Fun activities for older adults in Roanoke (Ages 50+)

April 11, 2017 whitney

Older adults playing cards and having fun

From weekly card game socials, art classes and local day trips to low-impact fitness classes and nature programs, the City of Roanoke Parks and Recreation offers plenty of opportunities for older adults to meet new friends, get some exercise, and have a little fun. 

1. Mountain View Recreation Center:

From Monday through Thursday each week, local senior citizens gather at the Mountain View Recreation Center, also known as the Fishburn Mansion, for cards and games. Below you will find a list of weekly activities. If you have any questions about these programs, please call Cindy McFall, Community Recreation Coordinator, at 540-853-2679. 


On Mondays, swing by the Mountain View Recreation Center to play free Party Duplicate Bridge between 12:30 and 4:00 p.m. 


The fun starts at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays at Mountain View Recreation Center with drop-in Canasta Player’s Delight. At noon, groups of older adults settle in at the Center and enjoy cards and board games until 4 p.m. Both of these programs are free. On the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month, join us for a catered lunch. Lunch costs $6.75 and includes a main dish, two sides and coffee or tea. If you’d like to join us for lunch, please reserve your seat before the Friday prior to the lunch. To learn more about the menu or if you have any other questions, please call 540-853-2679. 

If you’re looking for a low impact workout, swing by the Gator Aquatic Center for our self-guided Aqua Strides program from 7 to 8 a.m. Wading in the pool is gentle on your joints while still increasing your heart rate. Plus, walking in water burns more calories than walking on land!


Drop-in bridge runs from 12 p.m. through 3 p.m. on Wednesdays. We rotate partners and tables every 45 minutes to keep it interesting, so there’s no need to bring a partner. The high score stays and the low score moves tables. Then, at 12:30, groups come to the mansion to play Duplicate Bridge until 4 p.m. 


On Thursdays, we play Canasta from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. at Mountain View Recreation Center. We also offer an Aqua Strides program from 7 to 8 a.m. at the Gator Aquatic Center. 

2. Art Programs:

Roanoke Parks and Recreation also offers art and special interest programs for adults of all ages. From monthly paint parties and crafts to tea parties and cooking classes, we host a wide range of unique and stimulating programs each month. 

3. Guided Hikes & Nature Programs:

If you love the outdoors, you may enjoy a local guided hike or an environmental education program at the Discovery Center on Mill Mountain. Some hikes are short and less challenging, while others are longer and more strenuous. If you have questions about the hike’s difficulty, please contact the recreation supervisor who is leading the hike. They will be able to help you find a suitable hiking program based on your fitness level and what you’re interested in. Many of the environmental education programs at the Discovery Center include a short, but lovely guided walk in the woods.

4. Trips & Tours: 

Every month or so, we offer a guided day trip to a regional attraction. Locations range from hot springs and spas to historical estates. Some tours take place locally in Roanoke, while others require a few hours on the road. Transportation and leadership are included. If you have wanderlust and want to see the world, we also work with a travel agency to offer lower rates for guided trips. In 2017/18, for example, we’re sending groups to Yellowstone National Park and the Wild West, Germany and Austria, and tropical Costa Rica! If you are active and love to be outside, our Outdoor Recreation team also leads multi-day treks to different outdoor destinations along the East Coast. 

5. Volunteering:

We are always looking for volunteers to help us maintain the wildflower garden at the Mill Mountain Discovery Center, help at events, maintain trails, coach an athletic team, serve as a local Tree Steward, or even snap photographs of local parks. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Roanoke Parks and Recreation, please visit our Volunteer page. 

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