I think it’s safe to say we’ve officially sent the dog days of summer packing, and cooler temperatures are here to stay for a while! The hot and humid days are being replaced by cool and crisp autumn evenings, which can only mean one thing… FALL IS IN THE AIR! There seems to be a universal excitement that gets carried in with a cool front, motivating everyone to partake in all of the activities fall has to offer. Autumn is a season that can be enjoyed with all 5 senses; a simple smell, taste, or sound can take you right back to yesteryears! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite senior-friendly activities to add to your calendar in the upcoming weeks.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Some may argue that it isn’t officially fall until you have pumpkins by your doorstep! Sure, you can run up to your neighborhood grocery store and grab one, but visiting the patch is a lot more fun. You may even find hayrides, apple cider, corn mazes, and more to make it an all-day experience. The pumpkin patch offers entertainment for all ages, so load up the grandkids and bring them along to join you for a day of fun. While some walking is involved with this activity, most pumpkin patches are wheelchair accessible and walker friendly. Pro- tip: Wait until the end of your visit to pick the perfect pumpkin, so you won’t have to tote it along with you the whole time.
With your own little pumpkin patch now residing at your home, it’s time to get busy! There are so many wonderful ways to decorate your pumpkin. One of the most classic approaches is to scoop out all of the pulp and then carve it. Be sure to save the seeds for roasting! If you’re looking for a safer activity that doesn’t involve sharp knives, try painting your pumpkin or using stickers to decorate it. Many major retailers even sell kits you can use to transform your pumpkin into a festive character.
Perhaps your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin is on your plate! Using either fresh pumpkin flesh or canned pumpkin, whip up some tasty snacks in the kitchen. Pick an old favorite or try something new. The options are endless, including fan-favorites like pies, bars, breads, cheesecakes, cookies, and more. If pumpkin doesn’t appeal to you at all, no worries! Apples, pecans, caramel, and cinnamon are just a few of the many flavors of fall. Assisting in the kitchen with simple tasks like measuring, stirring, and kneading can be beneficial to dementia patients.
Relax by a Bonfire
The sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet and the crackling of a fire are two distinct sounds associated with autumn. Gather together with family, friends, and neighbors and enjoy the warmth of a bonfire. It’s the perfect setting, on a crisp fall evening, to share spooky stories, roast marshmallows, sing campfire songs, and sip on hot cocoa. Find a comfortable seat and a cozy blanket to embrace all of the fall feels while you sit underneath the glow of a beautiful harvest moon.
Take a Road Trip
Fall is the perfect time to plan a mountain vacation. Destinations such as the Smoky Mountains or the Blue Ridge Mountains offer unparalleled views of vibrant fall foliage. Additionally, the summer crowds have all settled back into school and the weather conditions tend to be much more favorable. This is a popular time of the year for fall festivals, Oktoberfest, apple picking, and more. If you don’t want to settle in a single spot, try heading up the east coast and leaf peeping along the infamous Blue Ridge Parkway. This will take you through 2 national parks, including Shenandoah National Park and The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
If traveling isn’t currently in the cards for you, bring the fall foliage to the comfort of your own home with a beautiful jigsaw puzzle. Sit beside a nice cozy fire and get lost in the mesmerizing sepia, crimson, russet, and amber hues. Aside from being an entertaining activity, puzzles actively engage the brain and can help improve memory and concentration.
Host a Soup Potluck
“Sweater Weather” and “Soup Weather” are essentially synonymous terms referring to the crisp, cool weather that makes fall so pleasurable. Choose a nice chilly weekend and invite a few friends over for a soup potluck dinner. Everyone brings a pot of their favorite soup to enjoy now… and later! Come prepared with tupperware containers to bring home a serving of your favorite soup(s) to savor for another meal.