With delicious restaurants, beautiful beaches, unique museums, and a rich historical background, Sarasota has a vibrant arts and culture scene that’s just waiting to be explored. With such diverse attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’re a current resident, seasonal visitor, or simply planning a short trip, read on to learn more about the best arts activities in Sarasota for seniors.

The Scientific Benefits of the Arts for Seniors

Whether it be due to life events and circumstances or a genetic predisposition to mental health issues, seniors face unique mental health risks. About 20% of people 55 years of age and up experience some sort of mental health condition. Common mental health issues in seniors include depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.

Maintaining good mental health is critical to your well-being, and the arts have proven to be highly beneficial and healing for people of all ages. The arts include a range of different activities from architecture, to writing to visual arts like painting, drawing, and sculpture, to performing arts such as music, dance, and acting, and more.

Participating in creative arts has shown great positive effects on the mental health of older adults. Research has shown that doing so can enhance cognitive function, memory, well-being, health, and self-esteem, contributing to an improved quality of life. One study found that art therapy improved self-esteem and lowered depression in seniors. Another study found that music can improve both the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.

Whether you are actively participating in an art form, or simply observing, its significant positive effects shouldn’t be overlooked.

Top Sarasota Arts Activities for Seniors

Sarasota County is known as Florida’s Cultural Coast®— and it’s no wonder why. From art museums and galleries to state parks and natural sites to historic buildings, and everything in between, Sarasota is a hot spot for all things arts and culture.

Before you go to an arts or culture event, be sure to look into each location’s social distancing guidelines and regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Explore Downtown Historic Sarasota

Explore Downtown Sarasota’s rich history, beautiful culture, and unique architecture by touring it on foot or going on a trolley tour. If you’re up for getting some exercise as you take in the sights, you can sign up for a guided historical walking tour or take your own self-guided tour. Trolley tours are a great alternative if you would rather kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride or for those who have mobility issues.

Explore Local Artistic Attractions, Museums, and Galleries

Sarasota is home to an abundance of art museums and galleries. As Sarasota’s first museum dedicated to contemporary art, the Sarasota Art Museum hosts a rotation of exhibitions throughout the year that feature different artists. Art Center Sarasota is home to a contemporary art exhibit and hosts educational events where professional artists hold classes, lectures, demonstrations, and more.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, also known as the State Art Museum of Florida, is one of the most distinguished art museums in the United States. This museum is in what once was the estate of John and Mable Ringling, who, as part of the Ringling circus empire, had a profound impact on the Sarasota community. Their estate is also home to the Circus Museum, the Historic Asolo Theater, Ca’ d’Zan, Bayfront Gardens, and much more for visitors to explore. 

Sarasota also has an abundance of public art for its visitors and residents to enjoy. Spend the day searching for murals throughout the town. You can go on your own self-guided art tour, or sign up for a public art tour where you will be able to see and learn the history behind different public art sculptures, murals, and monuments.

Attend a Live Performance

Sarasota is known for its performing arts scene and is home to many local community theaters and a range of performing arts groups such as professional theatre companies, musical groups, dance companies, and more.

If you enjoy live music and performances, these well-respected institutions won’t disappoint:

Partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some groups offer outdoor performances to enable safe, socially distant attendance. Most of the organizations above have announced their new seasons and have tickets available for purchase online.

Choose a Senior Living Community That Values Arts and Culture

At Aviva Senior Living, we understand the positive impact the arts can have on the well-being of older adults. We are proud to be a tight-knit senior living community that deeply appreciates arts and culture. We provide a variety of arts- and culture-oriented programs, clubs, activities, and events that incorporate music, theatre, art, literature, dance, and more for our residents to get involved and inspired.

In addition, we offer a wide range of services and amenities to enrich our residents’ lives, including complimentary transportation to local Sarasota events and attractions.

Contact us today to see if Aviva is the right place for you or your loved one.

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