Facilities and activities: What to expect from retirement villages

At a glance

One of the best things about living in a retirement village is having facilities and activities at your doorstep. This article outlines some of the facilities and activities you’re likely to find at a retirement village in New Zealand.

Facilities and activities vary from village to village, so it’s important to visit a village in person to see exactly what it offers.


Here’s a sample list of facilities you’re likely to find at a retirement village.

  • Communal lounge. You’ll usually find a communal lounge area in the main building of a village. The lounge typically includes a television, comfortable seating, and table areas.
  • Indoor swimming pool and spa. Quite a few villages have a heated indoor swimming pool, ideal for maintaining fitness all year round and for entertaining grandchildren who come to stay. If a village has an indoor pool area, it’s likely to also have a spa.
  • Gym. Some villages have a gym with equipment for both weight and cardio training.
  • Dining areas. Almost all villages have a dining room of some sort. Many villages also have an onsite cafe which sells coffee and cabinet food, as well as a restaurant where you can enjoy main meals with other residents or with friends and family.
  • Bar. Many villages have an onsite bar, which is usually located in the communal lounge or close to the dining facilities. It’s common for volunteer residents to run the bar.
  • Library. Many villages have a small library with books and DVDs
  • Cinema room. Some villages will have a cinema room with a large screen and comfortable seating, where you can enjoy watching movies or big sporting events.
  • Bowling green and other sporting facilities. Some larger villages have their own outdoor bowling green and resident bowling club. Other sporting facilities you might find at a village include petanque, a pool table room, and table tennis.
  • Resident’s workshop. Some villages have a resident’s workshop (or men’s shed) – the perfect place to work on personal or community projects.
  • Communal vegetable garden. Many villages have communal garden spaces for residents to grow their own fruits and vegetables.
  • Hairdresser / beauty salon. Some villages have their own salon areas with either part-time or contracted staff.
  • Village shop. Some villages operate a small shop where you can purchase basic items such as milk, bread, newspapers, etc.


Here’s a sample list of activities you’re likely to find at a retirement village.

  • Arts and crafts. Some villages host creative workshops and hobby groups, such as painting, sewing, or knitting.
  • Exercise classes. Many villages offer a variety of low-intensity exercise classes such as yoga, tai chi, or aquarobics.
  • Lawn bowls. If a village has a bowling green, then it’s likely to run regular tournaments both within the village and with outside clubs.
  • Social outings. Many villages arrange organised outings to local places of interest.
  • Shopping trips. It’s common for villages to arrange weekly shopping trips, utilising the village van or other transport.
  • Bar happy hours. If a village has a bar, it’ll most likely have a happy hour.
  • Resident evenings. Many villages arrange social ‘resident’s evenings’, such as quizzes or bingo.
  • Guest speakers. Many villages arrange for guest speakers to come into the village to speak on a range of topics of interest.
  • Movie nights. Most villages host movie nights in the communal lounge or TV room. Some villages also have a dedicated cinema.
  • Cards and board games. These are typically available all the time, although sometimes a village will host special tournaments.

Checklist: Questions about facilities and activities to ask sales managers

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