Where to Take Seniors & Elderly for a Fun Day Out (10 Ideas)

Grandfather and grandson together outdoors family

Spending time with loved ones is important at any age, but as we get older and slow down, it can become more challenging to get out and about.

Many seniors and older adults find themselves cooped up at home, with little interaction outside of a caregiver. Such loneliness and stagnation can lead to boredom, depression, and a decline in overall health. 

However, there are a number of activities that older adults can enjoy! Here are ten easy ideas for a fun day out with your senior or elderly friend or family member.  

Smiling senior couple jogging in the park

Mental and Health Benefits of a Day Out 

Studies suggest that older adults who get out for even a few hours a day have better mental well-being than those who stay home all day.

Not only do seniors who leave the house feel more connected to their community and have a greater sense of purpose, but they are also at less risk of certain mental conditions like depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive decline. Meanwhile, breathing in fresh air can help to improve mood and reduce stress levels.   

Regularly experiencing a day also benefits a senior’s physical well-being, as staying physically active keeps your body flexible and strengthens your immune system. 

Where to Take the Elderly for a Day Out 

1. Stroll Through an Art Gallery or Museum 

A trip to an art gallery or museum makes for a great day out. Spend a little time walking around and looking at the different exhibits, converse with the docents, or even join a guided tour. When a break is needed, take advantage of the many benches and chairs available throughout the museum, or have a light snack in the museum café. 

A recent study from the University of Pennsylvania found that visiting art museums can reduce feelings of stress and loneliness—both of which plague many older adults—and increase positive emotions by promoting feelings of engagement.         

2. Attend a Book Club Meeting

A book club can provide many benefits for older adults, including meeting new people and discussing ideas in a small group setting. For some, this can be a welcome change of pace from the usual routine. Plus, book clubs offer a chance to socialize and connect with others who share similar interests. 

Participating in a book club keeps the mind active and engaged. Studies have shown that mental stimulation can help delay the onset of dementia, so book clubs can play a role in promoting brain health. 

To find book clubs in your area, begin by checking with your local book store or community center. 

3. Make a Trip to the Botanical Gardens   

The botanical gardens are a great getaway for senior citizens. Seniors can stroll through the gardens at their leisure, taking in the sights and smells of the flowers and plants, without having to worry about things like traffic or loud noise. When they get tired, there are plenty of benches where they can sit and rest with a good view. 

Seniors can also benefit from the educational opportunities that botanical gardens provide. Many gardens offer classes and workshops on topics such as gardening, horticulture, and plant identification. These classes can help to keep seniors active and engaged, while also providing them with a chance to interact with other people. 

4. Visit a State or National Park

For a nice day out with a senior friend or family member, consider taking a road trip to a nearby national or state park. Many parks offer senior-friendly activities like birdwatching, short walks on paved paths, and scenic overlooks.

For those who don’t want to do any strenuous activity, simply driving through the park and taking in the sights can make for an enjoyable day. And don’t forget to look out for the senior passes and other discounts offered by many state and national parks!  

5. Go Shopping at the Farmer’s Market 

Farmer’s markets offer a great way for seniors to get fresh, healthy food. Most markets offer a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as meats, eggs, and dairy products. Many markets also sell baked goods, honey, and other local specialties. Sometimes, senior citizens can even find discounts at farmer’s markets, making it a budget-friendly option for healthy eating. 

In addition to being a great source of fresh food, farmer’s markets are a great place to socialize. Seniors can chat with farmers and other vendors, and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the market. There are often live music and other entertainment at farmer’s markets, making them a pleasant place to spend a long morning.    

6. Go Out for Ice Cream

For many seniors, going to a cafe or an ice cream parlor is a special treat. It’s a chance to relax, chat, and indulge in a delicious ice cream confection. But beyond the simple pleasure of enjoying something sweet, there are actually several benefits that seniors can enjoy just by visiting a cafe.

First, it’s an opportunity to get out of the house and socialize. This can be especially important for those who live alone or who don’t get out as often as they’d like. Second, going to a cafe can help stimulate the mind and provide a break from the daily routine. 

Even ice cream provides a health benefit! Studies have shown that ice cream is a “good mood food” that can increase feelings of happiness and contentment. It’s also a good source of calcium and vitamin D, both of which are essential to senior health.      

7. Go Sightseeing for a Day

Spend a day playing tourist in your own backyard by taking your senior friend or family member sightseeing for the day! Whether visiting somewhere new, or gaining a new perspective on an old favorite, sightseeing provides a great way for older adults to get out of the house for a change of scenery. 

One option is to join a guided bus tour, like those found on Viator. These tours typically involve stops at various attractions, giving passengers plenty of time to explore at their own pace. And, since most bus trips are guided by a professional driver, passengers can sit back, relax, and socialize while someone else takes care of the navigation.

Another option is to drive or take the bus to a nearby city or town for a self-guided day trip. This can provide an opportunity to explore different shops and restaurants, as well as any historical sites or museums.    

Group of seniors in the park in a picnic in summer having fun

8. Picnic Outdoors or at a Park 

Picnics provide an ideal reason for older adults to spend an afternoon getting some fresh air and exercise, enjoying the company of others, and taking in the beauty of nature. 

Pack up a basket with some sandwiches, sliced fruit, chips, and anything else you and a friend might enjoy, and head to the nearest enjoyable outdoor area. Parks, historic homes, waterfronts, and wineries make excellent picnic locations, though even a porch or patio can make a nice lunch spot!  

9. Take a Cooking Class

A cooking class can be a fun and rewarding activity for even the most accomplished senior chef. Cooking classes typically involve a group of people working together to prepare a meal, thereby providing an opportunity to socialize with other people, enjoy delicious food, and maybe even pick up a new skill or two. 

Additionally, a cooking class—or a photography class, art class, etc—can be a great way to keep older adults feeling active and engaged. Seniors who take classes often find they have more energy and feel more connected to their community.   

10. Visit Friends and Family

As people age, their social circles change due to retirement, moving, and the illnesses and losses of those around them. As a result, they can often feel isolated and alone. 

A wonderful way to help a senior stay connected to those they love is to spend a day helping them to visit friends and family. This usually includes making arrangements and driving, but allows an older adult a healthy and important form of social interaction. 

Tips for Planning a Fun (and Safe!) Outing for a Senior 

There are a few things to keep in mind when planning a fun and safe outing for a senior. First, consider the amount of time and energy the senior has.

An all-day excursion may be too much for someone with limited mobility, so in that case it’s important to choose an activity that can be done in a morning or afternoon. A looser itinerary, with additional time built in for rests and meals, is also likely to be appreciated.  

Second, remember that seniors may need help with certain activities. Be prepared to assist with anything from getting in and out of the car to using the restroom. 

And finally, plan ahead. Older adults are more susceptible to heatstroke and dehydration, so avoid extended exposure to the sun and bring some extra snacks and waters. It is also recommended to bring along any necessary medications or supplies, in case of a later-than-planned return home.     

People Also Ask

What do senior citizens do for fun?

As we age, our social circles often shrink, and it can become more challenging to find things to do that are both enjoyable and stimulating. This is why many senior citizens turn to hobbies to stay active and engaged. From knitting and painting to gardening and hiking, there are endless options. And the best part is that hobbies can be pursued alone or with others, making them the perfect way to socialize and stay connected. 

What activities are recommended for older adults to do outdoors? 

Older adults can enjoy many outdoor activities, such as walking, gardening, and bird watching. Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air can help improve mood and overall wellbeing, so it is important to encourage older adults to get out and about.

What are the pros and cons of taking a senior citizen on a day trip? 

Besides the mental and health benefits of helping a senior citizen get out for the day, giving a primary caregiver a break is also nice. Some other pros of taking an older adult on a day trip include the fact they can often get discounts at many places, they may have lots of knowledge and interesting stories to share, and they are very likely to enjoy the company. Meanwhile, some more significant challenges include walking shorter distances at a slower pace and needing more frequent breaks.   

What are some benefits of taking elderly people to a museum? 

Like other museum-goers, older adults enjoy learning about different cultures, seeing interesting artwork, and appreciating the history and heritage of a place. Additionally, museums can provide a stimulating and enjoyable environment for seniors who may be experiencing boredom or isolation. 

Conclusion  

There are plenty of great places to take seniors and the elderly for a fun day out.

Not only can activities like visiting a museum, taking a cooking class, and shopping a farmer’s market provide some much-needed mental and physical stimulation, but they can also be a good way for loved ones to bond with one another.

Whichever activity you choose, a little preparation and a smile can create lasting memories for all.  

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