6 Great Entertainment Ideas for Seniors on a Budget

by R Long
October 02, 2016

Are you in a retirement frenzy? Bored and can’t think of anything to do other than watch TV or clean the yard? It’s understandable you don’t want to hop on a plane and travel like royalty, only to use up your entire retirement fund. That just wouldn’t be practical. Senior entertainment ideas do not have to be costly.

Fighting boredom in retirement need not be expensive. Here are 6 unique, budget-friendly ways to for your senior entertainment, helping make your senior years more fun, exciting, and worthwhile:


1. Explore your local tourist attractions.

You’ve probably spent a great deal of time paper-pushing, number-crunching, or selling what needs to be sold – doing those same old, daily work routines for years. (For half of your life even. Gosh! Was it really that long?) In all this time, you may think you’ve outgrown enjoying your local tourist attractions, but have you really seen them lately? When was the last time you actually visited them without an intensely preoccupied mind? That was probably way down memory lane, huh?

Well, now is the time to make new memories and be a tourist in your own community. Be intentional – thinking about nothing else but what’s in front of you. Feel the breeze touch your skin, listen to the music of birds chirping, and watch the kids playing. Make a pledge to be in the moment.

One excellent place to practice this is going to your local state park. In Tampa, Florida, for instance, especially if you’re the active type, you can go on a canoe adventure and paddle downstream through the magnificent Hillsborough River and explore the wilderness. Canoe Escape offers a 10% discount for seniors. Get to choose from six different routes with their least expensive trips priced at $56 (good for two).


2. Take advantage of your local library.

‘Reading can take you places you have never been before.’ – Dr. Seuss

You must have read this or heard of this quote thousands of times, but it bears repeating. Indeed, reading a variety of books will take you to countries and cities you’ve never been to before and learn about their culture, visit their history, and fall in love again with stories that naturally touch the heart.

Your local library offers a wide, diverse collection of books as well as magazines and research materials. It gives you free entertainment while filling up your treasure box of knowledge and imagination. To put it simply, it contains an immense wealth of resources – always has been, and even more so now that they have gone digital.

What Your Local Library Has in Store for You:

Book clubs & movie nights

Local libraries usually host free book clubs as well as movie nights. Some even give out passes to local museums. Joining a book club is totally a great way to meet other folks as well as exchange ideas and insights with one another. This entertainment idea is one of the top ideas for seniors.

Courses and classes

Many libraries offer free or cheap computer classes or training. Check out your local library for what they offer.

OverDrive App

Already tired of going to the library? Then let them come to you, wherever you are. Most public or school libraries may now be accessed online – which means the same library that lends physical books may also lend you e-books. OverDrive is a free library app that allows you to borrow e-books, audiobooks, music, and videos, and download them onto your computer or mobile device. OverDrive libraries pride themselves on a catalog of over 2 million eBooks, audiobooks, and videos. Find a library near you.

We’ve discovered that getting started with OverDrive is as simple as 1-2-3.

All you need is your library card handy. Install the app on your mobile device. Find your library and click on the link. Browse for titles you wish to borrow. Click “borrow” on the books you’ve chosen. Then those will appear on your Bookshelf under your Account. Now, you’re all set!

Please be aware that books borrowed have a loaning period of 7-14 days until your library strips them off your account.


3. Take free online courses.

Who says learning is only for kids? As seniors, we need to continue to grow by learning new things that interest and excite us. No one is ever too old to learn.

Open Culture provides a list of over 1000 free online courses offered by major universities around the world including Yale, Oxford, MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and more. You can either download the courses from iTunes or watch them on YouTube.

For instance, Yale University offers an architecture course on Roman Architecture while Stanford University offers a design course on cars.

Different courses offered span a multitude of topics including Astronomy, Biology, the Ancient World, Economics, History, Religion, Architecture, Art, Archaeology, Literature, Design, and so much more.

These entertainment ideas are often free, and yes fun. Try some of these online computer games. The choices are endless.

theater seats

4. Be a part of your community theater.

Community theatres usually offer special community screenings and events that are free and open to the public. The USAF, for instance, is bringing Brass in Blue to Tampa Theatre in January 2015, where the military band shows off their musical antics and performs symphonies and Broadway and Jazz tunes.


Be a community theatre volunteer and do things like ushering guests at concerts and special events, representing at outreach events, and assisting with theatre tours. Want to lend a hand at the Tampa Theatre? Learn more by clicking here.

art gallery

5. Attend art gallery openings, art walks, shows, and classes.

Try to look up the Arts Council in your community, as they usually have a list of schedules cataloging all the different exciting events you may attend.

The ArtsTampaBay of The Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Florida has a comprehensive list of all the happenings around the Tampa area. Then there are gallery openings and art walks, classes, festivals, music fests, and even culinary events such as fresh market and food truck fiesta. these can usually be found in all cities.

Attending these cultural events not only helps keep you entertained but also, you get to do your part in enriching your community’s culture.

For instance, have you tried Glassblowing?

This is another fun activity you can try. Enroll in a glassblowing class and it will absolutely blow you away. We are always saddened when a great place closes its doors. Unfortunately, the Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport is one of those places.

It did offer classes in glass blowing, jewelry making, lampwork, clay sculpture, glass fusion, metal sculpture, and more. Their students ranged from 5 years old to 85 years old. Maybe it’s time to create your own masterpiece.

However, the Spruill Center for the Arts in Atlanta, Georgia is just one of those places. Try it if you are in the Atlanta area and if not, find one in your local area. It is there.


6. Go to open mic nights.

Whether you love to perform or just watch a performance, go to open mic nights and have a blast. Usually hosted by coffee hubs, Open Mic Nights encourage poets and musicians of all ages to share their talents.

Do you have the poetic prowess of Robert Frost or Shakespeare? Whatever talent you might have (spoken word, comedy, storytelling, acoustic guitar playing, etc.), go belt it out for others to see and appreciate while you enjoy your “5 minutes of fame.”

Most importantly, being able to express yourself at this point in your life is extremely. Valuable. Open mic nights may just be the perfect avenue for that. If performing isn’t for you, you’ll be able to revel in the sounds of fresh talents.

To see a list of venues that offer open mic nights, you may check out Open Mic Meetup Groups in Tampa. Check out your local meetup schedule to find one near you.

Ultimately, being a senior doesn’t have to be “dull and boring.” Your community hosts a plethora of activities in order to make life more fun, exciting, and fulfilling. For additional ideas check out info for free entertainment ideas at The Guide For Seniors. Who knows, you may find your passion. Just appreciate every moment of it.

Read more at GuideForSeniors.com for all things senior.

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