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Staying active is a key part of staying mentally and physically healthy as we age. Whether it’s group exercise classes, workshops at the local community college, trips to parks, museums, and trails, or even book clubs, there are plenty of activities for seniors in the Washington, DC, area.

Though it is easy to find scheduled activities throughout the week, sometimes finding new opportunities to relax and spend time with friends can be a bit more challenging. For active seniors in the DC area, here are five local spots where you, your family, and your friends can find some fun.

A New Spin on Bowling

Whether you’re known for hitting strike after strike or throwing a string of gutterballs, you may enjoy this new take on bowling nearby. White Oak Duckpin Lanes in Silver Spring, Maryland, is a smaller version of the traditional bowling experience that uses a softball-sized bowling ball and smaller-scale bowling pins. 

Because the ball is smaller, it doesn’t have finger holes, which can make bowling easier for players of all ages and skill levels. Even better, White Oak Duckpin Lanes is one of the oldest alleys of its type in the region, open seven days a week for a drop-in game or even for those who are looking to join a league. Rates for seniors are $3.50 per game (Monday through Friday before 5 p.m. only), plus $4.50 for shoe rentals.

The Smithsonian Butterfly Pavilion

The Smithsonian is known for its natural history exhibits and treasures from around the world, but you’ve probably never heard of its beautiful Butterfly Pavilion. Hosted at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History on Constitution Avenue NW in downtown Washington, the Butterfly Pavilion boasts butterfly species and plants from all around the world. 

As soon as guests enter the brightly lit indoor ecosystem, they can find themselves among verbena and jatropha plants while hundreds of butterflies fly freely around, landing on plants and sometimes people. Tickets to visit the Butterfly Pavilion are $7 for seniors, available for purchase online or in limited quantities at the museum. 

A Little Fun and Games

If you’ve always enjoyed a good board game with friends and family, how about taking a trip to the Board and Brew in College Park, Maryland? Whether you already have a game of choice such as chess, Monopoly, or Risk, or you’re in the mood to try something different, playing a board game with friends and family in a restaurant full of like-minded people can be a fun new experience. The Board and Brew offers game night every night, as well as a full menu and drink list to enjoy while you play.

Live and Play Alongside Friends

What could be better than living and playing in the same place? Arbor Terrace in Prince George’s County can offer just that: engaging, exciting, and even meaningful opportunities to take up new hobbies, enjoy activities in the area, and even take trips to local places of interest with friends new and old, or family members. No matter your interests, Arbor Terrace always has a busy, diverse schedule of events to keep you mentally and physically engaged throughout the month, many for which transportation is available. 

A Docent’s Tour of the National Portrait Gallery

Sure you’ve been to Washington’s National Portrait Gallery, but you probably haven’t had the chance to embark on the special journey that is its Docent’s Choice Tour. This exciting tour passes through the America’s Presidents exhibition, through a selection of the museum’s highlights, or through one of the special exhibitions on display at the time. Docent’s Choice tours run twice each afternoon and are free with entry into the museum. 

So there you have it! Five of the many great amenities active seniors in the Washington and Greenbelt areas have at their fingertips, especially as the weather begins to warm.

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Chris Harper

About the Author: Chris Harper

As the vice president of communications for The Arbor Company, Chris is responsible for digital marketing, public relations, technology and design.