One of the great tragedies of our golden years is being bored or lonely. Following is a list of over 100 activities for active and not so active senior citizens. The list is just thought starters.
Seniors can do just about anything we want to do. We are limited only by our imagination. There are literally dozens and dozens of things we can do to brighten our senior years. Here is a list of thought starters to get us out and doing again after our Covid-19 isolation. Pick one – or several – you like.
- 1 My top 5 activities for Senior Citizens
- 2 Start a business
- 3 Family History
- 4 Walking
- 5 Golf
- 6 Read a new book
- 7 Write a book
- 8 More fun activities for Senior Citizens
- 9 Financial Activities
- 10 Spiritual Activities
- 11 Travel Activities
- 12 Vocational activities
- 13 Conclusion
My top 5 activities for Senior Citizens
Please understand my personal bias when I say the follow are my top five activities. Your list should and will vary. Just make sure you make the list.
Start a business
You have a lifetime of knowledge and experience stored up. Someone out there might need that treasure chest. What do you like to do? Build your business around that type of activity. You will have more fun. Colonel Sanders didn’t start KFC until he was 65. What a great example for us.
Family history and genealogy are a delightful way to exercise your brain, meet new friends and cousins, and discover your roots.
Walking – at any speed and distance you can – is the cheapest, most healthy activity you can adopt. Walk alone for tranquility. Walk with someone else for sociability. Your choice. Just be regular.
Golf can be great exercise if you walk. Not so much if you ride. Fin a group you enjoy and make it a regular activity. Check those old competitive juices at the door. Take your time. Have fun.
Read a new book
How long has it been since you have read a book? Reading can be very stimulating. Your adventure with a new book can begin at your local library (if it is open), a book store, or even Walmart!
Write a book
If you love to read, why not write a book. If you need to brush up on the process, look for some videos online or take a class at a local community college. You will never know if you can do something until you try. You might even surprise yourself. In the meantime, start a file folder to collect your thoughts. Every you think of a new plot twist, character or location, jot it down and put it in the folder. File cards – 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 – work well. When you start to outline your masterpiece, you can sort your cards into some sort of logical order to start your drafting.
More fun activities for Senior Citizens
After my top five, any attempt to categorize the remaining activities is a futile exercise. Most could be put into several different categories. However, to put some degree of order to them, I’ve have sorted them into the following categories:
- Community Activities
- Family Activities
- Financial Activities
- Intellectual Activities
- Physical Activities
- Social Activities
- Spiritual Activities
- Travel Activities
- Vocational Activities
|Get involved in community theater|
The community theater community is always looking for new blood. You don’t have to act if you do not want to act. You can build scenery, sew costumes, or even usher. It gets you out on a regular basis and makes you feel needed and involved. Isn’t that was this list is all about anyway.
|Give back by volunteering|
Do a search online for your local food bank; call them to see if they need help. They always will. Call a local elementary school or library to see if they need volunteers for story hour.
|Organize a neighborhood clean up|
Neighborhood looking a bit scruffy because of the Covid-19 quarantine? Become a community organizer. Call the city, print up flyers, and get on social media. You can make a difference. Just make sure you follow social distancing.
|Record books on tape|
Most states have a stare library that provides books on tape to those who are visually impaired. If you can read well, this can be a very rewarding way for you to pay your community back.
|Start a community garden|
Don’t have room for a garden. Call your city office to see if they would like you to help organize a community garden. Many, many communities have them now.
|Call a cousin|
Talk about a long-term project. Restoring a car can be a lifetime pursuit. My cousin helped his grandson restore my cousin’s grandfather’s Ford pickup from the early 50s. It was beautiful. If I am counting correctly, that is five generations.
|Call a sibling|
Many times, as siblings age, paths unintentionally diverge. A quick call to just “catch-up” is in order. Some siblings can be estranged. Saying “I sorry” could lead to many positive life-changing experiences. It is time to bury the hatchet, just not in your sibling.
|Make a family time capsule|
Memories often disappear when seniors move on. Invest an afternoon in passing on some legacy treasures big and small for the benefit of your posterity. Include specific instructions on when to open your time capsule.
|Organize a family Zoom reunion|
Zoom is all the rage during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the ultimate social distancing solution for business, education, and religion to name just a few. Why not schedule a family reunion via Zoom. It is easy to do and it might even become a semi-regular way for families to stay in touch. You do not need to wait for a year to pass. Schedule one anytime.
|Record your memories|
Technology has made it easier than ever to make audio and video questions. A smartphone, laptop, or DLSR are easy to master. Write out a few questions in advance to guide your thoughts and just start answering your own questions. Follow the KISS principle, though. Keep It Simple Senior.
|Spoil your grandkids|
Close at hand or long distance, you’ve got this. Just do it more often. What is the worth of a grand child’s smile?
|Visit a grandchild|
Get in the car. Get in a plan. Go. Just go!
|Write your life story|
This is not as daunting as it sounds. Break your life up in chapters that mirror different periods of your life. Grade school. Junior high. High school. College. Courting. Marriage. Children. Each can be a chapter written independently. Use a word processor if you have a laptop or desktop.
Remember, this list and the others below are just thought starters.
|Be a house sitter|
Some people might take an extended vacation. Others might serve missions for their church. They may need someone to house-sit for them. It will be a nice change of pace for you.
|Dabble in futures|
While the futures market is not for the faint-hearted, it can be a source of income that you can do form home. Understand that you can lose as much or more than you earn. Do your homework before you start and do your homework
Downsizing can be hard. It can also be rewarding, as well. It can also reduce your living expenses and increase your cash position. But be careful! Make sure you do not start this project before you are ready to start.
|Sell your clutter online|
If you downsize or even if you just need to clean up the clutter a bit, sell it! You eBay or neighborhood sale pages on Facebook. Get cash. Stay safe.
|Start a business|
More than one senior is feeling the pinch of rising prices on a fixed income. What do you do well? What is fun for you. Do people ask you for advice? You have a lifetime of experience. It is OK to charge! Teach classes. Watch our blog; there will be a blog on starting a business soon.
|Take a job|
Even a part-time greeter job (or whatever they are called now) will get you out of the house and put a little spare change in your pocket. I wrote about it in an earlier blog – Retirement Jobs for Baby Boomers. If you are in the market for either a part-time or even full-time, take a look at the post.
|Track your finances|
Still keeping your receipts in a shoebox. Time for that has passed. Use one of the many inexpensive software packages. They are easy to learn and will help control your spending and anticipate financial problems.
|Adopt a sports team|
My personal favorite is basketball. I confess; I follow the Utah Jazz. I have years of pent up frustration. No matter how frustrating the Jazz get, I always look forward to the next game. Same for the Denver Broncos, too, although that addiction is wearing thin of late. Be careful about introducing a spouse or partner. The journey from fan to fanatic can be a short trip.
|Become a foodie|
This could be fun. Personally, I would rather deal with the consumption rather than the production side of food. You might mind otherwise. The first step toward becoming a foodie might be a cooking class. A cooking class might also be a great date night activity whether you are in a committed relationship or in looking mode.
|Build a model|
Plan an outing to a toy store or look online. Many people get hours and hours of personal enjoyment from building models.
|Discover your family history|
Family history and genealogy can be a life-long quest. Need help? Look for a local family history center. They can help you get started and find the tools that have made searching for ancestors so much easier. You might even want to take a DNA test. Check out Ancestry.com or 23andme for more information.
Sudoku is a great diversion for math-oriented Senior Citizens.
|Restore a car|
Only for the ambitious and handy seniors. It might be fun, though.
|Start a blog|
Share what you know. Share what you love. Be careful. Blogging can be a very creative outlet. However, blogging can be addictive, as 23ll.
|Start a collection|
Stamps. Bugs. Birds. Coins. Buttons. Books (also known as a library.)
|Start a crossword puzzle|
|Start a DIY home improvement project|
Start small and take your time. You can find a “how-to” on Google no matter what you want to undertake.
|Start a new hobby|
|Start a puzzle|
Newspapers seem to have gone out of style so you may have to pick up a crossword puzzle book on your next trip to the grocery store. If you love words, crossword puzzles are a great way to keep your brain active.
I have never had the patience for searching for and restoring antiques. You might.
I have a friend who lives in Colorado. He didn’t start painting until he was almost 70. Now he paints beautiful landscapes.
Whether you are an expert seamstress or don’t have the slightest clue about sewing or anything in between, quilting allows you to create decorative, functional art. Making your own quilt costs quite a bit less than buying a handmade quilt, too.
Some people think fishing is boring. Some people love it — not for the catching aspect, but for the sitting quietly and thinking aspect.
An old craft that has enjoyed a resurgence in the past 25 years, knitting is another way to express your inner creativity while producing something wearable / usable.
This probably involves sitting still for long periods of time. It is probably no for me, but it might be great for you.
I did not even know Senior coloring was a thing. But, it is. Very relaxing.
Just make sure you have all ten digits when you finished. Is it safe for you to be around sawdust?
Write it or read it. Your choice. Maybe both. One does lead to the other.
|Be a mentor|
Whether your skills involve business, finances, parenting, or any other aspect of life, you can lessen the load for a young person through a good mentoring program.
Taking time to pause and ponder is a great way to cleanse the inner self. Ponder your blessings. Let your mind relax. Sometimes, doing nothing is a great thing!
|Go back to college|
Some people love academia. Some people hate it. If you’re in the first category, sign up for a college class or two.
|Learn a new language|
Nothing will challenge your brain more than learning a new language.
|Learn an instrument|
Sometimes playing a musical instrument is the best way to express your emotions and your creativity. Don’t be afraid to try!
|Read a new book|
Check out the new books shelf at your local library for something that suits your tastes. It is a no-cost path to hours of enjoyment.
A gratitude journal is a great place to start. If you enjoy it, branch out to other things. Writing, for some, can be very exhilarating.
|Take a ballroom dancing class|
You may have to look a bit to find a ballroom dancing class. Try a local community college or ask at your local senior center.
|Take a photography class|
Many school districts have continuing education classes. Call them or look online.
|Take a computer class|
The human animal tends to fear what it does not understand. For many, computers are strongly in this category. A class might help you understand the enemy a bit. Look at it this way: would you rather dig a ditch with a spoon, a shovel or a backhoe. A computer is the backhoe for getting things done. Make it your friend. Embrace it!
|Take a cooking class|
A cooking class can provide a great way for couples to bond while learning a new skill.
|Teach a class|
Do you have a skill or hobby? Perhaps you can teach it one-on-one are in a small setting. The teacher always learns the most. Teaching a class is a great way to grow.
|Visit a library|
Pick out a book that looks like it might be interesting. Sit in a corner or by a window and read a chapter or two. It might become a great social experience, too. Get to know the librarians. Perhaps they need a volunteer reader for a pre-school. Sharing your love of books and reading with a new generation would be a good thing.
|Visit a museum|
How many museums are within a one hour drive of your home. Make a list, prioritize it, and get going. Ask a friend if you want to.
DISCLAIMER: Before you begin any new physical exercise program, consult with your physician.
|Be a chair exercise warrior|
Chair exercises are easier than traditional exercises on your skeleton. Look for instructions on line or buy a video tape.
|Buy a bicycle|
Cycling is a great exercise. It gets you out in the fresh air. If balance is a question, consider a tricycle.
|Get a massage|
Massages are God’s gift to His children. Enjoy one!
You may not be familiar with geocaching. It is like long-distance hide and go seek with the GPS on your smartphone. Be careful with your targets. Some can be in very strenuous locations.
|Participate in a charity walk|
Though charity walks are likely to be curtailed right now because of Covid-19, they will be back soon. Pick your favorite cause. They probably have a walkathon.
Golf needs no introduction. It represents physical exercise with a challenge. Walk if you can.
Paddleball is the next new thing. It looks an awful lot like tennis.
|Schedule a spa day|
Be good to yourself. Who doesn’t enjoy a day at the spa
Swimming provides a thorough workout without the high-impact side effects of other sports.
|Take a hike|
I am not telling you to get lost. Get a good set of walking shoes and find a trail. If you head for the mountains, do not go alone. Also, let some know where you are going and when you will be back. Just be safe.
Flexibility is one of the losses seniors may experience as they age. A gentle yoga class can help you regain some of your ease of movement, as well as improve your balance.
|Win a medal|
Many states have senior games. My father-in-law once one six medals the same day in swimming. In some events, he was the only one participating! He framed those medals and proudly displayed them for the rest of his life.
I have friends and family who make wine-tasting a regular activity. Some even make plane trips to try to vineyards and vintners. Not much call for Diet Dr. Pepper tastings so I get left out a lot.
|Binge-watch your favorite tv shows with a friend|
At our house, the rotation includes House, The Mentalist, ER, and St. Elsewhere. See the medical theme. Occasionally, an old episode of Gunsmoke sneaks into the rotation. I would like to add Black Sheep Squadron to the mix but I don’t have the clicker.
|Get a pet|
Millions of lost or abandoned animals need homes. Adopt a kitten, puppy, cat, or dog and give a creature the benefit of your love and attention. If you suffer from allergies, there are dozens of effective allergy-fighting medications on the market.
This seems like a drastic step to put life back into your life, but some do it.
This seems like a drastic step to put life back into your life, but some do it
|Go on a date|
Married, committed, or looking! It does not matter. A night out is good for ails you. Male or female, call someone. Who was it that said, “life begins with a phone call?”
Retail therapy is good for the heart if not the pocketbook. However, there is no rule that says you have to buy.
|Join a book club|
If you love reading and love socializing, a book club lets you do both! The members of the club select which books are read and the time frame in which to read it for discussion.
|Join a dating site|
People meeting and forming long-term relationships online is becoming more prevalent all the time. Covid-19 has accelerated the process. Above all, be safe!
|Look for yard sales|
A pocket full of dollar bills and five gallons of gas can create a wonderful Saturday morning adventure. Take a friend or not. Be ready to haggle a bit. That is part of the fun.
|Organize a trivia night|
Who knows trivia better than those who have lived it. Several board games are available to make a trivia night happen. Check out a second-hand store. You can probably pick one up very cheaply.
Bored? Call a friend and find a bingo parlor. You might have so much fun that bingo becomes a regular on your activities list
Online or in-person, poker can be an exhilarating experience. Personally, I recommend playing for match sticks. I’m cheap that way.
|Play Words with Friends online|
Be careful! Words with Friends is another one of those online activities that can become addictive. So, what’s the problem with that? I play with probably 20 different people from all over the world.
|Organize a breakfast club|
I stayed for a short time in a mall mid-western community while traveling in my motorhome. Every time I visited McDonald’s before 10 a.m., the same 10 or 12 gentlemen were in one corner sipping coffee. In the other corner was a similar group of women. It was their wives, I suspect. What a great way to start the day for a group of friendly senior citizens. I was jealous!
|Join a dinner club|
This sounds like fun to me. It might be fun for you, too. Dinner at rotating restaurants or even the homes of club members. No weigh-ins allowed.
|Open a social media account|
If you do not have a Facebook account, you may want to consider starting one. Seniors are the most active demographic on Facebook.
|Try a new restaurant|
Make a restaurant wish list. Cut the list up and the resulting slips of paper in a bowl. When you are in the mood to go out, draw out a slip. Voila! You are headed to a new adventure.
|Finish your bucket list / start a new bucket list|
Maybe there’s something that you always wanted to do and never had the chance. A bucket list is a great way to get started fulfilling those dreams and fantasies.
|Go to church|
If you do not have a church, pick the one on the corner and drop in. It is a great time for reflection. Many Seniors find that going back to church provides a great anchor in troubled times.
|Read the Bible|
Here’s a tip. Just open a Bible to any page and start reading. See where serendipity takes you.
|Read the Quran|
If the Bible is not your cup of tea, you might want to try reading the Quran.
|Serve some else|
Counselors often tell their clients that the best antidote for depression is to do something – for someone else! Ask yourself, “Who can I help today?”
|Spend time outdoors|
Sunshine vitamin D is good for what ails you. Get outside – either alone or with a partner or friend – and charge up your fresh air tanks. Full fresh air tanks can help make you feel better.
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|Rent an RV and hit the road|
An RV is a try it, you will like it type of experience.
|Explore your town|
Always been too busy to explore your own time. Talk to the local Chamber of Commerce about what fun things are available in your town. The options may surprise you. And, maybe not!
|Move to another county|
Ok, this may be a bit extreme. You may not know that there are growing expatriate communities in many foreign countries. People move for a lower cost of living, cheaper health care, etc. If there was ever an activity that needed plenty of research, it would be this.
|Buy a motorhome and hit the road|
If you rented an RV and had a great time, perhaps you are a candidate to hit the open road. Do your research first. There are hundreds of Facebook pages and websites that deal with Fulltiming. Caution! This option only for the very adventurous.
|Travel to a new location|
I love visiting new places just to look around and to say I have been there.
|Visit a beach|
Waves are another force of nature that is soothing to the soul. It does not have to be at an ocean. Many, many states have lakes within driving distance. Even a stream will work. The objective is to sit in the sun and listen to the mesmerizing sound of water in motion.
|Visit a farmer’s market|
A farmer’s market is an activity with benefits. You get to get out and if you are successful, you get to bring home fresh healthy food. Talk about a win-win!
If you like dogs and your doctor says you need to walk more, this could be a good fit for you. If you are a cat person, there is not much opportunity here.
The internet abounds with web sites of freelance writing opportunities. Do your research before signing on, and then go for it!
If you need the money, start with a part-time job. Even if you don’t need the money, a part-time job can be a great socializing tool.
If your piano skills (and theory skills) are out-of-this-world awesome, consider passing on your knowledge to others. Some piano students will be willing to pay cash or even barter for the chance to learn what you know.
Imagine, get paid for being a grandma or grandpa.
|Teaching what you love most|
If you love to do, someone wants to learn. Charge for imparting your skill, experience, and wisdom. Use Facebook to get customers.
Wow! You made it all the way through. Congratulations. By now, you should have three or three activities you would like to try. If you don’t, you are probably not really trying. Do something. If you like it, keep doing it. If not, move on to the next thing on your list. Personal growth and fulfillment are all about being actively engaged in something and being willing to change!
One definition of creativity: Doing old things in new ways. That certainly applies to senior citizens. We have done just about everything, or at least we think we have. But, we can always Today is a new day. What follows is a list of thought started
Where will your imagination take you? Look forward to stay young. Look back to grow old. Join the no boring zone today. The bottom line is Do Something. It does not really matter what. Make a bucket list today and get started. No matter what your level of activity, you can do this.
If you found this article to be helpful, please share it with a friend. It might be fun to compare lists.