The 30 Best Hobbies In Retirement

You make the most out of your retirement when you spend your time on activities you love to do. And therefore it’s nice to have a hobby in retirement you enjoy. It keeps you busy and makes your retirement much more fun. But what are good hobbies in retirement?

Best hobbies in retirement:

  • Gardening
  • Hiking
  • Reading
  • Animal Care
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Golfing
  • Collecting
  • Swimming
  • Exercising
  • Boating
  • Painting
  • Volunteering
  • Crafts
  • Traveling
  • Socializing
  • Cycling
  • Playing games
  • Puzzling
  • Knitting
  • Babysitting
  • Writing
  • Relaxing
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  • Genealogy 
  • Photography
  • Flying
  • Geocaching
  • Cooking
  • Start a business

A hobby can work as a stress reliever for you and an outlet for creativity, distraction, and something to look forward to in retirement. So it’s good for your health and happiness to have a retirement hobby. And in this article, I’ve listed the 30 best hobbies in retirement with helpful tips, that you might enjoy or want to explore further.

1) Gardening

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in retirement. It’s fun when you enjoy being outdoors and love working with your hands. And it’s also a healthy hobby to have in retirement. You do a lot of spading, lifting, tilling, and raking, and that strengthens your muscles and keeps you more flexible. 

And also, gardening is a way of mindfulness. You have to be mindful and present while you’re digging, planting, pulling, or watering. So, it can be a great stress reliever too.

2) Hiking

Another great hobby when you love being outdoors is hiking. You can make hiking part of a daily or weekly routine in retirement and share this hobby with someone else. 

Perhaps, you live in a beautiful environment with lakes, beaches, or forests nearby where you have endless hiking trails to explore. Or you can make it a combined hobby with traveling where you travel to all the National Parks of your State or country to explore hiking trails. Probably the first investment for this hobby you want to do is get yourself good quality hiking shoes

3) Reading

Reading is the cheapest way to travel. While you’re reading a book, you travel to another world without leaving your seat. 

It’s a cheap hobby in retirement, because there are so many books out there, and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money to read. You can loan books from your local library; you can subscribe to Kindle that will give you “free” access to millions of book titles on your E-reader. Or you can ask access to your family, friends, or neighbors’ personal book library if you’re done reading all of your own books.

And here are other reasons why reading is an excellent hobby in retirement:

  • It helps you relax
  • You can do it anywhere and anytime
  • It’s a cheap hobby
  • It reduces stress
  • It makes you sleep better
  • Plenty of choices
  • It improves your vocabulary
  • It improves your knowledge
  • It makes you more open-minded
  • It improves your memory and concentration
  • It improves your imagination

4) Animal Care

A lot of retirees love to take care of animals in retirement. And if this is a hobby you would like in retirement, then there are endless possibilities. 

And here are a couple of ideas of animal care you can explore:

5) Camping

Make camping your hobby in retirement. It can even lead to other hobbies like swimming, fishing, hiking, sightseeing, travel, cooking, kayaking, hunting biking, and many other enriching hobbies for retirement. 

Perhaps, you’re already quite the camper, and you can take your hobby to the next level by upgrading your camping gear, going a lot more often, or consider making camping a retirement job via Workamper and travel for free.

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6) Fishing

Fishing is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. And also a very popular hobby amongst retirees. It’s even considered a sport. 

You can go fishing to catch your next meal or do it more as a recreational where you catch and release. Fishing is great for stress-relief, trains patience, creates time for bonding, and being outdoors is good for your mental and physical health. 

These are different types of fishing hobbies you can try out:

  • Freshwater fishing 
  • Saltwater fishing 
  • Shore fishing 
  • Fly fishing
  • Ice fishing
  • Canoe fishing
  • Stand Up Paddle Board fishing
  • Magnet fishing – fish for treasures instead of fish

What kind of fishing equipment you need depends on the type of fishing you want to do in retirement. Make sure you gather information before you buy your fishing gear.

7) Golfing

Probably when you think of a retirement hobby, you think about golf. It’s one of the oldest sports that is still being played and is also still expanding in popularity worldwide.

It’s a great exercise when you walk all the 18 holes, you’re being outdoors and accompanied by a friend or make new friends at the golf club. 

It’s not the cheapest hobby to do in retirement. Because according to a Golf Channel survey, the average cost for an 18-hole round is $36, including cart. And that the average costs price at a public golf course. If you’re golfing at a private golf club, it is costlier due to annual membership and additional fees. These costs can range anywhere from moderately-priced to six-figure initiation fees. So make sure to check out the prices of several courses near you and see what fits you best. 

8) Collecting

When you have a retirement hobby of collecting you, do a lot of things for example: seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining items that are of interest to you. 

If this is something you love to do, then these are great collecting hobbies in retirement:

  • coins
  • books
  • comic books
  • dolls
  • action figures
  • rocks
  • records
  • toys
  • stamps
  • fossils
  • stones
  • seashells
  • insects
  • flowers
  • rail transport modeling
  • video games
  • vintage cars
  • vintage clothing

9) Swimming

Swimming is one of the best exercises for retirement and the most healthies hobby you can have in retirement. 

It’s a good all-round activity because: it builds endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. And the risk of getting an injury is very low. Also, swimming lowers your blood pressure, improves your circulation, and can even reduce the risk of heart and lung disease. 

You can go swimming at a nearby swimming pool, lake or ocean. Often fee for a swimming pool is much cheaper than a gym membership. And when you live near the beach or lake swimming is free and you can do it any time of day. Or you can apply for swimming or aqua aerobics lessons at your nearby swimming pool, or join a swimming team to make new friends as well.

10) Exercising

If you want to enjoy your retirement as long and as healthy as possible, then you should consider making exercising a retirement hobby. Perhaps, you’re very fit, and your dream is to run a marathon or triathlon: go for it. Make your dreams in retirement come true.

But if you’re not the frequent exerciser, then consider becoming one in retirement. It’s actually much more than a hobby; it’s a necessity. Because by exercising regularly, you strengthen your muscles, manage your weight, and reduce the risks for many deathly diseases. And you also boost your mood because with exercising, your body releases endorphins, which makes you feel good.

Great exercise hobbies for retirees:

  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Running or jogging
  • Yoga
  • Aqua aerobics
  • Tai Chi
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Gardening
  • Golfing
  • Fitness
  • (Power) Walking
  • Surfing
  • Weight lifting
  • Sports; soccer, (flag) football, basketball, baseball
  • Waterskiing
  • Skiing or snowboarding

Read more: How To Stay Active In Retirement

11) Boating

Enjoy spending time on the water in retirement by making boating a serious hobby of yours. Invite friends and family to go on a boating trip together. Or choose to spend more time on the boat you already have and add a couple of accessories to make it more fun in retirement. 

Here are some fun accessories for boating: 

It’s easy to make new friends on the water, and there’s a variety of activities you can do from snorkeling to more adrenaline-filled activities like wakeboarding. Or relax, enjoy the sun and a good book and throw on the bbq in the afternoon.

To explore boating, even more, you can consider going night-boating and bring a star map (stargazing app) to see the stars. Or you can go boat gating to enjoy your pre-game traditions on your boat if you’re into sports. Many stadiums have nearby harbors designed to let you enjoy the game. Check out if your favorite sports team provides a boat gating experience at their stadium. 

12) Painting

Get creative in retirement and start painting as a hobby. 

If you don’t know where to start, you can get yourself a starters paint kit with different sorts of paints and watch tutorials on youtube on how to paint with different paints and techniques. 

This way, you can explore what side of painting, drawing, or painting fits you best. Another way to start painting is to do DIY paint by numbers. It’s straightforward, and you don’t have to think about what to paint, you just color in the sketch you’ve chosen.

And did you know that painting has many benefits: it boosts memory recollection skills and sharpens your mind through conceptual visualization and implementation. It’s also a great hobby to express your emotions and can be seen as a way of meditation. And people who frequently paint, have less chance of developing memory loss illnesses when they get older. 

13) Volunteering

A lot of retirees start doing volunteer work in retirement. They want to help others, stay active in retirement, and be surrounded by people regularly. It can be a very fulfilling hobby in retirement.

And volunteering allows you to try something new, gain experience in a (new field), develop (new) skills, build your confidence, practice your talents, and meet new people along the way. Also, doing volunteer work has benefits for your mental health. It helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. And it is proven that the social contact aspect of helping others makes you a happier person and greater life satisfaction.

If you’re interested in doing volunteer work, you can ask for jobs at your local community center, animal rescue center, soup kitchen, church, favorite charity or check out volunteer jobs online at: 

14) Crafts

Another way to get creative is to do all sorts of crafts projects. You can create scrapbooking or upcycle your furniture or clothes. And the best way to get inspiration for a new crafts project is to watch youtube videos or go on Pinterest. 

When you make crafts into your hobby, you can create new accessories for your home, gifts or decoration for the holidays, gifts for upcoming birthdays, or create handy life hacks that make your life a lot easier. And if your good at it you can make some extra money in retirement by selling your products on Etsy

15) Traveling

Traveling is maybe the most fun hobby to have in retirement. You get to experience new cultures, see beautiful destinations, and meet interesting people along the way. 

You don’t always have to go far away to travel. If you don’t have a travel budget in retirement, you can be a tourist within your town or state. Travel is all about going to places you (never) seen before, so if you haven’t seen some highlights nearby, you can check them out in retirement.

If you have a designated travel budget for retirement, then start traveling and make it more of a hobby in retirement now you have the time. A lot of retirees love to hop in their RV and travel through different states or go on a cruise. 

Before you plan your next travel trip, I can recommend you to read my recommendations about the best travel recourses. We travel full-time, so we’ve gained a lot of experience in which travel recourses and travel gear you can use best. It can save you a lot of money.

Read more: How To Retire And Travel Cheap: 20 Helpful Tips

16) Socializing

Socializing is an enjoyable hobby to have if you’re an outgoing type of person that loves to be surrounded by people. And did you know that it’s crucial to socialize in retirement? 

With retirement, you lose your daily dose of social interactions and stimulation from work, and it’s essential to replace these social interactions with new ones to stay happy in retirement. Therefore, it’s best to expand your social circle in retirement to prevent loneliness and depression.

So socializing is not only a fun hobby but also a vital hobby to have in retirement. And there are so many ways to stay social in retirement. You can organize events, family dinners, become an Airbnb host, do volunteer work, take a class, or join a club. Check out my article: 20 ways to stay social in retirement for more inspiration and information.

17) Bicycling

Cycling is an excellent hobby for retirement. You stay fit while being outdoors. And you can take this hobby as far as you like. Whether you love to cycle around your town and use it as a form of transportation to visit friends, go into the woods on your mountain bike or apply for a cycling competition. 

Cycling is a lot easier than running, and it’s less impactful on joints, knees, ankles, and feet. So it’s a better exercise option when you’re a bit older. Also, a bicycling hobby can save you money on expensive gym memberships, gasoline, or car repairs. And you reduce your environmental impact.

18) Playing games

I love to play games, and if you do too, you can create this more into a hobby for your retirement. Host a game night with friends regularly or apply for a Bridge, chess or other board game competition at your local community center. 

Or play games with your grandchildren more often. Introduce them to traditional board games and explore new ones on the market.

These are a couple of my favorite games:

19) Puzzling

Puzzling is a fun and relaxing hobby. While puzzling, you boost your brain, and you practice a way of mindfulness. You’re present in the moment and focused on one task: finishing the puzzle. And did you know that nearly half of all Americans puzzle for fun, to relax, or to relieve stress? 

And there are so many different puzzles you can explore from the traditional jigsaw 1000-piece puzzle to online puzzle apps and wooden brain teasers.

20) Knitting

It’s fun to create something with just two needles and a ball of yarn. And that’s why knitting is a popular hobby among (female) retirees. But over the last decade, it has become more popular among younger adults and kids. Nowadays, you can find so many tutorials and DIY projects online for knitting. Check out Pinterest or Youtube for inspiration.

You can create something new every day, from gifts for birthdays, seasonal clothing to unique decorations of your home. And the benefit of knitting is that it has a measurable effect on calming anxiety and relieving stress. Knitting can make you a happier person. Isn’t that great?

21) Babysitting

Another great hobby for you in retirement can be babysitting. When you love to be around kids, you make it more of a hobby to babysit. You can babysit your grandchildren more often, and that will save your children a lot of money on childcare. You can babysit children of friends or neighbors and earn a bit of extra money in retirement. Or babysit other people’s pets. 

22) Writing

Writing is a creative hobby to have in retirement. And there are so many writing projects you can do. And here are a couple of ideas.

  • Blogging
  • Journalling
  • Write your memoir
  • Write family history book
  • Write a fictional book
  • Six-word stories

Get yourself The Writers Toolbox that will help you get in the right headspace to let the creativity flow with 60 writing exercises and other creative games.

23) Relaxing

You have worked very hard your whole life, so why not make relaxing a hobby in retirement. Especially when you’ve always had stressful jobs, it can be extra rewarding to treat yourself with relaxation every day. And perhaps it can be a bit difficult at first as well. So that’s why you need to keep practicing at relaxation because over time you’ll get better at it and can enjoy it even better.

Everyone relaxes a bit differently, but you can create relaxation time every day for yourself to fully enjoy your retirement.

Here are a couple of relaxation ideas:

  • Relax by the pool
  • Treat yourself on a weekly or monthly massage
  • Do yoga
  • Practice meditation
  • Go on a Spa retreat
  • Book an all-inclusive cruise or another travel trip
  • Take a bath
  • Listen to soothing music
  • Read a book on relaxing chair
  • Lay in a hammock
  • Take a nap
  • Go for a nature walk

These products help you relax more in retirement:

To make sure you sleep well, you need a high-quality mattress. Did you know that the lifespan of a mattress is between 7-10 years? So, chances are you might need a new mattress. Make sure to check out the best-ranked mattress in America: The Puffy Mattress. This mattress is known as the most comfortable mattress out there and gets the best reviews from thousands of people across the USA.

24) Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up paddleboarding is one of the most popular ways of surfing. And it’s very popular because everyone can do it: from small kids to seniors. So it gained a lot of popularity among retirees in the last couple of years. 

It’s a low impact work-out where you exercise your whole body. And the only things you need is a bit of water: lake, ocean, mild streams. And your inflatable paddleboard, which you can bring anywhere you want. 

And you’re not only training your body you also train your mind and create a state of meditation. The soothing environment on the water and the focus you need to stay on the board calms you and brings you in a meditative state. You’ll be stressfree after every hour of paddleboarding. So, what are you waiting for? 

25) Genealogy 

A lot of retirees like to dive into their past and search for their family ancestors. And according to USA Today, genealogy is currently the second most popular hobby in the United States. 

You can build a family tree for free via websites: findmypast and ancestry. And you can search for information about your ancestors on sites such as, or

Ask within your family about what they know about family history. Especially ask your oldest living family members what they remember about their parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents so you can fill in the pieces of the puzzle.

Another way to dig into your past is to visit your local library and ask them for help. It’s especially helpful if your family has lived in the same area for decades or centuries. You can track down old birth certificates and other records about your family. 

26) Photography

Photography is a hobby where you need to be creative and need technical expertise to capture a beautiful image. Also, photography adds value to your life by capturing special events, people, or places. You can take any occasion or place to practice your hobby.

And you don’t always need to have expensive gear to create beautiful images. Of course, it helps to experiment more with all the optional technical features on high-quality photography gear, but a smartphone can capture stunning photos as well. 

27) Flying

Flying is the ultimate feeling of freedom. And why not elevate your sense of freedom in retirement by taking it up a notch and start flying as a hobby. 

And what I mean by flying as a hobby, I mean a lot of things. You can consider getting your recreational pilot license for (small) airplanes or become a frequent skydiver bungee jumper or paraglider. You can also become a glider plane or paramotor pilot. 

If you’re the adventurous type of retiree and would love to experience flying, then this could become your hobby in retirement.

28) Geocaching

Do you like to go on a treasure hunt? Then you should definitely try out geocaching as a hobby. It’s the modern way of treasure hunting. And also a great outdoor adventure to do in retirement.

With geocaching, you search for hidden treasures, known as “caches” via GPS Coordinates. You can start quickly: visit and type in your address (or the address where you’re hiking). The next thing is that you’ll likely find a few geocaches stashed in your area. You can pick one, and add the coordinates to your GPS (or use a geocaching app on your smartphone), and go out the door, letting your phone or GPS device serve as a treasure map.

29) Cooking

You need to eat in retirement, so why not make cooking your next hobby in retirement. It can be a fun, creative and practical hobby as well. You’ll probably be eating more healthier meals, and it can save you a lot of money on ordering food or eating out. 

You can experiment with famous family recipes and with things you’ve never eaten before. Or use different cooking methods: grilling, campfire cooking, or baking. You can combine multiple hobbies like gardening and start a vegetable garden to grow your fruits and veggies.

If you’re good at it, you can consider starting a catering or baking business for events and earn a bit of extra money in retirement. 

30) Start a business

If you like to continue working, using your skills and talents and earn a bit of extra money, then you can consider starting a business as a hobby in retirement. You’ll get to be your own boss and do what you love to do.

Perhaps, you can know exactly what kind of business you want to start. Or you need a bit more time to explore what you like to do in retirement. 

You have to be aware that a hobby is supposed to be fun, and it can turn into a business. So you’ll have to think first about what you love to do most and how you can earn money with it. And not start with how you can make money without knowing if you like to do it or not. And the best thing is that you don’t need to have a lot of money to start a business.

Here are a couple of business ideas to inspire you:

  • Become a freelance consultant: your experience and expertise can bring value to companies.
  • Become a mentor: pass your skills and knowledge on to the next generation (within your previous industry)
  • Start a blog website: earn money through ads and affiliate marketing. Check out income school for more information.
  • Become a dog walker: earn money per walk within your area. Check out Wag.
  • Sell arts and crafts via Etsy 
  • Become an online freelance: you can be a virtual assistant or freelance writer and apply for projects via Fiverr or Upwork.
  • Be an Airbnb host: rent out an extra room or space in your house for tourists. You can apply as a host here

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Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my boyfriend Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. With my articles, I want to help people enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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