Spending time enjoying the summer outdoors is a great way for seniors, their caregivers, and family members to while away the hours. Looking for a way to get out and enjoy summer with your friends and family in the Milwaukee and local areas? Here are some suggestions: from dining in unique settings, participating in some of the region’s fun festivals, to discovering new outdoor attractions – your Senior Summer awaits.
Water, water everywhere
Milwaukee is a city practically surrounded by water -- Lake Michigan to the east, rivers meandering through the city, and lakes abounding in the western suburbs. Canoe and kayak rentals are available, dinner cruises with live entertainment are booked throughout the summer and long walks along one of our many beaches are just a quick jaunt away.
And the band played on
Milwaukee’s music and entertainment venues bring some of the most exciting touring acts to the city, plus many local organizations will put on small music events or outdoor theatre showings celebrating the warm summer evenings! Enjoy Concerts in the Gardens, Thursday night free concerts sponsored by Wimmer Communities at the Boerner Botanical Gardens Plan to attend shows at any of the many outdoor venues such as the State Fair, Summer Fest and Country Thunder. Milwaukee (and the region) offer shows for everyone. Bring a blanket, snacks, and bug spray (just to be safe!) and enjoy the sounds and scenery.
I have a hankering for...
Just thinking about all the different summer foods available makes me drool. There are burger joints, custard stands, food trucks, brunches, lunches, and suppers all waiting to fulfill your wildest epicurean dreams. And, even though it is really against all the good health rules we should follow as Seniors, don’t forget to try a nibble of something deep fried on a stick at the State Fair (you can always follow it up with a State Fair Cream Puff!).
The City of Festivals
Milwaukee truly is The City of Festivals. There are music festivals, ethnic festivals, food festivals – there are even pet festivals. Perhaps the most widely (and nationally) known is “The Big Gig.” Summerfest brings in music talent from around the globe and offers a venue for everyone. Out in the burbs you will find local communities celebrating the season, which are a harbinger of the State Fair in August. Make your summer come alive with live music, delicious food and a warm sense of community and culture.
Take me out to the ballgame
Summer and baseball have always seemed to go hand in hand. Plan on going out to watch the Brew Crew decimate any and all competitors, eat a hot dog and some Cracker Jacks, toss back a cold one and enjoy a couple of days with family and friends at the ballpark.
A Public Safety Announcement!
Summer activities can be a blast and there are times when we can become so caught up in the moment that we do not pay attention to the impact the sultry summer weather may have on us. As we age it becomes even more important to understand that we may end up suffering from heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and head stroke. To stave off possible illness or worse, keep in mind the following bits of advice:
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty. Caffeine and alcoholic beverages accelerate dehydration and should be used in moderation. Instead, drink plenty of water. Sports drinks can be good for rehydration and replenish the sodium and potassium lost through sweating. Remember to stay hydrated, dehydration can increase the risk of skin injury.
- When we were younger, many of us considered the sun our friend. Hours spent tanning in the summer rays were all part of the joys of the season. Times change and so do our bodies. Now, we pay closer attention to avoiding direct sun exposure, particularly during the late morning and early afternoon when the sun rays are at their peak. To protect your skin from harmful effects of UV rays, the American Cancer Society uses a catchphrase that can help you remember useful steps to protect yourself while enjoying the outdoors - "Slip! Slop! Slap! And Wrap!" Meaning, "Slip on a shirt. Slop on Sunscreen. Slap on a hat. And Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and sensitive skin around them."
- While we may not want to cut out on the outdoor activities, we should cut back. By limiting strenuous activity and exercise, our bodies will still get the workout we desire, while minimizing activities which can be detrimental. If you exercise regularly, focus your workouts during the early morning or late evenings.
- Keep your cool with frequent breaks. If you are spending time out in the hot summer sun, don’t be shy on taking breaks to allow your body time to recover and rehydrate. Find a cool, shaded area where you can replenish comfortably. As Dean Martin sang so eloquently, “And in July, a lemonade, To cool you in some leafy glade; I wish you health and more than wealth, I wish you love.”
So, get out there and enjoy the summer, enjoy the time you have with your friends and family, and, most importantly, enjoy life!
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