The 24 Best Hobbies for Seniors for Physical and Mental Well-Being!

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Retirees often suddenly find themselves with time on their hands. A life of work and raising a family left little time for personal pursuits. Here are the best hobbies for seniors who have some time to fill!

senior woman working in her garden as a hobby
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When you retire and you have nothing to do all day, sooner or later, you will start feeling the emptiness of retirement. Maybe you even wish you could go back to work. In fact, some people start working in private institutions once they have retired from civil service. Some even go ahead and start their own businesses. Either way, a time comes when you have worked enough and you need to consider the best hobbies for seniors to keep you from going back to work out of boredom.

When choosing a hobby, consider what you really enjoy doing. It might not be something related to anything you have ever done, but it should be something you really enjoy.

A good hobby should give you two basic things. First, it should keep you physically and mentally healthy. Second, it will keep you entertained and engaged. In some cases, a hobby can earn you a few extra dollars.

If you are still working, you need to develop a hobby as you plan for your future. If you love swimming, develop that interest. Expand the hobby by offering swimming lessons to kids. But, sometimes things change. You might develop a condition such as arthritis or diabetes which will keep you from engaging in certain activities.

Whichever hobby you choose, note that working with your hands at any age will enhance the coordination between your brain and your physical being. Having a few hobbies keeps you afloat at all times.

Top Hobbies for Seniors

Reading as a Hobby

Reading a good book will not only keep you busy but will also keep you entertained. Most people would love to read tons of books, but they do not have the time, and there are millions of good books to read when you have time.

Reading is one of the best hobbies for seniors with arthritis. The good news is, reading is an inexpensive hobby and it comes loaded with hundreds of benefits. When you are reading in a well-lit room or under a shade during the daytime, you need no electricity. At night, just a small LED light will do just fine.

When you choose a good-sized book, it will offer you lots of hours of entertainment. You can even join book clubs. There is a book club in almost every neighborhood. Here, you can discuss books you have read, share ideas and get hints on the next best book. Plus, nothing feels good like freezing into the plot of a good book and following it through.

Books offer knowledge and enlightenment. When you are not reading fiction books, you should be immersed deep into history books, health and self-improvement books, religious books and any other book that interests you.

You can acquire these large books at practically nothing at the local library.

Play Video Games and Reduce Stress

It feels like a hobby for senior men, but it is not. Video games offer a good way to stay engaged, challenge one’s mind and stay away from stress. But it’s not a common hobby for seniors. In fact, most seniors will run away from it in a bid to keep their eyes safe from the glaring light of LCD screens. But, you can play at a distance with computer glasses and stay safe.

Video games have advanced a great deal in the last decade. Do not think of video games for what they have always been; not all games are about violence. You can choose strategy games, puzzle games, memory games and artistic games among others. While at it, you will keep your brain healthy.

Video games are an inexpensive hobby; you can play on your computer, tablet or mobile device.

Start a Botanical Garden or a Kitchen Garden

Gardening is fun. It keeps seniors engaged, keeps them physically fit and mentally active. If you need to enhance your mobility and flexibility, start gardening. There are even special tools and even garden seats that can make gardening easier for seniors.

Gardening will depend on whether you have space in your backyard to start a garden. If you do, a botanical garden, a kitchen garden, or even a raised garden will come in as a great hobby. This is not an inexpensive hobby though. It will need lots of resources in terms of time and money.

You can even garden from a wheelchair with raised garden beds.

A botanical garden is a collection of different plants labeled with their scientific names. This will need you to go collecting plants, researching their English and botanical names, planting them and tending them all day. You have to have a love for Mother Nature. But, your efforts will not go unrewarded. You will give your visitors tours of your garden. It can also be a great place to read or do your art.

A kitchen garden, on the other hand, is a simple garden where you grow kitchen supplies including onions, tomatoes, chili, and greens.  Having a small kitchen garden can even reduce the amount of grocery shopping you have to do. Plus, you can sell the surplus to your neighbors or at a farmer’s market.

Travel the World

Almost all of us would love to travel the world, but there are two limiting factors; finances and time. When you travel around the world you learn a lot, you add knowledge and get enlightened. You will also socialize with different people and get entertained by the diverse cultures in different parts of the world. Taste different cuisines and go foraging for exotic greens. It is fun.

In fact, traveling is one of the most enjoyable and best hobbies for seniors. But, you must be a person that loves socializing. Otherwise, traveling the world alone can be lonely. Plus, you need to have the resources.

You can also visit family and friends while you’re at it.

To make traveling fun, you can document your escapades; the good moments, the awkward moments, exciting, boring and any other moments. You can do this if you have a good camera and you are running a small blog. See how three hobbies link up here?

senior man painting in a japanese garden
Combining indoor and outdoor hobbies can be particularly engaging.

Crafty Hobbies for Seniors & the Elderly

Arts and Crafts

Art never fades. Once you start creating art and crafting, you will never stop. You do not have to guess whether you love art or not. You will feel the love for art and craft running in you. Plus, the satisfaction that comes with finishing an art or craft project is soothing.

You can start painting, sculpting, photographing, scrapbooking, knitting or even sewing. Or, you can create wall hangings, centerpieces, necklaces and other items to use in the house or sell. Even coloring in an adult coloring book is rewarding when the job is done.

Today, you can sell your art online on sites such as Etsy. Or, you can create your own art retail store online. Even when you do not intend to sell your art, you will still have fun creating.

For seniors, art can be done as a social activity with friends or family members, which ensures the seniors mingle with other people. The activity is engaging, fun and rewarding. Again, it keeps your mind in tip top shape. Better still, art therapy has been used to stimulate seniors’ brain and bring back memories for those with dementia.


While this is a hobby on the more expensive side, it’s one that you can really dive into – and maybe even make a bit of a career out of! There are so many elements of good photography that it can take you years to master, experimenting with different cameras, lenses, techniques and more to create images that you truly love.

If you already have an interest in photography but would like to learn how to take better pictures from your own home, check out Learn and Master’s video instruction course for photography.


Woodworking is another great hobby for elderly men because it involves a lot of hands-on work and produces a beautiful, tangible product or project. They can make all sorts of crafts and keep their hands and minds busy for hours to days on end.


Along those lines, they can also take up painting and learn how to professionally paint their final woodworking product, or just work with traditional canvas art as well. Painting is incredibly calming and soothing, and allows for a lot of internal creative expression and experimentation. And, you can learn to paint at home too with Learn and Master’s home video painting course.


Creating beautiful pottery for your home is just as meditative and soothing as painting, except you get to get your hands a little dirty. But remember, this hobby looks much easier than it is! Look into classes in your local area to get your technique down.

Sporting Hobbies that Get Seniors Outdoors

If you’re more of an outdoors person, check out a new senior-friendly competitive sport. Usually, lower-impact sports like golf, are better on older bodies because they don’t require much exertion, conditioning, or training.


Golfing has to be on the list. It is one of the most favorite sports of many seniors. When you play golf, you increase your flexibility and enhance your motion, strength and balance. Plus, if you really enjoy the game, it offers you a way to stay happy. While golfing, you will meet other golfers, some who are seniors and golfing for a hobby. This is why golfing is referred to as a social game.

Golf was once considered a hobby only for men, but that’s no longer the case. Many women enjoy golf too!

However, if you are looking for hobbies for seniors with arthritis, the movement and activities in golf might limit you. Otherwise, you can golf for life and still find great satisfaction in it. When you swing the club, your hand-eye coordination also improves.

Golfing is not an expensive hobby, seeing that a single set of golf clubs can last for decades without the need for replacement. By joining a member’s club, you can play golf any day you wish.


Another great sporting option for older people is tennis. You basically control the pace and intensity of the game, and while it can get into the high-performance levels, you can also just have a quick gentle game with some buddies, or even play with yourself against a racquetball wall to keep your muscles moving and your joints in good shape.


For something a little more grounded and gentle, why not try gardening? It can be incredibly rewarding to come in from months of tending to a garden with a fresh bounty of fruits and vegetables for your family to enjoy. Check out garden stools that can make gardening easier for seniors.


Birding is a great outdoor hobby for seniors, with plenty to study and beautiful sights to see. It can also be done anywhere, anytime, so grab a pair of portable binoculars and a small journal and take your hobby with you wherever you go!

Writing Based Hobbies for Seniors

Writing/Blogging for Fun

Want to make a change even as you have fun and earn extra money? Start writing. In fact, writing is only second best to reading. Nowadays, you do not need to spend years banging copy on your computer only to publish and wait for years to sell a hundred copies. You can start blogging and build an audience slowly by slowly.

Blogging is easy, you do not need technical skills. Even with zero experience, you can start and run a blog. Search platforms such as WordPress and Weebly and you will see thousands of tutorials online. Start a free blog and upgrade later.

Blogging gives you the freedom to write about any topic. Which is a good thing, seeing that we all have an interest. If you are an expert in a given field and you enjoy writing, you will add more value to your readers even as you earn.

Pick a theme or niche and run with it. This could be a good hobby for seniors with dementia because you can see right where you left off if the mind wanders.

As your blog develops and grows each day, so will your audience and so will your chances of monetizing it. If you have no computer skills at all besides your passion for writing, there are lots of courses to help you out.

Creative writing

Creative writing can be an unmatched outlet for some people. Creating an entire world, or even universe, completely different from reality, or grounded in reality with fictional characters, is one of the most fun ways to use your imagination (in my opinion, anyway). Older men also have a ton of experiences to draw from when looking for inspiration, so sift back through your memory and create your own story!


Sometimes, sifting back through your memories can bring up a host of stories you want to chronicle. Journaling about your life’s experiences can be valuable for you, and your family for posterity’s sake. Recall the good old days as you saw them, and recreate those scenes on paper.

chess board with large sized pieces in front of a roaring fire
Games like chess can keep the brain busy and make the time really fly by.

Hobbies and Games that Stimulate the Mind


Mental stimulation becomes increasingly important as we age, especially in retirement. Pick up chess or a similar game to keep your mind sharp. If you get good enough, you can even enter tournaments or teams locally and find a whole group of people with similar interests, and learn new ways to improve your game.


Sudoku is another fun brain game that has to do with logic, but it’s more of a solo activity since you’re not playing against anyone but yourself. This unique situation gives you enhanced logic skills and trains your brain to think rationally in brand new ways.


You may have enjoyed kids’ puzzles as a child, but they actually make very complex, beautiful, and tricky puzzles for adults too! This also keeps the brain sharp while doing a fun activity that family and friends can join in on. For senior men with arthritis, try puzzles with larger pieces that are easier to pick up.

Card Games

Why not try your hand at mastering a game of cards? There are plenty out there to choose from, and plenty of in person and online communities devoted to mastering the craft of certain games. Working with your hands, stimulating strategic thinking, all combined with a little bit of luck can be a perfect pastime for an elderly man.

Learn a New Language

Also, learning a new language can be very rewarding and stimulate parts of your brain that you may have never used before! Find one that you’ve always admired, and see if you can find online learning tools to help you practice until you master your new form of communication. Maybe you can even plan a trip to the language’s country of origin to give you a bit of motivation!


Finding a cause that you really care about, and then working with an organization that shares your values and creates real change in this area in your community can be one of the most fulfilling things a person does in their life.

Check out local groups near you and see if you can find one that would fit your interests. There are usually environmental groups that do regular cleanups of the local area, as well as organizations devoted to helping the homeless in your town, or childcare facilities that need help as well.

You can also join political groups that are always looking for volunteers to help elect a candidate you truly believe in. Any of these will keep you engaged in today’s society’s issues on a local level, and give you an entirely new community of friends to bond with!

Training the Young and Volunteering

There are only a few things that feel as good as impacting the lives of the young. And you can pass down some of your knowledge to them through training. When you share, you learn more, you get to socialize and your mood is improved and your stresses dissolve.

One of the ways to offer training to the young is through public speaking. Organize and hold public forums where you talk to the young and enlighten them in different ways. You can also offer training in different fields as long as you have the skill set required.

Train the young how to swim, write, and create artistic objects among lots of other things. You can offer self-improvement courses, financial courses, and marriage advice as long as you are good in that field.


Try something new and something interesting. It doesn’t have to be the same things you have done for as long as you can remember. You can try new and exciting things. Perhaps learn a new language or a new skill – or even how to play a musical instrument. Propose to better yourself and impact those around you. Most importantly, ensure you stay healthy – mentally and physically.

If you have a senior in your life and you need to keep them engaged, happy and healthy, help them choose a hobby that fits them. You can work with them to choose a good hobby based on what they enjoy doing. This is even better because you can assist them in areas they have an issue such as setting up a blog. Consider special hobbies for seniors with dementia and other conditions like arthritis.

What are some of your favorite hobbies? Can you recommend a hobby that you think would be good for a senior or elderly person? Let me know in the comments below! OH! If you found this information helpful, please share with a friend on social media!

Photo of author

Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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3 thoughts on “The 24 Best Hobbies for Seniors for Physical and Mental Well-Being!”

  1. Cycling and tricycling might be a good fit as hobbies for elders. if there are no body or stability issues cycling would do fine and if there are issues tricycling would be a good fit. i found tricycling being popular among elders

  2. I have metal detected for over 50 years with much enjoyment. My Son and I were even published in a Coin Word Magazine once with much enjoyment. It keeps you moving many body parts, and all the newer models are very ergonomically friendly. There is no competitive situation so you are 100% at your own pace so this fits most physical situations. It is very rewarding, keeps you constantly thinking & planning your next outing. You might be amazed how many of your grand children get enjoyment doing this with Grandpa & Grandma. You can purchase children models for under $100 that work well enough to keep their interest. The greatest benefit is you are doing something that is as physical as you want it to be. Happy Hunting Terry Valentine

    • Hi Terry – Thanks for sharing this great hobby idea for seniors. I’ve seen people find all kinds of neat things using metal detectors at the beach. Sometimes some valuable things too!

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