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Still time for senior fun in fall – Coronavirus has not stifled everything this season

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on November 04, 2020 with No Comments

by Steve Euvino

If you’re a mature adult and, like so many of us, you’re sick of COVID-19, so much so you’d like to rip off that face covering and take your chances. While that may seem emotionally satisfying, it’s still not deemed safe, which might just add to your frustration.

Part of that frustration may lie in the perception there’s nothing for seniors to do in person. That’s not true. There’s still plenty to do this season, as autumn leaves lead to colder temperatures and, dare we say use four-letter word, snow.

Here’s a partial listing of ideas for senior fun this season: 

Run through a cornfield maze. Several orchards and cornfields host mazes, which can provide an outdoor adventure for all ages. Some orchards may still be open for apple picking or choosing that right pumpkin.

Take a fun or engaging class. Organizations such as Porter County Parks offer adult classes in arts, yoga, and meditation. The park system also sponsors a running group at Sunset Hill Farm County Park in Valparaiso, featuring retirees and shift workers, that meets regularly in nearly all weather conditions. The website is www.portercountyparks.org.

Go botanical. If you’re into green – lots of green – there’s Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest in rural Valparaiso at 450 W. 100 North. Among its features are the largest collection of oak trees in Indiana and an award-winning garden railway. Visit pnw.edu/gabis-arboretum to learn more.

Turn to religion. If you’re feeling particularly devotional, there’s always the Shrine of Christ’s Passion at 10630 Wicker Avenue in St. John. Besides listening to commentary from former Chicago news anchor Bill Kurtis, there are the life-size statues of biblical characters and natural grasses covering the walking path. Go to www.shrineofchristspassion.org for more details.

Do the Dunes. In Indiana Dunes National Park or State Park, Northwest Indiana is home to a truly living science classroom of flora and fauna.   Plus, there’s nothing like hiking in sand to get a real workout. Visit www.indianadunes.com (state) or nps.gov/indu (national) to learn more,

There’s always art. Local colleges have art galleries open to the public. The Indianapolis Museum of Art features more than 50,000 pieces and offers free programs and lectures. Go to www.visitindy.com for more details. Closer to the Region,  Valparaiso University’s Brauer Museum of Art houses a collection of 19th- and 20th-century American art, world religious art, and Midwestern regional art. Visit valpo.edu/brauer-museum-of-art.

Go back to college. To keep it within the federal deficit, you might just want to visit a campus nearby. If you don’t mind an hour’s drive off the Indiana Toll Road, there’s the University of Notre Dame. Even without football and despite South Bend’s unpredictable (meaning usually bad) weather, the campus is beautiful this time of year. Remember to bring some cookies or crackers for ND’s resident squirrels or ducks. Thanks to students’ generosity, the critters have grown accustomed to humans bearing treats.

Elsewhere around Indiana 

Don’t mind a little driving? Here are some activities for people of all ages:

• Indianapolis Zoo. Located in White River State Park, the zoo is home to more than 3,800 animals from more 320 species and subspecies. Closed for most major holidays, but otherwise open as often as possible. www.indianapoliszoo.com

• Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Open all year except Thanksgiving and Christmas. www.indyracingmuseum.org

• Lucas Oil Stadium. Home of the Indianapolis Colts, with seating for 67,000. Just a few blocks away is Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians, a farm club of the Pittsburgh Pirates and host to the Indiana state high school baseball finals. www.lucasoilstadium.com

• The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The world’s largest children’s museum is not just for youngsters. www.childrensmuseum.org

• Marengo Cave. A privately-owned cave and one of four show caves in Indiana, the cave measures 5 miles in length and is located in Marengo, in Crawford County. www.marengocave.com

 Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian & Western Art, downtown Indianapolis. www.eiteljorg.org

• Candles Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Terre Haute. This museum was founded by Holocaust survivor and forgiveness advocate Eva Kor, who with her sister Miriam was subjected to Nazi body experimentation.  www.candlesholocaustmuseum.org

• Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy, Vincennes. Established in the comedian’s Hoosier hometown. www.redskeltonmuseum.org

• African/African-American Historical Museum, Fort Wayne. Explore the history of people of African descent in Allen County since 1809 and African history from earliest times to today. www.visitfortwayne.com

• Historic Old Fort, Fort Wayne.  The reconstructed Fort Wayne is a faithful copy of the fort used during 1815-16. www.fortwayneparks.org or www.oldfortwayne.org

 

 

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