5 Summer Activities for Seniors in Richmond, VABrandermill Woods independent living angle

5 Summer Activities for Seniors in Richmond, VA

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Summer is here, and adventure is beckoning. Whether you want to soak up the sun, get involved in the community, or rediscover the city’s attractions, there's plenty to keep you busy in Richmond this summer. Check out our favorite fun-in-the-sun activities for seniors and make the most of the upcoming season.  

1. Volunteer With Sportable

One of the benefits of Independent Living is that you have more time to pursue activities that matter to you. This summer, donate your time to Sportable and make a difference in the lives of athletes who have physical and visual impairments. This nonprofit organization makes sports accessible to individuals of all ages and abilities. Volunteers give athletes a chance to interact with their peers and play a variety of adaptive sports, such as wheelchair tennis, power soccer, pickleball, swimming, cycling, rugby, basketball, and kayaking.

Sportable provides training, so you don't need experience in sports or working with people with disabilities to volunteer. Duties vary depending on the program you sign up for. You might check in athletes, set up equipment, take photos, score keep, retrieve balls, or help with practice drills. Visit the Sportable website to learn more about volunteering and complete the application form.

2. Visit the VMFA

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is worth a visit at any time of year, but especially in the summer. Art and nature intertwine in the museum's 3.5-acre outdoor sculpture garden, which features winding paths, stately trees, beautifully styled flowers, and a cascading waterfall. As you stroll the grounds, discover inspiring pieces such as glass art by Dale Chihuly and a 24-foot sculptural head by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.

Inside, the museum’s permanent collection of more than 50,000 pieces awaits you. Immerse yourself in paintings, drawings, textiles, ceramics, photographs, and decorative arts from around the world, including the largest collection of Fabergé pieces outside of Russia. The VMFA also curates numerous temporary exhibits, so even if you're a VMFA regular, there's always something to pique your curiosity. Complete your experience with lunch or dinner at Amuse, the museum's farm-to-table restaurant with views of the sculpture garden.

3. Walk Along the James River at Brown's Island

Ready to stretch your legs? Head to Brown's Island in downtown Richmond for a picturesque waterfront stroll. Tucked along the James River, this popular public park is open from sunrise to sunset and offers lovely views of the city skyline. It's also home to numerous community events, concerts, and festivals. Bring a snack and blanket and enjoy a picnic in the park's lush green space.

As you explore the park, look for historical markers and public art. Highlights include The Headman, a sculpture that greets visitors at the entrance to the island, and the Emancipation and Freedom Monument at the base of 5th Street near the Halsey Bridge. The city's 1.25-mile historic Canal Walk passes through Brown's Island, so if you feel like getting more steps in, continue your stroll through the city's downtown core. Don't forget to wear sunscreen and take breaks from the heat to stay safe in the sun.

4. Enjoy a Canal Tour

Another way to explore the James River and Kanawha Canal is to set sail on a scenic riverfront canal cruise. Climb aboard one of the comfortable covered canal boats and cruise past key landmarks. You'll see the legendary tobacco warehouses that have been transformed into lofts and retail spaces; the Low Line Gardens, an urban oasis underneath the rail trestles; and the Triple Crossing, one of only two places in the United States where three railroad lines intersect at the same spot. During your 40-minute tour of this historic waterway, you'll learn about the area's rich heritage.

Tickets for the river cruises can be purchased online, with a limited number of walk-on spots available. Canal tours leave from the Turning Basin on Virginia Street and operate daily between May and September. 

5. Visit the RVA Big Market

Start your weekend with a Saturday morning visit to the RVA Big Market in Bryan Park. This bustling farmers market features a diverse array of products made or grown in Virginia. Pick up a bouquet of flowers to brighten your home at Brandermill Woods, or browse through a unique selection of handcrafted jewelry, clothing, furniture, soaps, and art.

The market is also a great place to support local vendors and find sustainable, healthy food options. Bring your grocery list and stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, and cheese. You'll also find homemade products, including honey, pickles, salsas, kombucha, juices, and baked goods. And if your stomach is grumbling after seeing all these tantalizing offerings, enjoy a tasty snack or meal from one of the many food carts or trucks on site.

RVA Big Market is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 noon from May to October. It's located in Bryan Park at 4308 Hermitage Road in Richmond.

Embrace Summer at Brandermill Woods

You don't have to leave home to enjoy summer in Richmond. We have a full range of services and amenities to keep you busy right in our senior living community. Take a fitness class, get creative in the woodworking shop, play a game of Scrabble, and socialize during Happy Hour. Come experience a summer afternoon at Brandermill Woods. Call (804) 621-7328 and schedule your tour today.