Since free time is a precious commodity in our busy lives, we brainstormed hobby ideas that will make your moments of respite more meaningful. And, perhaps, maybe you’re a little bored and have too much free time and no idea how to fill it.
With our list of 100 hobby ideas, find your next "thing" or revisit a former pastime. From active pursuits, artistic ideas, and volunteer opportunities, there's bound to be a hobby for you.
discover hobbies you might never have known existed—you might just find your
Practice Yoga or Pilates
Whether you're looking to increase strength, flexibility, improve mobility and posture, yoga and pilates are gifts that keeps on giving. As a hobby, both modalities are typically low-impact exercises, and good, certified instructors will offer modifications for your skill level. Plus, they don't take up much space—all you need is an exercise mat.
From beer to kombucha, crafted beverages have exploded in popularity in recent years. For less than $100, you can get a home brewing kit of your own to experiment with in your spare time. For those interested in both science and art—a DIY-fermentation project like home brewing is up your alley.
Form a Wine-Tasting Club
For those who'd rather skip straight to tasting adult beverages, gather a group of likeminded friends and family members and create a wine tasting club. Get a monthly wine delivery subscription from a company like Winc and follow along with the box's tasting notes, or reach out to a local winery or wine shop to hire a wine expert for the evening one a month or quarter.
Try services like Ignoble Grapes, that will cater a wine class to your specific interests—either in-person or virtually!
Take a Studio Art Class
From watercolors to drawing, there's an art class out there for every interest. Check out your city's community offerings, your local art institute, or local arts organizations to find a class near you.
Seek Out New Hiking Trails
Reconnect with nature and disconnect from the frantic pace of modern technology with a hike. Find inspiration for a new-to-you trail or walking path on your city or county's parks, or tourism website.
Take up Sketching
Grab a notebook, some pencils or pens, and sketch your surroundings. Develop your own style, whether that's focusing on details and sketching a direct representation of your subject, or go more abstract with interpretive lines and shapes.
Gather a Group to Play Cards
Learn the ins and outs of poker and other card games to play when the mood strikes. Other classic card games include rummy, hearts, and solitaire.
Start a Blog
Got something to say? Get it all down in a blog. Choose to keep it private, or make it public for other curious readers. Whether you're documenting your journey through grad school, or renovating your first home, or want to remember your travels, a blog is great place to house those memories.
Similarly, capture memories the analog way with a scrapbook. An arts and crafts store, or major retail store like Target should have all the supplies you need to get started. Create a theme, or dedicate an entire book to a specific chapter in time.
Learn a Musical Instrument
It's never too late to learn a musical instrument. If you're contemplating which instrument to get started with, try renting an instrument before investing in ownership. Begin by learning chords or notes, the musical scale, and hand positions first before progressing to compositions.
Design Your Own Clothes
Pick up a sewing machine and enroll in a sewing class or course at your community college, or through your local fabric shop. If that's a bit much, learning to mend a hole or tear might mean extending the life of your favorite piece of clothing without having to toss it, or get it mended by a tailor.
Grow a Garden
Tend to herbs in planters on your windowsill or balcony, or cultivate a vegetable patch if you have the space. Gardening is a great hobby for those who want to use their hands while connecting with nature. Just getting started? Chives, lettuce, green onions, basil, and radishes are some of the easiest to grow.
Coach Your Favorite Childhood Sport
Have a passion for teaching or sharing your expertise? Consider coaching a youth sports team. You'll get to interact with other people, get moving, and have the opportunity to inspire and motivate the next generation of sports enthusiasts.
Build botanical worlds with terrariums. This hobby may be time intensive upfront, but once you've created your terrarium all that's left to do is enjoy your efforts. Just make sure to offer it enough light while keeping it away from too much heat, and clear away any dead leaves when you notice them.
Become a Tutor
Sharpen the skills of your favorite subject and become a tutor. Volunteer your time, or make it a side hustle. And with the explosion of virtual collaboration platforms like Zoom, this is something you can do remotely, from anywhere.
Redecorate a Room in Your Home
Pick a room a month and spend some time tidying, reorganizing, and brainstorming ways to refresh your space. It may be as easy as shifting décor around the home, creating a vignette to give eyes somewhere to land, or committing to an entire renovation.
Make Your Own Preserves
Homemade jams, jellies, and preserves are easier to make than one might think. At most, you'll need fresh fruit, sugar, acid (like lemon, or other citrus), and air-tight containers to store your spread after it's cooled.
In the fridge, homemade fruit spreads can last up to several weeks, or up to a few months in the freezer.
Make Your Own Jewelry
From braided bracelets, to multi-layered glass bead necklaces, the options for making DIY-jewelry are endless. Pick up supplies at an arts and crafts store, and check out artisan-centric websites like Etsy for inspiration.
Volunteer for a Cause
Offer your time and energy to a cause that aligns with your values. From an after-school reading program to delivering meals to those that need it most, there's a volunteer opportunity to suit your schedule and interest.
Learn to Play Chess
Cultivate patience and strategic thinking with chess. Each piece plays a specific role, and one needn't be a prodigy like The Queen's Gambit's protagonist to enjoy the game. Learn and play online, or go tactile with an in-person game.
Start a YouTube Channel
This hobby can be as simple or as intricate as you make it. To get started, all you need is your cell phone to record and some basic editing skills. Choose a theme, like your favorite IKEA hacks, skincare tutorials, or your latest cooking experiments, click record and off you go.
Create a Mindfulness or Meditation Practice
Contrary to what one might think, you don't need to sign up for a meditation retreat to learn and create your own mindfulness practice. Start with the time you have, and utilize the tools that work best for you, whether it be an app like Headspace or Calm, signing up for a workshop at your nearest yoga studio, or checking out how-to books from the library.
Try Travel Hacking
There's an entire universe dedicated to making the most out of credit cards rewards programs. Dive in and dig up some travel deals, tips, and tricks of your own. Check out The Points Guy as a starting point.
Improve Public Speaking Skills
Public speaking may not be everyone's favorite thing, but there are so many instances where we just need to it. From giving a school or work presentation, to making a toast at a friend's wedding, finding confidence and ease with public speaking can only help us. Toastmasters, for example, has chapter organizations throughout the country, and they're all about helping people perfect their public speaking skills.
Plan Your Next Trip
From research to planning, then booking your next adventure, we definitely think organizing a trip counts as a hobby. Whether you want something active and adrenaline-packed (ATVing through the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, perhaps?), prefer something more relaxed (sprawled out on a beach blanket in California), or crave multi-cultural eats in the city (what's up Toronto), don't let those vacation days go to waste.
Dabble in Calligraphy
With all of the writing and communicating we do online, putting pen to paper feels entirely novel. Refresh your cursive writing skills, then create your signature font with a calligraphy hobby. Grab a set of brush pens, learn the basic strokes first—and practice, practice, practice.
A great way to spend more time outside is with bird watching. Invest in a pair of binoculars, a local or regional bird guide to help you identify birds by look, song or call, and you can basically participate in this hobby anytime and anywhere.
Perfect Magic Tricks
From card tricks to other slight of hand tricks, learning to deliver a magic trick is a performance. Common magic tricks to perfect include making something "disappear" out of thin air, making something appear out of thin air, and transforming an object into another (like a coin into a dollar bill).
Hone Your Photography
The good news is that you don't necessarily need to purchase a DSLR camera if you don't want to. Nailing basic photography concepts like exposure, depth, and working with different light sources can be done from your cell phone. Plus, cell phone cameras are advanced enough that there's a reason why mobile photography has taken off (check out the hashtag #iphoneography on Instagram).
Camping can take place anywhere, from the beach to the backyard, desert to mountain landscapes. Rent equipment you need if you're just dabbling for now or don't own your gear. Go solo, with friends or family, even bring your pet along.
Hang out With Animals
Animal lovers will discover numerous opportunities to interact with them in various ways. Volunteer your time at a shelter or with an animal therapy program, sign up to foster, or petsit in your spare time with a service like Rover.
Offer Your Services Through a Task App
Whether you're a pro at assembling IKEA furniture, or your penmanship is on point enough that you could probably get paid to handwrite 100 invitations, task apps and services like Task Rabbit or Fiverr let you offer your skills to people and businesses who need your help.
Discover New Podcasts
The sheer volume of content across different mediums can be overwhelming, but podcasts offers a way to learn something new or just be entertained on our own time. Major audio brands like Spotify, Luminary, and Audible host original and syndicated shows across genres, from self-improvement to scripted shows.
The world of fishing is vast, and cultivating a fishing hobby can be as simple as dropping a line into a lake or river, to more energetic, open ocean adventures. Most major retailers like Wal Mart or Target sell fishing poles, as well as sporting goods stores like Dick's Sporting Goods or Bass Pro Shops.
Try Needlepointing or Knitting
Improve concentration and hand/eye coordination with needlepointing or knitting. Those of us who can sit still for some time may even find it a good stress-relieving activity. Your nearest arts and crafts store will have everything you need to get started. Start with a scarf, or chunky knit blanket pattern.
Go Rock Climbing or Bouldering
For a full-body activity that builds strength, confidence, and spatial awareness, picking up a rock climbing hobby is a great option. Indoor rock climbing gyms are popping up all over the country, and most offer introductory classes and set you up with equipment rentals.
Help Out at Cleanup Events
Volunteer your time at cleanup events. A number of non-profit organizations and brands host beach, park, river cleanups year-round. Spend some time outside, and get a sneaky workout in as you walk and bend to pick items up.
Trace Your Family Tree
Go back to your roots as they say and create a family tree. Growing availability of DNA tests like 23 and Me, and Ancestry DNA, in recent years has renewed interest in genealogy. Online services like Ancestry.com and Archives.com can help kickstart your journey into your ancestral past.
Join a Recreational Sports Team
Softball, frisbee golf, dodgeball, there's a recreational sports league for you. It's also an ideal way to meet people who share your interests. Check your city's parks and recreation department for local leagues, or ask colleagues and friends about the ins and outs of the leagues they play with.
Become an Expert on Your Favorite Genre of Music
Spotify and Pandora algorithms may dominate our musical listening habits, and the next time you hear a song you like, take a peek at the artist. Explore their discography, and seek out similar artists in their genre.
Consider Jogging, Cycling, or Swimming
Get out of the house and move your body. Trendy exercises crop up and fade away, yet jogging, biking, and swimming have stuck around. Maybe it's a flexible activity: You're in control of where to go (around the park, beachside, the local YMCA pool or fancy gym?) and how intense you make it.
Pick a Dance Class
Speaking of moving your body, dance is a genre of movement with so many subcategories to choose from. Put some music on and free dance around your living room, or sign up for a class from hip hop to salsa. Gyms to dance studios and even community colleges or university extended learning centers are good places to explore dance as a hobby.
Learn Your Heritage's Traditional Recipes
Another way to get in touch with your heritage is to explore its traditional recipes. Pick a new recipe every week or month, read up on the dish's history, then personalize it based on your ingredient and cooking preferences.
Don't be afraid to substitute ingredients if they're too difficult to track down. Many traditional recipes evolved based on the ingredients cultures had on hand at the time.
Get Good at Aerial Sports
Unleash your inner gymnast with a trapeze, aerial silks/ropes hobby. If it's accessible to you, gymnastics schools, circus arts or aerial arts companies and organizations can help you get started.
Go Antiquing or Thrifting
Cultivate an appreciation for the past and the previously owned with antiquing or thrifting. This hobby is a good fit for people who love a good scavenger hunt. It's quite possible to score some high-end finds at Goodwill, and whether you will or won't find a gem is all part of the thrill.
Play With Macrame
If braiding and weaving had a baby, you'd get macrame. With some string, scissors, and a tape measure, get started with wall décor, a hanging planter, to a table runner. Research a few easy knot patterns to kick things off before trying your hand at more advanced knots.
Join a global scavenger hunt. Near and far, there are likely a number of geocaches (or hidden items) to be found via GPS. Sign up at Geocaching to join the treasure hunt, and keep a log of what you find.
Participate in a Community Garden
Tend to the earth and meet new people by joining a community garden. Gardens work different depending on the organization running it. You might, for instance, be able to purchase a personal plot to cultivate in a communal space, or garden as a group effort.
Attempt IKEA Furniture Hacks
For the DIYers out there, this one's for you. There are so many IKEA hacks out there that this hobby will keep you occupied for months. For example, spruce up everything from a five-drawer chest to a bookcase.
Sign Up for Fencing Lessons
With roots in European sword combat, fencing is a hobby that will require some equipment, footwork and stamina. Signing up for classes with a specialty school will teach you all you need to know, including terminology and its corresponding movements like advance, attack, and lunge.
From art to science, history and more, there's a museum for every interest. Pick a new museum to discover every month, or go slower by spending more time with fewer exhibits, and return to the same museum to peruse different exhibits.
Organizations like American Marriage Ministries can help anyone become ordained to officiate a wedding. Sign up online and learn everything from writing a ceremony script, to marriage license essentials, and more.
Deliver Meals to Those in Need
Food is a daily necessity, and if you're looking for an altruistic hobby, consider volunteering your time with a food bank or meal delivery organization. Volunteer opportunities range from sorting donations at a food bank, to delivering meals to those who need it most.
Discover New Newsletters
Have a favorite content creator? They likely have a newsletter you can subscribe to that go deeper (and quirkier) on subjects you may not be able to find in mainstream media. For example, check out Girls' Night In for all things wellness and self-care, or Culture Study for pop culture musings.
Puzzle Your Heart Out
Puzzling is another analog hobby that can also double as a stress-relieving tool. Plus, puzzles seemed to have gotten more stylish lately. Now you can pick up a puzzle depicting everything from famous artwork to illustrated botanicals.
Join a Book Club
Join a broader audience with a nation-wide book club like Reese's Book Club (from actor and producer Reese Witherspoon) or Books & Boba (dedicated to highlighting books by authors of Asian descent). Or create your own with your besties. Meet up in-person, or virtually. If you're book clubbing with friends, take turns picking the monthly read.
Keep a Journal
Remember writing with pen and paper? Take some time each day or week to free write your thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Or, follow journal prompts. Try a Google search on "journal prompts for well-being" or "journal prompts for self reflection" for thought starters.
Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures. Using a single sheet of paper, learn how to create animals to flowers, boats and boxes—no scissors, glue, or tape required.
Find Your Community
Connecting with people who share your interests can add another layer to exploring your hobbies, whether that's a love for travel, cooking, or home decorating. Many online groups often meet in-person too, so you can choose whether to participate virtually or hang out in real life.
Curate playlists for every occasion—start with your workout playlist, a road trip list, and a cooking playlist. Get creative and pull playlists together for friends and family. Pick a mood and build a playlist from there.
Write Fan Fiction
Marry your love for a movie or TV series and storytelling with fan fiction. You already know the basic premise of your beloved movie or show, you know how it ends. Now, use your own imagination to alter scenes, pick up where endings leave off, and take the story in any direction you please.
Fiddle With Flower Arranging
Create your own bouquets by learning the art of flower arranging. There's much to learn with this hobby, from plant traditions, to biology, and design principles. Sign up for a class with your local florist, museum, or other creative space.
Learn to Surf
This hobby can be difficult to pursue if you're landlocked, but those with access to the ocean can sign up for surf lessons. Surf schools from California to New York will include surfboard and wetsuit rental as part of the lesson. You'll likely start with some instruction on the sand before moving into the water.
Get Into Tie-Dye
Give outfits new life or create something totally new by learning to tie-dye. You'll need the items you'd like to tie-dye (sweatshirts, tanks, socks, anything goes), colored fabric dye, and rubber bands. Experiment with binding techniques to create different patterns.
Pick up Pottery
You could invest in building out your own pottery studio if you have the funds and space—for a pottery wheel, kiln, and shaping tools, brushes, and more. Or, check out your local pottery studio where classes will typically provide everything you need to create a piece.
Plan Some Gatherings
Have an eye for detail, planning, and gathering? If the sound of that excites you more than it exhausts you, orchestrate dinner parties, weekend brunches, and other special (and just because) occasions as the designated home entertaining host.
Learn to Forage
Grab a field guide that offers lots of photos and a broad array of plants to help you identify which are edible, and which plants to stay away from. Engage all of your senses to learn about plants you encounter—smell and texture, for example. Note: Only taste a plant if you're absolutely sure it's not poisonous.
Get Into Coloring
These days, coloring isn't just for kids. Lately, its been touted as a stress-relieving activity for people of all ages. Adult coloring books in particular are as silly as this Drinking Animals Coloring Book by Caffeinestar Publishing, and as intricate as the Secret Garden coloring book from Johanna Basford.
Fly a Kite
To get started with this hobby, all you need is a kite and a location—a park, a beach, an open field—with some wind. Begin with your back to the wind, and let the American Kitefliers Association guide you the rest of the way.
Make Your Own Candles
Arts and crafters, and aromatherapy lovers may enjoy a candle-making hobby. You can buy a candle making kit, or piecemeal supplies together, including wax (such as soy wax), wicks, containers, and essential oils for fragrance.
Reorganize Your Living Space
Marie Kondo has made tidying cool (and arguably an art form). Get into a home organizing hobby by reorganizing your spices. You could get a few stacking spice racks, or dedicate a drawer to them. Then, reformat your bedroom or linen closet.
Learn to Butcher Your Food
Another tactile activity could be to learn how to break down your favorite proteins. Try chicken or a whole fish to start. According to Cook's Country, learning to break down a whole chicken is more cost-effective and leaves you with the wing tips and backs to make flavorful homemade stock.
Become a Grilling Pro
There's much to learn about grilling, from the different types of grills to manipulating your heat source to cook up whatever's on the menu for the day. Whether you're searing steaks or charring veggies, dig into the ins and outs of cooking with heat.
Try a Martial Art
Looking to master a full-body activity? Learn a martial art. From Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to Korean Tae Kwon Do, each fighting art has its own technique and nuances. Most martial arts studios and schools will charge a monthly fee for at least one class per week.
Tap Into Tarot
Flex your intuitive muscles by learning to read tarot cards. Each card is printed with a different symbol, object, or image that you can use to guide whatever is happening in your life. There is no right or wrong way to interpret a card, though a tarot deck will come with a guidebook to navigate each symbol.
Learn to Repair Cars
When's the last time you changed a tire? If your answer was way back in high-school driver's education class, then now's a great time to brush up on this practical activity. Then try your hand at an oil change. Technical and continuing education schools offer formal training.
Brush up on Geography
There are many ways to approach this hobby. Get in the habit of looking up landmarks, cities, and countries on a map you're unfamiliar with when you come across them. Pick a country to "plan a trip" to, and look up places to see, neighboring cities, and things to do.
Dive Into Documentaries
Browse the documentary section of your favorite streaming service and pick a new documentary to watch. Look up articles afterward to deepen your understanding of the documentary topic. Watch the fiction movie based on the documentary topic and compare Hollywood's version with reality.
Sample Different Genres of Music
Dedicate some of your free time each week to explore a new genre of music. If you typically listen to pop, try jazz. Gravitate toward house music? Give folk music a listen. Switch things up, and you'll be surprised what you discover.
Explore New Neighborhoods
Shake up your usual routine and pick a new-to-you neighborhood in your home city and explore like a tourist. Wander into a restaurant for lunch without looking one up online first, and ask your server or barista where the nearest park is or what shops they'd recommend.
Shake up New Cocktails
Pick a monthly theme and go tiki drinks one month, or go all-in on different Campari-based cocktails the next month. After some experimentation, let your preferences guide you as you build your own bar cart.
Start with a birdhouse kit or go DIY-style with some power tools, a tape measure, sand paper, and wood. Simple birdhouse designs should take two to four hours to complete.
Most homemade bread recipes call for flour, yeast, and sugar or salt. Begin with a few template recipes then experiment with add-ins (like olives, or raisins) or different types of flour, like rye or whole wheat.
Lace up Some Rollerskates
Revisit an old pastime, or learn something new with rollerskating (or rollerblading, if you prefer). Head to an indoor rink, a rollerskating event, or your nearest paved path to recreate outside.
Experiment with different styles of poetry, from haiku to something more free form. Draw from your emotions, past experiences, or hopes and dreams.
If you have access to dark enough skies, pick out constellations with the help of an app like Star Walk. Invest in a telescope, or rent one for a closer look at the stars. Sometimes, your nearest observatory will hold stargazing events.
Go Ghost Hunting
Explore the paranormal with virtual ghost hunting classes, haunted tours in your city or wherever you're traveling. Dive into its history with podcasts episodes, books, and documentaries.
Expand Your Wine Vocabulary
Want to know why you like the wine you like? Or the difference between different styles of wine? Learn the basics with podcasts like Wine School Dropout, follow along to Wine Folly's wine tasting self-study, and soak up wine culture stories from publications like Vinepair.
For a socially oriented hobby, bowling offers a low barrier to get involved. Rent shoes from the bowling alley, though you can purchase your own shoes (and ball) if you want to. There's usually a concession stand for snacks and beverages, too, though some of the fancier places now have full-scale restaurants, bars, and other games.
Freerunning gyms offer parkour classes for beginners. Parkour uses real-life objects as an obstacle course and involves balance, running, jumping, rolling, and landing. Check out the World Freerunning Parkour Federation for more resources.
This may sound intimidating and like it requires stacks of cash, but art can be anything that interests you. That might be black and white photographs, graphic posters, or upcycled objects. Art fairs, flea markets, and social media are great places to get a sense of your tastes.
Learn 3D Printing
Learn how to create physical objects from digital renderings with 3D printing. The technology has been around since the 1980s, and has only become commercially accessible in the last decade. You'll get into how to use 3D modeling software, how a 3D printer works, and more. Some libraries may even have an innovation lab where you can print your own designs.
Build a Vinyl Record Collection
Similar to thrifting, seek out record stores a hunt down records from your favorite or new-to-you artists. General music stores, thrift shops, flea markets, and yard and garage sales are also good places to look.
Work With Essential Oils
Not only do they smell great, but essential oils can be used in a number of places in the home. Create room sprays, cleaning solutions, and more.