Up the fun with some senior-friendly games and fun activities in and around Wigan, from bowling to bingo and everything in between.
From social opportunities and relationship building, hitting up local games, easy sports and other fun activities in your area can be a fantastic way to help an elderly friend or family member get some exercise and mental stimulation – as well as getting out and having some fun, of course. There’s more to life than cups of tea, after all!
When more energetic games and activities like skating or five-a-side just aren’t practical during those golden years, don’t resign seniors to sitting around waiting on the next cuppa or new TV show – there are still plenty of ways to play, no matter how old you are.
In the middle of town on Crompton Street, right next to the bus stop and Wigan Spiritualist Church, it isn’t hard to find Buzz Bingo. Yes, it may be a cliche, but bingo is still popular with the older crowd (and some of the younger bloods too, these days) so don’t be ashamed to get up to tricks and go for tickety-boo!
As well as bingo sessions (1pm – 2.35pm on weekdays and 1.30pm – 3.05pm on weekends, or evenings 7.30pm – 9.05pm, with an option for two Early Bird pages from 7pm at no extra charge) there’s also a slots club, food and drink, and a bar. You can even play for free on your first four visits, so it’s easy to give the club a go if you haven’t tried the game before.
There’s plenty of accessibility at Buzz Bingo, including easy wheelchair and step-free access, and assisted hearing measures for those who might need a bit of extra help to be sure if it’s between the sticks or pick and mix when the callers get going.
Just off Miry Lane and the A49 by CMC Aquatics and We Love Bathrooms is Hollywood Bowling Wigan. With 28 lanes, an American-themed diner food and drink area, and a general amusements centre next door which includes senior-friendly activities like pool tables, this is a great spot for a cheerful outing. There’s a Quasar laser tag too, although that’s probably not appealing to most elderly visitors… but hey, never say never!
There’s no limit to group sizes for bowling – although larger parties may want to call in advance – and up to eight people can bowl per lane. Food and drink can be delivered to lanes as well as in the diner, and only those actually bowling need to pay, so those who prefer to cheer for others can sit in for free.
With disabled parking available and a generally flat area that’s easy to move around, the bowling building is pretty accessible to all mobility levels, and there are assisting mechanisms for the less able to help them still play the game. There’s also free wifi, an option for VIP lanes for the discerning bowling enthusiast, and the building is fully air conditioned so there’s no concerns about overheating during warmer times of year.
Just off Market Street opposite Lloyds is Adrenalin Escape, an escape room game centre that’s great for all ages and can be an unexpected but fantastic experience for senior visitors who are keen to give their minds a good workout with something a bit different to do.
The premise is simple: groups are locked in a room together and have 60 minutes to find clues, crack codes and solve puzzles in order to figure out how to escape. Each room is immersively themed and decorated (you can choose from either the spy caper Vault or sci-fi Nebula) to make things even more fun, and the real test is to not only escape within the 60 minutes but also to do so fast enough to see if you can earn a spot on the local leader board.
It’s recommended to go in with a team of at least three or four, although the maximum team size is six. The puzzles and challenges tend to be more cerebral than physical which makes this great for seniors – finally something to challenge that mystery novel loving granny or grandpa! – and there is a supporting clue system to help if the team gets completely stuck. Do bear in mind that the venue isn’t fully accessible yet so this isn’t one for wheelchair users or the less mobile, but there is accommodation in place for other conditions such as the hard of hearing – if in doubt, call ahead to ask.
Around a fifteen minute drive from central Wigan, down Sennicar and then School Lane after leaving the A49, the crazy golf course at Haigh Woodland Park makes for a lovely afternoon’s outing when the weather is good. It is run by the local volunteer group and costs only £1 per person to play, with no pre-bookings required, with all profits reinvested back into the park’s upkeep and events.
The course itself is very accessible, with block paving paths designed to be used easily by wheelchairs, and there’s plenty of seating and shade around each hole to take a load off if you need to. It’s directly opposite Haigh Hall itself, which has plenty of nice spots to eat and drink, as well as of course within the wider park, so there’s every opportunity to make this outing into an all-day adventure if you’ve got the time (and the energy).
The main park entrance isn’t too far from the crazy golf and has plenty of space, including disabled bays, although you do have to pay to use it for more than 30 minutes. The visitors centre nearby has male and female toilets including an accessible toilet, and most of the wider pathways are also designed for the less mobile so there’s no need to feel confined to the immediate area once you’ve finished your 18 holes.
At the end of New Lodge off the A49 you’ll find Wigan Bowling Green Ltd, which is a member’s only club but well worth a look if you’ve got care of an active senior who wants to get out and meet people regularly. We recommend giving them a ring on 01942 243797 to find out more about the club and potentially sign up – it has two greens and a lovely clubhouse, and everyone is very friendly and welcoming even to complete newcomers!
All right, so this isn’t really a game activity as such, but we couldn’t very well leave it off the list, could we? On Crawford Street opposite Church Gardens in the centre of Wigan you’ll find the Old Courts art and culture centre. On Wednesdays at 1pm there’s a weekly “jam” session in the Grand Vault which started with a handful of people and now has over thirty regular members aged over fifty who get together to play all kinds of music on a variety of instruments. Attendance is just £5 and you can turn up on the day without needing to book anything. The group often does live performances too, which just goes to show there really is no age limit on a love of music!
The Old Courts itself is highly accessible, easily reached by bus, with wheelchair ramps into both the main building and up onto the stage for open mic nights or performances (so no excuses for that stage fright). There’s also a Super Trac wheelchair lift, although it’s advised to email ahead to ensure staff operators are on hand if this will be needed, and two accessible toilets, including one in the onsite Bailiff Bar.
Whether for mental stimulation, an afternoon (or longer) out of the usual surroundings or for the sheer fun of it, games and activities like these are a fantastic way to spend time with senior friends and family whether you’re a carer or not. From classic pastimes like bingo and bowling to something a bit different like escaping from an imaginary space prison (no, really), there’s much more to do in Wigan for an imaginative senior than just pop out for a cup of tea now and then!
Learn more about supported living or companionship for activities and socialisation in old age, and find out whether home care in Wigan could be the right choice for your elderly loved ones, by getting in touch with our local team today.