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. Cooking is a great thing to do in retirement. I have tons of recipes and my friend and I plan to make a lot of them. Being in the kitchen is good therapy.

  2. After reading all these wonderful replies, I decided to make a list of all the hobbies I just read. Excellent ideas and so many I never considered. Thank you everyone!

  3. I have expanded on a newish hobby to me – rug braiding. I purchased a supply of wool, was gifted with quite a bit, and purchased another quantity from a church. Result: an obsession with researching braiding to hone my skills and have made three 5×7 rugs and numerous smaller ones during our Covid isolation. I feel so rewarded and thankful for being able to produce something useful. My children and grandchildren will have rugs made just for them for years to come.

  4. I love to walk n hike. I also enjoy gardening, travel, jigsaw puzzles, reading. Sometimes I still help out at my old job and I volunteer with the local St Vincent de Paul Society group in my town.

  5. Last June of 2020 I took up the task of refinishing my double sash windows on our Colonial home. I have set up the process by reading lots of articles and watching lots of videos on Youtube. So, with the proper tools and precautions I set about working on a small bathroom window to see how the routine would go. It is like producing a flowchart, like you would do when working on a computer program. So far I am now working on our 5th window and experiencing lots of satisfaction with my new found hobby. You also must understand your limitations when choosing a new hobby but so far I am completely satisfied with my choice. P.S. The original windows add a lot of character to our home.

  6. As a hobby, use your free time and lifetime of experience with consumer goods to post product reviews on Amazon. Working folks appreciate the recommendations and may not have the free time to post their own reviews. I have been writing reviews for years.

  7. I already have a number of hobbies that I hardly ever pay attention to anymore because I haven’t retired yet, but plan to in another month or so, and the computer takes up more time than it should. But I’m looking forward to knitting again, writing again, playing guitar again, costuming for the medieval club again, and starting to cook again which I left off with years ago because my husband’s better at it. I’d like to join a chorus again, take belly dance lessons again, and take art lessons because after a childhood full of drawing, I gave it up at age 15 and have regretted it most of my adulthood. And my husband has his own idea: we go to science fiction conventions and sell used books, but he wants to expand it into a home business online. I will not be bored!

  8. Trapshooting is a wonderful activity. It is done outside, which is especially important during covid. On top of that, you will meet a wonderful group of caring and informative people. It is open to women and men alike.

  9. Yes, I have enjoyed ham radio very much over the years – started well before retirement. The opportunities for public service and the challenge of creating and setting up portable systems are my favourite aspects. 73, KB1HAD

    1. I do too, Steve. It is difficult for folks who never have to understand. I suppose it is counterintuitive that exhilaration and relaxation of the mind come from it, but there it is. I’m not much for a club (occasional poker run will do), but finding friends that ride is really special. Alone or together, there is always something something sweet to see or smell out there. Plus, I got AAA towing for my bike once I upgraded my membership: I hope to never need it.

  10. Genealogy keeps me very busy! Also organizing photos, videos, important papers (Wills, Power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy).

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