Feeling Bored In Retirement? 41 Fun, Engaging, And Meaningful Things To Do With Your Time

Your career likely formed the foundation of your identity, and you’re feeling adrift without your workday routine. 

Boredom in retirement strikes many people who’ve hung up their proverbial spurs. 

Before you daydream about filling your time as a Walmart greeter, take a step back and count your blessings.

You’re finally in a position to live freely. 

Once you break out of the worker drone mindset, you’ll be amazed how you can fill your days with fun and fulfilling activities.

How Do I Stop Being Bored When Retired?

You spent many working years envying retirees only to wonder, “What do retired people do all day?” once you join their ranks.

Losing the stimulation of your job can leave you kicking around the house like a kid grounded for breaking the rules.

Here are some common approaches for banishing boredom from retired life:

  • Make a list of topics that interest you, and then find a club focused on that subject. Nextdoor and Facebook are good places to hunt for local clubs.
  • Look around your house and identify all the little things you never got to because you were too busy working. Numerous small fix-it chores and household updates could keep you busy for months.
  • Commit to learning new skills. Once you get good at something (or bored with it), switch to a new challenge.
  • Embrace your new role in society. Retirees have the time to do things younger people don’t. Be willing to help your family, friends, and neighbors.

41 Fun and Engaging Things to Do When Retired and Bored

These specific activities fit into the general methods for avoiding retirement boredom. Pick one or more things to try. You’re sure to find something that engages you.

1. Plan Trips

Plan multiple small getaways to local attractions, festivals, or historic sites throughout the year.

Or put together one grand vacation every year to big museums, the tropics, or other exotic destinations.

There are travel clubs for this exact purpose.

2. Learn a Musical Instrument

Do you regret never learning a musical instrument? Now you have time to take lessons and practice. The ukulele is a popular instrument for novices because it is easy to learn.

3. Investor Club

Do you love financial topics? Do you want to keep your assets performing well throughout your golden years? Investor clubs transform your love of business and financial news into a social activity.

4. Book Club

Bookish folk can discuss plots and characters to their heart’s content monthly at a book club. Ask if any are accepting new members at your library or bookstore.

5. Golfing Group

Golfers form clubs so that they can travel together and play the courses in their region. You can rent a van and socialize while traveling and share a lunch or dinner after golfing.

6. Bird Watching

Birds are not dull, and spotting a rare species can be tremendously exciting. Bird watching can be a solo activity at your home or local park, or you can join a group that tours local wildlife areas.

7. Local History

If you’ve lived in the same place for a long time, you can stave off boredom by becoming an amateur historian.

From documenting long-forgotten tragedies to bringing old local heroes back to life, you can help to preserve your community’s heritage.

8. Gardening

OK, gardening is kind of cliche for retirees, but so many retired people love it. It doesn’t have to be about fruit and vegetables either. Pollinator gardens packed with flowers are beautiful and a source of compliments.

9. Genealogy

Piecing together a family tree will connect you with family and introduce you to the world of vital records archives.

Everyone has interesting and notable people among their ancestors, and some people really love tracking down lost information.

10. Internet Sleuth

A global community of people has formed online who research cold cases. You never know. You might uncover a clue that solves a crime. At the very least, you’ll have no shortage of fascinating information to ponder and discuss.

11. Consulting

Your professional knowledge does not have to go straight into the dustbin at retirement. Your insights could have great value.

Hanging out your shingle as a consultant will bring you interesting freelance jobs without stressing you as a full-time job would.

12. Antique Restoration

You could find delight in saving old objects from ruin and making them beautiful again. As a hobby, this activity also includes the hunt for new projects. You might even make a few bucks now and then.

13. Painting

Maybe you were practical and didn’t indulge your creativity during your working life. Now you have an opportunity to express yourself. With painting, you can enter a soothing flow state where time has little meaning.

14. Join a Local Conservation Organization

Conservation clubs clean up rivers, plant trees, tear out invasive plants, build parks, and lobby local governments to protect precious habitats.

You’ll get outside, meet people, and contribute meaningfully to your ecosystem.

15. Online Gaming

Online video games aren’t just for kids. You could enjoy the challenges of building worlds and leveling up while chatting online with other players. This could be an especially fun activity if you have mobility challenges.

16. Install Smart Home Tech

Become the master of your realm through smart devices controlled through your phone. (No one will mess with your thermostat again!)

An endless array of gadgets are on the market for DIY home techies. You can have fun optimizing your electronic home life, from security cameras to lighting control.

17. Study a New Language

Learning a new language is always challenging and does not get easier with age. Even so, there are audiobooks and phone apps to help you pursue the goal of conversational fluency.

18. Home Brewing

The quest for a perfect batch of beer or wine requires skill and patience. You can share your successes with friends and laugh at your failures.

19. Pet Fostering

If you don’t want to commit to a permanent pet, your local shelter will have fostering opportunities. You can help a pet regain health or raise puppies while a permanent home is found.

20. Bread Making

Once you master a couple of basic principles, bread making is not as hard as people imagine. You can try new recipes and techniques. If you can’t eat all of your luscious bread, don’t worry. People love receiving homemade loaves.

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21. Master Your Barbecue

You now have 12 hours of free time to pursue a perfectly tender brisket. You can literally experiment for years with different cuts of meat, seasoning rubs, and wood smokes.

22. Look Up Old Friends

Some pals from back in the day might not live very far away. Or maybe a long-lost friend lives on the other side of the country. Rekindling old friendships gives you a reason to travel on top of bringing new joy into life.

23. Raise Backyard Chickens

If this is allowed where you live, you might find enormous satisfaction in having three to six hens.

Daily feeding, egg collecting, and coop maintenance will keep you occupied. Friends and relatives will love to stop by for your extra eggs too.

24. Clear the Clutter

Throwing out junk and organizing your beloved items can reset your whole mind for the next stage of life. As you inevitably age, having a clean and orderly house is safer.

25. Volunteer

So many organizations want volunteers. Food banks, hospitals, libraries, and schools have volunteering opportunities. You might also be helpful at community events, museums, or women’s shelters.

26. Dancing

Your community might have a group dedicated to line dancing, square dancing, or ballroom dancing. This is an excellent social activity that provides exercise as well.

27. Walking Group

Walking is an exercise that many people can enjoy as they age. It’s not so demanding that you can’t talk while you do it.

Ask your neighbors or friends if they want to join you for walks. Nextdoor is a good place to find a neighborhood walking group.

28. House sitting

You could make money doing this or just do it for fun at the homes of friends and family. It can be a way to travel without paying for lodging, and it eases people’s minds to know a trusted person is at their home.

29. Writing

Life experience, history, or travel adventures are all sources of inspiration if you wish to write. You can produce ebooks and paperbacks or run a blog with cheap self-publishing solutions.

30. Wood Working

Retirement is a time when you can make things with your hands. Whether you’re crafting a coffee table or decorative box, you can pour your attention into minute details and learn how to use different woods.

31. Knitting or Crocheting

Imagine making hats, scarves, and afghans. It’s all possible with knitting and crocheting. Each is its own hobby. You can pick one or learn both. And don’t think that this is only for women. Men do knit and crochet too.

32. Cooking

This is a vast category to explore. If you don’t know anything about food, you might love entering the fascinating world of the culinary arts. If you’re already a competent cook, stretch yourself with gourmet dishes and international cuisines.

33. Soap Stone Carving

This is a relatively affordable hobby that does not take up much space. With small metal tools, you’ll carve naturally soft soapstone.

34. Quilting

Quilting takes patience, but it’s well within the reach of anyone with a standard home sewing machine. Have fun picking out colors and patterns while you make everything from potholders to bedspreads.

35. Digitize Old Pictures and Films

You can preserve your family’s old pictures and home movies with a computer and high-quality scanning equipment.

Those aging VHS tapes won’t last forever. You might even develop it into a retirement side business.

36. Learn Sign Language

This is a great way to stimulate your mind as you age. It involves thinking and fine motor skills simultaneously. It could also lead to interesting volunteering opportunities.

37. Community Theater

If your town has a community theater, show up for auditions. Even if you don’t get cast, maybe you can work on the crew. Being in a play is exciting and a super way to make friends.

38. Card Game Club

There are so many card games to learn, such as pinochle, cribbage, or hearts. Join a group or host one at your house monthly or bi-weekly for socialization and competition.

39. Nature Photography

If you’re up for a challenge, try to photograph wild animals, even if it’s only squirrels in the yard. You’ll learn so much about composing a scene and lighting.

40. Activism

Retirement gives you time to advocate for causes important to you. This could mean making statements at city council meetings, joining protests, and volunteering for political campaigns.

41. Help Family

If you have kids, grandkids, or disabled relatives, then you can make a huge difference. Be there for them to babysit, run errands, fix toilets, cook dinner, or do whatever it takes to make life better.

Retirement can shock the system in the same way the feelings parents have when their nests are empty. The trick to reinventing your life is simply to try new things that sound interesting.            

Are you becoming bored with the new retiree life that you have? Explore these fun things to do when retired and bored.

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