It’s no secret that the Sunshine State has long been a haven for retirees and snowbirds, who come here to thaw their bodies and their souls.
More than half a million people over 60 live in Miami-Dade County, making it the most populous place in the state where older adults live. By 2040, that number is expected to reach 800,000, or 25 percent of the population in Miami-Dade, according to the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research.
Aside from warmth, South Florida offers a myriad of things to do for those 55 and older. From cultural and current events programs to technology, food and fitness classes to old-time dances and trips to ball games and other places, there are ample programs to help you stay engaged, learn new skills and just have a good time.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Miami
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Program: Monday through Friday courses taught by UM faculty for people aged 50 and older seeking intellectual enrichment. Six-week classes include: iPhone basics, digital photography, watercolor painting, language and wellness courses, yoga for beginners, Shakespeare play reading, “In the News” discussions, writing workshops, and much more.
Other information: Annual membership fee is $40. Most (lecture) classes are $66 for a six-week course. Some classes are free. Computer and painting classes range from $110 to $115. Scholarships are available.
Spring 2 classes are currently underway and finish on April 13. Spring 3 classes run from April 23, through June 4. Summer classes begin on June 18, and finish on July 27.
Contact: Register online at miami.edu/osher, via phone at (305) 284-6554, or in person at the OLLI Office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Location: OLLI at UM is on the Coral Gables University of Miami campus, in Founders Hall: 1550 Brescia Ave., Coral Gables
UNIDAD of Miami Beach
Program: In partnership with the city of Miami Beach and the non-profit South Florida Workforce, UNIDAD offers many year-round programs to help low-income Miami-Dade residents, ages 55 and up. The oceanfront Senior Center, 7251 Collins Ave., offers free job training and placement through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), counseling, support groups, nutrition and health screenings, free meals, fitness classes, and assistance with immigration-related issues.
Location: Programs take place at three facilities in Miami Beach: The Coral Rock House, 1701 Normandy Drive; the South Shore Community Center, 833 Sixth Street; and the North Beach Oceanfront Center, 7251 Collins Ave.
Coral Gables Adult Activity Center
Program: Offered year-round to residents and non-residents of Coral Gables, guests can enjoy luncheons with guest speakers, dinner and live music, dance, acting, fitness and wellness classes; scrapbooking, book club, card games, technology classes, “how to” classes for Uber and other transportation applications, social and support services, and much more. Class packages start at $12.90 for residents.
Location: 2 Andalusia Ave., Coral Gables
Golden Gardens Senior Program
Program: The City of Miami Gardens provides those 55 and older with monthly field trips, brunch, guest speakers, monthly birthday celebrations, health fairs, computer classes, swimming, water aerobics, Jazzercise, and field trips to the Frost Science Museum, the Keys, and Bayside boat excursions.
Other information: The program is free for members of the Medicare-based SilverSneakers program. Monthly packages range from $7 to $31. The program is currently full with 230 participants, but pre-registration is available for classes that start in September and run through May. The Miami Gardens Senior Focal Point Center offers similar programs.
Contact: To pre-register for the Golden Gardens program, call Mae Foley, recreation coordinator, at (305) 622 8000 x. 2531. www.miamigardens-fl.gov; For the Senior Focal Point Center, call (305) 628-4354.
Location: Golden Gardens Senior Program: 3000 NW 199 St., Miami Gardens (Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex); Miami Gardens Senior Focal Point Center: 16405 NW 25 Ave., Miami Gardens; (305) 628-4354
Little Haiti Silver Senior Days
Program: Film-lovers will love seeing international and Caribbean classics the last Wednesday of each month at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. The free “Senior Cinema Project,” is open to all seniors, and is followed by a buffet lunch and rotating classes like reflexology, art and computer help. The film starts at 11 a.m., with the next film showing on March 28. Popcorn and beverages are also served during the movie. Free hour-long yoga classes (for all ages) and live drumming take place at the center at 6 p.m. every Thursday.
Location: 212-260 NE 59th Terrace, Miami.
Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers
Program: Since its inception 40 years ago, the non-profit has helped mostly Hispanic seniors across Miami at its 14 senior centers . Programs include arts and crafts, fitness activities, health services, nutrition counseling and meals to homebound people. The organization also has three adult day care centers in South Miami, the Hammocks and in Hialeah.
Other information: People 60 and older can enroll in the senior centers, free of charge. Caretakers or family members can enroll their client or family member in one of three adult day care centers, geared for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Contact: Barbara Outerino, (786) 470-3080;
Location: Little Havana, Hialeah, Miami Beach, South Miami, Brickell and more. Visit www.lhanc.org
Senior L.I.F.T. Center in Kendall
What they offer: For 30 years, this volunteer-run non-profit has been providing able-bodied people, 50 and older, with year-round classes and activities. Classes include line dancing, tap dancing, card and table games, computer classes, English and Spanish classes, and monthly field trips. The center is open Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. An annual membership fee costs $70.
Location: 12480 SW 127 Ave. Miami
Broward's Focal Point Senior Centers
What they offer: Located in Deerfield Beach, Margate, Miramar and Pembroke Pines, Broward's Focal Point Senior Centers provide services for those 60 and older. Programs include social, recreational and educational programs, Alzheimer's Day Care programs, counseling, transportation and health support services. A communal dining hall serves meals at 11 a.m., Monday through Friday. Transportation can be provided to and from the senior center and to medical and dental appointments. Limited grocery shopping, prescription medication pickup, and door-to-door services are also offered.
Contact: (954) 745-9779; www.adrcbroward.org
Location: Visit: www.adrcbroward.org/focalpoints.php
Sunrise Senior Center
What they offer: Open over two decades, the Sunrise Senior Center, organizes outings to sports games (Miami Heat, Miami Marlins), museums, holiday concerts, hosts dance classes (line dancing, Scottish dancing) at their Center, brings in professionals in the health industry for lectures, and provides social fun and exercise through various activities like Tai Chi, Zumba, and yoga. Available for people 55 and up.
Other information: $15 annual fee for residents of Sunrise; $25 for non-residents; The center is open on weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays, and from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Contact: (954) 746-3670; www.sunrisefl.gov/index.aspx?page=262
Location: 10650 West Oakland Park Boulevard, Sunrise, 33351