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Old 03-09-2014, 01:55 PM
50 posts, read 102,424 times
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Tucson retirement, but NOT in a 55+ community.

I am considering retiring in the Oro Valley area, but not in a 55+ community. Are there things to keep an active senior busy? Does the city of Oro Valley have programs for its senior population? Are there any tennis, pickleball, hiking, biking, etc. clubs organized outside of a 55+ community? Is there a rec center, senior center, community college that organizes trips, offers educational talks, other athletic programs or a place to gather? Are there any retired, non-55+ community people out there? I was hoping to hear from you and if you miss the amenities offered by a 55+ community. Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:19 PM
Location: GoJoe
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plenty of clubs for biking and hiking. rec centers are usually withing a community, but you have the Y in various locations. non-55 retired folks? hmmmm, not really sure, most of the retired i know are past 55. if not they are still working, etc. dont forget about snow birds, in here during the winter months, out of here during the summer months, so your groups may be seasonal, etc.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:37 PM
Location: Oregon
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We've also considered Tucson for retirement as well as several other cities. We always look for a university that offers an Osher (OLLI) Lifelong Learning Institute. OLLI has classes, lectures and discussion groups especially designed for the 55+ crowd. This would be a great place for you to start making connections and classes are offered all year.

About OLLI-UA | UA Continuing and Professional Education

We did find that Tucson is quieter during the summer months, but there are still plenty of all-year residents to hang out with - indoors
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:49 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
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Both the beautiful Oro Valley Library and the nearby Nanini Library (Shannon Rd., just north of Ina) are branches of the Pima County Library System. They sponsor MANY clubs, lectures, classes, and workshops open to the public, many designed specifically for retirees. There's a Scrabble Club, a Chess Club, Bridge and Mahjong groups, book clubs for several different genres, classes in creative writing, current events discussions, Tai Chi classes (registration required), and lectures by the Pima County Master Gardener, very helpful to those of us just learning to garden in the desert.

An extensive program of computer classes is augmented by regularly scheduled drop-ins, where people can get one-on-one assistance from computer instructors. My mother regularly attends both hands-on art workshops and art lectures conducted by U of A faculty or museum docents at Nanini.

The Pima Council on Aging has an ambassador visiting the libraries regularly to answer questions about its services and sponsors things like tax preparation help for seniors. The Society for Financial Awareness meets at Nanini and a Historical Society meets in Oro Valley. These are just SOME of the things that go on at those two libraries. Marana and Flowing Wells are other nearby neighborhoods with county libraries. Some of the classes have small fees (to pay the instructors) but many of the events are free.
Calendar of Events | Pima County Public Library | Tucson, Marana, Ajo, Oro Valley, Sahuarita, Green Valley, Vail, Arivaca | Arizona

Oro Valley's Canada del Oro Riverfront Park, located on Lambert Lane, has among its many amenities one of the only lighted public tennis courts in the Northwest suburb. And I'm sure you know, if you are thinking of moving to Oro Valley, that it has the most impressive collection of walking and bike trails I've seen anywhere in Southern Arizona. They connect the entire community and many of the walking trails are paved for safety but are off the highways.
Canada Del Oro Riverfront Park | Oro Valley

The Northwest suburb's branch of the YMCA is the largest Y in Southern Arizona. It's on Shannon Road next to the Northwest Branch of Pima County Community College, just a couple of miles southwest of Oro Valley. It has sports, recreation, fitness training, and swimming for people of all ages. Amenities include an aerobics studio, state-of-the-art cardiovascular wellness training, computerized tracking to record progress, and many sports leagues for people of all ages. The aquatics center has pool exercise groups, adaptive aquatics for people with physical challenges, a six-lane, heated, 25-yard lap pool, and a zero-depth pool with slide.
Northwest YMCA Pima County Community Center - YMCA of Southern Arizona - Lighthouse/City YMCA, Lohse Family YMCA, Mulcahy/City YMCA, Northwest YMCA Pima County Community Center, Ott Family YMCA, Triangle Y Ranch

Right across the street from the Y is the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial River Park. It features a flat, paved, 3.1 mile linear loop where people can walk or run along the Canada del Oro Wash.
Christina Taylor Green Memorial Linear Park - Casas Adobes - Tucson, AZ | Yelp

If you like to golf, Arthur Pack Regional Park, a large county park on Thornydale Road has a reasonably priced public golf course, generally considered one of the best public courses in Tucson. Crooked Tree has a restaurant, a pro shop, and banquet facilities, in addition to practice facilities. You also can hire lessons there. Greens fees are very reasonable compared to the area's many private country clubs and there is a senior citizen discount.
Crooked Tree Golf Course

The Northwest Campus of Pima Community College has classes that can be enrolled in individually. The very attractive campus, with adequate parking for all, is only a couple of miles from Oro Valley.
Northwest Campus | Pima Community College, Tucson, Arizona

In Flowing Wells, just off River Road, you'll find the Ellie Towne Community Center, one of a series of community centers sponsored by Pima County. It's a beautiful facility and has a full range of activities for seniors, including low-impact aerobic exercise for people over 60, computer classes geared to seniors, and a Mon-Wed-Fri lunch program where for $2 you can have lunch and social activities with other seniors from the neighborhood (reservation required). My mother and couple of her friends go every Friday because they play bingo before the lunch at noon. Mom describes it this way, "The food is kind of like a school cafeteria but the people who run it are very nice and there's always a crowd of friendly people."
Ellie Towne Flowing Wells Community Center - Pima County

And if you're into casino gambling, most of the local casinos have free buses for senior citizens to get them in for day trips. Mom has gone to that, too, catching the bus at Foothills Mall at Ina and La Cholla.

Believe me, there is no shortage of things for retirees to do in Tucson's Northwest suburb. If people are sitting at home, it's because they want to. Also, you might like to know that the area between Oro Valley and Marana is not a part of either town, or the City of Tucson. It's known as "unincorporated Pima County." If you buy a house in this area (most of which is in either the 85741 or 85742 zip codes, the property taxes are a bit lower and many of the fees that one incurs living in Oro Valley don't need to be paid (while you still have access to some of the amenities). It's within the realm of possibility that one of the three incorporated cities could eventually annex this area (they're all trying). But they've been trying the entire 8+ years I've lived here and it hasn't happened yet. If you have a Realtor, s/he will be able to explain this in more detail.

Last edited by Jukesgrrl; 03-10-2014 at 11:59 PM..
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:07 AM
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Some great links there Jukesgrrl and LaylaM. Thanks for those!
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:26 PM
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Thank you for your thoughtful responses! Is the Ellie Towne Community Center specifically a senior center? LaylaM, do you know if there is a OLLI in NW Tucson? Anybody have any comments about membership at the El Conquistador Country Club? Seniors involved? Cost?
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:56 AM
Location: Oregon
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The Tucson (UofA) OLLI has several meeting locations within the metro area, including the NW side of town.

Campuses | UA Continuing and Professional Education
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:18 PM
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
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Originally Posted by magswheel View Post
Thank you for your thoughtful responses! Is the Ellie Towne Community Center specifically a senior center?
No, Ellie Towne (who is a living person, BTW) Community Center has many programs. Among them:

KAPP (Kids and Parents Playtime). Special activities for parents to share with children ages 3 to 5. Music, story-time, active games, arts and crafts, etc., are designed to improve socialization, skills, and promote such ideas as proper nutrition. It's an 8-week program, registration required. Phone 887-9786 for info.

After School Program. An at-will, drop-in program for ages 5-13. Activities include homework help, a reading program, group games, arts and crafts, etc. It's free but registration is required and the county stresses that this is NOT a licensed childcare facility and participants come and go at their own volition.

Teen Program. Activities planned by the teens themselves for ages 14 to 17. Activities include billiards, ping pong, karaoke, dancing, board games, field trips, and fundraisers.

ACES (a club for seniors). Activities such as cards, board games, table tennis, and field trips for ages 50 and older. Meets the first Tuesday of each month 10:30 a.m. to noon or as scheduled.

Oldies but Goodies Fitness. An instructor leads low-impact exercises Mon-Wed-Fri 9:30-10:30.

Enhanced Fitness. Instructors lead individualized exercises for people 60 and older who wish to improve balance, stregth, and cardio heath. Mon-Wed-Fri 1:30-2:30. Participants have to meet with an instructor before joining.

Computer Lab. Both classes on specific topics, or open labs to address a user's issues, are sponsored by the Pima County Library in the Center's own lab. Call 888-0918 for more info.

The Center also provides meeting space for various clubs such as the Embroidery Guild of America, Flowing Wells Neighborhood Coalition, etc. The Pima Council on Aging (PCOA) uses the Center for some of its services, including private meetings with social workers to address specific issues related to elder wellness. Marana Health Center recently established a new office at Ellie Towne, too. Marana is a clinic that treats patients on a sliding scale, based on income.
Marana Health Center :: Home

This large, attractive Center with plenty of parking is located in the Tucson neighborhood known as Flowing Wells. 1660 W. Ruthrauff Road (which is near Wetmore and River). For information about anything related to the Center, call 520-887-9786. Most of the activities are free to the public, sponsored by Pima County.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:54 AM
153 posts, read 210,861 times
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Thanks for such an informative post Jukesgrrl.
Makes me want to get out of here now.
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