Bored in Retirement? 20 Unusual Hobbies For Seniors You Might Never Knew Existed

Worried about becoming bored in the coming weeks? Perhaps you need some new and unusual hobbies for seniors.

No matter your age, chances are that you have not tried everything. It’s normal to exhaust some hobbies over time. That’s why I’m here to help! I’ve compiled a list of unusual hobbies for retired people and seniors alike that I researched a while back. Let’s get started!

1. Urban Sketching

Urban sketching involves drawing scenes on location, capturing the world around you. It could be the city, street, park, market, or beach, wherever you are seated. Adding color or paint can bring your sketches to life, making it an affordable hobby suitable for all skill levels. 

For those interested in starting this unique hobby but unsure of where to begin, a highly recommended resource is The Art of Urban Sketching, available on Amazon.

2. Tree Shaping

If you have a green thumb but are seeking new ways to spice up your gardening hobby, consider trying out tree shaping. Tree shaping involves using tree whips to bend and weave them into your desired designs. Despite taking several years to see the final result, witnessing the gradual growth into the desired shape can be immensely satisfying.

Tree shaping offers the opportunity to create unique pieces of art for your garden, including furniture and other beautiful creations. However, it’s important to note that not all trees are suitable for shaping, and some shaping methods may not be healthy for the tree’s longevity.

3. Paper Quilling

Paper quilling is a hobby where you create art using simple strips of paper. By rolling and shaping differently colored strips of paper and gluing them onto a surface, you can craft unified and decorative designs. This hobby offers a wide range of creative possibilities, from making photo frames and birthday cards to crafting earrings, necklaces, vases, and cake decorations.

Another good thing about paper quilling is that it’s an inexpensive hobby and particularly suitable as an art therapy project for seniors who enjoy creating small artworks. If you’re interested in starting, consider getting your first paper-quilling tool kit to begin your journey.

4. Wood Burning

Wood burning or pyrography is an art form that involves decorating wood or other materials with burn marks. Artists use a heated wood-burning pen to create intricate designs and patterns on the surface of the material.

The possibilities for what you can create with wood burning are endless, ranging from personalized last name house signs and coasters to decorative clocks and serving boards. This versatile art form allows for the expression of creativity through a variety of projects and mediums.

5. Macramé

Macramé is a hobby centered around knotting cords made from various materials into intricate and beautiful creations. These creations can range from wall hangings and plant hangers to dreamcatchers, jewelry, bags, purses, and even clothing items.

The art of macramé has a rich history, originating in the 13th century when Arabic weavers utilized decorative knots to finish hand-woven textiles. If you’re interested in trying out macramé for yourself, you can start by selecting your first macramé project from a variety of options available.

6. Geocaching

Geocaching has become increasingly popular, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people sought outdoor activities for enjoyment. It’s a modern form of treasure hunting, using GPS-enabled devices like handheld GPS navigators to locate hidden treasures, known as geocaches, scattered worldwide.

To participate, one needs to download the Geocaching® app, create an account, and then follow accurate GPS coordinates to find geocaches hidden by others. Once a geocache is found, participants sign and date the logbook before returning it to its original location for others to discover.

The hider may include items or goodies in the container, which participants can exchange with items they’ve brought along, adding an element of surprise and excitement to the activity.

Geocaching is not only a unique and enjoyable hobby but also one of the healthiest. It encourages spending time outdoors and incorporates physical activity through hiking or biking to locate geocaches, contributing to overall well-being and happiness, especially as one age.

7. Toy Voyaging

When researching unusual hobbies, Toy voyaging stood out as a quirky and amusing activity that was previously unfamiliar to me. Toy voyaging offers a unique opportunity to send your toy or stuffed animal on a global adventure, even if you’re unable to travel yourself.

The concept involves passing the toy from person to person, with each participant tracking their travel adventures on the website This allows individuals to experience a sense of global travel vicariously through their toy’s adventures, adding an element of excitement and novelty to the hobby.

If you don’t have a toy of your own, you can still participate by offering a toy a place to stay and accompanying it on local adventures. You can share pictures of their outings on both touristy and offbeat sites.

Toy Voyaging provides a creative way to engage in virtual travel experiences and connect with others around the world through shared adventures.

8. Soap Carving

Soap carving is an accessible and inexpensive hobby that anyone can start today. With just a piece of soap and a soap carving kit, seniors and retirees like you can create intricate designs, such as animals or beautiful flowers.

The simplicity and affordability of this unusual hobby make it ideal for beginners and those looking for a creative outlet. Soap carving allows individuals to explore their artistic talents and create unique pieces of art using everyday materials found at home.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced carver, soap carving offers a relaxing and rewarding way to express creativity and produce stunning handmade creations.

9. Upcycling

Upcycling involves transforming unused, broken, or outdated items into new works of art or functional products, making it a sustainable and creative hobby. This practice transforms trash into treasure, offering a way to reduce waste and contribute to environmental sustainability.

With upcycling, you can repurpose various items, from old desks and tomato ketchup bottles to wooden crutches and even old skateboards, into novel and innovative creations. Platforms like Pinterest offer a wealth of inspiration for both beginners and experienced upcyclers, ensuring a steady flow of project ideas.

Upcycling is not only environmentally friendly but also cost-effective, allowing individuals to create new items without the need for expensive new materials. This versatile hobby boasts a continuous stream of new projects, keeping enthusiasts engaged and fulfilled throughout their retirement years.

10. Couponing

Couponing is a hobby centered on systematically collecting and using coupons from various sources, like newspapers, online ads, magazines, and websites, to obtain discounts and save money on groceries and other products. While many people use coupons occasionally, some individuals are passionate about and elevate couponing to a hobby.

However, be mindful of “extreme couponing,” where individuals excessively collect and use coupons to an unhealthy degree. Instead, moderate couponing allows enthusiasts to save money while enjoying the process.

By practicing moderation, individuals can experience the satisfaction of saving money without becoming consumed by the activity. Ultimately, when approached in a balanced and healthy manner, couponing can be a fun and rewarding hobby.

11. Magnet Fishing

Magnet fishing combines the thrill of a treasure hunt with the act of fishing, although for metal objects submerged in water. Equipped with a magnet fishing bundle set, you’re ready to embark on your adventures.

Commonly used equipment in this hobby includes high-strength nylon rope, a carabiner, rubber gloves, thread locker, and a powerful magnet.

This hobby offers the excitement of the unknown, as you never know what treasures you might unearth next. Beyond being a recreational activity, magnet fishing can also contribute to environmentalism by cleaning up metal objects from bodies of water.

However, exercising caution is crucial when magnet fishing, as unexpected items may pose safety risks. Additionally, staying informed about local laws and restrictions regarding magnet fishing is essential for compliance and promoting responsible practices.

12. Whittling

Whittling is a distinct form of wood carving, distinguished by its use of only a knife instead of chisels, gouges, and a mallet. This hobby offers a more refined approach to wood carving, allowing hobbyists to create a variety of projects using only a knife. Whittling projects can range from wooden toys and spoons to animals, dwarfs, and intricate pieces of art for display. 

Beginners are encouraged to start with softwoods like silver birch, willow, sycamore, alder, and lime, as they are easier to carve. As skills progress, enthusiasts can transition to harder woods for more challenging projects. It’s advisable to choose wood with a straight grain, as it facilitates easier whittling.

If you’re interested in exploring whittling, a whittling tool set can provide the necessary equipment to get you started on your carving journey.

13. Flipping

While considered a business venture, flipping can also be an unusual hobby for seniors seeking to earn extra income. It involves purchasing items at a low price, potentially adding value through restoration or improvements, and then reselling them at a profit.

This hobby encompasses various flips, including furniture, products, and even houses. You can find low-priced items at flea markets, garage sales, antique shops, or thrift stores, potentially enhance them (optional), and then sell them online or locally for a profit. Individuals who enjoy browsing these venues may find flipping both enjoyable and financially rewarding.

For seniors with a passion for interior design and construction, flipping real estate can be a successful pursuit. Numerous resources exist to guide you, including popular TV shows and educational materials like The Book on Flipping Houses: How to Buy, Rehab, and Resell Residential Properties.

14. Magic Tricks

Magic tricks can be a captivating hobby for those with a flair for entertainment, especially if they have grandchildren to entertain. Learning magic involves a combination of acting and practice, requiring patience and perseverance to master.

You can start by learning a few simple tricks and practicing them until they achieve perfection, gradually expanding their repertoire and adding personal touches to their performances. Perfecting one trick can serve as a foundation for learning additional tricks more easily.

If you want to pour your soul into magic, you can kickstart your journey with the Fifty Amazing Magic Tricks Set from Marvin’s Magic Store, which offers a variety of tricks to learn and perform.

15. Dragon Boat Racing

Dragon boat racing offers an active and dynamic hobby for those seeking physical engagement. Originating as a traditional Chinese activity over 2,000 years ago, dragon boat racing has evolved into a widespread sport and recreational pursuit worldwide.

Participants row in a dragon boat, typically comprising a team of 22 individuals, including 20 rowers arranged in two rows of ten, a cox or coach at the rear for steering, and a drummer at the front providing rhythm and communication cues. The drummer serves as the pulse or drumbeat of the team, aiding communication between the cox and the rowers.

Those interested in dragon boat racing can find more information and resources on the sport through organizations like the United States Dragon Boat Federation (USDBF) website.

16. Home Brewing

Home brewing offers an opportunity for individuals to craft their own beers, wines, or hard ciders, allowing for experimentation with flavors and brewing processes. Craft beers have gained popularity in recent years, inspiring people to explore the art of brewing at home.

Beer home brewing kits are readily available, making it accessible for anyone to start brewing their own beer and tailor it to their taste preferences. These kits enable enthusiasts to experiment with various ingredients and techniques, fostering creativity and exploration in the brewing process.

If you’re not into beer but interested in other alcoholic beverages, there are also options for wine home brewing kits and hard cider brewing kits, providing alternatives for crafting beverages at home.

17. Creating Fairy and Goblin Houses

Building fairy and goblin houses has emerged as a unique and delightful hobby, sparked by an anonymous individual in a city park. 

This individual began by hiding handcrafted goblin figures and constructing miniature houses throughout the park. The charming and whimsical nature of the creations garnered significant attention, transforming the location into a popular destination, especially during the challenging times of 2020.

Thankfully, no one’s going to stop you from doing the same. You can contribute to the magic by placing your own creations in your local parks, or create fairy and goblin houses in your own gardens using natural materials.

Platforms like Pinterest offer a wealth of ideas and inspiration for crafting these charming dwellings, providing valuable guidance for individuals eager to participate in this creative and heartwarming hobby.

18. Flower Pressing

Flower pressing offers a nostalgic and creative hobby that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages. This hobby involves picking flowers and pressing them in a book or flower press to preserve their beauty and create lasting collections.

You can incorporate flower pressing into your daily routine by collecting flowers during walks or outings and arranging them in a designated flower book. A flower press book kit provides the necessary tools and materials to get started on creating a personalized flower collection to press and display their favorite blooms.

19. Topiary

Topiary is a unique art form and gardening practice that involves shaping and trimming trees, plants, or shrubs into intriguing shapes, such as animals, ornaments, or even characters from stories like Alice in Wonderland.

Several plants excel in topiary, including yew bushes, Arborvitae shrubs, Dwarf Alberta spruce trees, Boxwood shrubs, Japanese Holly shrubs, Privet shrubs, and Lavender herbs. If you have a garden, consider adding these to your collection.

To get started, acquire a trimming toolset suitable for sculpting and shaping your chosen plants into your desired forms.

Gardening, including topiary, offers numerous benefits for seniors. It improves mobility, coordination, and cognitive function while reducing stress. Engaging in this practice also provides opportunities for physical activity, mental stimulation, and connection with nature, ultimately contributing to overall well-being and quality of life.

If you’re interested in learning more about the specific benefits of gardening for seniors, consider exploring resources like the article Why Is Gardening Good For Seniors. This article delves into the positive effects of gardening on health and well-being.

20. Leather Crafting

Leather crafting offers a rewarding hobby for retirees and seniors who enjoy working with leather materials. One can create a wide range of items with leather, including shoes, wallets, camera straps, laptop or tablet sleeves, bow cuffs, luggage tags, travel wallets, tote bags, keychains, and many more! 

You can start your leather crafting journey by investing in a leather crafting tool kit, which provides essential tools and materials for getting started.

Meanwhile, online resources like YouTube offer a wealth of leather crafting tutorials that cover the basics and provide guidance for enthusiasts looking to improve their skills and explore new techniques.


This list of unique hobbies may have sparked your curiosity and provided you with a few inspiring ideas. Remember, it’s never too late to learn something new, ignite your creativity, and explore uncharted territory. I hope you found a few hobbies that pique your interest!

Meanwhile, if you’re craving more retiree- and senior-related content, feel free to browse around my site. Here are some recommended pages:

Happy reading!


My wife and I quit the rat race and retired in 2021. We RV'ed around the US for a couple of years and now we're slow traveling outside the US!

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