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10 Fun Things to Do in Retirement

A senior couple going fishing amid a scenic wooded area.

You’ve been planning for this day. You’re ready to close the book on decades in the workforce and embark on an adventure called retirement. You feel excited. You feel expectant. You may be feeling a little anxiety too. You’ve earned this time for yourself, and it’s in your complete control.

What’s Next?

No matter what your intentions are, looking at retirement as a beginning rather than an end is the key to making the most of it. And while you’re probably looking forward to relaxing and taking things easy, most seniors get much more happiness out of their retirement years by staying active.

Spending time with family or traveling certainly tops the list of fun things to do in retirement. But here’s a list that may encourage you to color outside the lines:

1. Think like a kid again.

Young children are full of curiosity, fascinated with what goes on around them, and find wonder in small and simple things. No matter what your childhood was like, it’s time to let the weight of adulthood fall from your shoulders. Adopt a mindset of curiosity and exploration. Be silly and make time for play.  When you look at the world through the lens of your imagination, you open yourself to new experiences and joys.

2. Step out of your comfort zone.

Making a list of everything you’ve wanted to try is possibly the most fun thing to do in retirement. It doesn’t have to be big or entail expense. Some people set themselves a bucket-list challenge to do or begin one thing every month for the first year they’re retired. Popular items to tick off the list include learning to be a personal trainer, climbing a mountain, running a marathon or going big-game fishing. Your objective is to find something that scares you just a little but makes you feel alive and experience something new.

3. Write.

Put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and let the words flow. Retirement gives you the opportunity to write the book you always wanted, finish the poems you started, set up a blog, or send articles to a magazine. A fun thing to do in retirement might be to mail a weekly letter to people you care about. Or write short stories for the grandchildren. Give loved ones the gift of your words.

4. Learn a sport.

As you focus on your health and wellness, instead of spending all your time in a gym, try participating in a sport that interests you. You may already know how to play golf or tennis, so try something new — orienteering, scuba diving, curling, weightlifting, fishing — the list is endless.

5. Mentor.

Teach other people something you’re good at. Help at a school by teaching children math, reading or science. Volunteer in a food pantry and teach their clients how to prepare nutritious food. Tutor second-language learners in English. If you have specialized skills you developed during your career, see if you can mentor high school or college students.

6. Serve your community.

If you’ve never had the time but always wanted to make a difference to your community, why not become active in a cause you care about? Become a local representative, a board member, join a grassroots group, or run for office in your city.  

7. Play more games.

No one cares how old you are when you’re playing games on the internet. Among the fun activities to do when you’re retired is to connect with friends or strangers all over the world in a multiplayer game. Multiplayer games come in many categories, including strategy games, role-playing adventures, shoot-‘em-ups, team battles, puzzles and more, and the pace ranges from fast to sedate. Explore and experiment until you find some you like.

8. Become an entrepreneur.

Dust off that idea for a service or product and take it all the way. Entrepreneurship is traditionally associated with younger generations, but that’s changing as more seniors start second careers around their passions. Ready to be inspired? Here’s a list of businesses started by seniors that took very little capital and provided income for their owners.

9. Go back to school.

Finish your diploma, get that degree, or take classes for a fun thing to do in retirement. Some colleges design a special program of noncredit classes for adults ages 55 and up. Many of our residents pursue their love of learning at nearby Hope College. They walk a few blocks to the campus to attend the Hope Academy of Senior Professionals, taking classes in fine art, science, medicine, technology and other fascinating subjects.

10. Stay at home.

If you’ve traveled or moved a lot, then settling down in one place can be deeply satisfying. Freedom Village offers a retirement lifestyle where you can build a sense of belonging right away. Our friendly and inclusive culture brings people together through diverse social opportunities, new learning experiences, celebrations and more.

Ready for a menu of ever-changing, fun retirement activities? We‘re definitely biased, but it’s hard to beat the charming city of Holland, Michigan. Freedom Village is walking distance from Holland’s lively downtown, with events like the nation’s largest tulip festival, art and cultural attractions, indoor and outdoor recreation, history, shopping, dining, and entertainment. With all the activities we offer on our campus and proximity to downtown Holland, our residents enjoy the best of both worlds. Learn more by contacting us today.