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5 New Hobbies to Start this Summer

Jul 21, 2022 | Activities | 0 comments

happy seniors listening to and playing piano

After retirement, it’s common to find yourself with extra free time. While Grand Oaks provides daily activities to residents, like exercise classes, book clubs, creative crafts, gardening, and more, you may still look for something new. Try out these fun and beneficial hobbies to fill your free time this summer.


Whether you’re a seasoned pro in the kitchen or your experience goes no further than the microwave, cooking is a great hobby to explore. You can cook solo or as a fun activity with friends and family.

There are many benefits of cooking for seniors that boost your physical and mental health. Cooking stimulates all five senses, which is essential for those with dementia. Since our memory is connected to our senses, familiar sounds, sights, and smells can decrease stress and be therapeutic.

A healthy diet is also essential for seniors. Cooking as a hobby allows you to try new recipes. Check out these fresh and healthy summer recipes to jumpstart your cooking hobby.


Genealogy studies families, family history, and tracing their lineages. You can learn a lot about your family’s origins and history by researching your genealogy. You may find interesting facts that no one knew before, which can be a great conversation topic the next time friends and family visit

Researching genealogy benefits seniors by encouraging the development of new skills (like working with computers) and improving cognition and self-esteem. Exploring the past or reminiscing on family history can give seniors a chance to reconnect with personal memories while also learning new things about their ancestry.

There are many ways to start researching your genealogy—and you surprisingly don’t have to pay a dime! This article highlights 10 free ways to begin researching your family tree.


Birdwatching is an excellent opportunity to get outdoors and learn something new. Gather a few bird identification books and binoculars and head outside. You can also start a journal or a scrapbook to track the birds you see.

Walking through nature is a great low-impact exercise, helping to promote heart health. This activity benefits the body and mind and can help decrease depression, stress, and anxiety. Time in the sun helps supply your body with much-needed vitamin D, while birdwatching promotes mental alertness.

Interested, but don’t know where to start? Check out this beginner’s guide to birdwatching around D.C.

Learn a Language

While some may think learning a second language is too challenging after a certain age, studies show seniors can adeptly learn a second language. In fact, there are many benefits surrounding learning a foreign language as you age.

Studying and learning another language at an older age can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and slow down brain deterioration in seniors with dementia. Additionally, it can improve memory, increase your ability to multitask, boost creativity, and promote socialization.

Plenty of free online resources are available—pick one, pick your language, and get started!

Learn an Instrument

Music gives everyone—especially seniors—a much-needed boost. For seniors, research shows that music improves mood, encourages memory recall and socialization, reduces stress, and promotes overall mental and physical health. Learning to play a musical instrument can also help improve motor function and cognition.

Many instruments are recommended for those aged 50 and over—the piano, harmonica, guitar, bongos, and recorder are all relatively simple to learn. YouTube videos are an excellent resource for learning to play any instrument.

Make the most of your summer by taking up one of these fun and beneficial hobbies. Take comfort in knowing whatever you choose benefits your social, mental, and physical health. For information on activities offered at Grand Oaks, contact us today.

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