Explore low-cost and accessible recreation and more in Rhode Island's capital city
If you’re searching for activities for seniors in Providence, Rhode Island you’ve come to the right place. Providence is a town of about 200,000 residents that is known for its array of historic architecture, claiming 1,000 buildings in the National Register of Historic Places. Some even call it the renaissance city.
Activities for seniors in Providence
Amongst its historic spots and captivating outdoor spaces, there are many fun activities for older adults ages 65 and up in Providence. We’ve selected some of the city’s gems that are free or low-cost and accessible to people of all abilities.
Explore Roger Williams Park
Discover a place with an array of activities for seniors in Providence: Roger Williams Park. Built in the 1880s, this 427-acre neighborhood park features seven lakes. There’s lots to explore!
You will be in awe of the more than 100 species of wildlife at Roger Williams Park Zoo. Plus, their Carousel Village is a great place to take a stroll with plenty of year-round events and food trucks to enjoy.
You can even become a citizen scientist with FrogWatcherUSA. Frog watching is a great night activity to enjoy at the park. For example, you can learn the importance of amphibians in the environment and how to monitor the local frog population. Next, you can explore how to tell different species apart and report your findings as part of a combined effort to protect the species.
Museum of Natural History
Stop by New England’s largest glasshouse display garden, Roger Williams Park Botanical Center. There, you can enjoy some peace and quiet surrounded by a wide variety of plants, including majestic 40′ tall palms, carnivorous plants, 10′ cacti, and succulents. They even have their very own rose maze! It's in bloom from June to September and the outdoor perennial gardens bloom with color from spring to fall. Visit the calendar to view special events, workshops, and other activities, like yoga and a photography class in the gardens.
More to explore at Roger Williams Park:
Thrift shopping is a wonderful way to get to know your community and help reduce waste. You can score high-quality items at a low-cost, or maybe scavenge items for your next DIY project. Here are some thrift stores in the Providence area:
- The Salvation Army: 201 Pitman St. Providence, RI 02906
- St Martin's Episcopal Church: 50 Orchard Ave. Providence, RI 02906
- Savers: 201 Branch Ave. Providence, RI 02904
- Dean's List Academy Donation Center: 25 Esten Ave. Pawtucket, RI 02860
Enjoy arts and culture
The Providence Art Club features four historic buildings located on College Hill. Seniors can enjoy year-round galleries, exhibitions, and events that are free and open to all.
Another beautiful historic spot is the Providence Athenaeum, a nearly 200-year old circulating library. During your visit, you can explore all three floors of the building and learn about the library’s history and collections with a self-guided tour. Next, you can plan a tour of the Rhode Island State House Building.
For those who love architecture, taking a beautiful walk down Benefit Street is a wonderful way to appreciate different styles. It’s described as an outdoor museum with its cobblestoned street that features Victorian lampposts with an intense concentration of original Colonial homes.
Unleash your inner foodie
Providence is home to a world-class culinary school, Johnson & Wales. It's created a thriving food scene in the area. And thanks to easy access to top-quality produce and seafood from nearby farms and waterways, you’ll find fresh ingredients wherever your dining experience takes you. Here’s a list of the 33 most essential restaurants in Providence.
The most popular activity for seniors to do in Providence is arguably the WaterFire experience. This powerful work of art is a symbol of Providence’s renaissance history.
You can see the award-winning sculpture by Barnaby Evans along the three rivers in downtown Providence. The show features more than eight sparkling bonfires and torch-lit vessels that travel down the river, along with enchanting music.
Don’t forget to ask about discounts on activities for seniors in Providence and across Rhode Island
Many activities for seniors in Providence are free or low-cost. If there are admission fees, always ask if there is a free day for seniors. Here are some discounts to get you started:
- RISD Museum: Maintained by the Rhode Island School of Design, the museum represents diverse cultures from the ancient to the present. Seniors can visit for free on Sundays or during the week for $12.
- Newport Art Museum in Newport: Explore the art museum in the historic Griswold House. Seniors can tour the museum for $10.
- Eastside Marketplace: At this always-stocked grocery store, seniors get a 5% discount on Tuesdays, on top of the usual weekly deals.
- Rhode Island Public Transportation (RIPTA): Seniors and people with disabilities receive 50% off fares. A ride on a bus or trolley costs just a dollar in the middle of the day or the evening. Plus, RIPTA runs throughout the entire state, not just Providence, so you can take buses all the way to the beach or hop on a trolley in Newport.
- College tuition senior citizen waivers: Rhode Island residents who are at least 60 years of age may apply for a senior citizen waiver of tuition and registration fee for courses at various colleges, including Rhode Island College and Community College of Rhode Island.
- Rhode Island State Parks Beach Pass: Residents and non-residents who are 65 and up get a 50% discount off season passes. (Military personnel, whose permanent duty station is located in Rhode Island, are also eligible for resident season passes or can pay the resident day rate.)
Have fun at home
No matter where you live, you can always enjoy time at home. Art and crafts is one of the many fun activities you can do.
Try these great art activities for seniors to make with things you already have around the house. Plus, the neighborhood dollar store may offer an abundance of ideas to get creative by painting on canvas, stitch art, or even pottery. Don't forget to also look for free craft supplies in local Buy Nothing groups.
If you want to keep active at home, you can head to YouTube, where you'll find many free exercise videos. You can take a yoga class, learn more about meditation, or dance with Zumba. To get started, try these gentle exercises for seniors.
Work with seniors in Providence
If working with seniors, older adults, and families in Providence sounds good to you, consider becoming a Papa Pal.
Papa Pals are part-time companion caregivers who set their own flexible schedules. A a Papa Pal's main role is about companionship. They help others in the community by offering support with a range of tasks and activities, such as taking walks together, pet care, and arts and craft. Papa Pals also help with errands, house tasks, basic technology, car rides, and meal prep. It's a great job for friendly, reliable people who have a passion for helping others.