The holiday season brings additional opportunities for socialising, enjoying the warmer weather and being outside in the fresh air.
We’ve put together a list of activities for older Australians to enjoy, to inspire you to explore some new pursuits.
In this article
- Accessing support for holiday activities
- Celebrating your religious traditions
- Getting out and about
- Revelling in the summer weather
- Volunteering over the holidays
- Holiday activities to indulge in at home
- Beauty and spa treatments
- A message for carers
Scroll down to the bottom of this article for capital city-specific events where you live.
Accessing support for holiday activities
On the Mable website, you can search for independent support workers in your local area who have lots of different interests, skills and passions. We recommend searching the profiles and connecting with support workers whose interests match the activities you’d like to try. They can join you in planning where to go, or if staying at home, planning enjoyable things to do there.
Have a read through the list and imagine the fun and pleasure you will experience over these coming holiday times.
Celebrating your religious traditions
Independent support workers offering their services on Mable come from varied backgrounds and some might practise similar traditions as you do. They can accompany you to special events, take you along to festive markets, go gift shopping with you, help decorate your home for festivities and accompany you to visit friends and loved ones.
Getting out and about
Check your local paper for events such as charity gift stalls, community get-togethers and seniors club lunches. There are seasonal musicals and ballets, exhibitions at museums and galleries, suburbs with monumental Christmas lights displays and animal aquariums. For those with a more adventurous spirit, how about theme parks?
You can get your fill of pet snuggles at a cat cuddle café or by visiting an animal shelter or a zoo. View the panoramas from your area’s lookout spot. Enquire about a factory tour such as at a brewery, a distillery, a dairy or a chocolate maker.
Whatever you’d like to do, there is bound to be a support worker on the Mable website who will be delighted to do it with you.
Revelling in the summer weather
With the warmer weather bringing cheer and sunshine, it’s a pleasure – and good for our wellbeing – to go outdoors and be in nature. A simple stroll around the block can be an opportunity to greet neighbours, enjoy a change of scenery and spot a few treasures to bring home.
Think about having a picnic in the park or feeding the ducks at the creek. Try your photography skills with your smartphone and upload your photos to your Facebook account when you get home. Visit the playground and revel in the joyful sounds of little kids having fun. Go along to the dog park, whether or not you have your own fur baby to bring and watch the canine hijinks as they run and round.
At this time of year, local councils often put on free outdoor exhibits featuring art and music. Some are held during the day, others in the evening. Some councils also offer free fitness activities suitable for all ages and capabilities, from tai chi to yoga. Food truck events are vibrant and fun, with a range of cuisines on offer and happy, sociable people going along to enjoy a meal.
If you enjoy fishing, search for a support worker who does too and plan to go fishing for a couple of hours. Have you tried archery? How about croquet? Birdwatching, wildlife spotting or yabbying?
All of these activities are perfect for summer. Just remember to wear sunscreen and a hat and keep hydrated.
Volunteering over the holidays
Giving back to the community is a beautiful way to connect with others over the holidays. Have a chat with your support worker about your goals and reach out to volunteering organisations in your area. You might like to mentor local youths at your neighbourhood centre, church or mosque, read to children at the library, help out at Meals on Wheels or volunteer at your local hospice.
At this time of year, many organisations need extra help for children’s school holiday activities and because their usual volunteers may have gone on holidays.
Holiday activities to indulge in at home
Baking for the holidays
You might like to have a couple of friends over for coffee and shortbread for morning tea. You and your support worker can put on some favourite music and do a little baking so that the shortbread is fresh out of the oven when your guests arrive. Otherwise, you could bake some treats to give as gifts such as shaped cookies or an easy fruit cake, or purchase a gingerbread house kit and have fun baking and putting it together.
Crafting homemade gifts
Everybody loves a homemade gift. Would you like to try some crocheting, knitting or sewing? How about painting by numbers or putting together a scrapbook of precious memories? A support worker with interests in arts and crafts will be ideal for these kinds of activities and can either teach you how to do them or join in with you. Ideas for homemade gift items include bookmarks, mosaic coasters, rag dolls, lavender sachets, painted mugs, baby bootees, knitted wine bottle sleeves and potted plants/succulents.
Being outdoors at home
Afternoon tea on the back deck when the day has cooled is a lovely way to spend time, especially if you’re listening to music, doing puzzles or having a good old chat. Gardening can also be very rewarding, whether you’re potting herbs for the balcony or planting seeds for new flowers for the season. Water the garden, pick some blooms, identify the local birdlife and pull a few weeds. A support worker with gardening interests will be particularly useful for their ideas and know-how.
Beauty and spa treatments
Treat yourself to some ‘me time’ over the holidays with a massage, a facial, manicure or pedicure, eyebrow beauty treatments or a new hairstyle. You may find a support worker who has these skills and can perform them in your home. Otherwise, your support worker could accompany you to your appointment and bring you home again.
A message for carers
If you manage your loved one’s Mable account and can’t be with them this holiday season, you can search for and reach out to a support worker who can take them to church or have Christmas lunch with them.
With so much on offer outside of home and so many activities that can be done at home, all you may need is a support worker to help you organise it and get started. Search the profiles today to find the right person today.
Capital city events during the holiday season
- Brisbane City Hall Lights – Celebrate the festive season at Brisbane City Hall with The Lott by Golden Casket City Hall Lights, a visual and audio display of The Night Before Christmas. King George Square, 7.30pm to midnight, 10-24 December.
- Attend the cricket – The Ashes will be contested at The Gabba between 8-12 December. Cheer on your team at this iconic venue.
- Michelangelo exhibition – Experience a life-sized, up-close perspective of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel via unique and innovative interpretations. Level 2, The Ice Cream Factory West Village 97 Boundary Street, West End.
- ‘Intertwined’ art exhibition – Presenting the works of Fiona Chaplin and Gail Barfod who are inspired by their love of nature and the way colour and design appear in the natural world. 179 Darling Street, Balmain, 3-5 and 8-12 December, 11am to 6pm. Entry to the Intertwined art exhibition is free.
- Neighbourhood Earth – An award-winning exhibition developed by NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Neighbourhood Earth tells the story of space science and exploration like you’ve never experienced before. International Convention Centre, to 23rd December.
- Choirs in the City – Every evening from 7pm to midnight until Christmas, choirs will sing carols under the Christmas tree and you are welcome to join in. Martin Place, free to attend.
- Moulin Rouge! The Musical – Now playing at the Regent Theatre, Moulin Rouge! is a musical and visual spectacle, adapted from the Baz Luhrmann movie. Accessible seating can be requested when booking tickets and Companion Card is accepted.
- Shakespeare at Southbank – Shakespeare’s warm-hearted and romantic tale, As You Like It is being performed by the Melbourne Theatre Company at Southbank Theatre until 18th December. Wheelchair accessible, hearing assistance and other accessibility features are available.
- The National Arboretum – A botanical garden dedicated to conservation, education and scientific research, the National Arboretum is an ever-evolving presentation of trees from around the globe. Don’t miss the fantastic Pod Playground with its giant acorn cubbies and nest swings. Wheelchair friendly venue.
- Jet Flight Simulator – Suitable even for those who’ve never flown before, the Jet Flight Simulator welcomes guests of all ages. The 737 simulator doesn’t move but the high-quality graphics and visual motion provide an exciting, immersive experience.
- Maritime Museum of Tasmania – Go along to the Maritime Museum in Hobart for informative displays about mariners from a range of cultures. Displays include the museum’s collection of ship models plus images, paintings and artefacts including navigational instruments. Venue welcomes people with access needs.
- Prospect House Restaurant – Take a scenic trip out to historic Richmond for a spot of breakfast or dinner at the gorgeous Prospect House Restaurant. Open for breakfast to non-staying guests on Saturdays and Sundays between 8-10am and 5-course dinners in the evening. The restaurant also features a private dining room for family get-togethers of between 8-14 guests.
- Vodafone Men’s Ashes, Second Test – From 16-20 December, the cricket is on at the Adelaide Oval. The Second Test promises to be full of highlights, with Australia going up against England in the iconic battle for The Ashes.
- Christmas Gift Markets – Shop for an eclectic array of prezzies from more than 60 stalls at two different markets. The Adelaide Makers’ Markets will be at Victoria Square Markets on 10th December and 88 O’Connell Street Markets on 19th December.
- The Nutcracker – The enthralling Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker plays a limited season in Perth, from 18-20 December at His Majesty’s Theatre.
- Home Alone in Concert – On 10th December, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra is performing the heart-warming score of the Christmas movie classic, Home Alone, live to film at RAC Arena.
- Carols by the Sea – Sing along to your Christmas favourites at the Nightcliff Foreshore Carols by the Sea from 6.30pm on 23rd December. The venue is the Nightcliff Swimming Pool, 259 Casuarina Drive, Nightcliff.
- Multicultural Christmas Celebration – On 19th December, join people from lots of different cultural backgrounds at Harmony Hall, 44 Patterson St, Malak. Free food, shows, dance performances, photos and workshops will be on offer.
These are just a few ideas around activities that are on in your capital city. Your local newspaper (print or online) might advertise others or you may learn about more from friends, neighbours and family. The radio, social media and community noticeboards are also helpful for ideas. Wishing you a happy and fulfilling holiday season.