Spring chickens

Celebrating the approach of spring by getting ‘out and about’

As March arrives, the coming of spring and longer days inspire many to get out of their homes more by socializing with friends, engaging with their community, attending classes, traveling or being creative. In Marquette County’s west end, the Ishpeming and Negaunee senior centers offer many social, active, creative and fun activities. (Journal stock photo)

MARQUETTE — As spring approaches in the Upper Peninsula, the days get longer, the air starts to smell sweeter and the renewed energy in the air is tangible — and it inspires many to seek activities outside of the home and engage with fellow community members.

Senior citizen residents of Ishpeming, Negaunee and surrounding areas are in luck, as there are many options in Marquette County’s west end for senior citizens who might be looking for opportunities to socialize with others, play games, stay active, be creative and travel.

The two senior centers located in Marquette County’s west end offer a wide variety of activities and services, with each center providing unique offerings and serving a specific geographical area.

The Ishpeming Senior Center, located at 320 S. Pine St. in Ishpeming, serves the city of Ishpeming, and Champion, Ely, Humboldt, Ishpeming, Michigamme, Republic and Tilden townships.

Area residents can “ring in spring” by enjoying the many recreational activities and helpful services offered by the center throughout the month of March.

Regular recreational activities for a wide variety of interests are offered through the center. Tai chi, a gentle form of exercise that engages and benefits body and mind alike, is offered at 1 p.m. on Mondays. Participants may sit or stand and are free to register the day of the class.

Games are also offered: pinochle is held at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and a senior cribbage league meets 12:30-3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. Those who wish to exercise their creative side in a relaxing environment can experience the “Joy of Color” coloring class at 1.pm. Thursdays. No registration is required for the class and supplies are provided.

A free bell bingo and luncheon event is held from noon to 2 p.m. on the third Friday of each month. Treat socials are also offered from 1-3 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of each month, giving attendees a chance to enjoy a sweet treat and socialize with others.

Beyond recreational activities, the center also offers a variety of helpful services to area senior citizens.

Throughout March, tax assistance will be offered by appointment on Wednesdays. Blood pressure clinics are held monthly, with a walk-in clinic offered from 2-3 p.m. on March 16. At 10:30 a.m. on March 23, the center will offer a “special blood pressure clinic” with blood sugar testing and simple cholesterol checks.

Free walk-in legal clinics are also offered from 9-11 a.m. the second Monday of each month. Informal support groups for caregivers are offered 1:30-3:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month. Case coordination and support services, homemaking services, chore services and financial management assistance are also available at the Ishpeming Senior Center.

Interested individuals can call 906-485-4427 for more information.

The Negaunee Senior Center, located at 410 Jackson St. in Negaunee, serves the city of Negaunee, and Negaunee and Richmond townships.

Like in Ishpeming, the Negaunee Senior Center has a wide variety of activities and services to help residents celebrate spring by engaging with others in fun settings.

For those looking to get active, aerobics is offered 10 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays and Tai Chi for Arthritis is offered at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Wii bowling also takes place at 10 a.m. Tuesdays.

For the creative side, the “Great Pretenders” senior acting troupe practices at 1 p.m. each Wednesday, preparing for productions that the group puts on for the community.

Games can also be a fun way to spend time with others and celebrate the longer days. Game offerings include cribbage at 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. A cribbage tournament will be held 12:30 p.m. on March 27 — the deadline for sign-up is March 23. Pinochle is offered at 1 p.m. on Mondays, with social bingo held at 1 p.m. on Fridays.

Negaunee Senior Center also offers the opportunity for seniors to travel to locations near and far.

A Peter Pan Day trip is being organized for 11 a.m. March 18 as the center’s monthly field trip.

In addition to the monthly trips, the center also offers group travel opportunities that can take participants to locations across the nation and world. The trips are first opened to individuals age 60 and above in the Negaunee area, but are also members of the public 21 years of age and older who reside outside the Negaunee area.

The group has traveled to locations across the nation and the world in the past, including Italy, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and Hawaii. Upcoming destinations for 2018 include Washington D.C., the Canadian Islands, as well as Madrid and Barcelona. The Washington D.C. trip, which will run May 16-24, and the Madrid & Barcelona trip, which will be Nov. 1-8, are still accepting travelers.

In addition to recreational activities, the center also provides regular services. In the month of March, blood pressure clinics are held at 10 a.m. on March 7 and 21. Foot care is offered by appointment on March 13 and 27. Support groups, educational and informational programs, as well as lawyer information and referral services are also available through the Negaunee Senior Center.

For more information on any program, contact the Negaunee Senior Center at 906-475-6266.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is cbrown@miningjournal.net.