Things to Do and Activities in the Lakeside Area
There is no excuse to be bored here. There are things to do every day of the week. Check out the monthly calendar at Ajijic News.com. I look at it every day. In it you will find the regular meetings and special events. You will find everything from local bands playing at restaurants to art openings and Lake Chapala Society meetings
When I started this article, I had no idea of what I was undertaking. There are so many interesting groups, classes and other activities available here. I spent hours looking things up and I am sure I have missed many more interesting activities. It is best to come here yourself and check out things that are of interest to you. I am sure you will find like-minded people here. If I have overlooked anything and you want to include it here, please contact us about it. It is amazing to me that such a small community has so much to do. I think it is because the people here are very active and community minded. Below you will find a summary of just a few of the many activitries and events in the Lake Chapala area.
The Annual September Globos (Balloon) launch.
Below is a photo of the Globos event which happens once a year. Giant paper balloons are filled with hot air and let off to the sky. Some burn up immediately but others fly a long ways and sometimes burn down farmers’ fields a long way from where they were launched.
Read more here on this event: Regatta de Globos (Hot Air Balloons) in Ajijic
Golf Courses in the Area
There are two beautiful golf courses here, one is located in Chula Vista and the other in Vista del Lago, a few miles away from Chapala. Both are 9 hole courses and have excellent greens and fairways. The one in Chapala even has Golf Cart rentals for those of you you wish to drive instead of walking the course. If you are interested in golf, contact the Chapala Golf and Country club at: Telephone: 52-(376) 763-5384 or 763-5136.
Cooking and Restaurants
If you love to cook, there is a club called the “Culinary Art Society of Ajijic” that meets, cooks and has monthly cooking competitions. If you don’t like to cook and love to eat out at nice restaurants, I counted over ninety restaurants in the local telephone book and new ones open up all the time. We have some of the finest dinning in Mexico, everything from fine German restaurants, Thai cuisine and even elegant restaurants such as the Number 4, located in downtown Ajijic.
Read our Restaurant section here: List Lakeside Restaurants
The Lakeside Garden Club
The Lakeside Garden Club has an annual floral design show and they meet to exchange information on gardening and they support projects for beautification of the community. You can see some of their designs and more information about their meets at the Lake Side Garden Clud.org
Republican, walking and birding clubs.
- There is a Lake Chapala Birding Club. Their web site is: avesajijic.com or e mail them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- There is a walking group that meets at La Nueva Posada Restaurant on Saturday mornings at 8:30 a.m. They have breakfast after their walk. Everyone is welcome. Hash House Harriers
- If you are interested in politics, there is a Republicans Abroad Club and a Democrats Abroad Club. Contact information for Democrats Abroad is SoTouch@Laguna.mx For Republicans Abroad: contact Rubin at: 01 (555) 525-5858.
Volunteer opportunities and Charities
If you want to volunteer your services, there are many worthy causes including the Wilkes Center. They are always looking for English teachers. You can also work helping the orphans here or the abandoned animals, or help out the Red Cross. There are so many volunteer opportunities I can’t list them all. I don’t know them all. But the churches are good places to start. There are over 10 churches here and they are all involved in the community in one way or another.
The Ajijic Annual Chili Cook Off
Once a year there is a huge chili cook off in Ajijic, usually held in the parking loit of the local water park “Tobolandia”. It raises money for ten Lakeside charities. They need lots of volunteer help. This is one of the biggest events for exapts in the area. Everyone gets together and cooks Chilli, the best cook wins the prize. But wait, that’s not all, there is great food such as Chilli dogs and hamburgers, local bands playing live and local business’s have Kiosks presenting their services. The event lasts a whole weekend and is an unforgettable experience.
Read more on the Chilli cook off: 33rd Annual Chili Cook
San Juan Cosala Spa
The hot water spa out in San Juan Cosala is something not to be missed if you love the water. There are several other private spas here too. There are also gyms if you like to sweat indoors. If you love to bike, you can bike all the way from Chapala to Jocotopec on a beautiful bike path. There are boat rides on the lake if you prefer to be on the water.
Lake Chapala Duplicate Bridge Club
Do you like to play Bridge? Then check out this web site ChapalaBridge.com There are over 200 members of this club and it is one of the world’s largest and most successful Bridge Clubs. The Lakeside Bridge Center is located at Hidalgo 77 Ribaris del Pilar
Canadian Clubs in Lake Chapala
Would you like to join the Canadian Club? There is an active Canadian club in the area that was formed back in 1972 and the yearly fee is only $180 pesos. You can contact them or send questions and comments to email@example.com
That Candian club is not the only one here, we also have the Maple Leaf Club for Canadians and they meet at the American Legion at Morelos 114 on the third Saturday of the month at 3 p.m.
Local Churches and Bible Clubs
Are you a Christian? The Lakeside Christian Fellowship is located at Zaragoza #88. Contact Manuel and Laura Lopes at 7i66-4159.
San Andres Roman Catholic Church has services in English at 9 a.m.
There is a large group of Jewish people and they have a beautiful center called the Lake Chapala Jewish Community
There is the Community Bible Church Lake Chapala non-denominational Sunday at 10. Castillano del Chante #17 Las Fuentes Jocotopec
Lakeside Unitarian Fellowship. For information: contact Steve at 766-5507 or e mail Trudycrippenal@earthlink.net
Lakeside Baptist Church
The Church of the Latter Day saints tel: 765-3402 or 766-4050
The Little Chapel Non-denominational. Rev. Larry Andrew tel at (387) 761 0440
Oasis Bible Fellowship at firstname.lastname@example.org
List of the ongoing classes at the Lake Chapala Society:
AA Lakeside M & TH 10:30 – 2
AA Women’s Group TH 10:30 – 2
Al-Anon and Ala-Teen M 4:30 – 5:30 (now held every Monday from 10:30 – 11:30 am at The Little Chapel By the Lake)
Ajijic Rotary Club M 10 – 12
Beginning Camera W 12:00 – 2
Computer Windows Club F 10:30 – 11:45
Creative Writers Group M 2 – 4 (Closed group) and W 2 -4
Dancing Country Line T –TH 10 -11:30
Digital Camera Club W 10:30 – 12
Discussion Group W 2 – 4 (Closed)
Everyday Mindfulness M 10:30 – 12
Exercise M – W – F 9 -10
Film Aficionados 2nd and 4th and Last TH
Film Seminars M 2 – 5
Gamblers Anonymous W 11:30-1:30
Genealogy Last M of the month 2 – 4
Great Books 1st and 2nd TH 2 – 4 (Closed)
Great Books for Newcomers 3 – 4:30
Green Group 1st and 3rd T 3 – 4:30
Green Transition in Action 2nd M 11 – 1:30
Laughter Program Sat. 2:30 – 4
Lakeside Friends of Animals 1st TH 2 – 3:30
Mac OS 1st M 12 – 1:30
Mac User 3rd W 3 – 4:40
Mah Jongg F 10 – 2:30
Masonic Lodge 2nd and 4th Wed 4:30 – 8 T 3 – 4:30
Music Jam W 2 – 3
Needle Pushers T 10 – 12
Open Circle Sun 10 – 12:15
Scrabble M and F 12 -2
Singles Mix and Match 1st W 5 – 8
Singing Singles M and W 2 – 3:50
Tournament Scrabble T and TH 12 – 3
Lake Chapala Society library
If you just like to read, then you will love the Lake Chapala Society library. It has over 26,000 books in English. They get new books in all the time. They also have a large Books on Tape library and there is also a video library.
Movie Theaters in Lake Chapala
If you like to see movies, there are two movie theaters here. Movies are around two dollars a ticket at the older theater. Can’t beat that price. New movies come here all the time. Some are in Spanish with English subtitles and some are in English with Spanish subtitles. I haven’t been to the new theater but their site is: www.mscinemas.com . It is a fun way to study another language.
Tour Companies in the Area
If you like sightseeing, there are trips every month organized by the Red Cross. They go to Tonala and Tlaquepaque and the zoo in Guadalajara. And if you like to shop, they go to several different shopping centers also in Guadalajara. Most of the trips are less than fifteen dollars each. Sometimes they go to the town of Tequila. There are several tour companies here. They have day trips around the lake and to Mazamitla, a beautiful mountain town. Sometimes there are short trips to the beaches. Or you can take a public bus to the beach, just a few hours from here.
Public Buses to Guadalajara
The public buses go into Guadalajara on the hour and in the mornings they also go on the half hour. There are many interesting things to do in Mexico’s second largest city. The bus fare is around three dollars each way. Taxis are easy to get from the bus station to anywhere in the city.
Art Festivals in Ajijic
Of course there are the many festivals, art, photography and craft shows and holiday celebrations. I can’t keep up with them all. Something is happening every day of the week here.
So more Miscellaneous Activities
Northern Lights: There is a group that brings in music. It is Northern Lights Festival.
Music Clubs: The Music Appreciation Society brings in great performances from Flamenco, Classical Ballet, Jazz to Philharmonic Orchestras.
Lakeside Women: If you are interested in Women’s issues, there is a group titled Lakeside Women. They have semi-annual conferences dealing with subjects of interest to women. Proceeds go to benefit local charities.
Domino Club : There is a Cribbage and Domino Club. If you don’t know how to play, they are willing to teach you. Call 766-4253 or cell: (331) 295-6484.
Volley Ball : There is Co-ed Volley Ball at Christiana Park in Chapala. Contact Tim at 766-3102 There are also tennis courts at that park and a huge swimming pool. A new indoor swimming pool has recently opened up here.
How about Science of the Mind? Contact Ann Brandt at 765-2037.
If you are interested in A Course in Miracles, please call 766-4882.
Are you Irish? Would you like to join the Irish Society? Contact Nancy Creevan at 766-5567
Texans: The Lone Star Club for Texans and want to be Texans meets at the American Legion on the last Thursday of the month at 3 p.m.
Play chess? Contact Tom at 766-4738.
Alcoholic Anonymous: Are you involved in any recovery groups? There are several places where AA, Al-Anon, Ala-teen, Gamblers Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous groups are held.
This area has a beautiful center for AA, Al-Anon and Overeaters Anonymous groups. O.A. meets every Monday at Noon AND every Thursday at 10:15 a.m. Both meetings are held at the Little Chapel by the Lake in Riberas. The Little Chapel is located on the carretera, near the entrance to the Chula Vista Golf Course. It is on the mountain side of the highway, just past the golf course as you head toward Chapala from Ajijic. Call 376-106-1199 or 376-766-4409 for more information.
The Al-Anon and AA groups go to the beach for a retreat once a year. There are morning groups held in different restaurants in the area. There are many long time members in the groups. I don’t know of any other place in Mexico where there are is such a strong recovery community.
And the list goes on.
This list just keeps on growing. I am going to have to stop somewhere so I might as well finish for now. If you have any questions about the above information or want to add more information, please contact us. We are here to help.
By, Evelyn Walker