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Our 7 Favorite Summer Activities for Seniors

seniors playing bocce ball outside

When the sun is out, the air is warm, and there’s a nice breeze blowing, all you want to do is get outside and not miss a second of it. All the trees are green and provide shade, the flowers are in full bloom, and everything is vibrant and bright. The only thing you have to decide is how you’re going to make the most of the summer months, which many Chicagoans agree are the most longed-for days every year.

There are plenty of ways for seniors to have fun in the summertime. These seven summer activities for seniors are some of our favorite warm weather experiences that everyone can enjoy.

1. Gardening

Summer is the perfect time to get into gardening. Whether you’re interested in growing flowers, fruits and vegetables, herbs, or all three, this is the season to do it. It’s OK if you’re not a gardening expert – this hobby is beginner-friendly, and you continue to learn as your plants grow.

Gardening also has physical and mental health benefits that help your body and mood. When you’re pulling up a weed, digging into fresh soil, or placing a starter plant into the garden, you’re increasing your dexterity and strength.

You’re also likely in the sunlight. The sun is a source of Vitamin D, which boosts the immune system, and also lowers blood pressure. Just remember to apply sunscreen, and wear a hat to protect your face from the sun’s rays and keep you a bit cooler!

Gardening with others provides opportunities for socializing and connecting, which reduces feelings of isolation some seniors experience.

senior woman gardening outside at presbyterian homes

2. Walking

This free outdoor activity is a great way to appreciate nature. You can go for a solo walk for a peaceful moment, or you can get a group of friends to chat about everything and nothing as you go for a stroll.

If you want to have more of a structured activity during your walk, you could incorporate bird-watching. Learning about the birds local to your area and how to identify them and their songs gives you the opportunity to learn about nature and personally connect with it. There are wonderful walking paths at our community and the surrounding North Shore area.

senior woman on a walk outside

3. Have a Picnic

There’s nothing more picturesque than a traditional picnic. You have the woven basket full of delicious food, a bright checkered blanket, and a gorgeous setting to enjoy your meal. Our local favorite is the North Shore beach park!

Planning a picnic with friends or going by yourself and reading a good book is a perfect way to enjoy a summer afternoon. All you have to do is figure out what you want to eat. If you were interested in the gardening activity, consider bringing home-grown fresh fruits and vegetables to eat on your picnic.

4. Play Outdoor Games

One of the most fun outdoor activities for seniors is playing lawn games. You may have played some of these games when you were a kid, but there are plenty of new lawn games to learn as well.

Get a group of friends together for an afternoon of friendly competition. The following games also pair well with the picnic option above:


  • Bean Bag Toss
  • Bocce Ball
  • Croquet
  • Giant Jenga
  • Giant Connect Four
  • Badminton


5. Visit the Art Institute of Chicago

Sometimes, the summer heat can be intense, and it may be best to be inside in the air conditioning. But there’s plenty of fun to be had indoors as well.

You can visit the Art Institute of Chicago, the second-largest art museum in the country with over 300,000 works of art for you to marvel at.

This summer, the Institute has an exhibit called Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape that runs until September 4.

seniors in a water aerobics class at presbyterian homes

6. Go for a Swim

There’s no better way to beat the heat than swimming in a refreshing pool. Westminster Place has an indoor swimming pool where you can cool off anytime.

Water-based exercise offers quite a few physical health benefits. Swimming laps helps you build muscle, strengthens your cardio health and endurance, and can also increase your flexibility. It’s also regarded as a low-impact activity.

But you can do more than swim – water aerobics is another great way for seniors with arthritis or stiff joints to exercise. The water helps to support body weight and reduce impact on the joints.

7. See a Show in the Windy City

Going out for a summer evening in Chicago is the perfect time to seek entertainment. Chicago is full of beautiful theaters to see all kinds of performances.

You can see a show at the historic Auditorium Theatre, see Broadway in Chicago, listen to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and more.

Take a look at the rest of the list to see all the opportunities to enjoy performances around Chicago.

Staying Cool in the Hottest Season

While playing outdoor games is the perfect summer activity, it’s always important to protect yourself from the summer sun and the heat. Staying hydrated, wearing protective clothing, and using sunscreen are essential for senior safety.

When the summer heat is consistent, it’s best to avoid the sun during the hottest times of the day – typically around 3 p.m. Planning your summer activities outside in the cooler hours of the morning and evening is a wise choice for your health.

Celebrate Summer at Westminster Place

Westminster Place residents enjoy a 40-acre campus full of opportunities for fun summer activities. Our amenities include:


  • A year-round greenhouse
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Walking paths
  • Formal gardens and fountains


Call us to schedule a tour of our beautiful community, and learn more about the ways our seniors stay active all summer and year-round.