opportunities to meet with community members and discuss the latest mystery novel by your favorite author. If you can’t find one, ask your local library how to create one!
Picnic in the Park- Pack a lunch and head to a park with picnic tables and some shade. Bring a book or some music and people watch! There is nothing like watching a group of children play make-believe on the playground to brighten your day.
Art Fairs or Music Festivals- Many communities use summertime to put on their annual art fair exhibitions and summertime music celebrations. Sometimes they can get a bit hectic, so try and call ahead to find out when the crowd is smallest and check out the local talent.
Farmers Markets- Farmers markets seem to be springing up around ever corner, in even the smallest towns. Not only are these weekly events a wonderful way to support your local farmers and community, they are also good for meeting new people and getting some exercise from walking around!
Outdoor Theater or Concerts- Check the newspaper or online for any outdoor performances that could give you and your aging loved one or friend something to look forward to and enjoy together. Most are appropriate for all ages and serve as a wonderful way to get the whole family together.
Sporting Events- Just because you’re getting older, doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy a good ball game anymore. Even if it’s a minor league baseball game, the feeling of a summertime sporting event gets your heart pumping and for many of us, brings back memories of childhood and younger years. Also, if you find it hard to sit through an entire game, no one minds or notices for that matter if you need to get up and leave.
Host a Garden Party- If you’ve got the green thumb thing down, or just have a nice outdoor sitting area, invite a few friends or family members over for some iced tea and conversation. Like I said, if you live in states with four seasons, days like today are limited, so why not enjoy your outdoor space while you can?
Water Aerobics- Call up the community pool and join a water aerobics class! You’ll get to cool off, get some sun, meet some people, and play with those fun paddle boards! Who doesn’t love splashing around in the pool during the summer months?
Bird Watch- With a small investment in a birdbath or bird feeder, you could create the ultimate bird sanctuary in your own backyard! My grandmother has about 4 feeders, as well as a birdbath, and its absolutely fascinating to watch the different types of birds interact throughout the day. You may even want to purchase a book to help you identify which ones are your favorites! There is just something about observing nature that is grounding and calming.