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.


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.

banner-blogs-new

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.

banner-papa-blogs

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.