The summer season has officially arrived, making it a great opportunity to spend some time in the beautiful outdoors. For those in their senior years, you are most likely looking to enjoy the warmer weather a little differently that you used to. Read on for ten summer ideas for seniors or friends and relatives of seniors.

1. Have a picnic - Pack a healthy lunch or snack and a comfy blanket to sit on. Bring along a flying disc and a ball to play catch.

2. Go see a movie at a drive-in theater - Believe it or not, these still exist! Many theaters offer back-to-back features.

3. Soak up the sun at the park or beach - Many parks offer free concerts or movies in the evening. Be sure to properly be prepared if you are spending a long time out in the sun and heat.*

4. Attend a farmer's market - Summer is the season for local craft fairs, flea markets, and farmer's market. It is an excellent chance to walk around the booths and support local businesses. Social media is a great way to research local markets and events near you.

5. Volunteer - Giving back to the community always makes one feel good. Many local non-profits and charity organizations are in need of volunteers. Local libraries often are in need of volunteers to read at Children's Story Time. Talk with family and friends about the possibility of volunteering together.

6. Bird watching - Investing in a bird feeder and/or birdbath can provide opportunities to watch birds from the comfort of your home. Keeping the bath full of water and the feeder full of food is a great daily activity for seniors.

7. Go swimming - Check with local community pools that offer specific times for seniors to enjoy swimming. Many of these pool locations offer water aerobics classes.

8. Check out the bookstore - On really hot days, stay inside at your local bookstore. These shops often have a cafe area where you can grab a cup of coffee (or iced coffee) and sit and read a book in the air conditioning.

9. Enjoy the sunsets - Some of the most beautiful sunsets are in the summer season. You can enjoy the beauty at a local park or beach or even from your porch. Make time to enjoy these beautiful (and free) moments!

10. Visit a state park - Take a drive and visit your closest state or national park. Sometimes a nice drive in the comfort of your car can be a great mood uplifter.

Whatever you choose to do, spending time outdoors or participating in an activity inside will be uplifting to you mentally and physically. Keep moving and keep learning. Take time to smell some roses this summer!

*Spending time outdoors is a great source for Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps fight osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, and depression. If you are planning any activities out in the sun, please remember the following precautions for your safety:

- Wear sunscreen. Find a water-based sunscreen with a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 for optimal protection. Sunscreen will need to be applied every two hours due to swimming or sweating. Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before your skin is exposed to the sun.
- Stay hydrated. If you plan to be outside on a really hot day, increase your water by one or two additional eight-ounce glasses.
- Wear protective clothing. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses are an additional way to protect your skin and your eyes from sun damage.
- Have an umbrella handy. Umbrellas offer great shade from direct sun and heat.
- Schedule your time in the sun. If possible, avoid the sun between 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. The best time to be in the sun is early morning until 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m.

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