Ten Hobbies for Retirees

Adventures in Cooking

You've looked forward to retirement for most of your adult life, but a few years in and you're bored. Retirement hobbies can be the cure. Check out some of the top hobbies for seniors such as traveling, volunteering, or cooking. Find your passion and roll with it.

Ten Retirement Hobbies

Even if some of these don't appeal at first glance, try them all out once you are actually retired. For example, you may think you don't like to cook, but it may just be that you never liked the pressure of having to get a meal on the table at a certain time. Retirement can actually help turn tasks that were once tedious into fun-filled, relaxing activities.

1. Travel

There is no better time to travel extensively than in early retirement. With no work commitments, and children all grown up, the first years of retirement offer a golden opportunity to travel the world. Whether you caravan close to home for relaxation, or if you visit faraway destinations you never took the time to see earlier in life, travel can be an eye-opening experience. Keep in mind that traveling doesn't have to break the bank. Even some foreign destinations are quite affordable (once you pay for the plane tickets) because the local economy is very different from that in the US.

2. Volunteer

Doing volunteer work, whether once a week at the local library, or every day at a children's center, can enrich your life, while making a drastic difference in the lives of others in your community. Many people cite the first reason to not volunteer as lack of free time, making retirement a great time of life to do volunteer work. Look for opportunities to make a difference at local establishments, as well as schools, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations.

3. Arts & Crafts

Perhaps you've quilted all your life, or you haven't picked up a paintbrush since grade school art class, but retirement is the time to try new things! Try new artistic and creative endeavors, or perfect ones that you've enjoyed all of your life with the extra time you have available in retirement. Some ideas for arts and crafts activities to try include:

  • Paint
  • Design jewelry
  • Cross-stitch, embroider, or knit
  • Quilt or sew
  • Make pottery
  • Learn basket-weaving or chair-caning
  • Learn woodworking
  • Make stained glass projects
  • Design bonsai

Not only are these activities a great way to keep yourself busy, but they can also produce countless gifts for friends and family.

4. Music/Theater/Dance

Whether you join the audience, the players onstage, or the theater staff in taking tickets and running lights, getting involved in the performing arts can be a lot of fun. If you'd like to participate yourself, call some local community theaters and community centers to see what opportunities exist. If you'd like to enjoy the hard work of others, start a club in which you and your friends go see a performance once a month or once a week.

5. Clubs/Associations

Several clubs and associations can provide social interaction and fun activities for seniors. Whether you join a national organization like the Red Hat Society, or you make a small local club of your own, such as a weekly card games club, this type of activity provides valuable interaction for seniors.

6. Exercise

Exercise can take on any form! Retirement is the perfect time to get in shape, or to make sure that you stay in shape if you are already in good condition. Take up a low-impact exercise routine; for example, go for a morning walk or an afternoon swim, or take up a daily yoga or tai chi practice. Staying fit doesn't mean running marathons, it just means getting up off the couch.

7. Cooking

Baking and cooking can be lots of fun if you take the time to enjoy them. Read cooking books or magazines, or watch cooking shows on the television for inspiration, and then try out some recipes that really appeal to you. When you make something you can't wait to eat for dinner, you enjoy the cooking process more. It's also lots of fun to make baked goods and bring them to neighbors as a surprise, or bake a special cake for a relative's birthday. All these gestures will be greatly appreciated.

8. The Great Outdoors

Did you always have an interest in birds or flowers, but never have the time to really learn about them? Retirees can take up many hobbies in retirement, among them a newfound appreciation for outdoor activities. While hiking up a mountain would probably not be recommended by your doctor, going for a stroll on a boardwalk through wetlands is good exercise and interesting from an environmental standpoint.

9. Teach

Whatever you did before retirement, you can teach it to the younger generation. Or, teach one of your hobbies, such as knitting or baking. Adult education programs are frequently looking for part-time evening instructors for these types of courses, and while they don't produce a full-time income, teaching these types of classes can be a perfect activity for retirees.

10. Reconnect with Family

Life is busy, but retirement offers a reprieve from the rat race. Invite your family over more often than you used to, or offer to babysit your grandchildren each weekend so that your kids can have some time to themselves. Write letters and send pictures to relatives who live far away, or go visit them more often. Get a webcam for your computer so you can chat with grandchildren who live far away.

Great Hobbies for Retirement

All in all, retirement can be a time of fun, relaxation, and productivity. Some of these ten hobbies for retirees will probably appeal more than others, but there should be at least something for everyone. Whether you take up golf or volunteer at an elementary school, you can enrich your own golden years with many fun activities during retirement.

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Ten Hobbies for Retirees