Summer is a time for reinvigoration—at any age! Older adults can take advantage of the longer days and beautiful weather. by getting active and staying engaged.

go on a day trip
Make the most of summer days by mixing things up with a day trip. St. Louis offers an endless amount of options—whether it’s hitting the Tower Grove’s Farmers Market or heading downtown for an afternoon at Gateway Arch National Park. If you want to do something really different and can handle a drive, head out of the metro. There are plenty of interesting places to visit that are under two hours away. History and literature lovers will want to check out Hannibal, Missouri, the boyhood home of Mark Twain. Wine connoisseurs can explore the wineries in Hermann and Ste. Genevieve. If you’re with the whole family, consider visiting Meramec Caverns or Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park to see some of the natural wonders of Missouri.

get in the garden
Gardening is a great way to spend the summer growing season—even if you don’t have the greenest of thumbs. It’s a hobby that has been shown to have some big benefits for older adults. It lowers stress and raises your serotonin levels. Some studies have even linked gardening to boosting heart and brain health, and it may lead to reduced risks of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Plus, if you put your efforts into growing fruits, vegetables or herbs, you can get some nutritious home-grown food out of it. If you’re worried about the physical strain of tending a garden, opt for containers or raised beds to reduce the toll it takes on your body. Planters also are a great option if you have limited outdoor space.

enjoy a concert
St. Louis has no shortage of music options during the summer. You can catch ticketed shows at big venues like the Enterprise Center, Stifel Theatre, The Pageant and more, but there are also great free outdoor options. The Whitaker Music Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden is offered Wednesday evenings through Aug. 2. You can check out the University City Summer Band on Tuesdays in Herman Park, or head to Webster Groves for the Old Orchard Gazebo Music Concert Series on Fridays. Throw in Music Mondays at Citygarden and the Summer Concerts at Millennium Park on Thursdays, and you can look forward to a different concert every evening of the week—and that doesn’t even cover all of your options!

join a book club
Whether you’re sitting on the patio or beating the heat by staying indoors, reading is a wonderful way to spend your time during the summer. Sharing that experience with others in a book club only makes it better. If you have a particular interest you want to explore, see if the library has a club that covers it. At the St. Louis County Library, you can find ones focused on mysteries, classics and even page-to-screen adaptations for cinephiles. The St. Louis Public Library offers Book Club in a Bag, an easy way to start your own discussion group. Available for check out for six weeks, each kit provides fifteen copies of the same book, discussion questions, some suggested titles and information about the author. Plus, there are more than 200 titles to choose from.

hit the pool
What’s summer without a visit to the pool? Water-based activities, such as swimming or water aerobics, are great for older adults, especially those with arthritis or stiff joints. The buoyancy of water gives you the benefits of a regular workout without the strain. And it’s not just water aerobics with pool floaties! There are different levels, ranging from less strenuous floating and extension stretching to more intense lap swimming and aqua jogging. These exercises help increase muscle mass and bone density, improve flexibility and balance, and engage the whole body