I need a hobby! 21 exciting new ways to spend your free time
A list of hobby ideas for anyone and everyone
Whether you want to be inside or outside, alone or with people, there is something new for you to try below. As you read through this list of hobbies, remember that the goal is to find something you enjoy – nothing more, nothing less. After all, when it comes to your hobby of choice, there’s no one to please but yourself.
- Upcycle furniture. Turn your trash into treasure! A useful hobby if your furniture is beginning to show its age. As a craft, it can be very relaxing, and pretty rewarding as well.
- Learn to dance. Pick up ballroom dancing and take your partner for a waltz, learn to lindy-hop, or go solo with something more contemporary.
- Go wild swimming. A brilliant hobby in summer, and (if you can brave the cold) equally rewarding in winter. It’s best not to go alone, so go online and look up a group in your area. You’ll make plenty of new friends in the process – there’s nothing like jumping in a cold lake to form a bond.
- Try pottery. Making something from scratch with your bare hands is a great way to unwind. If you’re looking for something a bit less messy, try painting finished mugs and vases with your own designs.
- Learn a new language. Use free apps on your phone, a book, or join a class to meet fellow beginners.
- Become a sports referee at your local gym or community centre. Share your wisdom, and embrace the power of the whistle.
- Take a podcast on a walk or run. If you like a little relaxing solitude when you exercise, a long trek with something fascinating to listen to can be the perfect way to keep fit. Find new podcasts to follow and hear what’s happening in the world around you, near and far.
- Challenge your mind (and defeat your friends) with games. Learn how to play chess, master mah-jong, or perfect your poker face. Set up regular games night, or join a league and start climbing the ranks.
- Cook more. While a class is a good way to learn tricky techniques and meet new people, you don’t need one to kick your skills up a notch. Go online, or buy a book, and perfect a new recipe every week – you’ll soon notice the difference. Browse our tasty recipes here.
- Join a willow weaving class. Relax by making baskets, or even creating woven willow sculptures outdoors. Replanted willow cuttings can sprout leaves again, leaving you with a living piece of art.
- Start a book club with friends or neighbours. Get together, unwind, and talk over the latest page-turner.
- Try a new sport, and join a team. Join a community sports league to keep up your athletic skills and make new friends.
- Start woodcraft. You don’t have to build your own furniture – try whittling as a way to get creative and relax.
- Fill up an adult colouring book. They’re not just for kids anymore. Plenty of adults are turning to (more challenging) grown-up colouring books as a way to manage stress. You might be surprised at how impressive the end result is.
- Try urban exploration. Make a point to find new places near your home to check out. If you’re reasonably tech-savvy, a great option for this is geo-caching – people set up treasure hunts, complete with puzzles and a prize at the end, and share the clues online.
- Set up an aquarium at home. Caring for fish (or hermit crabs, or aquatic snails…) is more than just a hobby. It’s also very relaxing to simply watch the tank – like your own personal ocean.
- Join a rambler’s group and see more of the country. Even if you live in a city, there are plenty of groups that meet up and split the cost of a coach to more rural areas.
- Write more. Write letters to friends and family (they will be pleasantly surprised) or consider writing for a cause. Charities like Amnesty International are always looking for people to join letter writing campaigns, so you can turn this hobby into your way to make a difference.
- Join a zoo society. Keep track of new births and arrivals, and time your visits perfectly.
- Become a wildlife photographer. Take a long walk in the countryside and see what you can find. Ask around to find some good spots to try – chances are, you know someone who’s found a badger set, or even seen some deer. If you live in the city, try a park – or keep a look out for urban foxes.
- Research your family genealogy to find out more about your ancestors. Maybe you’ll even find out what their hobbies were.
With the 21 hobby ideas above, hopefully you’re no longer thinking, “I need a hobby!” and have found more than few options tempting. There’s no harm in trying something new, so don’t be afraid to take on an activity you’ve never tried before and step outside your comfort zone – it might surprise you.