Column: Summer exploration for seniors

While there are countless people searching for meaning beyond a leisurely retirement, there are also folks who just want to enjoy our beautiful summer, commitment-free. And goodness knows there’s an abundance of recreational activities around these parts. Here are some ideas for retirees looking to try something new this summer.

  • Go to a play put on by local actors; often there’s a discounted seniors rate.
  • Visit a local farmer’s market.
  • Take the Canada Line to downtown Vancouver, then the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay for a change of scenery and a bite to eat.
  • Enjoy a performance at the Kitsilano Showboat.
  • Spend the day at Granville Island or in Steveston people watching.
  • Take a picnic and spend the day at Jericho Beach.
  • Check out the Richmond Night Market.
  • Visit the beautiful brand new Minoru Centre for Active Living.
  • Visit London Heritage Farm and have tea and scones with a friend.
  • Walk the Seawall at Stanley Park.
  • Check out the Vancouver Art Gallery. Admission is by donation on Tuesdays from 5-9 p.m.
  • Join a public program at the Richmond Nature Park.
  • Visit Queen Elizabeth Park and enjoy one of the best views in Vancouver.

Not everything fun has a price tag attached. A leisurely picnic somewhere relaxing can be just as much fun as a paid event. The point is to go somewhere new – explore. If you enjoy a little hike, check out the Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver. The view is stunning and the backdrop exquisitely serene. It’s one of my favourite pack-a-lunch spots. And in case you’re wondering, it’s named after engineer Ernest Albert Cleveland, who was the first chief commissioner of the Greater Vancouver Water District decades ago.

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Your local library is a great source of inspiration when it comes to books and DVDs on recreation in British Columbia. Whether it’s sightseeing, camping, hiking, bird watching, yoga retreats, arts and cultural events, nature walks, or something entirely different, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this province. Especially in the summer months.

I’m always inspired by the extra-long days and warm evenings of summer. They give me that little boost I need to venture outside my comfort zone and experiment with new activities. They don’t need to be monumental, just new to me. Maybe I’ll commit to trying one new thing a week. (Does trying a new sushi restaurant count?)

So, all you retirees, get out there armed with sunscreen, a hat, some snacks and enthusiasm. All it takes is a willingness to move beyond the boundaries of your day-to-day life. You’ll be amazed at what a little shot of exploration can do for you. Next thing you know, you’ll be strapping on a harness and zip-lining at Grouse Mountain!

Okay…maybe not. But there’s a great, big world out there just waiting to be discovered. Venture forth and conquer the world!

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