For seniors across the region, it’s important to stay engaged in hobbies, socializing and stimulating activities. Whether you’re looking for a final fall fix in county parks before the weather gets too cold or want to try your hand at a new skill, here’s 11 free, interactive events aimed to attend in October.
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Financial Basics for the 50-Plus
Saturday, Oct. 19, 10-11:45 a.m.
Hosted by AARP, this workshop will provide you with tips for taking ownership of your financial future. You’ll learn how to budget, set goals and manage credit, which are all necessary skills for feeling financially stable and confident in retirement. // Sherwood Regional Library: 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria; free
Walter Reed 55-Plus Garden Group
Daily through Oct. 21, 1-2:30 p.m.
This daily meetup will teach new and experienced gardeners alike what challenges and rewards are involved in the process of gardening. Plus, horticulturist Kirsten Conrad will dive deep into local species of plants that grow in Northern Virginia. // Walter Reed Community & Senior Center: 2909 16th St. S., Arlington; free
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 11 a.m.-noon
Interested in learning more about this high-protein grain substitute? With this one-hour course, you’ll find out exactly how quinoa is produced, why it’s recently gained popularity and how to make it for yourself. // Langston-Brown Community & Senior Center: 2121 N. Culpeper St., Arlington; free
Pumpkin Carving & Painting
Tuesday Oct. 22 and Wednesday, Oct. 23, times vary
This week, three local senior centers are welcoming all to prepare for Halloween by decorating pumpkins to put on the front stoop. Whether you choose to work individually or in a team, your carved or painted creation will be entered into a competition with other local centers. The winner will be voted on by all participants. // Walter Reed Community & Senior Center, Aurora Hills Community & Senior Center and Lee Community & Senior Center; free
Master your Online Job Search
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2:30-4 p.m.
Are you looking for a part-time job? If so, come out for this workshop hosted by nonprofit AARP that will dive deep into best practices for your online job search. Throughout the afternoon course, you’ll learn which websites are best, how to set yourself apart from the competition and what it means to age-proof your resume. If you’re inclined to go a step further, feel free to stay until 6 p.m., as the following course focuses on essential networking skills. Registration is suggested for both workshops. // Prince William County Library: 2201 Opitz Blvd., Woodbridge; free
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 12:45-1:45 p.m.
Held at the Lewinsville Senior Center, this 12-week series will help you dive deep into the artistic world of improv. During each class, Heidi Fortune of Arts Fairfax will lead the group in improvisational performances, while simultaneously teaching the essential skills of acting on a stage. // Lewinsville Senior Center: 1613 Great Falls St., McLean; free for members of Fairfax County senior centers
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 6-7:30 p.m.
Try your hand at photography with your very own cell phone or tablet at this unique evening lesson. Photography enthusiast Nick Englund will teach participants how to maximize the use of the pocket camera with proper techniques and editing applications. // Arlington Mill Community Center & Senior Center: 909 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington; free
Free Gallery Talks at National Sporting Library & Museum
Wednesday, Oct. 23 & 30, 2 p.m.
Every Wednesday, staff members of the National Sporting Library & Museum will lead a tour, lecture and discussion on the featured exhibit currently on display. While the topic is not unveiled until the night of, it will fall in line with the culture of equestrian, angling and field sports. // National Sporting Library & Museum: 102 The Plains Road, Middleburg; free
Social Art Swap
Friday, Oct. 25, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Do you love to craft, paint or participate in some other art form? This week, gather with the community to create a piece of work that will be auctioned off to fellow local artists and enthusiasts alike. // Arlington Mill Community Center & Senior Center: 909 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington; free
Sunday, Oct. 27, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
From grandchildren to furry friends, all are welcome at this family-friendly Halloweiner Fest in Alexandria. Costumes aren’t required, but the puppy in the best attire will be awarded with tasty treats. Plus, you can have a snack alongside your pooch, as local vendors will be on-site to provide you and your family with seasonal food and drinks. // Charleston Houston Recreation Center: 901 Wythe St., Alexandria; free for seniors
Jacks are Wild Howl-O-Ween Spectacular
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m.-noon
Before Halloween arrives, come out to see three pups—Bella, Mario and Reggie—perform never-before-seen stunts (in costume, of course) at this festive celebration. Don’t forget to join the fun by wearing your own costume. // Arlington Mill Community Center & Senior Center: 909 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington; free