Trips, trains, tastings, and more
Perhaps you have a yen to try a unique restaurant, hear a captivating speaker, knit a scarf, learn to paint, take a day trip, write, sing, garden, golf, or expand your knowledge. If so, all this and more happens frequently at Tallgrass Creek, continuing care retirement community located in Overland Park, Kans.
“We have about 65 activities that keep us all hopping,” says Jennifer Gray, a member of the resident life staff who helps coordinate activities, outings, and social opportunities. “There is something here for everyone.”
Gray also compiles the community’s monthly jam-packed activities calendar, which is available at the front desk. She is always impressed by community members’ unique interests.
“A few months ago, Dick Yates mentioned he and some others would enjoy learning to play the ukulele,” says Gray. “He organized the group, and they’re learning and having a ball.”
The novice musicians meet Tuesday afternoons in the Sunflower classroom and the laughs are as plentiful as the chord strumming. The group has played for their fellow neighbors a few times.
A place of discovery
Recently, all activities were showcased at a fair in the spacious Audubon Clubhouse, where community members staffed booths and explained their respective interests. The room was nearly filled to the brim with hosts and attendees. It was an opportunity for both new and current Tallgrass Creek residents to view the community’s unique array of activities.
“When you see all these activities together, it’s impressive,” says Eva Angell, who worked the trip committee’s booth and has coordinated visits to various museums, a local dairy, an orchid farm, a pro football training facility, a farmer’s market, a U.S. military installation, and a wild animal sanctuary.
The Tallgrass Tasters were also front and center at the activities fair. The group’s six committee members—Mary Lou Vest, Jack Denzer, Julia Hildreth, Bob Montgomery, Phil Roselli, and Phil Hocker—take turns organizing monthly outings for their fellow foodies.
They have dined at American, German, Italian, Asian, Greek, and French restaurants and also experienced an unusual dining experience organized by Jack aboard the Kansas Belle Dinner Train. The train wound through the Kansas countryside as passengers enjoyed dinner and an interactive murder mystery play on board.
Residents traveled to the train’s departure point in Baldwin City, about 40 miles from Tallgrass Creek, in the community’s comfortable, temperature-controlled coach. The day trip committee and other groups use the coach as well.
The community’s resident life staff frequently joins the fun by hosting special speakers, seasonal events, talent and fashion shows, parties, and the always popular end-of-summer watermelon-spitting contest. Tallgrass Creek chefs prepare delicious snacks for the events.
To stay in the know, Tallgrass Creek neighbors refer to the activities calendar, community television station, or bulletin board in the lobby, where they can find the latest information about what’s happening next.
“There is much to do at Tallgrass Creek, and the staff is supportive and helpful,” says Don Grady, who coordinates the Men’s Only Breakfast (M.O.B.) outings each month. “It’s one more thing that makes living at Tallgrass Creek special.”