The Importance of Senior Group Outings
At Kensington Park, our watchwords are “explorations, excursion, engagement,” which sums up the diverse experiences active seniors can enjoy here, in our premier location just minutes from the nation’s capital. Senior group outings provide an array of key benefits to social and mental wellbeing.
Situated on eight acres in southern Montgomery County, Kensington Park is an idyllic setting with mature oak trees, a rambling stream, numerous walking paths, and colorful gardens. We offer a plethora of Life Enrichment programs that can keep a resident’s social schedule full from morning till evening, seven days a week, benefiting both long-term health and quality of life.
Sometimes, however, you want to go out and have an adventure. Living so close to D.C., the combined allure of culture, entertainment, and recreation can be hard to resist. So we organize group outings as an ongoing feature of our exceptional senior living.
Here are nine day trips that will appeal to residents in our independent living, assisted living, and Kensington Club communities when they’re ready for a day on the town:
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. For a group trip to Washington, D.C., a visit to this prestigious museum is de rigueur.
Although many people believe the American Museum of Natural History in New York City is the largest museum of its kind, the Smithsonian actually holds the world’s most extensive collection of artifacts — including tools used by early man. You can explore at your own pace, discuss the exhibits with your fellow residents, and sit down and rest when you need a break.
- The Capitol. Even if you’ve lived in this area all your life, you may never have taken a tour of The Capitol, one of the world’s most architecturally impressive — and symbolically significant — buildings.
The Senate and the House of Representatives have met here for more than two hundred years. The Capitol is a monument to our forebears, the American people, and our government.
- Library of Congress. Speaking of Congress, if you’re an inveterate reader, like many seniors, you may greatly enjoy a visit to the greatest collection of books amassed in a single location.
While the Library of Congress doesn’t contain every book ever published, its collection is beyond impressive: 532 miles of shelves, with 7000 new items added daily.
- United States Botanic Garden. William Blake wrote, “To see a world in a grain of sand / And a heaven in a wild flower / Hold infinity in the palm of your hand / And eternity in an hour.”
For seniors whose idea of heaven is being steeped in nature, the US Botanic Garden, a living plant museum, will bring joy to the heart. Rich with tradition, this unique garden experience informs visitors about the essential role of plants to our planet’s fragile ecosystem.
Plants are also an excellent mental health remedy for people with cognitive impairment. “Dementia gardens” can help reduce symptoms of cognitive decline, enhance appetite, boost energy levels and promote better sleep.
- The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring. Weather permitting, this is a park the whole family will love, especially grandkids with excess energy: The Sandy Spring Adventure Park, the biggest theme park of its kind in North America.
- Seneca Creek State Park. For those who prefer a more serene outdoor experience, Seneca Creek State Park is a good day trip. Extending along fourteen scenic miles en route to the Potomac River, this park covers 6500 acres, and is an ideal spot for canoeing, hiking, picnics, or just enjoying nature’s magnificence.
- AFISilver Theatre and Cultural Center. These days, when seniors can watch movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube, not to mention multiple TV channels, it can be refreshing to see a film on the big screen. One devotee of the AFI Silver calls the iconic theatre, “The soul of cinema.”
Created by the citizens of Montgomery County, this lovely remodeled theatre has seating for several hundred people, and shows independent as well as international films. Perfect for a rainy day — or any day, for film buffs.
- Lancaster County Dutch Market. While senior living means you can leave the fine dining to our own Chef Morissa and her team, knowing meal preparation is optional can make it that much more appealing. For seniors who like to food shop and cook, the Lancaster County Dutch Market is a treat.
Serving Montgomery County area for more than twenty years, this diverse group of vendors offers excellent local meats and cheese, fresh produce, a doughnut shop, and the best soft pretzels this side of Pennsylvania! We know, we know: a few of these items aren’t exactly a nutritional powerhouse…but unless you’re on a restricted diet for health reasons, everyone is allowed a little indulgence now and then.
- Puppet Company Playhouse. For both the young and the perennially young at heart, the Puppet Co. Playhouse in Glen Echo is an engaging way to spend an afternoon. One senior said, “I thought this would be a good activity for my granddaughter, but honestly I loved it too. The performers manage to provide the unexpected delight in a very old medium of expression.”
Planning for Your Outing
Are you excited about your upcoming adventure? Wonderful! It’s useful to make a checklist of items that will help ensure your day is as pleasant as possible. Here are some essentials to bring:
- Medications. If you’re taking any medications that you’ll need during the day, be sure to pack these in your pocketbook or daypack. Or ask a Kensington Park team member to pack them for you.
- Water. Fill your water bottle before you set out. Or pack a few single-use water bottles to go.
- Sunscreen. If you’ll be spending some of the day outdoors, remember the sunscreen, even in winter!
- Snacks. If you have a health condition such as diabetes that requires maintaining blood sugar levels, remember to pack the appropriate snacks for your outing.
With so many options for spectacular group outings in our area, we know you’re going to have a wonderful time. Welcome home to Kensington Park!