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Photo Album: Activities for People of All Ages

Here's a look at just some of the local events made possible by the AARP Community Challenge

Gatherings, events and activities help a city, town or neighborhood become a community. That's why AARP Community Challenge grants can and have been be used to fund fun!  (Click on the image to "visit" the community.)

Wilmington, Delaware

Three photos showing grandparents and grandkids and contents of a Grandparents Day gift bag

Photos from the Delaware Children's Museum (Grantee, 2020 AARP Community Challenge)

On March 13, 2020, the Delaware Children's Museum closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Grandparents Day on September 13, the museum's grandparent members and  the “Grand at Heart” (those who serve in the role but aren't officially grandparents) were invited to pick up a “You’re Grand” activity bag at the museum's drive-thru. An additional 100 bags were distributed at a local community center. The family pictured in the giant log appeared on the event's announcement. The other pictured family posed with the activity bag goodies (pictured bottom left).

Atlanta, Georgia

People play chess on outdoor tables in a park with a Game Cart kiosk

Photo from the Atlanta Improvement District (Grantee, 2021 AARP Community Challenge)

AARP Community Challenge funds helped to enhance the look and brand of Woodruff Park's free games kiosk, or "Game Cart," operated by the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. Design students at Georgia State University developed the new identity. The decorative and equipment upgrades (art supplies are now among the offerings) helped demonstrate that investments are being made in the area's public spaces. 

Bath, Maine

Children and adults play chess on outdoor tables

Photo from Age Friendly Communities of the Lower Kennebec (Grantee, 2021 AARP Community Challenge)

Outdoor chess and checkers tables  were constructed by students at the Bath Regional Career and Technical Center. Two tables and a spectator bench were installed at a new plaza on Elm Street, the other table and bench was placed in front of a nonprofit assisted living home. Game sets can be borrowed from local businesses and the library. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Five photos of scenes from the Go, Go, Go Celebrate Chinatown Community Party

Photos from the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp. (Grantee, 2017 AARP Community Challenge)

Among the goals of the "Go, Go, Go: Making Our Community More Livable" project was to enable residents to build friendships — "Go outdoors. Go be creative. Go make friends" — in a linguistically and culturally accessible way. (One out of five Chinatown residents is an older adult and nearly 90 percent of those individuals have limited English proficiency.) More than 150 people ranging in age from 3 to 87 participated. Local artists served as instructors for the weekly painting classes.

Saco, Maine

Three wheelchair users visit the beach by driving on access mats

Photos by AARP for Age Friendly Saco (Grantee, 2018 AARP Community Challenge)

This coastal community has seven miles of sandy beaches. Until recently, there was no beach access for people using wheelchairs or other mobility devices. That changed thanks to the purchase and installation of three ADA-compliant beach mats. The AARP Community Challenge grant became a catalyst for a donation from the local Rotary Club to purchase a beach wheelchair (pictured) and beach walker. Lifeguards manage and loan out the accessability equipment. Watch a video showing the mats in use.

Millinocket, Maine

People hike in the snow while following a StoryWalk path

Photos from the Town of Millinocket (Grantee, 2020 AARP Community Challenge)

The 2020 "Katahdin Snowdown," named after nearby Mount Katahdin, was the first event hosted by the Age Friendly Millinocket committee. The outdoor event provided residents with an intergenerational social and recreational outing during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Long Acre Trail was dotted with storyboards for StoryWalk, an activity in which hikers can read a story while advancing along the trail. Watch a video of the event.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

People gather at a street fair

Photo from Historic Bridge MainStreet South Valley (Grantee, 2018 AARP Community Challenge)

The weekly La Familia Growers Market in the Dolores Huerta Gateway Park provides South Valley residents with access to locally grown produce and other products. In October 2018, more than 500 people attended the one-day La Familia Growers Market Harvest Festival, where the activities included cooking lessons, food stands, face painting, arts-n-crafts, vendors and free musical and dance performances.

Lakewood, Colorado

A person wearing yellow raingear makes giant bubbles with a bubble wand

Photo from the City of Lakewood (Grantee, 2020 AARP Community Challenge)

To safely bring the community together during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Lakewood asked artists and entertainers to create outdoor activities for children as well as residents of a senior living compound. Among the attractions was "Project Joy Bomb," an event during which the performers (including the pictured bubble artist) meandered along the ArtLine, a four-mile walking and biking route located in the city's arts district. More than 400 people lined the streets to engage. Hundreds of others watched from their vehicles or home porches and balconies. 

Derry, New Hampshire

A collage of three photos showing a promotion for outdoor games and pictures of people playing cornhole and farkle

Photo from the Marion Gerrish Community Center (Grantee, 2019 AARP Community Challenge)

To encourage community bonding and intergenerational connections, the Marion Gerrish Community Center created a space for people to have fun outdoors while playing games. An area was leveled to make the location accessible and safe. The center created weekly times for older adults to play cornhole (pictured) and bocce. The players hiding behind star masks are engaged in a game of outdoor Farkel. Other lawn games, available every day duing the spring and summer, include Connect Four, "Yardzee" and Giant Jenga. 

Washington, D.C.

Three women (one hard to see) dance during a block party

Photo from Van Ness Main Street (Grantee, 2017 AARP Community Challenge)

The large concrete plaza near the Van Ness Metro Station was barren and lifeless. Calling themselves the "Van Ness Social Club," a group of residents and local organizations got together to plan some fun, which included creating an invitation that read, in part: "Get to know your neighbors at a good old fashioned social. We'll meet each other on the plaza ... and learn some dance steps ... drink tea, eat cake, play games ... and have conversations with each other." After the "plaza party," the newly acquainted neighbors were filled with ideas for future gatherings: a community potluck, a clothing swap meet, relay races, birthday parties, game nights, pizza nights, a Halloween party. 

More About the AARP Community Challenge

Page published February 2022 

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