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Summer is the best time to enjoy all the activities Colorado has to offer. This can be daunting for families who want to include an elderly person in their outings – especially if that individual has memory loss. Yet older adults benefit greatly from these activities just like the rest of us.
For all of us, physical exercise, cognitive stimulation and social engagement are important facets of a healthy lifestyle. Adults with memory loss disorders related to dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and stroke can benefit greatly from staying active and participating in new life experiences.
The following top 10 summer trips have all been "senior-tested" and approved by InnovAge experts.
1. Roxborough State Park Tram Ride - Roxborough Park, www.coloradoparks.org
Enjoy the beauty of this park aboard the Rox Ride, a 7-seat tram ride in a large golf cart that takes you along a trail to the original homestead with a park ranger as a guide. You will see the spectacular “red rocks,” Lyons Formation and the Dakota Hogback.
2. Colorado Railroad Museum - Golden, www.coloradorailroadmuseum.org
Covering 12 acres, the museum features the state’s largest railroad collection, including more than 70 narrow and standard gauge locomotives and cars. Inside the main building is a replica of an 1880 railroad station, a large HO model railroad and thousands of old photographs documenting earlier times.
3. Hiwan Homestead - Evergreen, http://jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R10.htm
Built in 1890, this 17-room log lodge has an interesting history, having started as Camp Neosho. The home includes a chapel, schoolroom and many uniquely decorated living quarters. There is also a collection of Southwestern Indian artifacts.
4. B's Ballpark Museum and Nearby "Evolution of the Ball" Arch - Denver, www.ballparkmuseum.com
This museum contains a lifetime collection of baseball artifacts and memorabilia. There are bricks from bygone stadiums, uniforms and models of classic ballparks. Also be sure to check out the “Evolution of the Ball” arch, a unique piece of public art that features 108 ceramic balls from sports balls to eyeballs on the base of an arch just west of Coors Field.
5. Denver Botanical Gardens - Denver, www.botanicgardens.org
Boettcher Memorial Conservatory is open year-round and is a great tropical retreat. Hear water trickling through a jungle setting of huge ferns and exotic flowering plants and wander through perennial, annual, desert, Japanese and other gardens.
6. Dinosaur Ridge - Morrison, www.dinoridge.org
Dinosaur Ridge includes a visitor center and an outdoor trail with 16 interpretive stops. Learn about the Apatosaurus, stegosaurus and other dinosaur fossils of the Cretaceous period, which were discovered here in 1877.
7. Four Mile Historic Park - Denver, www.fourmilepark.org
Once a stage stop on the Cherokee Trail, the tour includes Denver’s oldest standing log structure, built in 1859. Guides provide a historic background of the area and several interesting stories about early settlers.
8. Governor's Residence at Boettcher Mansion - Denver, www.colorado.gov/governor/residence/
Tour the mansion, learn much about Colorado history and “ooh & ah” at the gorgeous furnishings, including a Waterford chandelier that came from the White House.
9. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - Colorado Springs, www.cmzoo.org
Located on Cheyenne Mountain, the zoo features more than 500 animals, including many endangered species like the Siberian tiger and lowland gorilla. Close to the entrance is a giraffe herd that you can observe at eye-level and even feed!
10. Leanin' Tree Museum - Boulder, www.leanintreemuseum.com
This museum holds a privately owned collection of more than 200 Western paintings and 80 bronze sculptures, including landscapes, cowboys, pioneers and Native Americans.
[Editor's Note - Visit the www.agelessoutings.com website or read the book Ageless Outings for more information on the destinations listed above and many other great ideas for day trips.]