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My dad was bored out of his mind when he retired. He now had all the time in the world, yet, he had never cultivated hobbies since his sole focus was always on work and providing for his family.
It took a few years until he settled on some hobbies to fill his time, and I can see how much joy hiking and competitive shooting is bringing into his life.
Are you looking for fun hobbies ideas when you retire? Or are you retired or of a senior age and need something joyous to add to your life? Maybe you’re looking for suggestions for your parents, like I was.
Fear not. I’ve put together the best hobbies for seniors and retirees to try! But first, let’s look at why it’s essential to have hobbies in life.
Why Is It Important for Seniors and Retirees to Have Hobbies?
When you are retired, you no longer have a full work day to keep you occupied. Plus, your kids are all grown and have flown the nest, so it’s probably just you and your partner. Whatever will you do?
Besides having a hobby, it’s important to know the benefits that having hobbies bring to your life.
It’s essential for retirees and the elderly to have hobbies because these activities:
21 Fun Hobbies for Seniors and Retirees
There are hundreds of hobbies you can try out, and just think, you finally have the time now that you don’t have your job taking up so much of your time.
But having too many hobby options results in decision overwhelm or decision fatigue, so I’ve compiled a list of the best and most fun hobbies for seniors and retirees.
Hobbies for the Frail but Young at Heart
1. Learning a New Language
Language opens doors, and learning a new language is a great way to unlock your full mental capacity and fight cognitive decline.
It’s fun and easy to learn a new language today, thanks to the many online language tutoring services where you can meet and chat with people who are native to the language you’ve chosen.
Resource: Use Duolingo to learn a new language
2. Tend to a Herb Garden
Vegetable gardening is hard work, but keeping an herb garden is a much less strenuous hobby that can fill your home and heart with glorious smells and delightful flowering plants.
From a windowsill garden to a few potted herbs on your veranda, there are many different ways to start your own herb garden, allowing you to use these herbs in a variety of ways.
Resource: Beginner’s guide to herb gardening
Have you considered leaving a legacy in the form of a memoir or writing a best-selling novel now you finally have time to put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard)?
Writing is an excellent hobby that keeps your mind young and active, and there are so many ways you can write, from creating your own slam poetry to keeping a journal, there’s a form of writing for everyone.
Adult coloring pages are all the rage. You can choose themes and color by hand or download an app that lets you color digitally.
If you color by hand, you can choose a range of great pencils, pens, and markers to work with. Your coloring can provide great designs for birthday cards, and will give you hours of fun.
5. Watch Documentaries or Docu-Series
We should never believe we are too old to learn something new. Feeding your mind should not slack because you are on pension. Nourish your curiosity with a great documentary series or a docu-series online or on satellite TV.
There’s a series to cover every topic, so you’ll have no challenges in finding your favorites.
Resource: 10 best docu-series to watch right now
Hobbies for the Adventurer
6. Travel and See the World
To leave home, even for a few days, can be quite addictive, and there’s an increase in the number of retirees who sell up and move to an RV lifestyle.
Whether you have the budget to travel internationally or have to stay closer to home, there are many wonderful destinations to see. Take a trip in your own town, traveling down roads you don’t normally drive, or make it a routine to take a Sunday drive to get some air and see the sights.
Resource: 15 trips to take as soon as you retire
One foot in front of the other, and soon, the mountain is won. Hiking is great for socializing, meeting like-minded people, seeing beautiful natural landscapes, and keeping fit. Try hiking in new places each week, and stop to take in each flower and grasshopper where you can.
Resource: 11 hiking tips for beginners
NASA considers rebounding to be one of the best physical activities you can do, and the benefits are staggeringly great! Rebounding is great for elderly joints, and while you bounce, you can enjoy healing, improved heart health, and feel great too.
Best of all, you can choose how you bounce and the intensity of each movement.
Resource: 11 best rebounding exercises for seniors
The Greeks are onto something when they say, “Now, we dance.” You don’t have to be Zorba, the Greek to enjoy the benefits of dancing.
Whether you dance at a local seniors club or even consider performing, you will enjoy the benefits of dancing: better coordination, improved mood, better blood pressure, and an overall improvement in health.
Resource: 20-minute dance workout for seniors
10. Trade the Stock Market
In the past, seniors were very captivated by gambling, but the new senior can enjoy trading on the stock market, where the thrill of buying and selling stocks or futures can really get your heart thumping.
Whether you have the funds to make real investments or you’re a penny trader, there’s fun to be had in watching stocks rise and fall. Just be careful of scams and don’t take risks that you can’t bear.
Why not engage in healthy and balanced movement by learning to fence. With a foil, you can enjoy the dance-like movements of fencing. Focus on technique and tactics and on how to outwit your opponent.
Hobbies Involving Food
12. Brew Your Own Beer
Many homesteaders have brewed their own moonshine on their smallholdings, and you can too. It’s possible to order your own distillery online and have it delivered and assembled in the comfort of your own home.
Additionally, you can brew beer that has unusual ingredients, which will make for a host of great flavor profiles!
13. Cook and Indulge
When you were working full-time you probably didn’t spend time really enjoying the world of cooking, but now you can. Take cooking lessons in an exciting cuisine such as Tex-Mex or Indian food.
Cooking new and exciting food leads to an improved overall health and awareness of your dietary needs.
14. Join a Wine Group
With dinner being served, why not join a wine group too? Wine groups order large quantities of new wines, letting members share and taste different vintages and flavors of local wineries. It’s social, and it’s about wine – need I say more?
Resource: Meetup’s wine groups in the USA
15. Make Cheese
Whatever you are making, cheese has to be one of the best things you can do in the kitchen. Experiment with different types of cheese, adding herbs and working with different milks, such as goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, and more.
Make cheeses such as mozzarella, cheddar, gouda, or ricotta. Or experiment and try to make different kinds of vegan cheeses!
Resource: The basic steps of how to make cheese
Hobbies Involving Animals
When bees die, we die. By making beekeeping a hobby, you can help save this highly endangered insect from extermination. Feel good, enjoy the fruits of the bee’s labors, and know you made a difference.
You can also use the honey you harvest to make products you can sell at your local flea market or give personalized gifts to your friends and family.
Resource: A complete guide to start beekeeping
17. Keep Chickens
Depending on where you stay, keeping a nice backyard flock is an excellent idea. Not only will you get daily eggs, but chickens are also affectionate.
Since chickens require daily feeding, it will encourage you to get up and get busy with living. Try sourcing different heritage breeds to further help the local chicken population.
18. Foster or Adopt an Animal
If your heart is big, why not extend it to fostering animals. Your efforts can help a stray avoid the final walk, so contact a local shelter to see if they have a dog they’d like to foster out. Dogs have a lot of love to give.
Or considering adopting and giving a home to an animal at a local animal sanctuary.
19. Share Your Talents and Teach
You’ve acquired a lifetime of knowledge, so don’t let it fade with you as the years go by. Instead, share your knowledge and talents by teaching at a local community college or sharing directly with people who are interested.
It’s a great way to socialize and share what you’ve learned in life.
Resource: 5 ways to share your skills
20. Practice Kintsugi
If you have a steady hand, you can mend broken treasures with kintsugi, where cracks are covered with gold, silver, or platinum powder. Kintsugi is a philosophy and not just an art form.
Practicing kintsugi can help manage depression, overcome loneliness, and help cultivate a positive mindset.
Resource: A guide to start the art of kintsugi
Finally, meditation is a great hobby to practice. When you meditate, your heart rate slows, your breathing deepens, and circulation improves dramatically. Many retirement villages have meditation as one of their senior physical movements.
Final Thoughts on Hobbies for Seniors
Taking up a hobby is a great decision for those who are retirees or senior citizens, and no amount of time spent engrossed in your hobby is ever wasted. Hobbies can keep you on your toes, literally, or simply keep your mind sharp!
Senior hobbies help add value to your life, and whether you are a physically healthy retiree or #FrailButLively senior, there’s a hobby out there with your name on it. This I promise!
Just like there is someone out there for everyone… there is something out there for you! So, launch yourself into a hobby today and add real value and meaning to your life.
But if you are still lacking inspiration, or need a little encouragement, be sure to check out our guide on “fun and cheap hobbies.” Or if you prefer to not mingle, find ideas with our list of 35 solo hobbies. Whatever you decide, make it your own. Happy hobbying!
And if you're looking for more resources on hobbies, be sure to check out these blog posts: