45 Hobbies for Seniors (Beyond the Typical)

Written by Ari ParkerUpdated: Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Transitioning in retirement is a tremendous milestone that many are thrilled to hit. Unfortunately, many recent retirees struggle with their identity or find themselves bored due to having a lot more time on their hands.

If you take a look at a few lists of hobbies for older men and women, you’ll see much of the same. While we’ve listed some of the typical senior hobbies (like gardening and golf), we took the time to expand this list to provide hobbies for every senior. That means including some hobbies that aren’t stereotypical (like video games), because not everyone over 50 loves wildlife and art. 

Easy Hobbies for Seniors

Sometimes all you need is something fun or relaxing that doesn’t take a lot of practice or energy. These activities are perfect for taking it easy.

Coloring

Coloring isn’t just for kids! Coloring recently emerged as a trendy activity among adults who are looking for something relaxing to pass the time. As a result, there are thousands of adult coloring books to pick from.

Watching Documentaries

Documentaries and docuseries are incredibly popular right now, and there are many titles to choose from. From wildlife to pop culture, there’s a documentary for everyone. Need some suggestions? Check out this list of fan favorites.

Stargazing

Anyone can look at the stars and get lost in thought. Take stargazing a step further with a stargazing app that helps you understand what you’re seeing or by making special trips to see celestial events. 

Additional Easy Hobbies:

  • Listening to podcasts or an audio book

  • Practice meditation

  • Cross stitching 

Creative Hobbies for Seniors

Creative expression is important at any age, and there are a ton of ways you can get creative (not all involve traditional artistic ability). Take a look and try something new or pick up an old hobby! 

Drawing

Drawing can be intimidating for people who may not describe themselves as artistic, but it doesn’t have to be! Drawing can include anything from sketches to doodles, and as long as you’re enjoying yourself, you’re doing it right.

Knitting

Knitting is something you can do while watching TV or talking to friends. Hand-knit items are perfect gifts for loved ones, so knitting may also help you stay connected to your friends and family. 

Cooking

While not for everyone, cooking allows many people to get creative without having traditional artistic ability. Whether you choose to follow a recipe exactly, use it as a starting point, or wing it entirely, cooking can give you the satisfaction of creating something (and eating it too).

Writing

The beauty of writing is that it comes in many forms. Keeping a diary can help you remember the best details of your days and reflect on your feelings. Writing poetry, books, and short stories (to be read by others or not), can feel invigorating or cathartic. 

Additional Creative Hobbies:

  • Dancing

  • Playing an instrument

  • Digital art

  • Calligraphy

  • Baking

  • Photography

  • Wine or beer making

  • Pottery

  • Quilting

  • Painting

Intellectual Hobbies for Seniors

If you are energized by learning something new, then these hobbies might be for you. Of course, many of the other hobbies on this list of 45 require some brain power, but these hobbies are generally considered to be a little more intellectual. 

Reading

Reading is a favorite pastime for people of all ages. Reading can also be incredibly affordable, with help from free library memberships and unlimited subscriptions for ebooks. Looking for something social? Join or create a book club! 

Learn a new subject

For many people, studying doesn’t sound all that fun—but when you can learn about any topic you want, without worrying about what you should or need to learn, you might fall in love or fall back in love with learning. From the constellations to a new language, pick a subject that interests you, and learn as much as you want, and ignore what doesn’t interest you. 

Other Intellectual Hobbies

  • Board games

  • Puzzles

  • Build model airplanes

Outdoor Hobbies for Seniors

Getting some fresh air and sunshine never hurt anyone, in fact, it generally helps with both mental and physical health! Getting outside doesn’t have to require physical exercise. Check out these hobbies that can help you get your daily dose of Vitamin D.

Gardening

We know, we know, gardening is on every list of hobbies for seniors—but for a good reason! Gardening can take as much or as little time and effort as you want, based on the number and types of plants you choose. Many people worry about killing their plants, but as most great gardeners will tell you, everyone will kill some plants. It’s all about learning (or growing) and having fun.

Fishing

Fishing can be both relaxing and rewarding. Many people find that being on the water offers another level of relaxation because you experience a physical separation from TVs, computers, and to-do lists. The experience becomes increasingly rewarding if you’re able to eat what you catch!

Walking or Hiking

Walking and hiking can be meditative or adventure-filled, depending on where you go. Bring along a camera if you want to practice your photography skills or show off what you see! Always remember to keep your physical constraints in mind and consult a doctor before beginning any strenuous exercise.

Other Outdoor Hobbies

  • Bird Watching 

  • Golfing

  • Swimming

  • Grilling

  • Cycling

Social Hobbies for Seniors

Many of the other hobbies on this list either are or could easily be social activities. For example, dancing can be done solo or with others and reading can be made social by joining a book club. If you're looking for a place to connect with similarly-aged people, ask questions, and be a part of a community, sign up for the Chapter Community by clicking this link! If you’re looking for something that’s inherently social, you have some great options!

Poker Nights

Poker nights offer an opportunity to invite a few friends over and catch up over a game of cards. While you could play with high stakes, you can take off the pressure and play casually by betting a small amount of cash (or none). If you haven’t played poker before and/or don’t know the rules, it’s fairly easy to learn, and all you need is a deck of cards! 

Babysitting

Babysitting can be a job for some, but for many grandparents, babysitting their grandchildren is a lot of fun! You can take the opportunity to help out your family while spending quality time with your grandchildren. 

Join a Theater Production

Local theater productions are a great way to get involved with your community, and they also allow you to branch out and get to know new people of all ages. Even if you don’t have a lot of prior experience in theater, you can get involved with a small role or choose to stay backstage. 

Other Social Hobbies

  • Join a band or choir

  • Volunteering

  • Shuffleboard

Relaxing Hobbies for Seniors

While most hobbies are meant to be relaxing, some feel a bit more like an escape or hiatus from the stresses of daily life. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, try out these activies and hobbies to give your mind a rest.

Travel

Traveling is the most obvious physical and mental escape from your day-to-day. It allows you to step outside of your daily habits and environment to just take a break. Traveling, of course, also allows you to experience new places, food, and people, which is life changing for many. If you do choose to travel, consider these hidden costs for elderly travelers.

Video games

According to recent research, more and more older adults are turning to video games as an activity and hobby. Video games can offer a few benefits to seniors, including keeping you mentally sharp, reducing stress, and helping you keep in touch with friends via online, social gaming. 

Yoga

Yoga can seem intimidating for people who have never practiced, but getting started is made easy with a variety of classes fit for beginners, seniors, and people who need modifications. The benefits are tremendous, as yoga can help you stay active and flexible while also improving your mental health. If you’re not sure where to start, or are nervous to attend a class in-person, there are several online videos like this one, that can help you dip your toes in the water with flexibility to pause or quit if you need to!

Other Relaxing Hobbies

  • Tai Chi

  • Boating

  • Wine tasting

Finding the right activities and hobbies can help you stay active in retirement. Hobbies can also have a tremendous positive impact on your mental health! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options or don’t know where to start, take some time to think about what you’re doing when you feel the most joy, then consider which activities may provide you with a similar environment.

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