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Our lives are so busy as we run from one thing to the next: from home to work, from one project to the next, and so on. Plus, most of us lead sedentary lives too, which is quite unhealthy.
That’s why it’s essential to have hobbies so you can unwind, relax, and remember to have fun. When you practice your favorite (or new) hobbies outdoors, you double the benefits.
But what fun outdoor hobbies should you explore this year?
I’ve got the lowdown on the best and most unique hobbies that you can practice in nature.
Why Is It Important to Have Fun Outdoor Hobbies?
Having hobbies is a must if you want to have a fulfilling and happy life. Whether you want to practice your interests solo or in a group with other like-minded individuals, you need to do what makes you happy.
Combining your hobby with the outdoors or trying new, exciting hobbies has various benefits, such as:
So, what are you waiting for? Check out our list of fun outdoor hobbies and start living your best life today!
33 Fun Outdoor Hobbies
Here are the coolest and most fun outdoor hobbies you need to try.
I’ve included some of the more traditional hobbies you can practice in nature, as well as some exciting new ones.
The Usual Outdoor Hobbies
One of the best hobbies you can do in nature is to go hiking. Simply put on your hiking boots, grab a hat, and pack a backpack with water, snacks, and a first aid kit, and go exploring in your local or national park.
You can hike until it’s banana break time or whenever you see something interesting like a pretty flower, a butterfly, or a stunning view. Best of all, you can combine hiking with some of the other hobbies on the list, such as yoga (do some yoga poses when you reach the top of the mountain), photography, or meditation.
Resource: 11 hiking tips for beginners
Another great hobby if you want more fresh air is to start cycling. Choose between a road bicycle or a mountain bicycle, or even invest in a stationary or recumbent bike and cycle in the comfort of your yard or porch.
You only need a bike and a good quality helmet to start cycling outdoors, and you can cycle in your neighborhood or join a club if you want some pro advice.
Resource: Beginner’s guide to cycling workouts
3. Kite Flying
There’s something really calming about kite flying, and this is another hobby you should try out this year. Plus, there’s that sense of achievement when the kite successfully launches and then stays in the air.
This activity is best if you have a launcher, someone to hold the kite and help you launch it into flight, and then a flier, the person who flies the kite (#You).
Resource: How to fly a kite guide
4. Horse Riding
Horse riding is a popular activity, and while you can get your own horse, you can also go for lessons and see if this is something you’d enjoy. You’ll learn how to take care of the horse, how to get on, all about grooming, and how to safely ride.
There are many riding options too, from trail riding and hacking to Western and English riding disciplines so you won’t ever feel bored.
Resource: Start horse riding guide
5. Jump Roping
Jump roping is quite the exercise, and best of all, you can do it in your garden or at the local park where you can enjoy the fresh air.
This outdoor activity works your whole body, from your calves and quads to your arms, back, and chest. It’s even a mind workout as you need to be mindful to coordinate swinging the rope with your jumps.
Resource: 10 jump rope benefits
For the Adventure Junkies
A really fun hobby for all adventurists is ATV-ing. With this activity, you drive an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in off-road areas such as the Imperial Sand Dunes, CA, Moab, UT, and Capital Forest, WA.
You can buy your own ATV to go and explore, or you can sign up for tours.
Resource: Best ATC (or UTV) trails in the USA
7. Riding Roller Coasters
Adventure junkies will love the endorphin rush of riding roller coasters, and it’s probably a case of “the wilder, the better.” And with at least 750 roller coasters just in the USA alone, you can get your adrenaline fix for quite a while as you travel and ride.
Once you’ve ridden all the coasters in the US, you can travel abroad and make your way through all the roller coasters in the world.
Resource: Best roller coasters around the world
8. Tree Climbing
Recreational tree climbing is quite a fun hobby too, and you don’t need to pick any boring tree that a three-year-old can climb in their sleep.
You can really make this an adventure as you try to climb as high up into the tree as you can, or use climbing gear such as a helmet, ropes, lanyards, and harnesses for those trees that are challenging to climb.
Resource: Recreational tree climbing guide
9. Rock Climbing
You can certainly start your rock-climbing hobby indoors where an instructor can teach you the basics and all about the gear you need, or you can head outside and start top-roping, which requires minimal knowledge, equipment, and experience.
There are a variety of rock climbing activities to consider, from mountaineering and bouldering to trad, aid, ice, and free climbing.
Resource: How to start rock climbing guide
I just love the word spelunking, which means caving. This cool activity is perfect for adventurers because of the obstacles you need to overcome, the planning that goes into caving, and the sheer rush of excitement from exploring caves or cave systems.
But beware: This is an extreme sport where safety is of the utmost importance.
For the Faint-Hearted
11. Forest Bathing
Forest bathing is pretty much the epitome of being outdoors and simply enjoying all that nature has to offer. The hobby is called shinrin-yoku in Japanese, and it's a psychological and physiological exercise where you are calm and relaxed as you wander among the trees (or anywhere else that’s outside).
When you forest bathe, you are mindful of your surroundings and you slow down. Simply sit on your porch and look out at your yard, explore a local forest or park, and meander through your neighborhood.
There are few things I love more than taking photos of pretty sunsets, flowers, interesting leaves, unique trees, and even cool buildings. So, you can take up photography too!
Take a walk around your city, the beach, or a local park, and photograph whatever catches your eye. While you can invest in a good quality camera, most smartphones these days take amazing photos. And you can experiment with different filters too.
Resource: Tips for breathtaking nature photography
13. Sand Art
Sand art is a fun and calming activity you can do outside. Either visit a beach or get some river sand or kinetic sand at home to model sand into a form of your choosing.
You can consider these types of sand art:
Resource: How to create a sand painting
Most artists (whether they are newbies or pros) paint in studios or in-house. But how about taking your canvas and art supplies outdoors and painting there?
You can surely draw inspiration from nature for your painting, or you can still paint what you love and enjoy – but just where you can breathe in the fresh air.
Resource: Step-by-step acrylic painting tutorials
Almost all meditations start with a “sit or lay down comfortably” phrase or some variation of this. So why don’t you take your meditation time outside and sit in a comfy egg chair, lay on the green grass, or lean against a tree in your yard or park?
I can imagine just how calming and meditative this outdoor setting is – the perfect spot to reduce stress, reconnect with your body, and cultivate your deep inner self.
16. Flea Marketing
Flea marketing is quite a fun hobby, and the benefits of being outdoors comes naturally with this activity. You can also decide whether you want to make trinkets to sell at a nearby flea market or whether you want to visit all the flea markets you can and sample unique and memorable goodies.
Resource: Top 20 flea markets to visit in the USA
In Your Comfort Bubble
17. Host Outdoor Movie Nights
Gather your friends and family and bring back movie nights – with a twist. Choose a day of the week that works for everyone, create excitement around the movie that will show, decide on cool movie-worthy snacks and drinks, and enjoy the movie with the ones you love most in this world.
You can build your own outdoor movie theater, or you can hang a white sheet and rent a projector as a more budget-friendly option.
If there’s a series you are dying to watch, opt for a binge-watching night instead. I can hear how Firefly Lane, The Diplomat, or The Night Agent is calling your name.
Resource: How to set up an outdoor movie night
Camping is a wonderful way to really take in the outdoors, and you can go to a campsite, camp in the forest or on a mountain top, or even take out your camping gear and have a campout in your own backyard.
And if you really want to explore the adventurer in you, why don’t you try sky camping (where you sleep in a sky hammock at an extreme height)?
Resource: Backyard camping ideas
19. Star or Cloud Gazing
Star or cloud gazing is not just an activity that’s suitable for children. You can also lie on the ground (in your yard, on your roof, or at your campsite) and gaze up into the vast sky, whether it’s daytime or nighttime.
Enjoy the shapes the clouds make and really let out your inner child, or sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star as you try to spot famous star constellations.
20. Throw Outdoor Dinner Parties
While it’s tradition to pretty much always eat indoors, you can enjoy the great spring, fall, or summer weather and host outdoor dinner parties. Or you can brave the cold in winter and serve soup and hot chocolate.
When you throw an outdoor dinner (or lunch, breakfast, or brunch) party, choose an area to set up, decide on a menu, and decorate the area according to a theme.
Resource: Guide to hosting an outdoor dinner party
21. Make Oversized Lawn Games
Another great hobby you can practice in your yard is making and playing oversized lawn games. If you are the handy type, you can make the game pieces; otherwise, you can buy what you need and just have fun playing lawn chess, Yahtzee, dominoes, tic tac toe, and more with those you love.
Resource: 13 giant lawn game ideas for family fun
There’s some healing and therapeutic in working with dirt, planting flowers, herbs, fruit, or veggies, watching it grow, and then harvesting the plants.
You can also opt to make (and enjoy) Zen gardens, butterfly gardens, scented gardens, water gardens, or vertical gardens. And you can have fun decorating your garden with gnomes, ghosts, or other decorations depending on your mood, the season, and holidays.
Resource: 22 gardening methods explained
Unique Hobbies You’ve Gotta Try
One of the newer hobbies that is becoming popular is LARPing, which is live action role playing that combines elements of cosplay, role-playing, and improvisation, and pervasive gaming.
Essentially, the participant dresses up and acts as a character from their favorite book, game, movie, comic, or TV show, and then interacts with other characters.
Mölkky, previously known as Finsta, is a Finnish game that was invented in 1996. This hobby, which is gaining popularity, will test your skill, precision, and ability to strategize.
To play Mölkky, you need at least two players, though it’s more fun if you can assemble a larger group to play. The participants take turns throwing a wooden peg (called a skittle) at numbered pins.
Knocking over the pins earns you points, and since the scoring is unusual, you need to strategize to win. But I promise, you’ll have oodles of fun!
Resource: How to play Mölkky guide
Now this also sounds like a ton of fun! Zorbing, called sphering, orbing, or globe-riding, is when you get inside a transparent plastic orb and roll downhill. Or, some zorbing activities take place on a lake or pool, and you travel “on” the surface of the water.
Sounds strange, I get it, but it does sound appealing, right?
Resource: Zorbing locations in the USA
Hammocking probably sounds like the laziest of outdoor hobbies … and you may be right. But what better way to relax, right?
Simply get a hammock, find the perfect spot to suspend your hammock (or find a permanent location in your yard), climb in, and chill. You can meditate while you hammock, or you can snooze, bird watch, do Sudoku, read a book, or chat to your loved ones.
Resource: How to set up and hang a hammock
27. Mushroom Hunting
You can use mushrooms for cooking, medicinal, and psychotropic uses, and while you can buy mushrooms, why not hunt for mushrooms in the wild.
The only rule when you go mushroom hunting (also called mushroom foraging, mushroom picking, or mushrooming) is that if you are in doubt (about whether the mushroom is safe), throw it out.
When you go mushrooming, you are giving your mind and body quite a workout, while you enjoy the great outdoors and relax too!
28. Stone Skipping
Stone skipping sounds like such a great hobby for little boys and, well, men too. But why can’t (and shouldn’t) ladies join in on the fun of skimming a flat stone or peddle across a lake or other body of water?
You can easily start stone skipping when you go camping, cross a lake or pond when you hike, or even when you go foraging.
Resource: The complete guide to stone skipping
29. Creating Obstacle Courses
There’s a lot of fun when you create obstacle courses, and you can do this in your backyard. Think of different obstacles, from easy to downright challenging, and then invite your friends and family over to try out the obstacle course.
You can even have a competition with prizes, and who knows, maybe your kid or partner will walk about with the prize and street cred of beating your obstacle course.
Resource: How to make a DIY obstacle course
Animal-Based Outdoor Hobbies
30. Bird Watching
Become a bird watcher, explore nature, and see if you can spot some birds. While you can use just your eyes to watch birds, you can also use binoculars or a telescope.
Watching birds is relaxing, and if you have an interest in birds and a thirst for knowledge, you’ll love birding. There’s always something to learn as you listen to the chirping and singing sounds of the birds, observe their unique colors and features, and learn all about the birds’ behavior.
Resource: How to start birding
Beekeeping is a rewarding hobby, and one that closely connects you with nature, while you also help save these important insects and pollinators. You can also make some money by keeping bees as you can sell the honey or use it to make candles, soaps, and more.
Remember to check your local laws and whether you need to register your beehive.
Resource: An “is beekeeping right for you?” guide
32. Keeping Chickens
Raising chickens as a hobby has increased in popularity, and you don’t just need a homestead or farm to keep chickens. But do check your local laws to ensure that you are allowed to raise chickens.
A chicken can be a pet, but you can also raise these birds for their eggs or as a pest killer.
Resource: All about raising chickens
Falconry is a fantastic hobby if you want to connect with nature, share expressions of freedom, and enjoy the camaraderie that accompanies this sport. However, for some people, it’s a lifestyle.
If you are curious about what falconry entails, in short, it’s when a falconer uses an eagle, hawk, falcon, or another raptor bird to pursue live prey.
Resource: How to get into falconry
Final Thoughts on Having Outdoor Hobbies
There are more outdoor hobbies than I can count that you can explore and make your own… so consider my list as a kind of “idea starter.” I’m especially partial to zorbing, mushroom hunting, hammocking, cloud gazing, photography, horse riding, and forest bathing.
What about you? Still feeling like we haven’t touched upon what you are looking for? Then check out our guides on 12 cheap (but fun) hobbies, 31 hobbies for introverts, or 45 hobbies for couples. You’ll find a hobby (or perhaps five) that you’ll fall in love with. I guarantee it!
And if you're looking for more resources on hobbies, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 45 Best Hobbies for Stay-at-Home Moms
- 23 Cheap (But Fun) Hobbies to Try
- 75 Hobbies for Women to Relax and Enjoy Life