Activities for Seniors in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is one of the largest cities in Michigan located along the Grand River. Also known as the River City, Grand Rapids is home to some of the countries most beautiful parks and trails. Grand Rapids is made up of a diverse population including unique neighborhoods that all have their own identity. The Grand Rapids Major Metropolitan area has a dense population of over 1,000,000 people. All of these characteristics make for a senior-friendly environment where you have the choice of many activities to enjoy both in and outdoors when weather permits. Grand Rapids is a true American city.

Where to Start in Grand Rapids

When looking for senior-friendly activities in Grand Rapids, one of the first things we suggest is to check out their local organizations that specifically curate events and activities for the senior population.

Senior Neighbors

This dedicated center in Grand Rapids Michigan provides a ton of services above and beyond your typical cooking classes and bingo nights. They offer transportation, counseling, home maintenance, and a robust activity schedule.

Ray & Joan KROC Center

The KROC Center is a membership program but offer affordable events for non-members as well. Their “Senior Fridays” program is a great choice when planning your weekend.

Northview Senior Citizens

Northview Senior Citizens has more a bootstrapped, locally organized feel. They offer some incredibly well put-together day trips that you can’t find anywhere else. Beyond their interactive learning and programming, Northview provides thoughtful and practical services such as tax prep and even attorney consultation.

Outdoor Activities for Seniors in Grand Rapids

If you’re looking to schedule your own activities, we recommend considering some of the most popular stops in Grand Rapids listed below.

Millennium Park

The largest park in Michigan and one of the largest “urban parks” in the entire nation. Millennium Park offers beach passes, a golf course, and picnic areas spread across over 1400 acres of rolling terrain. Rent a boat or walk a trail there are endless ways to enjoy this outdoor destination.

Heritage Hill

Not your typical “outdoor activity”, Heritage Hill offers seniors a chance to enjoy some of the rich history of Michigan. This neighborhood has fought hard to maintain its original integrity and offers tours and holds a slew of historical designations.

Robinette’s Winery

Robinette’s Winery has been a part of Western Michigan for literally over 100 years. This is a perfect destination for outdoor, senior-friendly fun. Haryides, corn mazes, and cider tasting are just a few options for how to spend your day at this true family destination.

Reed’s Lake

Not far from the city-center, Reed’s Lake offers a scenic walking trail and a quiet place to relax, eat, or just watch the clouds above the water. The lake is naturally inhabited by many unique species of birds such as the great blue heron and has a deep supply of fish and other wildlife. Bring a blanket and some sandwiches and enjoy a perfect picnic destination.

These are just a few of the many parks and trails Grand Rapids Michigan has to offer. Some other great spots include Provin Trails, Huff Park, Riverside Park, Johnson Park and many more.

Fun Activities in Grand Rapids

Beyond the Grand Rapids outdoor appeal, this major metro area offers some vibrant city-scape, and historical landmarks that make for fun, senior-friendly activities as well. Plus, being outside is not always an option for those who enjoy Michigan year-round.

Restaurants and Bars in Grand Rapids for Seniors

Grand Rapids Michigan offers a naturally beautiful city-scape with the Grand River running right through its core. When looking for spots to enjoy a meal or a drink with your elderly loved ones, we recommend scoping out the Grand River or Reed’s Lake for a waterfront affair.

If you’re looking for some more diverse and culturally exciting options, check out the Southtown District. This neighborhood is filled with tastes from around the world as well as a diverse population. For something a bit more American-historic, check out the North Quarter. The neighborhood is known for lots of open green space and overall walkability. Ideal for a calm day just outside the busiest part of the city.

Cultural Activities in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is an American city with a deep connection to its historical roots. Check out some of the senior-friendly spots below to enjoy a lot of what Grand Rapids holds near and dear.

Meyer May House

The Meyer May House was built in 1908 and designed by Frank Lloyd Right. In 1987 this beautifully designed and built home was made open to the public. The Meyer May House is a glorious demonstration of American architecture that has been wonderfully restored with meticulous attention to detail. The furnishings, exterior, and overall condition of the house is jaw-dropping. Best of all, tours are free.

Downtown Market Grand Rapids

This Food Hall provides a venue to over 20 different restaurateurs, hosts events, cooking classes, and overall provides a spark to the culinary culture in Grand Rapids. Come for a drink, a bite, or just to witness the energy you can achieve by bringing so many great people together.

Frederik Meijer Gardens

The Meijer Gardens is a sculpture park, botanical garden, an amphitheater, and so much more. This venue can absolutely be an entire week’s worth of entertainment. Between the wildlife and natural beauty, you can catch their Summer concert tours and even become a member. One of the most popular namesakes in Grand Rapids, Frederik Meijer is senior (and family) friendly.

Gerald Ford Presidential Museum

If American history is the least bit interesting to you, I highly suggest checking out the Gerald Ford Museum. They offer a senior citizen discount to their many lectures, rotating exhibits, and artifacts brought in from all over the country. Gerald Ford was born in Grand Rapids Michigan, so calling it part of the culture here is an understatement. 

 

If you need some help getting around Grand Rapids, or if you're looking for an amazing social experience, visit join papa.com and request a college student to show you around town.


Wellness Week

Celebrating Wellderly Awareness Week

In today’s world, the word elderly and wellness are not often synonymous. In fact, it is our oldest and wisest that too often get left without the type of attention and love that they deserve.

Wellderly Awareness Week is the perfect time to take steps towards bringing that love and attention back into our beloved seniors’ lives.

Wellderly Awareness Week is a grass-roots phenomenon that helps bring national attention to the wellness of our elderly population.

This week especially, we at Papa want to celebrate our elderly and we encourage all our readers, and our Papa family to do the same.

Different Types of Wellness

Wellness can mean different things to different people. Being physically fit means very little if you’re lonely or depressed.

Papa, through the services we provide and our educational training platform, emphasizes three major types of wellness: physical, emotional, and mental.

We want our Papa family, and our beloved seniors around the world to have systems in their lives that build and maintain wellness in all those areas.

How you can celebrate Wellderly Awareness Week?

Wellness Weeks

Activities

Physical activities such as taking your loved one on a walk, for a round of golf, or a gentle hike can be a great way to boost their energy levels and help them feel confident and strong!

Simply put, movement in any way can be a huge contributor to a senior’s overall wellness.

Our Papa Pals are always on call to assist in scheduling or transportation and we can even join your loved one.

Call your local Senior Center

What better way to figure out how you can celebrate Wellderly Awareness Week than to reach out to your local Senior Center and take advantage of their organized events?

Senior Centers are a wonderful resource for bringing social relationships, and large-scale senior-friendly activities into your loved one’s life.

A simple internet search should yield contact information, and as usual, our Papa Pals are always happy to assist.

Reach out

When is the last time you gave your father, or grandmother a call to simply ask how he or she is doing? Wellness, especially mental and emotional, is so often connected to loneliness.

We want our elderly to feel the love that we have for them. Taking time to sit and have a heartfelt conversation with a loved one can unlock feelings of purpose and understanding of other ways you can help bring light into their lives.

The Papa Purpose

Here at Papa we are committed to improving the lives of seniors across the country. Caring for our elderly requires a different approach and an understanding that their needs are different from our own.

Wellderly Awareness Week is a perfect time to educate others on how we can be better caretakers for our loved ones, and celebrate the people and relationships we cherish so much. Our Papa Pals are your 24/7 grandchild that can be a ride, an extra set of hands, or simply a friend to those who need it most.


Jacksonville City

Activities for Seniors in Jacksonville

Outdoor Activities in Jacksonville for Seniors

The city of Jacksonville is the largest city in the Continental United States, and with nearly 850,000 residents, it’s also the most populated city in Florida.

While only 11% of that population are senior citizens, the city of Jacksonville knows that number will be rising and has a strong infrastructure in place to provides services such as counseling, support, education, assistance, and much more.

With 20 individual senior centers spread throughout the city, you will not have any problems finding activities to stay busy.

If you visit the City of Jacksonville website you’ll find fun, outdoor, senior-focused events and activities to enjoy that include:

Fish-a-thon at Hanna Park

Hanna Park
Hanna Park

An all-day competitive fishing event for seniors at Hanna Park, which can also be a great spot to enjoy a day at the beach, and check out the natural wildlife of Jacksonville on any day of the week

Forever Fit 50 and Beyond 

The Jacksonville Senior Games – an Olympic-style friendly and competitive set of events specifically for seniors to take part in.

Events include basketball, swimming, golf, tennis, track and field, line dancing, powerlifting, cycling and a ton more

Beaches and Parks

Jacksonville is home to over 20 miles of coasts lined with beautiful beaches that make for peaceful exploration or adventurous activities.

In addition, Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the country offering a number of National Parks to visit and enjoy such as Tree Hill Nature Center, Little Talbot Island, and Huguenot Park.

Baldwin Trail
Baldwin Trail

Some other fantastic spots to visit in Jacksonville to enjoy the outdoors include the beautiful St. John’s River where you can see the alligators and manatees or take it another step further and go for a night fishing charter.

If you like to bike the Baldwin Trail, a converted railway, is now a 14.5-mile greenway offering a haven for hikers and bikers alike.

Fun Activities in Jacksonville

Beyond Jacksonville’s rich natural landscape and beauty, the city also offers some fun recreational activities that are well suited for seniors as well.

Bent Creek Golf Course is one of the local favorites that offer a fair price for a fun round of golf. You can even sign up for an afternoon round of footgolf if you’re not a typical golfer but still want to enjoy the precision aspect of golf.

Bent Creek Golf Course
Bent Creek Golf Course

Don’t forget to spend at least a day over at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center where you can enjoy their top of the line indoor facility offering sporting events such as BMX, equestrian events, soccer, dog shows, and more.

Also on the 80-acre grounds are miles of hiking trails, an Olympic sized indoor swimming pool facility, RV camping hookups, and even its own public 18-hole golf course!

If you’re more into exotic animals, be sure to visit the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens where you and your family can spend a day hanging out with tigers, elephants, rhinoceros, and plenty more.

It is known as more than a zoo because it also has an expansive botanical garden with a wide array of foreign plants and flowers. They even offer guided tours, and best of all, a senior discount!

Restaurants and Bars in Jacksonville for Seniors

With so many choices in Jacksonville for food and drinks it’s hard to know where to start. If you’re looking for a fun day of shopping, dining, and all-around fun look no further than St. John’s Town Center.

St. Johns Town Center
St. Johns Town Center

This open-air mall features over 150 stores with a flurry of dining options to satisfy any craving.

If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, you should check out one of the many spots along St. John’s River offering a beautiful view for you to enjoy.

If local charm and a bit of nature is more your style, check out the historic Avondale neighborhood;wWith several restaurants to choose from, this is a great spot to spend a day walking around and enjoying the scenery with an ice cream cone in hand.

Cultural Activities Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a dynamic city with a rich history and a wide array of cultural celebrations. Here are some of the most fun and senior friendly places you must check out when you visit:

San Marco Historic District

San Marco Historic District
San Marco Historic District

The San Marco Historic District offers a peaceful celebration of one of the city’s oldest communities. Developed in 1925, the San Marco district features the city’s oldest movie theatre dating back to 1938. Make sure to stick around for the sunset.

Riverside Arts Market

The Riverside Arts Market, or RAM, is in the historic district of Avondale. RAM is an open-aired marketplace featuring local artists, farmers, bakers, and crafters.

Enjoy live music every Saturday as over 4000 visitors make their way through the marketplace to enjoy the local scene with views of St John’s River.

Jacksonville Caribbean Festival

This carnival, which takes place every year in August celebrates the culture of the islands with beautiful live music, costumes, and aromatic food festivals that will make you feel like you’re vacationing in the Caribbean.

The Florida Theatre

In 1927 this local theater opened as the largest in Florida. Here you can enjoy movie classics, live theatre, concerts, and more. With multiple shows every week, you’ll always have entertainment waiting for you here.

Ritz Theatre and Museum

Ritz Theater and Museum
Ritz Theater and Museum

This theatre and museum celebrate the path of and current artistic contributions from the African American community.

Plays, concerts, family shows, and community events all come together for a culturally phenomenal and historic venue.

Timucuan Ecological & Historical Preserve

The Timucuan Ecological & Historical Preserve is considered one of the best nature parks in Jacksonville. Expansive trails, a welcoming visitor’s center, and exhibits of both nature and history offer an exciting day for guests of any age.

Seniors on a Mission

This senior founded, senior run group brings together groups of seniors living in Jacksonville to organize “Mission Trips” dedicated to servicing non-profit organizations and other communities.

This beautiful group brings fulfillment, purpose, and passion into the lives of seniors by doing well and giving back to their communities at large.

If you need some help getting around Jacksonville or if you’re looking for an amazing social experience, visit joinpapa.com and request a college student to show you around town.

 


Senior Activities in Orlando

Activities for Seniors in Orlando

Outdoor Activities in Orlando for Seniors

When most people think of Orlando they think of Disney World and summer vacations.

However, unbeknownst to many, Orlando has actually earned itself the nickname of The City Beautiful in respects to the many rivers, natural parks, rec centers, trails, nurseries and wildlife refuges.

Home to seven senior community centers, Orlando is a city that makes sure its seniors have all the resources possible to help make their lives as fun and active as possible.

Starting with one of Orlando’s largest natural beauties, the Lake Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve in Winter Garden offers over 430 acres of natural beauty and wildlife.

Enjoy some exotic birdwatching or just go for a shaded stroll and observe the scenery at one of Orlando’s most expansive natural parks.

If you’re looking for a bit more activity in your outdoor adventures, head on out to Wekiva Island.

Located on the Wekiva River in neighboring Longwood, FL, Wekiva Island offers paddleboards, canoes, alligators, and an all-around great time.

Enjoy an adult beverage with some live music in a cabana and make sure you do not forget to visit this Orlando gem.

Lukas Nursery is a widely loved nature experience that is a home run for the whole family.

Enjoy one of the largest butterfly conservatories in the entire state of FL and let the day slip away as you marvel at all of the beautiful vegetation Florida has to offer.

Outdoor Movies in Orlando offers an outdoor activity that’s family friendly and laid back. Check out MyCentralFloridaFamily.com for scheduled movies and stay up to date as their schedule changes throughout the year.

bok tower gardensOne more option that has to be mentioned is the Bok Tower Gardens or the “Singing Tower” as it has been nicknamed. This one of a kind destination has been entertaining the masses since it opened in the 1930s.

This 205 ft gothic tower is a marvelous site as the ringing music of the 60-bell carillon echoes in the background. Don’t forget to enjoy the 20-room Mediterranean Mansion known as the Pines Estate and the Preserve Trails when you visit.

Fun Activities in Orlando for Seniors

Orlando is a massive city filled with a wide variety of different types of activities and entertainment for seniors to enjoy any time of the year.

If tacos, yoga, beer, or wine & empanadas sound like your style it may be worth checking out the Orlando Main Street website for a variety of scheduled activities that rotate annually.

For some more specific fun, Downtown Winter Park offers a quaint and historic stroll where you can enjoy a wide variety of delicious restaurants, do some shopping at several boutiques, and finish off with a glass or two of wine from one of many wine-focused bars.

It would be impossible to talk about fun things to do in Orlando without mentioning Disney World or any other of the many theme parks Orlando has to offer.

Walt Disney WorldWalt Disney World

Offering varying levels of excitement when it comes to ride selection, Disney World has a little something for everyone.

Make sure to plan a trip during a time where there are no student holidays to avoid the crowds as much as possible.

There is a lot of walking involved, so don’t hesitate to rent an electric wheelchair in the park to make your fun more comfortable.

Looking for fun with a bit more structure? Check out the Mayor William Beardall Center or the L Claudia Allen Center.

Both recreation centers provide fun group activities such as Bingo, Scrabble, Field Trips, Line Dancing, Tai Chi, and Yoga (just to name a few).

Did we mention they each have their own bridge clubs and shuffleboard courts?

If you’re looking for a similar group structure with a bit more of an emphasis on exercise, we suggest visiting the Marks Street Senior Recreation Complex.

They offer a bit more of a get-up-and-go schedule of classes including Senior Cardio Kick, Strength Training, Seniorcise, and an overall Fitness Center Membership that can really offer a continuing sense of community along with physical fitness.

Restaurants and Bars in Orlando for Seniors

Orlando is an eclectic city, and it’s reflected in their bar and restaurant scene. No matter your taste for food or atmosphere you will be able to find something that checks your boxes.

Here are a few recommendations:

The Lake Eola Farmer’s Market is known as “Orlando’s Farmers Market” and offers freshly made foods, unique local vendors, beautiful picnic scenery, and a pet-friendly environment.

Enjoy a fresh-made crepe or fruit smoothie as you walk along the lake enjoying a variety of live music.

If you want to enjoy the feeling of Disney with less of the crowds and no roller coasters, look no further than Disney Springs.

Disney Springs

More than just a place to grab lunch or dinner, Disney Springs offers entertainment like concert music, a movie theatre, bowling, and more.

With a wide variety of scheduled events and large-scaled, entertainment styled restaurants, Disney Springs is a perfect night out.

Baldwin Park offers a few upscale options with the feel of your own private mini-city.

Whether you’re in the mood for Sushi, Mexican, or a Contemporary American restaurant, Baldwin Park has you covered.

It’s a fine place to enjoy a date night or simply have some fun walking around enjoying the “not too big” crowds.

Cultural Activities in Orlando for Seniors

See Art Orlando

SEO is a non-profit organization that sponsors and enables local artists toc to contribute to the community. Centered around Lake Eola, you can see 8 individual pieces on public display with more on the way.

Polk Theatre

The Polk Theatre is an integral part of Central Florida’s history. Built in 1928, The Polk Theatre has been a venue for music, film, and theatre ever since.

Morse Museum

The Morse Museum houses the world’s largest collection of works from Louis Comfort Tiffany. Between the art glass, beautiful pottery and paintings, this museum is renowned “must see”. They even offer a senior discount.

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

Located in Titusville, the Kennedy Space Center houses incredible pieces such as the actual Space Shuttle Atlantic, moon rocks, and other space-related wonders.

Lake Wales Arts Council

The Lake Wales Art Council was founded in 1972 to preserve and promote art within the community. They host many yearly events such as the Sidewalk Art Show and fuel the fire of creative culture with an emphasis on bettering the community.

Visit their beautiful headquarters, that happens to be a historic church from the 1920s, and see what events you can enjoy.

If you need some help getting around Orlando or if you’re looking for an amazing social experience, visit joinpapa.com and request a college student to show you around town.


Recipes you can cook with a Papa Pal

Let’s be honest – during the summer months, it’s not always a pleasant experience to go outside in the Florida heat.

Sure, the beach is calling your name and rounds of golf are cheap and easy to come by, but sometimes all you really want is some air conditioning and delicious meal.

You’ve probably already read about Papa Pals and their willingness to take you or your loved one's shopping, out to a show, or accompany them on a nature trail, and now you can add cooking to that list as well.

Cooking is a fantastic way to enjoy a low-intensity activity and still stay engaged. Not to mention you end up with a delicious dinner to share!

Here are some of our favorite recipes to enjoy alongside our Papa Pals:

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti with meatballsYou can’t go wrong with this Italian classic. What better way to have some fun in the kitchen than to get your hands dirty and roll up your own meatballs?

Grandma may very well have her own secret recipe for meatballs, but in case she doesn’t, we’ve found the one highlighted below to be more than adequate for you and your Papa Pal to enjoy.

Ingredients: Ground sirloin, Italian bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper

See the full recipe and instructions here - Spaghetti and Meatballs

Turkey Chili

Over the years using ground turkey instead of beef has become a popular trend to keep meals lighter and healthier.

Combining health-conscious with a hearty chili is a groundbreaking technique that will keep you and your loved ones coming back for more.

The beans are great for fiber, and you’ll most certainly end up with leftovers that are even better the second time around. Have fun improvising with your Papa Pal using some ideas for the recipe below.

Ingredients: Ground turkey, cannellini beans, diced bell peppers, diced onions, crushed tomatoes, garlic, Mexican spices, salt & pepper

See the full recipe and instructions here - Turkey Chili

Turkey Chilli Recipe

Chicken Pot Pie

When’s the last time you enjoyed a homemade chicken pot pie? Unless you live with Martha Stewart, it’s probably been a while.

Cooking an “out of the box” recipe with a loved one is a great way to have some fun and wind up with a belly-filling meal.

Try out the recipe below with your Papa Pal and I promise it’ll beat the Boston Market version.

Ingredients: Skinless boneless chicken breast, carrots, celery, frozen green peas, butter, chopped onion, flour, salt & pepper, chicken broth, celery seed, pie crusts

See the full recipe and instructions here - Chicken Pot Pie

Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip cookiesOkay, now we’re almost positive grandma has her own secret recipe for this one, but when’s the last time she had a chance to make it with a friend?

Our Papa Pals offer that opportunity for you or your loved ones every day. So, just in case the recipe is confidential and can’t be disclosed to your Papa Pal, here is one of our favorites.

Ingredients: Softened butter, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda, hot water, salt, all-purpose flour, semi-sweet chocolate chips, walnuts

See the full recipe and instructions here - Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cooking is just one of the endless activities our Papa Pals would be happy to enjoy with you or your loved ones. Call us at 1-800-348-7951 to schedule a Papa Pal visit today!


The Papa Visit Experience: A Day with Sam

Meet Sam, he's 91 years old and uses Papa once a week. He's been a Papa member since February and loves to go out with one of our Papa Pals to Dunking Donuts and Publix.

Sam has an amazing life story, that type of story you just want to listen to for hours. Here's a small clip of the Papa visit experience with Sam and Sarah, one of our favorite Papa Pals.

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OVyD9InLdw]


Summer activities for seniors

Fun Summer Activities for Seniors

Ahh, Summertime.

Summer is often associated with beach days, bathing suits, vacations, and relaxing poolside with a drink in hand.

Now, none of these activities particularly appeal to our elderly loved ones, however, I am here to let you know that Summer is not age-restricted.

There are plenty of activities that aren’t on the stereotypical summer game-plan but are perfectly suited for seniors.

With the help of Papa, your loved can stay active and enjoy the season.

Below are some fun ideas that you, or one of our Papa Pals, can enjoy with your loved ones.

Take a Class

Photography classes for seniors

Summertime is a perfect time to pick up a new hobby or learn more about something you’re already interested in. It’s also a fantastic way to socialize and meet new people.

One quick visit to Groupon.com and I guarantee you can find a cooking class that will teach even the most experienced chefs a new trick or two.

How about pottery? Learn how to make beautiful pieces of art with your own two hands for your children or grandchildren, all from the comfort of sitting down.

Photography is just another example of many low-intensity hobbies and classes that are perfect to enjoy during the summer months.

Not everything during the summer has to be outdoors! Our Papa Pals are happy to work with you and your loved ones to figure out the best fit for their interests.

Local Attractions and Events

If you’ve been reading our blog posts for a while you’ve probably seen one featuring your county or city highlighting some of the local activities offered near you.

Read:

Activities for Seniors in Sarasota

Activities for Seniors in Naples

Activities for Seniors in Tampa and St. Petersburg

Activities for Seniors in Miami

Activities for Seniors in Broward

Activities for Seniors in Palm Beach

The summer months are a perfect time to start checking off some of those places worth seeing, and you may even score a summer discount.

Local museums, theatres, and art galleries all offer a day’s worth of fun to be enjoyed by you and your elderly loved ones.

It’s also a good idea to check out your local senior center, as they will typically have fun, senior-friendly events scheduled months in advance that can draw in some larger crowds.

Enjoy the Outdoors

Seniors playing golf

Eventually, you’ve got to get in some time outside during the summer months.

Golf is a great excuse to get together with a few friends and enjoy time together.

Also, it doesn’t hurt that you’ll also get discounted rates for the off-season.

If you love the water, take an aqua aerobics class. It’s a fun way to be outside and still stay cool while being in a group, getting a light workout, and enjoying the outdoors.

Relax

Senior in hammock

Who says you have to stay active all summer? Part of the fun is taking some time to yourself and relaxing however you see fit.

There’s nothing wrong with an hour or two of TV, reading a book, or playing some board games.

Sometimes companionship is the best thing we can give to our beloved seniors. Our Papa Pals care deeply about the well-being of our loved ones and are more than happy to be a companion in whatever activities they choose during these summer months.

Are you in need of a Papa Pal? Call us today at 1-800-348-7951 to get started and schedule some summer fun for your elderly loved ones!


Downtown Sarasota

Activities for Seniors in Sarasota

Outdoor Activities in Sarasota County for Seniors

In the past 10 years, Sarasota County has increased its senior citizen population by five percent, which brought their total senior population up to 35%.

That growth is expected to continue, and it shouldn’t be a surprise. Sarasota County offers a ton of outdoor amenities for its senior population that lures retirees to this charming beachside destination.

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Since the founding of the Friendship Centers and SCAN, seniors now have an empowering community to rely on. Both programs open the doors for newcomers to create an environment that keeps the senior population safe, active, and independent.

There are 16 well-kept parks and preserves for seniors to walk, bike, stretch, and even horseback ride.

Many of their parks have paved trails, making the walks easier and accessible, even to those with disabilities.

Myakka River Boat Tours
Myakka River Boat Tours

Be adventurous and take a riverboat tour at Myakka River State Park in Venice, and look out for the alligators, herons, snook, and turtles.

Enjoy a guided nature walk through South Lido Park or Legacy trail and learn more about the plants, birds, and wildlife.

Don’t forget to relax on Siesta Key beach any day of the week. At any local beach, this county provides beach wheelchairs available at every lifeguard stand for no additional cost.

Make sure you visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Sarasota Jungle Gardens for a beautiful landscape treat.

Go searching along the rocks for the biggest shark tooth at Caspersen Beach down off Harbor Drive. The Ringling is a must-see because of its constantly changing, family friendly Exhibits and Programs.

Get a senior citizen discount at The Celery Fields and bring a lunch to enjoy a picnic on top of the hill overlooking the scenery.

Because this county is small, it is easy to visit many attractions in each city and feel like you’re at home.

Fun Activities in Sarasota County for Seniors

Life is more fun in Sarasota County because it’s home to some of the best wildlife sanctuaries, environmental experiences, and live entertainment.

Head over to the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary right next to the Celery Fields and play with the monkeys and lions, or stick to the traditional petting zoo.

Next, go to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium where you can get an up-close-and-personal experience with over 100 different species of aquatic wildlife.

Ca d'Zan Mansion
Ca d'Zan Mansion

Learn your Sarasota history at Ca d’Zan Mansion, which was a winter home of American circus owner John Ringling and his wife Mable.

The beautiful mansion sits on the water and has preserved artifacts and art from the 20s.

Watch a spring training baseball game at Ed Smith Stadium, home of the Baltimore Orioles.

Learn how to Paddle Board at Sarasota Paddle Boarding and explore mangroves tunnels while watching for manatees and dolphins to swim around you in their natural environment.

Walk around the Sarasota Classic Car Museum and check out the Paul McCartney’s beloved Mini Cooper or John Lennon’s 1965 Mercedes Benz.

Soak in the Warm Mineral Springs in North Port for a relaxing day, and of course, make sure to read a book and tan on Venice beach.

Restaurants and Bars in Sarasota County for Seniors

With many restaurants on the water, this county has a lot of charm and romance to its seniors.

For the best feeling of romanticism visit Siesta Key Island and enjoy a festive atmosphere and great food.

 

Venice Beach Florida
Venice Beach Florida

Go to the Central Sarasota Farmers Market and enjoy nothing but locally and regionally sourced food, art, and entertainment.

This is a great place to mingle with local farmers and learn about a range of topics including health, children’s education, community issues, cooking, and more.

Learn about the history of Drum Circle Distilling with a free senior tour, and then enjoy some of their handcrafted coconut rum.

Finish at Venice for the best waterfront view of the Gulf while dining. You can even go for a swim after your meal!

Cultural Activities in Sarasota County for Seniors

Sarasota County is well-known for its art and culture and considered one of the top places in Florida to experience it.

With plenty of theatres, ballet, museums, and galleries there is no surprise as to why.

Because this county is influenced heavily by the circus man himself, John Ringling, there is a large Venetian & Mediterranean influence visible in its architecture.

Sarasota County is truly a center of art both live and still. When visiting, make sure to check these off of your list:

Sarasota Opera House (Formerly Edwards Theatre)

This is a historic venue opened in 1926 that has hosted the likes of Will Rogers and Elvis Presley. They also offer discounted tours to senior citizens.

Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy

True to its name, this delightful art museum is whimsical in every way. This is also a free exhibit, though donations are encouraged.

Sarasota Orchestra

The Sarasota Orchestra is a major contributor to the arts community in Sarasota County. They offer world-class live performances, music lessons, and host a 3-week long, annual music festival.

Sarasota Orchestra
Sarasota Orchestra

John and Marble Ringling Museum of Art

The Ringling is more than just a circus. Their museum offers beautiful exhibitions and program that change throughout the year. Visit their website to see what’s happening now, and take advantage of their senior citizen special.

Sarasota Ballet

The Sarasota Ballet is now enjoying its 27th season of performances. It is internationally acclaimed for the beautifully composed performances.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The Van Wezel is host to many of the previously mentioned groups. It is truly an eclectic theatre where you can witness events ranging from comedy to opera to Broadway musicals.

Annual Sarasota Film Festival

This Festival was ranked in the top 10 of all Film Festivals in the world in 2016. Continuously in the top 10% of national Festivals, SFF is truly top-tier offering some of the best independent films to the public.

If you need some help getting around Sarasota or if you’re looking for an amazing social experience, visit joinpapa.com and request a college student to show you around town.


Naples Florida

Senior Activities in Naples Florida

Outdoor Activities in Naples for Seniors

Whether you’re closer to the wilderness or the white-sand beaches, Naples is a city that will give you a small-town feel with its relaxed atmosphere.

It is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, and mainly has seniors older than 65 living here.

Since the creation of the Nonprofit Collier Senior Resources Organization in 2010, senior citizens and caregivers have more resources available to assist their healthcare needs, education, meals, and lifestyle.

The city puts a lot of emphasis on showing seniors how to keep their brains and body sharp through different programs and support groups.

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There are many nature parks and preserves to visit that offer guided tours and meet-ups to socialize while hiking, bird watching, kayaking, and much more.

Make sure to visit Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and sign up for their guided tours ranging from bird walks to exploring the ancient forest.

Have a BBQ at the Naples Preserve, and then walk along the beautiful boardwalk.

Go fishing at Barefoot Beach Preserve and keep a look out for sea turtle’s eggs hatching!

The year-round warm climate provides a full day for enjoyment anytime.

Make sure to take a manatee sightseeing tour, and stay on the lookout for dolphins and alligators.

If you love deep-sea fishing, charter a private boat for the day and visit many old shipwrecks while catching Grouper, Snapper, and Cobia.

The outdoor activities are endless in a city like this because Naples goes above-and-beyond seniors’ expectations when they visit.

Fun Activities in Naples for Seniors

Naples is a trendy city for seniors because of the endless options it has for its residents and visitors.

With nearly 80 golf courses, you can always practice your golf swing. Make sure to check out Tiburon Golf Club and TPC Treviso Bay if you are there for a short time.

Join a book club at the Collier County Public Library, or further your education with their variety of computer literacy, job training, and health classes for seniors.

Believe in fantasy again and watch a performance of a live mermaid show. Get your dancing shoes on and take a class at ReCreation Tappers.

Enjoy the sunset while fishing or dolphin watching at the historic Naples Pier.

Spend time at the Naples Senior Center and the Golden Gate Senior Center and take art classes, play card games, watch movies, and exercise with new friends.

Waterside Shops

Enjoy the outdoors at the Waterside Shops, and find a new outfit for your next rendezvous.

Sweat out the toxins at Naples Family Fitness and take a senior cardio class or senior tone class.

Whether you want to relax or stay active, Naples can scratch that itch!

Restaurants and Bars in Naples for Seniors

One of the great things about Naples is the variety of dining they have. From upscale to casual, their fresh food does not disappoint.

Every weekend senior’s head over to Third Street South on Saturdays, and Pine Ridge Road Farmers Market on Sundays to eat the homemade food and purchase the hand-made items from locals.

Naples farmers markets are always full of great people, and it is a perfect place to walk around and enjoy the weather.

Coconut Point Shops
Coconut Point Shops

Make sure to visit Coconut Point if you’re looking for a great area to dine, shop, and enjoy entertainment.

Whether it’s burgers, freshly caught fish sandwiches, or just enjoying a nice cold brew, Tin City Waterfront Shops will give you what you need. Its casual dining spots and scenic views offer something for everyone.

Wherever you choose to eat in Naples, friendly faces and a relaxed atmosphere will welcome you.

Cultural Activities in Naples for Seniors

Naples is a city that is booming with arts and culture. The city entertains its residents and visitors and changes their art exhibitions regularly.

It always has new performances playing at its multiple theatres too. Here are some places you need to check off your list when you arrive:

Artis Naples

Home of the Baker Museum and the Naples Philharmonic, Artis is the premier center for the performing and visual arts in Southwest Florida.

They host more than 800 concerts, performances, and exhibitions each year so you will never see the same thing twice unless you want to.

TheatreZone

This venue brings back old Tony Awarded Broadway classics that are must-sees if you love musical theatre.

Gulfshore Playhouse

A Nonprofit theatre that adheres to the highest artistic standards and aims to expand your imagination with many performances that will take you on an adventure and inspire you at the same time.

Museum of the Everglades
Museum of the Everglades

Museum of Everglades

Accessible only by boat, this museum dates back to a time when construction of the Tamiami Trail was underway and the tiny settlement of the Everglades served as the first county seat in 1927.

Delve into over 2,000 years of human history in this area and learn more about how this trading town became what it is today.

Naples Depot Museum

This museum, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, brings visitors back to a time when the railroads were in its prime.

Immokalee Pioneer Museum

Originally home to cattleman Robert Roberts and his family in the early 1900s, this 13-acre historic site and museum tell the story about how people survived out in the Big Cypress Swamp.

If you need some help getting around Naples or Marco Island or if you’re looking for an amazing social experience, visit joinpapa.com and request a college student to show you around town.


The Villages Florida

Why You Might Want a Place at The Villages

The Villages is a near-famous retirement destination located just one hour north of Orlando in Sumter County, Florida.

Known as the “Friendliest Neighborhood in America” The Villages is currently home to a retiree population of over 125,000 people.

The community offers much more than just golf courses and lap pools to keep their residents happy.

For 5 years running, 55Places.com has ranked The Villages as the number one most popular active adult communities in the county.

Between the social clubs, live entertainment, and tight-knit community atmosphere, it is impossible to be bored.

Here are a few reasons why you should have The Villages on your radar:

It’s Growing 

The Villages has grown 33% between 2010 and 2017, and for 2 years in a row, it has been ranked as the country’s fastest-growing city.

Just recently, The Villages acquired an additional 5,600 acres of land for the development of over 22,000 new single-family homes, new business space, and undoubtedly new golf courses for the current and future residents.

Live Entertainment 

The Villages entertainment

It would be amazing for a city to offer live music every day of the year.

Well, The Villages puts on three live music performances every day of the year, and they’re all free!

The city schedules and books over 1,000 live performances for the city residents to provide them a fun, active, and lively environment to socialize.

The Golf is Out of This World 

Golf at The VillagesThe Villages is very famous for its wide variety of golfing opportunities.

A unique aspect of The Villages is that simply by being a resident, you’re offered a free membership to all of their country club facilities.

This includes over 11 championship golf courses, all available for you at your own scheduling.

For those who are new to the sport, there are top-notch academies to help bring your game up to par.

There Are Over 2,500 Active Social Clubs

You read that right. There are over 2,500 unique social clubs active and available in the Villages.

So many options ensure that staying active is a priority for the residents in this community.

Whether you like singing, dancing, gardening, fishing, canoeing, running, pottery, or jazz, there is something for everyone.

Live Polo

Polo at The VillagesThe Villages Polo club offers an experience to the residents and attracts some of the largest crowds for the sport in the entire country.

The facility sits on over 250 acres and has first-class facilities.

Competitors come from around the world to entertain over 30,000 attendees per year.

If you’ve never seen a polo match before, you’ll be in for an exciting spectacle.

It Has its Own Culture

From singles to artists to veterans, or dancers, The Villages is truly a potluck community.

The city tends to embrace your individuality and offer you platforms to live life on your own terms.

That inclination towards individuality is best expressed in the golf-cart culture of The Villages.

Golf Carts at The Villages

Golf carts are the preferred means of transportation in this city, and everyone has theirs decorated according to their own taste. It’s a cool fun testament to the unique culture found only in this community.

Town Squares

The founder of The Villages Harold Schwartz believes in the idea of a gathering place for friends, family, and fun.

The Villages offers three Town Squares where you can find live music, food, shopping, and a guaranteed great time.

Each Square is a little different, once again showing that in The Villages there is truly something for everyone.

Need some help keeping your loved one active?

If you have a loved one and simply don’t have as much time as you’d like to help them stay active, call Papa today and request a Papa Pal to help.

Our Pals love to spend quality with the members of our Papa Pal Community. Social engagement and staying active are two proven ways to help improve the quality of an elderly person’s life. Let us help today!