Everyone has a park nearby. Perhaps you already frequent your local park. Or, maybe you’ve told yourself that you’ll spend more time outdoors when you’re retired, but you just haven’t found the motivation yet. Well, no matter who you are or where you live, there are plenty of reasons to get outside – here are the 10 best things for retirees to do at the park!
Whether it’s a trail through the woods, native plants, ducks on the pond, bluebirds nesting on a fence post, tadpoles and fish in the lake, or squirrels running about; it’s all unique and just plain cool to watch!
This morning, I took the photo above of sunlighting up the top of tall ornamental grass on the border of our community vegetable gardens.
Even a short time in the sun will give you some vitamin D. Fresh air is good for your lungs and spirit. Getting out in nature is rejuvenating. It is good to get away from the computer and TV for a while.
Get your exercise at the park in a natural way by using the walking trails. Join a walking club or walk with a friend and the time will fly by. I am a member of the Park Place Pacers, and I walk every Tuesday and Thursday (and sometimes more). Many parks have a recreation center with a gym. Swimming pools are common at parks. In the community building or in our case the active adult center, my wife takes yoga, I take Dancing with the Stars and there are Zumba and SilverSneakers exercise classes too!
Our park has a community building and an active adult center and is building an amphitheater. There are picnic pavilions and bar-b-que grills. Many parks have recreation centers at the park.
There are all kinds of athletic fields at the park and it is nice to stop for awhile to watch a 3-year-old take his first turn at T-ball or the older kids playing baseball, soccer, or lacrosse. Our park has two Bocce Ball courts and we have a regular Baby Boomer team that plays on Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. Playing Bocce is great for socialization and physical activity. Boomer games that can be played at a park include adult softball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, badminton, pickleball, tennis, volleyball, table tennis, bean bag toss, or cornhole as it is sometimes called.
I like to take photographs at the park. There are countless ever-changing scenes providing subjects. I have seen people with artist easels painting watercolor scenes at our park.
Bring your dog to the park and spend some time together or just stop by and enjoy seeing the dogs running around chasing things and playing with other dogs.
Arts in the park is held several times during the year with art displays or craft shows where local artist have their wares for sale.
Movie nights with big screen movies after dark and on weekends a band plays music sometimes!
Just sit in the sunshine on a park bench and do nothing. Watch as people and pets go by. Sit and gaze at the pond and all the things happening in nature there. Stroll over to the community gardens and see how things are growing. Watch a bocce ball or softball game for a while.
Parks are not just for kids, they can be a great retirement activity as well. Get out and take some time to enjoy your local park. What do you like to do at the park?
Originally published July 27, 2023