Now that you’ve reached retirement, you want to spend your days doing things you enjoy – things that help you maintain or even improve your physical health and mental sharpness.
You’re not working any longer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the same structure and gratification that you had with your job.
There are so many fun and fulfilling activities for men and hobbies for women over 50 and beyond.
You can keep your calendar full if that’s your goal.
You’re not slowing down any time soon.
So, what will you try first?
41 Hobbies for Seniors to Stay Active and Sharp
Don’t think of this as a collection of hobbies for old people; many of these hobbies are timeless and popular with people of all ages.
You could easily find yourself enjoying them alongside a 20-something – maybe even a grandchild.
The essential word here is “enjoying.” So, make a note of the hobbies that stand out for you and get your mind working on ideas.
Hobbies for Older Women
1. Start a Journaling Habit
Buy yourself a new journal and commit to spending at least a few minutes a day writing down your thoughts. You can journal at any time of the day and more than once if you prefer. These don’t have to be profound, life-changing thoughts, either. Just write.
2. Take Up Knitting or Crocheting
Those lampposts won’t yarn-bomb themselves. Or, if you prefer, you can put your skill and energy into creating fashionable hats, scarves, and mittens for Christmas gifts—or shawls, throws, and blankets.
Or try your hand at amigurumi. The possibilities keep multiplying.
3. Volunteer in Your Community
Choose a cause near to your heart, or go where the need is greatest. You don’t have to commit to doing this every week, either. Sign up for one volunteer opportunity—or several different kinds—and just see how it goes. You might make some new friends.
4. Learn How to Play a Musical Instrument
Or brush up your skills with one you’ve already learned. Studies have shown that regularly playing a musical instrument helps maintain and even improve mental sharpness. If you’re not keen on the idea, though, spend more time listening to music you love.
5. Start or Join a Book Club
If you can’t find a book club (local or online) you feel drawn to, start one of your own with a few friends and/or family members. Collaborate to create a reading list with a common theme, author, or genre. Then decide where and how often you’ll meet.
6. Take on a New Challenge
Consider signing up for NaNoWriMo (or Camp NaNo) if you enjoy writing. Or, if there’s something else you’d like to challenge yourself to do for a set number of days, make a firm intention, and tell someone what you plan to do (for accountability). Then go for it.
7. Learn a New Language (or Brush Up)
Download an app like DuoLingo, Babbel, or Memrise to learn a new language. Or take a class (local or online).
This language can be new or familiar to you and related to travel destinations or a new future home. Make time for daily practice.
8. Try Something New.
Tackle something on your bucket list—or create a bucket list and choose something from it. Make it your goal to go after that new experience within a specific time frame. Look into your options and start making some plans.
9. Learn How to Cook a New Type of Cuisine
Maybe you’ve always wanted to prepare your own Indian (or other) food buffet, but you don’t know where to begin. Consider signing up for a cooking class. Or find a cookbook that appeals to you and start with something easy.
10. Start Going on Walks.
If you live in a neighborhood that’s safe for walking, get some fresh air and exercise with daily walks, alone or with a walking buddy. Unless the weather makes it impossible or dangerous, make this a regular part of your day or week.
11. Learn Yoga for Daily Mindful Movement.
Take a yoga class or find a YouTube video that appeals to you. You can even do an internet search for the “best YouTube yoga” to see what others recommend. Or look up “best yoga apps” and give some of them a try.
12. Learn Origami.
Who knew you could make such interesting things with a piece of paper just by folding it? Learn how to create different animals (cranes, dragons, horses, etc.) and other objects to share with guests of all ages. Keep your favorites as decorations.
13. Learn Calligraphy / Lettering.
Treat yourself to a good quality set of calligraphy or brush pens and practice your lettering skills. Use them to create posters with favorite quotes, hand-lettered certificates and invitations, and beautifully-crafted greeting cards and bookmarks.
Hobbies for Older Men
14. Play Games.
Even if you don’t have an in-person gaming partner, you can find plenty of games to play solo or with an online challenger. Try a new variety of solitaire. Or try video games that interest you. If you do have a partner, choose a game you can both enjoy.
15. Solve Puzzles.
Whether it’s Sudoku, crosswords, jigsaw, or something else, make puzzle time a daily or weekly priority to keep your mind clear and sharp. Or sign up with a small group to find your way out of a local escape room. Find ways to stay curious.
16. Learn to Code.
It’s never too late to learn a computer programming language. And there’s something magical about creating your very own smartphone app and seeing it work on your own device. Once the code is working, you can play with the design.
17. Perform on Stage.
Sign up for an improv theater group or see if anyone in your community is putting on a play at a local school or community center. Find out if they need actors and if any of the roles might be a good fit for you.
Call your local schools to see if they need substitute teachers and whether or not you need a teaching certificate to sign on. Or ask if they’re interested in having you come as a visiting speaker for a “career day” or to share your experience with something.
19. Get in the Water.
If you love swimming, find a well-maintained pool in your area and commit to at least weekly visits to swim some laps and enjoy the feel of floating and gliding through water. If you’re interested, sign up for an exercise class that uses the pool for resistance.
20. Become a Citizen Scientist.
Sign up with Zooniverse to do “people-powered research” as a citizen scientist. Click on “See All Projects” to find new opportunities in various fields, including climate, biology, medicine, social sciences, and many more. Choose a project to learn more about it.
21. Dig Into Your Family History.
Dig into the genealogy (i.e., your family tree) with Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. You can order a DNA test kit from 23andme to learn more about family medical history, mental and physical health concerns, and inherited personal traits.
22. Go to Museums.
Check out the museums in your area and make time to visit those that appeal to you. Ask about discounts (as well as discounted parking or transportation), and see if they have a gift shop worth exploring once you’ve toured the exhibits.
23. Take up Golfing.
Golfing not only gets you outside, but it also improves your standing and walking ability and encourages socialization with other humans. If you’re at least curious, check out golf clubs in your area and visit one or two of them, alone or with a friend.
24. Learn Self-Defense.
If you’ve always wanted to learn karate, tae kwon do, jiu-jitsu, or another martial art, why not look into it now? You’ll get the best results with a local class where you can learn from your instructor face-to-face and practice with a sparring partner.
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25. Study Philosophy.
Sign up for a philosophy class at a local college or community ed program. Or take advantage of a sale on Udemy to snap up courses that interest you. You can also buy or borrow books on a specific philosopher or school of philosophy and read up.
26. Listen to Podcasts.
Use your search engine to look up “best podcasts on ____,” or check out the list of popular or newer podcasts on your favorite podcast app. Listen to an episode in the morning as you sip your coffee or tea, or whenever you like.
Hobbies for Older Couples
27. Practice Tai Chi.
Take up Tai Chi to improve your muscle tone, practice deep and mindful breathing, and get your daily exercise with meditative, flowing, and relaxing movement. Find an instructor whose teaching style appeals to you, and make this a daily commitment.
28. Make Bread.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to make bread of your own—or to try making different kinds. Honestly, though, filling your home with the warmth and aroma of freshly-baked bread is enough of a reason to give this a try.
29. Watch Documentaries.
Lookup a list (like this one) of documentaries worth watching and enjoy them alone or with a friend. Prepare a favorite snack and beverage, and make sure you’re comfortably seated before you begin.
30. Paint Your Home (Or Someone Else’s).
This is the time to replace that terrible shade of yellow you picked for the bathroom (the one that turned out more lemony than you expected). Or ask a friend or family member if they’d like help repainting one of their rooms.
31. Tackle DIY Projects.
You finally have time to tackle the list of DIY projects — or to make one. Maybe it’s time to sand down and refinish your kitchen table. Or perhaps you’re ready to tear out the carpeting and replace it with something else. Pick a project and get started.
32. Learn digital photography.
Digital photography is one of the most popular hobbies the world over. And it doesn’t have to be a solitary thing. Couples who enjoy photography together can make travel all the more rewarding.
33. Make scrapbooks together.
Memorialize your wonderful life together and enjoy scrapbooking to create keepsake albums for family. Scrapbooking is a creative project that will revive great memories and bring you both so much joy.
34. Collect and sell antiques.
Another way to make travel more rewarding is to collect and sell antiques. The collecting part would happen during your travels, and much, if not all, the selling would happen from home, using an online shop, or by selling through Amazon with their FBA program.
35. Write your book.
If you’d rather create something of your own to sell, why not write a book together — about your life, about your travels, or about life lessons worth sharing. You can take turns writing a chapter or section of the book.
36. Become politically involved.
Why not volunteer together to support your favorite political candidate or at a polling place? You’ll be doing a service for others that makes a huge difference in everyone’s lives.
37. Give stone carving a try.
If you’re looking for a hobby that results in small objects you can give as gifts, try stone carving. You could even carve your own chess pieces or animal tokens out of soapstone or other rocks at your disposal. Two pairs of hands make the time even more productive and entertaining.
38. Foster a pet.
There are plenty of animals in shelters who need temporary homes or just need someone to take them out for a walk. If you don’t want to commit to pet ownership, you can still give some love to an animal in need.
39. Play pickleball.
Pickleball is a paddleball sport for two or four players. It combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. The game is a great fit for mature adults because it’s much easier than tennis but still gives an aerobic workout without as much stress and strain on joints and muscles.
40. Grow a butterfly garden.
If you and your spouse love the beauty of butterflies, plant a butterfly garden in a sunny spot near your house. Plants like violets, milkweed, and asters are great for caterpillars. Nectar-filled plants to attract butterflies include Joe-Pye weed, ironweed, yellow coneflowers, goldenrod, and brightly-hued asters.
41. Join a singing group together.
Do you both love to sing? If so, join your church choir or another singing group where you can enjoy great music and entertain others.
Now that you’ve looked through all 41 hobbies for retired women and men which ones stood out for you?
Even if you’re not sure if a particular activity is for you, give it a try. You may discover you love it – and meet some new friends along the way.