Objectives Today healthcare problems of the elderly has gained new and extensive dimensions in the community due to their increased population. According to statistics, depression is one of the most important psychological problems in the elderly that needs attention. We aimed to investigate the effect of recreation therapy on depression in older adults. Methods & Materials In this quasi-experimental study, 200 elderly over 60 years of age who attended Yas daycare center in Tehran and met the inclusion criteria were included. The subjects were assigned to intervention (n=32) and control (n=32) groups randomly. The intervention group received 10 recreation therapy sessions over 10 weeks. Depression was measured before and just after intervention and also two weeks after intervention in both groups. The research instruments included GDS, AMT and ADL questionnaires. Data were analyzed using SPSS software; Chi-square, independent T, Mann-Whitney, Generelized Estimating Equations Model and Shapiro-wilk tests were used as appropriated. Results The mean±SD depression score in the intervention group before intervention, after intervention and at follow-up were 5.78±4.2, 2.59±2.12, 3.03±2.2, respectively. The corresponding fugires in the control group were 5.20±3.01, 5.16±2.9, and 5±2.8, respectively (P=0.001). We found no significant difference in the level of depression before intervention between the intervention and control groups (P=0.932). However, a significant difference existed between pre- and post-test (P=0.001) and pre-test and follow-up in the intervention group (P=0.007). Due to Generelized Estimating Equations Model in the intervention group there was a significant difference between the pre-test, post-test and follow-up (P0.05). Conclusion Recreation therapy significantly improved depression in the elderly.