Something Besides Eating

Updated on June 15, 2017
N.G. asks from Fayetteville, AR
14 answers

Mamas, please help with suggestions for outings (for women age 45 and up) that do not have to do with eating as the main event. My friends and I are all in this age group, mobile, fairly healthy, empty-nesters--yet our bi- monthly gatherings all tend to be food related: potlucks, restaurants, birthday meals. Are there other social suggestions that you can give that a group in this age can do?

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So What Happened?

Thanks to all responders. JB thanks for the self-disclosure that this has also occurred to your group.

I had suggested a big, joint yard sale-- no takers. I think the ladies just want to sit, eat, drink and not exert any other physical energy --which makes me sad. We could all lose 5-15 pounds and sitting to eat every time we meet is not what I enjoy as I age, and attention to physical health is at the forefront.

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answers from Denver on

Do you have a local play house? We have a number of little theaters that do small productions. No food but they might have a snack bar.
You might go to a pool or resort and reserve a cabana. It's fun to sit outside and have a drink - not a meal.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Philadelphia on

Spa, theatre, art tours, wine tastings, day at the beach or lake, bike ride on a trail etc.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Outdoor: hike, bike, run, beach day, trip to state fair, gardening or garden tours, walking around grounds of historic homes, volunteering (park clean-up, etc)

Indoor: museum tour, art or craft class, book discussion, movie, theater, dancing or dance class, volunteering (visiting children in hospital, etc)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Go places! I love to meet friends to walk a trail, hit an art museum, science museum, history museum, tour a historic house, botanical gardens, etc. Tour a frank lloyd wright house. Tour an old building. Go to a home show and walk around. Go to a book reading. Go hear some music together. There is always an event going on somewhere. You can go antique shops. You can go to the beach to walk and enjoy being near the water. State parks and national parks and monuments are nice to visit if you have any near you. A day trip somewhere interesting. An afternoon theater production. An art installation or sculpture garden is nice to go see. A battlefield (again, if you live near them). A boat ride. Walk around a zoo or an aquarium. Volunteer a community clean up or some other volunteer activity. A nature center is always fun to visit. They have slow hikes to sign up for where you learn wildflowers or trees. They also have interesting talks and other events going on. Another thing that I love doing with friends is a craft. We pick something and all make it together. A craft or art class. I love trails...there is no end to beautiful trails to walk on. It's a great way to catch up with friends and I like to take my dog. You can walk slow and you don't have to have a destination. Make sure to put on bug spray!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

A quilting/sewing/ knitting circle, book club, drink and draw, plant a garden in some community space, go out dancing, do a book club, assemble care packs for soldiers and or their families and or vets, bowl, fish, go to the roller rink.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

We fall into this rut too. Some outings to mix it up have been paint nights, hikes or bike rides, mani/pedi outings, walking tours or museums, garden tours or workshops, a day or evening at the beach, catching a movie, or going to a fitness class (pilates, yoga, etc.). We normally work in some type of meal or snack but it's nice to do something besides sit around talking and eating.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My neighborhood has a women's bunco group and a women's book club. Each one meets monthly. We take turns hosting. For book club in particular, when we formed it we specifically said that we did NOT want it to turn hosting into a stressful responsibility, and so we purposely specified that it would be low key and no food/drink required from the hostest.

To make the book club even more fun, we sometimes picks books that have can be translated into evenings out. For example, we read The Great Gasby specifically because our local ballet was doing that production, so we read the book and then went to the show. We read Gone Girl just before the movie came out, and then went to the movie. We read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks because the local library was having the author come and speak, so we read the book and then went to hear the author. (these events are over the course of a few years, we read a book every month and we probably go to 2-3 events a year, the rest of the books are just books read for enjoyment). I really love my neighborhood book club.

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answers from Portland on

All good suggestions below (may borrow a few!).

If they must meet over food somehow, could you combine maybe a walk at least (say at some lovely gardens or along a nice trail) and then follow that with brunch? or a lunch? Something that combines the two?

My friend plays golf with some fun ladies, then they go have a brunch at the club house.

Or meet up at a nice market, walk around and then grab some food there?

Maybe look at their favourite eateries (where the group likes going) and see if there's anything nearby that you could take advantage of, or suggest.

I am part of a fitness group - we gab as much as we exercise - and I know what you mean, it's great to combine two things. Maybe see what's available and try to sell them on it. Although not everyone will go for it, so you may just fracture the group.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on


Art or historical museums: Worcester Art, Danforth, Peabody Essex, tons more. Old Sturbridge Village, Plimoth Plantation, NE Aquarium.

Kennedy Library, Boston Freedom Trail, Duck Tours, seaport area, Boston Harbor Island tours, Public Garden (do the Swan Boats if you haven't in the last 20 years).

Outdoor sanctuaries like Garden in the Woods, the Butterfly Place, etc. Hike around Walden Pond. Road trip to western MA along scenic Route 2, check out charming Stockbridge and North Adams/Williamstown with parks, scenic views, museums.

Any of the fantastic free summer concerts at parks and other locations.

Do a paint night - those seem to be very popular lately.

Go antiquing up in the Conway NH area, take short hikes at the nature areas along the Kancamagus Highway, walk out on the rocks to the middle of the river, take the ski lift to the top of the mountain for a scenic view.

Poke in the shops at places like Kennebunkport or Rockport.

Cliff Walk and Newport Mansion tour. Pack a picnic and eat along the water (I know it's eating, but it's not as expensive as going to restaurants!).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Museums, paint your own ceramics, art galleries, concerts, plays, any performing arts really, book club, classes on crafting or just about anything, karaoke, game night, antiquing, dance lessons, hiking, botanical gardens.... so many things.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Trying an exercise class, going to a painting activity like painting pottery, volunteering for a charity event, catching a concert or movie, taking a hike, visiting a museum, spa day/nails done.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

We've done game night in someone's house. Cards, board games, etc. There may be beverages and sometimes snacks as a normal hospitality, but that's not the main point. My mom and her best friend used to get together almost weekly to play Yahtzee and chat.

I'm thinking about asking a couple friends if they want to go see a movie with me this weekend. We've also talked about getting together to watch a movie on DVD in someone's house.

A couple weeks ago, I was in a walking marathon with a group of people (40s-60s). It is an annual event in our city, as we are known for nature and trails. People can do various distances from 6.1 miles to the full 26.2 miles. Our area has a lot of non-competitive groups that enjoy the outdoors at various physical ability levels. Bicycle rides, kayaking, walking, running, fishing, you name it. I'm not into regular golf, but some of my friends go to one of the local courses. We've gone bowling.

There are also non-physical community events like Arts Walk, Jazz Fest, and free concerts of various types in the park.Your town/city website or visitor's center site would have a calendar of events.

The options really hinge on what the individuals are interested in or willing to do.


answers from Washington DC on


I've not read ahead so forgive me if I'm repeating.

Book Clubs - get together to discuss books that you've read.

Art - find a place that does art classes - I know I see a TON of things like this from Groupon - group of people get together for art classes and it seems to be reasonably priced.

If you are in Boston - there's a lot to do - historical sights, etc. Museums?

My mom had a Bunco club that she absolutely loved! They got together after dinner hours and played - ooohhh my mom so looked forward to that day!

Bowling - it's not cheap anymore - but it sure is fun!

If you're "fit"? Try a yoga class for your group. Or even a Zumba class.

Good luck!!



answers from Oklahoma City on

We get together like this. People want the interaction with others and eating is a way to spend the time.

If you want to lose weight you could go work out or walk or something on your time when you're not with your friends. I bet they do that sort of thing on their own too.

Maybe you could find one or two of them that wouldn't mind going to the YMCA in your area and attending a swim exercise class or going to a senior exercise class. In the one I go to I'm not the youngest and I'm in my 50's.

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