← Back to Blog

6 Fun Winter Activities for Seniors

Senior friends bird watching outside.

When the days grow short and the mercury drops, our activity levels tend to plummet as well. And while there’s nothing wrong with scrolling through your social media feeds while you indulge in a second cup of coffee, it’s important to stay active in winter.


Traditional winter activities like downhill skiing and ice skating may not be the best choice, especially if your joints hurt and it’s been awhile since you hit the slopes. Fortunately, there are plenty of fun winter activities for seniors that don’t involve falling and risking injury. To help you get moving and make the most of winter, here are 6 ways to safely enjoy an active lifestyle over the winter months.



Winter can be a good time for birdwatching. The birds are active and it’s easier to see them without all the leaves on the trees. At Essex Meadows, we’re fortunate to have a 963-acre coastal forest in our backyard — ideal for birdwatching and nature hikes. The shore can be wonderful for winter birdwatching too. For the best places to go birdwatching near you, check with the Audubon Society or your local wildlife center.



Exercising may not top your list of fun winter activities for seniors. But the right kind of exercise — the kind you enjoy — can be a lot of fun. You could recruit a friend or neighbor to join you for a brisk walk. (The social connection will do you good too.) Or take a dance fitness class. It’s a fun way to get moving, improve balance and coordination, reduce stress, and boost overall fitness. Another way to get your steps in is to go for a walk at a shopping mall. It’s safe, comfortable, a great way to meet new people, and there are restrooms. Whatever you do, try to do at least 2-½ hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.


In addition to aerobic exercise, you should also do muscle-strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. You don’t have to pump iron; bodyweight exercises or resistance bands will do the trick. Ask an instructor at your gym to show you proper form when doing strength exercises. As you grow stronger and feel better, your fitness routine will become a habit you won’t want to give up.



Swimming is a great way to get your heart pumping, and it’s easy on the joints and muscles. It helps improve balance, endurance, flexibility and strength. In fact, just getting in the pool can lower stress levels and help you feel relaxed. If you have access to an indoor heated pool like we do at Essex Meadows, you can join a group class and have fun while getting a full-body workout. Our residents love it.



Winter is a good time to visit a museum because they’re less crowded in the off-season. If you’re an art lover, you can take a good long look at the artworks that catch your eye. A visit to a science or history museum can also brighten a dull winter day. There may even be special winter events. The Connecticut River Museum, for example, puts on a Holiday Train Show for model railroad fans in December.



Concert halls are opening their doors this winter. Of course, you should check the latest updates and safety requirements before you go, but listening to live music and being in the moment can really make your spirits soar. Locally, the Essex Winter Series features world-class musicians performing everything from solo guitar recitals to full symphony orchestra concerts. Farther afield, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra gets into the festive spirit with music and a ballet performance from “The Nutcracker.”



Winter is a great time to change your routine and try something new. Challenging yourself intellectually with something you enjoy can help keep your mind sharp and your mood sunny. Any activity you find interesting will work. You could learn a new dance or tai chi movement. Take a class in painting, memoir writing, flower arranging, or a new language. Join a book club. Or volunteer at a local charity. At Essex Meadows, residents have endless opportunities to pursue their interests and challenge themselves in novel ways.


Warm up to winter at Essex Meadows.

The services and amenities residents enjoy make winter just as wonderful as any other season of the year. If it snows, we clear the paths. If a faucet drips, we fix it. Our maintenance-free lifestyle gives residents less to worry about and more opportunities to do the things that make them happy. Like meeting friends for a drink before dinner or joining the festivities during the holidays. To learn more about what makes our independent living community such a wonderful place to live, get in touch. And discover how every day can feel like a holiday at Essex Meadows.