Fulfilling Hobbies To Do in Retirement

Finding multiple hobbies you love is one of the great secrets to having a happy retirement.
hobbies to do in retirement

Are you looking forward to retirement, but wondering what in the world you’re going to do with all that free time? Finding a hobby you love is one way to feel fulfilled after your working years. Hobbies can help you stay physically active, keep your mind sharp and connect you to new friends.

And there are so many possibilities to choose from! You can finally get into the hobby you’ve been itching to do for years but never had the time for, or check out an exciting activity that’s totally new to you.

Not sure where to start? Get your wheels turning with these eight hobbies to do in retirement.


Have you always dreamed of writing a novel? Retirement is the perfect time to do it! You can find tons of how-to guides that can help you dive into your new novel, memoir, cookbook or children’s book. You could even start a blog based on your interests or experiences!

And you can write almost anywhere – from the comfort of a cozy chair, at your favorite coffee shop, in your neighborhood park or even a hammock at the beach.

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Whether you’re growing fresh veggies for dinner, transforming your backyard into a tranquil Zen garden or vying for a blue ribbon with your gorgeous roses, gardening is one of the hobbies to do in retirement that ticks a lot of boxes. It’s creative and inexpensive, it promotes relaxation, physical exercise and connection with nature, and you can do it alone or with others. Plus, your friends will be more than happy to share your summertime bounty of tomatoes and zucchini. The internet is full of resources and kits for first-time gardeners, like mini herb gardens, beginner tool kits, unique vegetable kits and bonsai starters.

Fitness or Sports

Love yoga? Crazy for tennis? If you’re wondering about hobbies to do in your retirement that could help your overall wellness, the answer could lie in your morning workout or favorite sport. Staying physically active has huge benefits for your health. There’s so much to choose from, both indoors and outdoors, low-impact and high – yoga, hiking, cycling, running, swimming, tai chi, Zumba, rock climbing, walking, weight-lifting. Check out our wishlist of the best home gym equipment.

Need more golf, basketball, softball or tennis in your life? Join a club or community league to make friends and have fun playing your favorite sport.


There’s something so satisfying about making things with your hands, especially after a career that involves sitting at a desk.

Here are some ideas to explore:

  • Woodworking
  • Pottery
  • Stained Glass
  • Mosaics
  • Crocheting
  • Sewing
  • Quilting
  • Scrapbooking
  • Jewelry making

Create items that are useful, beautiful or both. Design tiles for your new garden, knit cute scarves for your grandkids, sew blankets for people in need, build the perfect dining table. You can also try learning something new by getting a kit with instructions and all the materials you need.

hobbies to do in retirement

Learn To Play a Musical Instrument

Maybe you played piano when you were young but had to give it up, or you’ve always wanted to learn the violin but never had time.

It’s never too late to learn a new instrument, and studies have found the process can improve your memory, boost concentration and reduce stress.

Sign up for one-on-one lessons, tune in to instructors on YouTube or check out a how-to guide for your instrument of choice. Make music with new friends at a weekly jam session or join a community orchestra.


Dancing is a wonderful way to meet new friends and stay active in your retirement. There are so many styles of dance to choose from, you’re sure to find one that matches your physical ability and musical taste.

Try swing dancing, waltz, contra, salsa or country line dancing. Most community dances offer a free lesson before the main event, or you can build your confidence with lessons at a dance studio (spangly costumes not required!).


Want to see the world? Whether you’re planning the ultimate barbecue road trip or want to sip wine at a Parisian cafe, with your newly flexible schedule, retirement is the perfect time to travel. You might not be able to go anywhere just yet, but it’s never too early to start planning. Check out our wishlist for the best travel accessories to bring with you!

When you’re able to travel, you can snag deals and discounts by visiting AAA.com/Travel.


Have you always dreamed of getting into photography? These days there are plenty of affordable, entry-level digital SLR cameras to choose from. Get started with a photography class to learn your craft and make new friends.

Through taking photos, you can explore your city, engage with nature, document your travels and capture moments with your family. You’ll gain technical skills, develop your artistic side and create something special to share with others.

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What are your favorite hobbies to do in retirement? Tell us in the comments below!

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70 Thoughts on “Fulfilling Hobbies To Do in Retirement

    1. That is a challenge! How about things online? Covid has forced many museums, botanical gardens, zoos, etc to offer lectures, concerts, and classes online for low/no fees. I’ve done a NY Botanical Garden with a botanist who does research in South America, and am signed up for a Sea Chantey workshop at Mystic Seaport CT. Neither place is local to me, and these are not existing interests but sounded like fun!

    2. That is hard, but possible things might be painting (watercolors don’t have odor), drawing, puzzles (there are some very fine ones available), birdwatching, audio books, regular reading, genealogy online, etc. One of my relatives has a portable oxygen concentrator that lets her be outdoors or getting around for a few hours without worrying about running out of oxygen; if he doesn’t have one, you might look into it for your husband.

  1. I volunteer for Soldier’s Angels and get so much from it. I support deployed military by sending a package a month and a weekly letter. I also belong to the Letter Writing Team and write as many or as few letters a month that I want to. The requirement is only one letter per month. A great organization with the nicest people. By doing this I feel that I am still contributing

  2. Many people now are getting pets; if you have a dog, why not take it to training classes, maybe investigate the many dog sports that are available? You’ll end up with a well-trained dog, new friends, and a new hobby, all while keeping your mind active, learning new things!? You’d be surprised at the people who do dog sports, from moms and dads, to physicians, attorneys, and CEOs!

  3. Chess is one of the best to stimulate your mind and keep it active. lichess.org
    Hit the gym or workout at home for the physical side of things.

  4. Collecting, restoring and rebuilding vintage electronics (radio, stereo, etc) as well as the amateur radio hobby.

  5. I have too many hobbies. Working on antique cars. Photography, I’ve been taking photos since 1950 have over 28,000 filed B&W negatives.Working on our house. Photographing
    & recording trad jazz, both current & past (Born in ’35 and prefer music of the ’20’s-’30’s)
    Plus a number of other things.

  6. True..you have to find a hobby before retiring, so life will be interesting and productive after you stop working. I retired 3 yrs ago and I joined 2 senior centers for activities to kill boredom and found new friends. I did zumba and yoga exercises 3x a week in one senior center and did free acrylic painting classes for 2.5 hours/ 2x a week in another centerAAA. But since pandemic closed all senior centers, I started doing my chair yoga in my living room and sewing mask for the frontliners and making quilts and bags on the leftover fabrics, for my grandkids and gifts for families and friends. No time wasted and I feel productive. I’m almost 70(next month) but my energy is high like a young woman. I believe, the positivity in me is what’s keeping me alive. Stay safe and get that vaccine into your arms!!!!

  7. How about Model Railroading? Many clubs all over the country to get you started. Great camaraderie and involves multiple skills such as woodworking, wiring, model building and creating scenery. Check out one of many clubs via links such as http://www.wmrr.org.

  8. Handmade greeting cards is one of my hobbies. I make cards for nursing homes, children’s hospitals. If you’re lucky you can sell them too to cover costs at least. It’s helped me to stay busy during our stay at home orders.

    1. Even as a child I made cards for occasions like birthdays and anniversaries for family members. Over the years I have sometimes done cards or other artsy-crafts-type things (like decorated treasure boxes), mainly for grandchildren and my husband. Could you kindly tell me more about what you do and how you do it? E.g., do you mass produce your cards in some way? Or is each one totally unique? I also like “do-good” activities, so the idea of cards for those in some way needy appeals to me. Do you send cards to such people or give or sell them to homes who then give or sell them to the actual senders? Anything you can tell me I would love to know. Thank you! Viv

  9. I like working with my hands. Presently, I am handcaning a chair and putting an imitation rush seat into another.

  10. I have gone back to stamp collecting and this makes me an armchair traveler. You can learn a lot of history and culture this way. There is also a lot of virtual stamp club activity. My grandkids got me into building Lego models. I favor the Architecture series which does buildings and monuments. Both of these hobbies are very suitable to pandemic restrictions.

  11. I have been able to parlay my love of teaching (yes, I am a newly retired teacher) and my love of crochet and combine them. I am now a certified crochet instructor with 3, possible 4, students.

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