How To Find A Hobby As An Adult (26 Interesting Ideas)

Do you have some free time but don’t know what to do with it? Do you want to add a little joy and excitement to your life? If you answered yes, then it’s time to find a hobby!

Many adults think they’re too old for hobbies, but that’s not true at all. Hobbies are for everyone, no matter your age. They’re a great way to relax, have fun, and discover new talents you never knew you had.

In this article, we’ll explore different ways to find a hobby you’ll love. From simple things you can do at home to exciting adventures outside, there’s something for everyone. So, are you ready to give it a try? Let’s find your new favorite pastime!

Reflect on Childhood Interests

So, thinking back to when you were a little kid—what did you love doing? Maybe you were all about drawing or could spend hours playing in the dirt, looking for bugs. Let’s not write those off as silly kid stuff. They can actually be a gold mine for picking hobbies as grown-ups.

Start with a simple list. Whether it was making up stories, building model planes, or trying to beat your high score on a video game, those are clues. 

Today, you have more freedom and maybe a bit more cash to dive deeper into these interests. Remember, there’s no such thing as a “childish” hobby. Adults can and should have fun, too.

"Yes, you're doing something that is fun and engaging, and you're also taking care of your inner child in a way that you weren't able to when you were younger. Taking care of yourself in a way that was too difficult to do as a child can be very healing."

Paige Rechtman, LMHC | Licensed Psychotherapist

Explore Local Classes and Workshops

Classes and workshops near you are like open doors to new worlds—especially the ones that promise a skill at the end. They’re perfect for hands-on learners wanting that in-the-moment experience. 

Ceramics, painting, computer coding—you name it, there might be a class for it. Keep an open mind, and don’t be shy about trying something completely out of your comfort zone.

Here’s how to start:

  • Google “classes near me” and see what pops up
  • Visit local community centers or libraries
  • Sign up for a “taster” session

Remember, the aim is to find joy, not become the next expert (unless that’s your goal, of course). The right class could not only improve your skills but also connect you with fellow enthusiasts and maybe even spark a new friendship or two.

Try Out Skills-Based Online Courses

Now, if you’re more of a “learn in my PJs” kind of person, the internet is your playground. Online courses are everywhere, teaching everything from baking sourdough to advanced calculus. They’re super flexible—you can learn when and where it suits you. Plus, there are options for every budget, with plenty of courses that won’t ask you for a dime.

Breaking it down, here’s what to do:

  • Search for courses in something you’re curious about.
  • Find free or low-cost options to test the waters.
  • Set a “school” schedule that works for you.

And hey, remember, if one course doesn’t float your boat, simply click away—no harm, no foul. Curl up with your laptop, and let’s start that search.

Start Writing: Journals, Blogs, Poetry

Let’s talk writing. It sounds all fancy and official, doesn’t it? But here’s a secret: it doesn’t have to be. Writing is just about getting your thoughts out of your head and onto something else, like paper or a screen. And guess what? There are no rules that say it has to be perfect. Just grab a notebook or open up a blank document and just start scribbling.

Here’s a quick plan to get those words flowing:

  • Set aside a little time every day, even just 10 minutes.
  • Carry a notebook for sudden bursts of inspiration.
  • Share your writing with friends or online communities when you’re ready.
"Penning down your thoughts gives pleasure and helps you keep track of your deep inner thoughts while sitting alone."

— Iqbal Ahmad | Founder and CEO, Britannia School of Academics

Learn a Musical Instrument

Starting on a musical instrument as an adult might seem like a huge hill to climb, but it’s actually loads of fun. And you don’t need to aim for being the next big thing. Just enjoy making noise (music, I mean).

Start with something that fits your space and budget—ukuleles, harmonicas, and even apps that simulate instruments can be a great starting point. You can also consider renting an instrument before buying it to see if it’s a good match.

Then look for beginner tutorials online—they’re often free. Practice regularly, even if it’s just a few chords a day. And don’t sweat the small stuff. So what if your first notes sound more like a honking goose? We all start somewhere.

"When I was a teenager, I always wanted to play guitar but never felt like I would be good enough at it. Almost a year ago, I decided to teach myself to play, and I also started taking lessons! It has done wonders for my self-esteem, and I know my 13-year-old self would be astonished and very proud."

Paige Rechtman, LMHC | Licensed Psychotherapist

Dabble in Photography

Capturing moments, exploring different angles, and playing with light—photography lets you see the world through a fresh lens. 

You don’t need the fanciest camera to start, either. Your smartphone could be enough to start snapping away. Experiment with everything—from portraits of your friends to the hustle of city life or the calm of nature.

Consider these:

  • Daily photo challenge: One photo a day. Anything. It gets you looking at the everyday world in new ways.
  • Online communities: Share your photos, get feedback, and connect with other photography enthusiasts.
  • Editing apps: Play around with free apps to tweak your photos. You’d be surprised how much fun editing can be.

Learn a New Language

Ever wished you could order your coffee in Italian or chat with locals on a trip to Japan? Picking up a new language might just be a hobby for you. It opens doors to new cultures, new people, and, who knows, maybe even new travel destinations. 

You don’t need a plane ticket or a classroom to start; there are plenty of apps and online resources to get you speaking like a native in no time.

Here’s how to kick off your language learning:

  • Choose a language that fascinates you or that you’ll likely use.
  • Set realistic goals—maybe start with common phrases.
  • Practice daily, even if it’s just chatting to yourself in the shower.

And remember, it’s okay to mix up words or struggle with pronunciation—that’s all part of the process. It’s about having a good laugh at the slip-ups and savoring the small victories when you finally nail that tricky sentence.

Read Books on Various Topics

Reading is like a superpower. With just a book, you can teleport to different worlds, live a thousand lives, and learn about almost anything under the sun.

Whether it’s a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat or a cookbook that’s firing up your taste buds, reading is a hobby that never gets old. 

It opens up your mind in ways few other things do. It’s relaxing, yet it can challenge you, take you on adventures, and even teach you new things. And hey, nothing beats the feeling of finding a book you just can’t put down.

Attend Community Events

Local events can be anything from art exhibits to local concerts or street festivals. Mingling in your community can open your eyes to what’s around you and maybe even lead to a new passion. Here, you’re not just finding hobbies; you’re building connections and creating memories.

You can do this by:

  • Checking out bulletin boards or community websites for upcoming events
  • Saying “yes” to invitations or flyers that come your way
  • Bringing a friend along or venturing out solo to make new ones

Community events can be the spark that lights up your hobby fire. Plus, they’re a fab way to support local talent. So get involved, and who knows, next time, there might be a stall with your name on it!

"The Meetup app features get-togethers based on interests in your local community. Browse your area to see if any of the available groups seem interesting, and check one out."

— Melanie Allen | Owner, Partners in Fire

Browse Hobby Forums and Social Media Groups

The internet is like a massive interactive library, perfect for hobby hunting. Got an interest? There’s probably a forum for it. Not sure where to start? Social media groups are bustling with enthusiasts ready to welcome newbies with open arms. 

You can pick up tips, swap stories, and even show your progress. It’s all about connecting with folks who get just as excited about your hobby as you do.

To get into the groove, why not:

  • Do a quick search for your interests, plus “forum” or “group.
  • Join a few and introduce yourself—don’t be shy, they were all new once!
  • Ask questions, participate in discussions, and maybe even find nearby meetups.

Whether it’s model trains or macrame, it’s incredible how much you can learn from others who share your passion. Plus, it’s comforting to know there’s a place to celebrate your love for something, whether at 2 PM or 2 AM.

Try Cooking or Baking New Recipes

Turning up the heat in the kitchen can be super thrilling (and delicious). Tackling new recipes is like going on a taste adventure right from your stove. 

You can start simple with a new twist on your go-to pasta dish or go all out with a recipe from a cuisine you’ve never tried. The best part? You get to eat your results—and if it doesn’t turn out, that pizza delivery is just a call away.

Whether kneading the stress away with some bread baking or sizzling up a storm with stir-fry, cooking can be as relaxing or as exhilarating as you make it. Bon appetite!

Go Outdoors: Hiking, Kayaking, Bird-Watching

Nothing beats fresh air for blowing away the cobwebs. The great outdoors is an open playground where hobbies abound. 

Nature offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s about soaking in the beauty around you, challenging your body, and maybe even getting a bit of mud on your shoes. 

Take a hike and listen to the crunch of leaves underfoot, or feel the thrill of kayaking as you paddle through calm waters. And hey, bird-watching isn’t just for the serious types with binoculars; it’s pretty cool to recognize the locals tweeting in your backyard.

So why not grab your binoculars or just step outside and see where the day takes you? Adventure is out there!

Take Up Gardening

There’s something magical about gardening. It’s like you’re part wizard, part scientist. You start with these tiny seeds or maybe a couple of plants, give them a bit of water, a touch of sunlight, and bam! You’ve got yourself your own personal oasis. 

You don’t even need a huge backyard to get started. A few pots on a windowsill can be your gateway to the green-thumbed world. You can start with:

  • Herbs and succulents: Perfect for beginners. They’re pretty forgiving if you forget to water them once (or twice).
  • Vegetables: Nothing beats the taste of home-grown tomatoes or the joy of pulling up your own carrots.
  • Flowers: Brighten up your space and maybe even attract some buzzing bees or fluttering butterflies.

Gardening’s not just about the end result; it’s about the peaceful moments spent outside, with soil under your nails and the sun on your back.

Join a Sports Team or League

Ever missed those days of playing games and sports in school? Well, who says they have to be over? Joining a local sports team or league can be a fantastic way to relive those glory days—or create new ones. 

To jump into the game:

  • Look up local recreational leagues; there’s something for every pace.
  • Try a few different sports to find your fit—volleyball, softball, or even ultimate frisbee.
  • Don’t stress about scoring—just enjoy the play and the people.

Whether you’re competitive or just in it for fun, there’s nothing like the buzz of a good game to make you feel alive. Lace-up those sneakers and get into the team spirit!

Participate in Board Games or Puzzle Nights

Board games and puzzle nights are not just for rainy days or power outages. They’re a blast, a brain workout, and a way to bond with friends and family—sometimes all at once. 

The resurgence of board games has brought so many options, from quick card games to epic adventures spanning hours or days. Playing these games can spark creativity, strategy, and even a healthy dose of competition. It’s a perfect excuse to unplug and focus on good, old-fashioned fun. 

"Periodically challenging the brain to do new and different things enhances its abilities and helps to keep your mind sharp... Through these activities, you also learn to respond to situations in different and creative ways, develop the ability to see things from a whole new perspective and can help you become significantly smarter."

— Iqbal Ahmad | Founder and CEO, Britannia School of Academics

Attend Meetups or Social Groups

Sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone means entering a room full of potential pals. Meetups and social groups are perfect for this. It’s all about finding people who get just as fired up about a hobby or interest as you do. 

You could be chatting about gardening, swapping tech tips, or rehearsing lines for a local theater production. The best part is that these groups are founded on shared interests, so you’ve already got common ground before you even say “hello.”

When attending these gatherings, all you need to do is do some online research to find your niche, mark the date in your calendar, and then show up with a smile. 

"Sharing your creations with people who can help you grow your skills and celebrate when you complete something is an added layer to help your new hobby turn into something more."

— Stephanie Rose | Founder, Firefly Scout

Take Up Dance Lessons

Fancy shaking a leg and learning some slick moves? Dancing isn’t just for the pros—it’s a smashing way to let loose, have fun, and even sneak in some exercise. Dance lessons are a chance to step out of your comfort zone and, who knows, maybe even onto the dance floor.

To glide into the dancing scene:

  • Check out local dance studios or community centers for beginner classes.
  • Don’t worry about two left feet—it’s all about progress, not perfection.
  • Recruit a friend to join you, or rock it solo and meet new partners at the class.

Just enjoy the music and the moment. And if you step on a toe or miscount the beat? Laugh it off! The real win is in trying.

Explore Astronomy

Ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what’s twinkling back at you? Astronomy can turn that wonder into a stellar hobby. You don’t need a PhD or a high-powered telescope to get started, either. 

Just a curiosity about the cosmos and maybe an app to help identify what’s above. Stargazing invites you to ponder the big questions or just enjoy the tranquility of the universe.

To kick-start your cosmic curiosity:

  1. Start with naked-eye stargazing to spot constellations and planets.
  2. Visit local planetariums or astronomy clubs for skywatching events.
  3. If you’re ready, consider a basic telescope or binoculars to get a closer look.

Consider Volunteering

Volunteering is about stepping up, lending a hand, and making a difference, whether it’s in your local community or even farther afield. And while you’re out there doing good, you might just stumble upon a hobby that fills your heart in ways you didn’t expect.

  • Want to dig into gardening? Help out at a community garden. 
  • Keen on learning construction? Habitat for Humanity could use your hammer-swinging. 
  • Loving animals? Your local shelter is probably on the lookout for a helping hand.

There’s no one way to volunteer, so finding the right fit might take a couple of tries. The key is to be patient.

Challenge Yourself and Do the Unexpected

Ever thought about how exciting it is to surprise yourself? Doing something unexpected or taking on a challenge can shake up the routine of daily life in the best possible way. It’s about stepping out of your comfy zone and trying something that makes your heart race a little.

Note that small challenges count. You don’t have to skydive to feel the thrill. Trying a new food or striking up a conversation can be a victory, too. It’s less about the actual activity and more about the rush—feeling alive and kicking.

Challenging yourself is how you grow. Each little step into the unknown is a chance to learn more about what you’re capable of. And honestly, it’s just fun to see what happens. 

"The sense of independence, bravery, and accomplishment we can get by simply doing the hard thing we said we were going to do is a huge confidence boost that allows the experience in and of itself to be awesome."

— Angela Gentile | Founder and Owner, Sweat Remix

Practice Yoga or Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are more than just bending into pretzel shapes and finding your zen—it’s about stretching your body and chilling your mind, bit by bit. It’s great for folks looking for a low-impact way to tone up and tune in to their breathing.

Try the following steps:

  • Scout out some beginner videos or apps to help guide your first moves.
  • Set a regular time each day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
  • Revel in the little victories, like touching your toes without a grunt.

Sticking with it means you might just find yourself stronger, nimbler, and maybe even a little bit more zen.

"If you have never done yoga before, be gentle with yourself and think of it as an adventure. You might need to try a few different yoga studios, a few different times of the day, or a few different types of yoga teachers to find the style of yoga that you truly enjoy that you can see being a long-term self-care practice."

Katie Ziskind, BS, MA, MFT | Licensed Holistic Marriage and Family Therapist | Owner, Wisdom Within Counseling

Learn to Sew, Knit, or Crochet

Mit, purl, stitch, repeat… There’s rhythm in creating something stitch by stitch. It’s therapeutic. Whether you’re fixing a button, stitching together a quilt, or crocheting a cozy hat, there’s something deeply satisfying about creating something from scratch.

Here’s a few simple steps you can do:

  • Grab some basic supplies—yarn, needles, hooks—and things you want to try making.
  • Find tutorials starting with the basics and work up as you become more confident.
  • Celebrate every row, even the wonky ones. They’re signs you’re learning.

Next thing, you’re weaving a cozy little community of fellow knitters and crochet buffs. And who doesn’t love a hobby ending with a warm blanket on a cold night?

Follow Your Curiosity and Be Spontaneous

Ever see something and think, “That could be fun“? That’s your cue to try it—spontaneity is the spice of hobby life. It’s about saying “yes” to the odd, the exciting, and the why-not. The point? Simply go with the flow and let your curiosity lead the way.

To get going with spontaneity, you can begin by keeping a list of “that looks cool” things you encounter. Then, choose one at random and give it a whirl. Roll the dice—what’s it going to be this time? 

Don’t overthink it. If it turns out to be a dud, chuckle and move on to the next. In the end, it’s about the experiences, the laughs, and the tales of trying that one weird thing that one time. 

"Being spontaneous is often seen as being unpredictable, and we're pretty much trained out of that behavior from an early age. But being more childlike, listening to your unconscious, and following your thoughts with curiosity can lead to some fun outcomes."

— Cat Ekkelboom-White | Lifestyle Blogger, Less Work, More Adventure

Realize That You Can Have More Than One Hobby

Who says you have to stick to just one hobby? You’re not a one-trick pony, after all. Dive into gardening on Monday, strum a guitar on Tuesday, knit a beanie on Wednesday—mix it up! Having a variety of hobbies means there’s always something to match your mood and keep the brain engaged.

 Some tips to juggle multiple hobbies without dropping the ball:

  • Keep a hobby calendar. Maybe dedicate different days to different activities.
  • Don’t feel you need to master everything. It’s about fun, not homework.
  • If one hobby isn’t clicking on a particular day, swap it out. No pressure!

Remember, your hobby time is your “you” time. Feel free to build a colorful bouquet of interests that keeps every day interesting.

"Don't get stuck thinking that you can only have one hobby. It's okay for one hobby to stretch into another. It's also okay for your hobbies not to be related at all. Crafting and singing are completely unrelated, but that doesn't mean I can't have fun with both hobbies."

— AJ Silberman-Moffitt | Senior Editor, Tandem

Consider Your Budget

Hobbies are fantastic, but let’s not pretend some of them don’t have price tags attached. Before diving headfirst into a new hobby, it’s wise to do a little budget check. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun if the funds are tight—it’s just about finding the right fit for your wallet.

Consider the following tips:

  • DIY and borrowing: Before splurging on equipment, see if you can borrow from a friend or find a cheaper DIY option.
  • Look for free or low-cost options: Many hobbies, like hiking, drawing, or community sports, require minimal investment.
  • Set aside a hobby fund: If you’re eyeing a pricier pursuit, maybe start a little savings pot. A bit of patience now can lead to a lot of fun later.

Considering your budget means you can fully enjoy your hobby without worrying about breaking the bank. It’s all about smart choices and finding creative solutions to pursue what you love. After all, the best things in life (like joy, relaxation, and fulfillment from hobbies) should be accessible, no matter your budget.

"Don't jump all in without testing the water first. It's great to be willing to invest fully in a new hobby. But what if you start doing something and realize you don't like it as much as you thought? Then the $200 you just spent on those new rollerblades or the $300 you spent on a vinyl cutting machine might not be money well-spent. 

Test the waters first by borrowing or renting equipment to see if you like something as much as you thought you might."

— AJ Silberman-Moffitt | Senior Editor, Tandem

Be Persistent and Patient

Picking up a new hobby can come with its frustrations. You won’t become a guitar god or a gardening guru overnight. 

It’s all about the slow burn, sticking with it, even when the plant you’ve been talking to decides to give up the ghost or your fingers fumble the frets. Remember, patience is not just a virtue; it’s a key player on Team Hobby.

Keep pressing on and give yourself the time to grow into your hobbies. The patience will pay off; before you know it, you might just surprise yourself with how far you’ve come. Keep at it!

"Developing a new hobby can take some time and effort, but it's important to stick with it. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results right away; hobbies are supposed to be enjoyable, so focus on the process and not the end goal."

— Linda Shaffer | Chief People and Operations Officer, Checkr, Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I fit a hobby into my busy schedule?

Start by setting aside a specific time each week for your hobby, even if it’s just an hour or two. Remember, engaging in a hobby is a form of self-care and can actually increase your productivity by giving you a needed break.

How do I know if a hobby is right for me?

A hobby suits you if it makes you feel engaged, relaxed, or happy. It should be something you look forward to spending time on and not feel like a burden.

Do hobbies have to be productive?

No, hobbies are about enjoyment and relaxation, not productivity. If sitting down with a good book or listening to music helps you unwind, that counts as a rewarding hobby.

What if I lose interest in my chosen hobby after a while?

It’s perfectly normal for interests to change. If you find your enthusiasm waning, allow yourself to stop and try something else. Remember, the goal of a hobby is to add enjoyment to your life, not to create an obligation.

Final Thoughts

Remember, finding a hobby you love might take some time and a few tries. But don’t give up! Keep searching until you find something that makes you smile and feels like a perfect fit.

So, go out there and start trying new things! You might surprise yourself with what you’re capable of. And who knows? Your hobby might even turn into a passion that changes your life for the better. The possibilities are endless. Happy hobby hunting!

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Robby is a multimedia editor at UpJourney with a journalism and communications background.

When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.