16 Actually Fun Day-Date Ideas for Retirees

More time can mean more fun in retirement, but only if you get out and do things.

Retirees enjoying picnic in green park
Updated June 10, 2024
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Before you retired, how many times did you sit at your desk wishing that you could play hooky and go for a picnic on a beautiful day? Did you ever want to ditch work for a round of golf or hit the road on an impromptu day trip?

Now that you're retired, you can take advantage of all the fun day dates you can treat yourself to. There’s no need to wait for the weekend to go wine tasting or take an art class. 

Your stress-free retirement doesn’t mean you can’t keep growing. Here are 16 of the best day-date ideas for retirees.

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Take a painting class

Photographee.eu/Adobe female Artist painting picture

Whether or not you consider yourself creative, taking a painting class is a fun way to stretch your imagination. You don’t have to create the next masterpiece.

Instead, focus on experimenting with color and challenging your brain with something new. It’s fascinating to see how everyone interprets the class prompt differently.

Join a book club

jchizhe/Adobe girl reading book in white jumper

Keep challenging your brain, even in retirement. Join a book club that meets monthly, and you and your partner will have the opportunity not only to connect with each other intellectually but also to meet those in your community with similar interests and differing opinions.

Go on a group hike

Sundry Photography/Adobe redwood forest Muir Woods National Monument

Join a hiking group so you and your partner can get out in nature on a regular basis. Going with a group often means you’ll learn from more experienced hikers about the best trails, flora, and fauna you’ll see along the way and how to navigate uncertain terrain.

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Learn to play pickleball

Ron Alvey/Adobe senior man playing Pickleball on field

Pickleball has been the hot sport for a few years now, and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up. You and your partner can hit the courts for a fun morning of dinking. If your skills are up to the challenge, you can even join a league as a team.

Take a cooking class

sitriel/Adobe chefs preparing thai food together

No matter how many years you’ve spent perfecting your favorite recipes, there’s always something new to learn. 

A cooking class is one of the most fun day dates, particularly if you find one for food from a specific country or learn to prepare a dish that you and your partner have been curious to try.

Play a round of golf

lovelyday12/Adobe man playing golf at golf club

How amazing is it that you can actually go play a round of golf on an unusually beautiful day? You and your partner can hop in the golf cart and play nine holes or a full 18. Stop for lunch halfway, and make it a date.

If you’re new to golf, enroll in a beginner’s clinic and learn a sport you can play well into your later years.

Volunteer

Oulaphone/Adobe volunteer petting rescued dogs at shelter

Volunteering is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, and it’s an incredible feeling to do it with your partner.

Pick a cause that you both feel strongly about, like helping at a soup kitchen or walking dogs at the shelter and set a date to do good.

Start birdwatching

jamie/Adobe Chickadee ready to fly on driftwood

Birdwatching has become trendy in recent years, but retirees have been picking up their binoculars for a long time.

You can download an app such as Merlin to help you identify which birds you see or join a guided birding walk. Most states have an ornithological society that sponsors events for birders of all skills.

Plan a day trip

peopleimages.com/Adobe senior couple enjoying road trip

There’s nothing better than a road trip for a major dose of nostalgia, and it doesn’t even have to be a full vacation. Take a day trip to one of your favorite small towns or head to a new-to-you destination.

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Be a tourist in your own town

Jacob Lund/Adobe Retired couple tourist walking around town

Have you ever thought about all the sights in your own town that you haven’t visited previously because you didn’t have time or they were too crowded on the weekends? Now’s your chance.

Pick a weekday and go to a museum that is always bustling on Saturdays — and don’t forget to use your senior discount.

Go wine tasting

FornStudio/Adobe friends toasting champagne glasses at restaurant

While some vineyards are only open on weekends, there are others that are open all week long. Plan a day date to visit one of those on a random weekday when you want to add a little midweek fun to your life.

Plan a picnic

Tsyb Oleh/Adobe snacks on picnic mat outdoors

Invite a few friends for a group potluck picnic at the park. Gather friends, assign everyone a different dish, and take advantage of your newfound freedom on a beautiful day.

Treat yourselves to a spa day

freebird7977/Adobe spa accessories at spa

There’s no need to wait for a vacation to have a spa day. Treat yourselves to a day at a local luxury hotel, or keep it budget-friendly by doing your own spa day at home with face masks, aromatherapy, and luxe robes.

Take a photography class

Sergey Ryzhov/Adobe cameras on table in photography school

Want to elevate your photos of the grandkids? Take a photography class together. Not only will you and your partner learn new skills with a camera, but you’ll also gain perspective in looking at the world, angles, and colors in different ways.

Play board games

oleg_ermak/Adobe Board game concept with dices

One of the most fun at-home parties is a board game competition. If the forecast in your area is for days of rain, pull out a few of your favorite games, order takeout, and invite some friends to join you for a day of friendly competition.

Sign up for a pottery class

pikselstock/Adobe senior pottery artist wearing brown apron making ceramics from clay in her art gallery

Pottery is one of those art forms that most people won’t have the opportunity to learn on their own at home. But you and your partner can sign up for a class together to get your chance at throwing on the wheel.

It’s a fun opportunity to learn a new skill that is unlike anything else you’ve done — and make some items for your home in the process.

Bottom line

irissca/Adobe people playing pickleball at outdoor court

Every single one of these activities can be done with a partner or on your own. And all of them can be done on a budget to avoid wasting your retirement savings.

Want to go to a cooking class but don’t have a partner? Register anyway. Take yourself on a group hike or connect with a league to play pickleball. All of these can be ways to meet new friends and make the most of your retirement.


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Author Details

Heather Bien

Heather Bien is a writer covering personal finance and budgeting and how those relate to life, travel, entertaining, and more. With bylines that include The Spruce, Apartment Therapy, and mindbodygreen, she's covered everything from tax tips for freelancers to budgeting hacks to how to get the highest ROI out of your home renovations.