Spending time on the right hobby can help reduce stress and boost mental health. Participating in hobbies can be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience for seniors, allowing them to stay healthy, active, and engaged.
So, to help recent retirees and older adults discover the hobbies they might want to try, the following recommendations are categorized by the type of hobby or desired outcome.
We will also offer tips on narrowing down which hobby is the best.
Unusual Hobbies for Older Adults
Not interested in arts and crafts or gardening?
If you are looking for a hobby that’s more unique and out of the ordinary for your senior years, there are plenty of unusual hobbies to explore.
From learning the art of bonsai gardening to crafting beautiful works of art with stone carving, these fun hobbies are satisfying ways to spend your retirement days.
1. Rock Balancing
Rock balancing is a calming, meditative art involving arranging and stacking rocks to create aesthetically pleasing sculptures.
To get started, you need an interesting selection of rocks and stones which you can find in nature or purchase. Once you have the rocks and stones, you can artistically arrange them. Take some photos of them to share with others.
Rock balancing exercises gross and fine motor skills. It requires patience and practice, but it can be a rewarding and enjoyable hobby for seniors.
Geocaching is an excellent choice if you love exploring the outdoors and looking for hidden treasures. It is an entertaining and educational way to discover new places and landscapes while staying active.
Geocaching involves using a GPS or smartphone to search for hidden containers (geocaches) found in parks, forests, and other locations worldwide.
Geocaches are usually filled with small trinkets, items you can exchange for other things, and a logbook for visitors to sign.
To get started with geocaching, you must download a geocaching app and register for a free account. After that, you can begin searching for geocaches near you.
3. Star Gazing
Star gazing is an educational hobby for people who enjoy the beauty of the night sky while observing the stars, planets, and other celestial bodies with just the naked eye.
This calming and meditative activity provides hours of peaceful contemplation and some of the most spectacular views in the world.
Find a dark place away from artificial light sources. You may want binoculars to get a better view. Use apps like Google Sky Map to help you identify constellations and other near-Earth objects.
4. Home Brewing
Home brewing beer, wine, and other fermented drinks provides hours of enjoyment with a satisfying result. You also get to be creative while making something unique and learning the basics of brewing.
You will need special equipment (bottles, caps, and a fermentation vessel) and ingredients like malt extract, hops, and yeast. There are many step-by-step instructional guides online or in books on how to brew beer and other drinks.
Aquascaping is a meditative and calming activity involving creating beautiful aquatic landscapes of rocks, plants, and other water-safe objects. Think of it as an aquarium without fish or water-based livestock.
Explore online resources or pick up a starter kit, then find suitable rocks and plants and a tank or aquarium to house the aquatic landscape. Add lighting and filtration equipment to keep the tank healthy.
With the right supplies and a bit of patience, you can create beautiful and aesthetically pleasing aquatic landscapes in your home.
Foraging is collecting wild food from plants and trees found in nature. It’s a great hobby for seniors because it encourages them to explore the outdoors and learn about new plants and their uses.
Foraging also helps seniors stay active and exercise while connecting with nature.
First, research the plants and trees in your area to get started. There are also rules and regulations for foraging that vary from region to region. It is also essential to collect responsibly, only taking what you need and avoiding damaging plants or trees.
There are some potential hazards, though. Ensure you correctly identify the plants you collect, as some plants can be poisonous or dangerous.
Herbalism is the practice of using herbs to promote health and wellness. Because you can grow many of these herbs at home, it is a safer alternative to foraging.
This hobby lets seniors explore the natural world and learn about the diverse uses of herbs while staying active, exercising, and connecting with nature.
To get started with herbalism, learn about the herbs you can grow in your area. Then, decide if you want to grow them outdoors in a garden or indoors in pots, or even in a hydroponic setup. All you need now are some seeds and some leisure time.
8. Pyrography or Woodburning
Pyrography is a craft that involves burning and decorating wood with a heated tool. This creative hobby for seniors helps them stay active, express themselves, and explore the world of woodburning art.
You’ll need a few necessary supplies, such as woodburning tools and blanks. Additionally, practicing proper safety precautions when woodburning is vital to prevent burns or injuries.
But with some caution and the right equipment, seniors can proudly show off their beautiful and unique works of art out of wood.
9. Line Dancing
Line dancing is an excellent group activity for seniors that is also a fun and engaging way to stay active. Additionally, it encourages seniors to socialize and learn new dance moves.
Look for local line dancing classes or workshops in your area, or contact country-themed bars. You’ll also find online tutorials and instructional videos.
Make sure you have the right shoes and attire for the class to keep yourself safe. With the proper guidance, you’ll have a ball learning the basics of line dancing, so grab a friend or two and bring them with you.
Inexpensive But Fun Hobbies
Unfortunately, some older people face financial constraints, requiring them to find an affordable hobby. But fortunately, there are a variety of inexpensive hobbies to keep them active and engaged without breaking the bank.
Inexpensive activities like simple gardening, bird watching, crafting, and writing are all great hobbies for seniors.
10. Cooking and Baking
Cooking and baking are both great fun and cost-effective. Seniors can experiment with different cuisines, get creative, and even reduce food bills if they eat out frequently.
Explore the millions of free recipes online to get started. Don’t be afraid to try new ingredients to create unique dishes.
Save money on groceries by buying in bulk, buying ingredients on sale, and buying kitchen supplies at secondhand or thrift stores.
11. Knitting and Crocheting
Knitting and crocheting are relaxing hobbies that you can do anywhere – from the comfort of home to sitting in a waiting room to riding on public transportation.
Knitting and crocheting supplies are affordable and often available at discount and dollar stores.
To cut costs, look up free patterns online and purchase supplies at their local craft store or thrift store. Join knitting or crocheting classes or groups to learn new techniques and get tips from other experienced knitters and crocheters.
Knitting and crocheting clothing and accessories can save you some money too!
Writing allows you to express yourself, record memories of your daily life, and share interesting stories with others. And all you need to get started is pen and paper. Many writing supplies are available at lower prices in bulk or secondhand stores.
Begin by writing in a journal. Look up online writing classes or participate in writing workshops to learn more about the craft. Share your writings on social media platforms or by starting a blog.
Join writing groups or clubs to receive feedback and support from fellow writers to make this solitary activity a social hobby.
Birdwatching is relaxing, educational, and inexpensive because it requires no special equipment or tools. You can get started with a pair of binoculars and a birding guide. Seniors can even birdwatch from their favorite chair through a window if mobility is a concern.
Research the birds in your area and develop a target list of birds you’d like to see in person. Join local birding clubs or organizations to connect with other birders and learn more about the hobby.
Bring appropriate clothing, sun protection, water, and snacks if birdwatching away from home.
14. Hiking/Nature Walks
Hiking or taking a nature walk offers both physical and mental benefits but is still an inexpensive hobby for seniors to start. Just a good pair of shoes or boots and appropriate clothing for your climate is all you need.
Research and find trails that are suitable for your fitness level and ability. The AllTrails App is one that I personally use.
Of course, bring water, snacks, and sun protection for a hike or nature walk. For safety, be aware of your surroundings and have a way to call for help if needed.
There are many easy hobbies for seniors, such as knitting and crocheting, writing, birdwatching, hiking, and gardening.
These hobbies are not only easy to do, but most are inexpensive and can be done from the comfort of home.
These are also great choices for a first hobby.
Reading keeps minds active, stimulates creativity, and can even reduce stress. Reading is easy to do too!
Get started by visiting a local library or bookstore to find books, newspapers, and magazines that interest you.
Join online or local reading community groups or classes to network with other readers. Digital devices such as e-readers and tablets offer online access to books, newspapers, and magazines.
Crafting allows you to express yourself and create beautiful items for your home. Basic crafting is inexpensive because you aren’t required to get any specific tools or equipment.
Find the type of craft that interests you, and you will likely find instructions and patterns online for free. Look for crafting classes or workshops in your area for a more personal connection.
Most craft supplies are available at discount or dollar stores to save you some money.
17. Board Games
Playing board games is an easy, enjoyable way to pass the time and is a low-cost hobby to enjoy with friends and family. Board games keep seniors sharp, improve their cognitive skills, and provide opportunities for social interaction.
You just need a board game or two to get started. You can buy many games at discount stores or even secondhand stores – check them first to ensure you have all the pieces. Many of the most popular board games for older adults are available in online formats too.
For socialization, join online gaming sites, attend local board game meetups, or play with other senior care residents.
18. Learning New Languages
Learning a new language keeps your mind sharp, improves cognitive skills, and increases your knowledge and appreciation of different cultures.
For group learning, participate in online language classes or join language learning groups in your area. Many language learning books, audio programs, and movies are available in stores and online.
Choose a language you are interested in, then look for your preferred resources to help you learn. Remember to take it slow and set realistic goals for yourself.
Then, practice regularly to stay motivated and on track.
Top Social Hobbies for Seniors
Hobbies that provide socialization for seniors reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, improve physical and mental health, and keep them connected to their communities.
Social pursuits allow retired couples to meet new people in their age group, explore new activities, and engage in a meaningful social life. Fortunately, seniors and the elderly have a choice of various social hobbies.
Volunteering allows older adults to give back to their community and make a difference in the lives of others while providing them with helpful social benefits. Additionally, volunteering helps seniors build new relationships with other volunteers.
Research volunteer opportunities in your area or contact local organizations you are interested in and ask if they are looking for volunteers.
Online volunteer opportunities and virtual volunteer groups are other options. Choose an opportunity that is meaningful, enjoyable, and rewarding for you.
20. Walking Groups
Walking groups provide a low-impact way to stay active while socializing with others and helping maintain your independence and health.
To get started, find local walking groups by calling gyms or YMCAs and join one that fits your interests.
Can’t find one? Gather up some friends and create your own!
21. Book Clubs
Book clubs provide an opportunity to discuss books, share ideas, and make new friends. You’ll stay socially active because you can meet and interact with people with the same interests.
They help seniors build relationships with new acquaintances and foster meaningful conversations.
Search for book clubs in your area by calling a local library. Join online or virtual book clubs to stay connected with other members.
Of course, you could start your own. Choose books that interest you and create a comfortable and welcoming environment for members.
Bingo is another social hobby that also offers a bit of friendly competition. Bingo halls provide an excellent atmosphere for seniors to meet new people and make new friends.
Additionally, playing bingo helps keep seniors mentally alert and exercises their memory, as they need to remember the numbers that are called out.
Look up local bingo halls or call local civic organizations for information about game locations. There are online options, too, that still have a social component.
Many bingo halls offer discounted rates for seniors, making it an affordable and fun activity.
Dancing is an excellent hobby because you can be active, have fun and socialize. It also helps improve balance, coordination, memory, and mental alertness.
To get started, attend local ballroom dancing classes or look for online options. Many senior and community centers offer free or low-cost courses also.
Dancing is a great way to stay active and enjoy a better life, regardless of age.
24. Art Classes
Making art stimulates creativity and provides a sense of relaxation. Art classes allow seniors to express themselves and socialize with other seniors simultaneously.
Chances are there are numerous local art classes or workshops in your area.
If not, look for online tutorials. You might also find free or low-cost classes at your local senior or community centers.
Good Outdoor Hobbies for Older Adults
Outdoor hobbies keep seniors active and engaged while connecting with nature, exercising, and enjoying the fresh air. So, they are preferential to indoor hobbies if possible.
They have mental and physical health benefits because they help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase physical activity. Many also provide an opportunity to socialize with other seniors and make new friends.
A standard hobby for retired men, fishing provides relaxation, stress reduction, and activity while enjoying the outdoors for all seniors.
Just grab a fishing rod and bait and head to one of the top local fishing spots. For success, research the types of bait and lures that work best for the kind of fish you are looking to catch.
Be sure to dress appropriately and have the necessary safety gear, such as life jackets and flotation devices. It’s also essential to have a way to call for help, especially if you are fishing alone.
26. Bird Feeding
Bird feeding encourages older adults to get outside and observe the beauty of nature.
You just need some birdseed and a bird feeder or two. Research the types of common birds in your area, and learn which feeders they prefer.
Dress appropriately for your climate and have the necessary gear, such as binoculars and long-sleeved clothing.
27. Metal Detecting
We’ve all seen elderly men walking up and down the beach with metal detectors. Metal detecting gets seniors outside and provides a sense of accomplishment and mental stimulation.
You’ll need to purchase a metal detector and research local areas suitable for metal detecting. Safety gear such as long-sleeved clothing, gloves, and protective eyewear are suggested.
Look up tips and techniques online on effectively using a metal detector and identifying different types of metal.
Metal detecting can be a rewarding way to stay active and explore nature.
28. Nature Photography
You’ll need a camera or a smartphone with a camera at a minimum. Look up local nature spots and wildlife reserves online.
Advanced hobbyists will want to research the types of cameras and lenses to maximize their results. Look up tips and techniques online on effectively using a camera and capturing different kinds of images.
The beauty of nature photography is that it can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.
The low-impact nature of cycling means that seniors can ride at their own pace and intensity level. So, cycling is a great way for seniors to stay active without overworking your body.
Cycling can also help seniors improve their balance, coordination, and agility. Plus, it’s a great way to get outside and enjoy nature.
Cycling is also affordable; you only need a bike and a senior-friendly bike helmet. Start with a used one to save money. Three-wheeled bikes that offer better stability are another option. Of course, you can spend more on better equipment if you choose.
Astronomy is an excellent hobby for seniors because it encourages them to stay active, explore nature, and learn about the universe.
With the right equipment and knowledge, seniors can enjoy the beauty of the night sky and its many wonders in a relaxing and calming way.
To get started, seniors will need a telescope, star charts, and a pair of binoculars. A telescope allows seniors to observe distant galaxies, stars, and planets.
Star charts provide a map of the night sky and help seniors identify and locate different astronomical objects. Binoculars are also helpful for observing astronomical objects that are not visible with a telescope.
Numerous smartphone apps help you find objects as well.
Creative Hobbies for All Seasons
Seniors should consider creative hobbies that allow them to express themselves through meaningful activities.
Engaging in creative activities can also be a great way to socialize with others, express emotions, and explore their creative side. From painting to sculpting, sewing to photography, many creative hobbies exist.
Woodworking allows for creative expression while honing craftsmanship.
You’ll need some necessary equipment, such as saws, planes, chisels, and other tools, so this can be a costly hobby. To make the most of your projects, research the types of wood best suited for various uses.
You’ll find numerous tips and tutorials online on how to use the tools effectively and safely.
Woodworking can be a rewarding and enjoyable hobby for seniors, but it does have a considerable barrier to entry compared to other hobbies.
32. Beading and Jewelry Making
Jewelry making is an easy, creative outlet that seniors can do from home. Jewelry making allows seniors to express their creativity with a tangible product to show for their efforts.
By creating their own jewelry, seniors can wear pieces that reflect their personalities. It keeps their hands and minds active and encourages them to use fine motor skills.
You’ll need some basic supplies to start a jewelry-making hobby, such as jewelry pliers, wire cutters, and a selection of beads and charms.
Beading thread, such as nylon or silk, is helpful too. More advanced jewelry-making projects need a soldering iron and, possibly, some metal sheeting.
33. Poetry Writing
Poetry writing allows creative expression by sharing thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Through poetry, seniors can explore their personal experiences, create stories and convey meaningful messages.
You should get a notebook or journal and a comfortable pen to start. Learn about the different types of poetry, such as haikus, sonnets, and free verse, and familiarize yourself with the basics of poetic structure and form.
Poetry writing can be a rewarding and enjoyable way to express your innermost thoughts and feelings – privately or publicly.
34. Candle Making
Candle-making is an old hobby that allows seniors to express themselves with different scents and designs. Working with wax, fragrances, and molds will enable seniors to explore other techniques and materials and their individual styles and artistic expression.
To start a candle-making hobby, you’ll need wax, wicks, containers, scents, and molds. Other essential tools are a double boiler, a thermometer, and a pouring pitcher. You should take care to reduce the chance of burns.
Candle-making is an excellent way to add a personal touch to gifts and to your home.
Upcycling is an excellent hobby for seniors, as it is both creative and practical. It is a perfect way to recycle, reuse, and breathe new life into old items and turn them into something new and exciting.
Through upcycling, seniors can express their creativity while also being productive and making something useful.
To start an upcycling hobby, you’ll need some basic supplies and tools. General items that seniors can upcycle include old furniture, clothing, and other things.
A collection of specific tools such as a drill, saw, screwdrivers, and hammers are crucial. Additional supplies such as paint, fabric, and embellishments will vary from project to project.
Calligraphy is a creative hobby that creates beautiful, unique, and meaningful art with words.
Get some high-quality ink, pens, nibs, and paper to get started. Learn about the different types of calligraphy and calligraphic techniques, such as pointed pens, brush lettering, and modern calligraphy. This is another hobby that is easy to learn through online courses.
Calligraphy is rewarding but does require substantial practice and adherence to technique.
Healthy Hobbies for Active Seniors
Seniors should choose hobbies that keep them active and promote good health to help them maintain physical and mental well-being.
Regular physical activity can help seniors stay strong and flexible, reduce their risk of chronic disease, and improve their overall quality of life.
Bowling is an excellent activity for seniors as it is both physically and socially stimulating. It requires coordination, balance, and agility and helps to improve physical strength and balance.
Bowling is a highly social sport, encouraging seniors to interact with others and form friendships.
Bowling is a low-impact sport that is easy to learn (but challenging to master!) and is easily adapted to suit all fitness levels. You’ll need a pair of bowling shoes, a bowling ball, and access to a bowling alley to get started.
Swimming is an excellent activity for seniors as it is low-impact and provides a full-body workout. It is a great way to improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and overall flexibility.
Swimming is also a great social activity, allowing seniors to interact with others and make new friends.
To start, you will need access to a pool, a swimsuit, and a swimming cap. Swimming lessons are also recommended for those who are new to the sport.
Meditation is an excellent activity for seniors as it helps to reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote overall well-being. It can help to improve physical health by increasing circulation and lowering blood pressure.
Meditation is easy to learn and incorporate into your everyday life because it can be done anytime, anywhere.
You only need a comfortable place to sit, a few minutes of free time, and a quiet environment. There are many different types of meditation, so seniors can find one that suits their needs and interests.
You can use guided meditation apps or CDs to start your meditation hobby.
40. Tai Chi
Tai Chi is an excellent activity for seniors because it is gentle and low-impact yet still provides many physical and mental benefits. It helps improve balance, strengthen muscles and bones, and improve flexibility.
It can also reduce stress and anxiety and help improve relaxation. Tai Chi is considered a form of “moving meditation,” so it can be very calming for seniors.
To start a tai chi hobby, seniors should find a qualified instructor and a comfortable place to practice. They should also begin slowly and practice regularly to get the most out of the activity.
While learning tai chi is easy, it is vital to learn the correct forms to ensure that it is done safely and correctly.
Gardening is an excellent activity for seniors as it provides physical and mental benefits. This low-impact activity helps improve balance and flexibility while also providing an opportunity to get some fresh air and sunshine.
Gardening can also help to ease stress, reduce anxiety, and enhance mental well-being.
To start a gardening hobby, you need access to a garden or outdoor space and some basic gardening tools. There are numerous indoor gardening options today too.
They should also research the types of plants suitable for their climate and how to care for them properly. Gardening can be as straightforward, or as complex as the gardener wishes, so it’s easy to tailor it to each individual’s needs and interests.
Pilates is an exercise system that helps people strengthen their core muscles, improve balance and flexibility, and improve posture. It is an ideal form of exercise for seniors, as it is low impact, safe and gentle yet still provides a great workout.
Additionally, the focused breathing and concentration required for Pilates can reduce stress, improve mental clarity and promote relaxation.
To start a Pilates hobby, you should find a qualified instructor. It is crucial to ensure that the instructor knows your physical limitations or injuries and that these are considered when designing your program.
You’ll also need a few pieces of equipment, such as a mat, a small ball, and a light set of weights. You can find all of these items in most fitness stores or online.
If you choose a pilates hobby, start slowly and gradually. Then, increase the intensity of the exercises as they become more comfortable.
What Are the Best Hobbies for People With Arthritis?
People with arthritis can benefit from hobbies that involve low-impact activities, such as yoga and swimming. These activities can help increase flexibility and improve range of motion.
Other activities such as walking, biking, and gardening can also provide a low-impact way to stay active.
Additionally, hobbies that don’t involve physical activity, such as reading and painting, can provide an enjoyable and calming distraction from pain.
Here are a few more ideas:
- Bird watching
Choosing the Best Hobby
For seniors, the joy that fulfilling hobbies bring is essential. Consider your options carefully and choose the right hobby to maximize its benefits.
With the right hobby, seniors can stay active, gain new skills, and have fun while staying connected to the world.
1. Consider your interests – What do you enjoy doing? Consider activities you already like or have done in the past. Then, consider adapting those activities to your current needs and health.
2. Think about your needs – What do you need from a hobby? Consider activities that can help to meet your physical, mental, and emotional needs.
3. Consider your health – What activities can you do that are safe and will not put too much strain on your body? Choose activities that are within your physical abilities and do not require more effort than you can contribute.
4. Talk to your doctor – Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to make sure any activities you choose are safe for you to do.
5. Start small – Begin with small and manageable activities and gradually increase the difficulty or intensity as your fitness level and experience improves.
6. Try different activities – Be bold and try something new. You may find something you enjoy that you never knew existed.
7. Research your options – Research the pros, cons, and potential dangers of the activities and hobbies you are considering and ensure they are right for you.
8. Look for social activities – Look for hobbies you can do with others or in a group setting. This can be a great way to stay socially active and meet new people in a safe environment.
9. Set realistic goals – Set realistic goals, and don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s essential to take it slow and enjoy the activity.
10. Have fun – Most importantly, choose activities that you enjoy and that bring you joy, fulfillment, and happiness. Remember to have fun and enjoy yourself! Hobbies aren’t meant to be work!
Infographic: Best Hobbies for Seniors
We hope that you found this ultimate guide to the best hobbies for seniors encouraging and helpful and that you have identified a few hobbies to research further.
If so, please share this guide with your friends on your favorite social media sites.
If you have hobbies that you would like to add to our list, please do so in the comments below!
Happy Hobbying from Graying With Grace!