By Sara Lugardo
When it comes to Chicago, there is a vibrant nightlife scene, a constant barrage of outdoor festivals and even romantic cruises on the lake. However, many Chicago attractions may not be suitable for the older generation, whether it’s not in their realm of things they like to do or it isn’t accessible for those with issues affecting the elderly. For those looking to entertain grandparents in the Chicago area, it’s possible to find some elderly friendly activities with a budgeted cost. Make sure to take advantage of all that Chicago has to offer to entertain grandparents without breaking the bank.
1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Give your parents or grandparents the moon and stars with a trip to the Adler Planetarium. Seniors are given a discounted price on admission, which includes access to all exhibitions. Yearly memberships are great for taking advantage of daily activities, exhibitions and special events. The special events include lectures, viewings and even anniversary celebrations for historic missions. There are curb-cut ramps, handicapped parking spaces and free wheelchair service is provided.
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
The membership benefits include unlimited free admission to the museum and research center, free or discounted admission to more than 270 history museums, free subscriptions to the Museum’s Chicago History magazine and a number of other discounts at museum stores and cafes. All memberships are 100 percent tax deductible and public tours are free for guides throughout specific museum topics for your planned visit. Upcoming special events include The Music of Jewish Chicago on March 3rd, Mah Jongg Madness starting in May and Shalom Crafts in April. For those with mobility devices, there are specially located spots that are reserved. For more information on disability access, call (312) 642-4600.
8400 31st St.
Brookfield, IL 60513
Besides the discounted price of admission and membership, there are discounts for tickets for the Motor Safari and Dolphin Presentation. Senior membership includes two free admission tickets, two free tickets for children under the age of 18 and two free one-time-only guest passes. Handicapped parking spots are available in both parking lots, wheelchairs can be rented for $10, Electronic Convenience Vehicles can be rented for $22 and an access sticker can be provided for those using their own personal mobility device in exhibits and buildings. For more information on accessibility, contact the Chicago Zoological Society’s ADA Coordinator at (708) 688-8338.
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
The Chicago Cultural Center hosts a number of different activities and programs that are geared toward seniors. There are visual art and performance programs that are free to view for the general public and a number of ongoing programs and exhibitions like the Claire Ashley gallery running through March 31, the Chicago Landmarks exhibit through 2020 and various special events that pop up each month. A wheelchair-accessible entrance is located near the Randolph entrance and wheelchairs are available upon request on a first-come, first-served basis.
Leaning Tower YMCA
6300 W. Touhy Ave.
Niles, IL 60714
Sometimes the best entertainment for a senior is to be around others their own age or to engage in an activity that promotes mobility. The YMCA has a number of activities geared toward seniors, whether it’s a low-impact cardio, swimming, yoga or even trendy classes like Zumba. Memberships include access to virtual training programs, free land and water fitness classes and much more. With the option of a yearly or monthly membership, this can be a great gift for a grandparent to congregate with others their age while staying active.
Sara Lugardo is a Korean American who thrives in writing about Asian community news in Chicago. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.