Top 10 Senior-Friendly Activities in Melbourne This Winter and Spring
As we go through one of Melbourne's coldest winters, it's easy to use the weather as an excuse to stay home and cosy up in bed. But now more than ever, it's important to keep your mind sharp and your body active! So to give you some inspiration, we have compiled our top 10 activities that will keep you active, social and busy both inside and outside of the house this winter and spring.
1. Visit a Museum
Whether you're interested in history, art, science, sport or something in between, Melbourne's museums have something for everyone! The perfect escape on a cold winter's day, immerse yourself in some culture at museums like:
The Melbourne Museum: A multi-faceted museum covering Melbourne's history, culture, art, science, sport and rotating exhibitions from around the world.
The Immigration Museum: A unique museum exploring the histories and stories of Victoria's diverse communities.
The National Gallery of Victoria: Australia's most popular gallery, with exhibitions and programs covering art, international historic exhibitions, fashion and design, architecture, sound and dance.
Both the Melbourne Museum and Immigration Museum offer senior's discounts throughout the week. The National Gallery of Victoria offer seniors discounts on Wednesdays.
If you feel like venturing out and taking a day-trip from Melbourne, you can also find some inspiring museums throughout regional Victoria, such as:
Charlie's Auto Museum in Arthur's Seat featuring a unique collection of over 80 motor vehicles and memorabilia spanning over 100 years.
The National Wool Museum in Geelong where you will learn about the rich history of Australia's wool industry.
The Golden Dragon Museum in Bendigo, preserving and educating about Chinese culture and heritage in Australia.
These museums also offer a concession discount.
2. See a Classic Film
If you are after a relaxing activity that can be enjoyed sitting down, why not take the opportunity to indulge in some nostalgia with a classic film? Movies such as Cabaret, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Original Star Wars Trilogy can be seen at certain Palace Cinemas across Melbourne and the historic Astor Theatre in St Kilda. For information on sessions, visit the Palace Cinemas website.
3. Go for a Scenic Drive
Melbourne's natural beauty doesn't only have to be taken in by a hike. Going for a scenic drive is a great option to get out of the house and change your scenery, particularly on a cold day. Depending where you live, you might have a beautiful scenic route around the corner or a few hours drive away. Some could even be turned into a day-trip if you are willing to venture further away from home.
Popular scenic routes in Melbourne and regional Victoria include:
The Port Phillip Loop from Melbourne to Geelong and Queenscliff.
Beach Road from Mordialloc to Brighton.
The Mornington Peninsula, particularly around Arthur's Seat.
The Dandenong Ranges
Black Spur Drive in The Yarra Valley
Grampians National Park
The Great Ocean Road
Great Alpine Road (where you might also see snow, but check for road closures in advance!)
4. Enjoy a High Tea
Melbourne is known for it's culinary delights and what better way to treat your taste buds than with a fancy high tea. Better still, it's the perfect way to catch up with family and friends in a relaxed and enjoyable setting. Some of our favourite high tea settings in Melbourne and surrounds can be found at:
The Windsor Hotel, CBD
The Langham Hotel, Southbank
Jardin Tan, Royal Botanical Gardens, South Yarra
Mary Eats Cake, Brunswick and Montrose
Miss Violets Tea Rooms at Old Man Drew Cafe, Ascot Vale
The Atrium at The Continental, Sorrento
Olinda Tea House, Olinda
Coombe, Yarra Valley
5. Join a Social Club or Discussion Group
The cold and wet weather in Melbourne often causes us to stay home, which can be very isolating and lonely for some. It's crucial at any age, but particularly as we get older, to remain connected to others, whether it be family, friends or new acquaintances. Joining a local social club, activity group or a discussion group is a fantastic way to socialise not too far from home. You can find information on local seniors clubs through your local council or consider joining a seniors activity group through:
COTA cycling: meeting every Wednesday, beginner and experienced riders can enjoy Melbourne's best bike paths together.
Life Activities Clubs: social, educational and recreational activities and support for mature-aged Victorians.
University of the Third Age: educational, social and physical activities for retirees.
6. Start or Join a Bookclub
If you love reading, a book club could be a great way to connect with others and socialise. Share your thoughts and ideas and listen to others, have a good laugh and maybe even enjoy some nice food- all in the comfort of a nice warm location. You could start a book club with a friend, family member or even your in-home carer! Alternatively, you can join a bookclub and use the opportunity to meet new people. Visit or contact your local council or local library as most run weekly book clubs, or check out the City of Melbourne's Book Club webpage for links to book clubs of different genres as well as online book clubs.
7. Start a Genealogy Project or Make a Family Tree
If you have some extra time and are looking for a nice project to keep you busy at home, consider retracing and building your family tree. Researching through old records and photographs can be incredibly intriguing - you never know what you could learn about your ancestors. And it's also a great resource to share with your family. You can write down your family tree, prepare one on the computer or even use a genealogy website such as Ancestry or MyHeritage.
These websites hold billions of historical births, deaths and marriage records from around the world. You can upload the information you know about your family and see who they can trace and connect through their records. Alternatively, some genealogy websites also offer a DNA test, giving you information on your ethnic mix, countries and cities where your ancestors lived and potential new family connections based on your DNA.
8. Join an Exercise Class
Not only is exercise great for the body and soul, but it's also a great way to warm up during these chilly days! Visit the gym and run through a program with a personal trainer, join a social sporting activity such as badminton or table tennis or partake in land-based or aquatic-based group programs such as pilates, Zumba or water aerobics. And if you can't make it in person, online classes are often available through Zoom. Contact your local gym or local council to find out more about active classes for older adults near you.
9. Visit or Host Family and Friends
It can get a little lonely when we are stuck inside all day (or as is the case in Melbourne, all week!) because of bad weather. The easiest way to break this isolation? Meet with your friends or family! Whether you invite them over for a cuppa or visit them at their house, some familiar faces and interesting conversation will do you the world of good after being stuck inside for so long.
10. Learn a New Technology or Take a Computer Class
What better way to make use of spare time on a rainy day than to learn something new. With technology entering every facet of our lives, honing your computer skills or learning how to use an iPad or smart phone can come in very handy. And while it may take a little longer to learn than our grandkids, there are many ways to receive help and guidance while you improve your tech skills. You can ask a family member or your in-home carer for assistance, or book a session with a tech-training company (such as ReadyTechGo who can come to any Melbourne location to teach you face to face) or check out the government's Be Connected website for useful resources.
We hope you have enjoyed our suggestions on how to keep busy in Melbourne on a cold day. If you have more suggestions, feel free to share them with us!