Updated: 5 days ago
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As a Clinical Psychologist who spends much of her time with (mostly) empty nesting women over the age of 45, the #1 problem I hear is "How do I fill my extra free time now that my kids are gone?"
Whereas there are lots of layers to explore regarding why someone might ask this question, a great (surface level, but still helpful and practical) first place to start is to simply suggest they explore new hobbies.
Unfortunately, a quick google search for "interesting hobbies for ladies" or "interesting hobbies for women" results in numerous articles, all suggesting the pretty much the exact same (not terribly unique hobbies of...you guessed it...) pickle ball, practicing yoga, meditation, journaling, reading, painting, hiking, gardening, knitting, quilting, cooking (don't even get me started on charcuterie), pottery and so on...
(Oh and if you want a good laugh, google "interesting hobbies for women over 50". OMG - You'd think we were a bunch of old biddies only fit for sitting in our rockers and doing some gentle craft with our hands. - I don't know about you, but 50 is NOT OLD and I'll be damned if I'm going to affix myself to that rocker just yet.)
Of course, these activities are perfectly good, tried and true hobbies! However, we now live in a world of endless possibilities of interesting hobbies. Thanks to YouTube University and our access to nearly unlimited and very interesting hobby subcultures from around the world...we can do better!
I thought it was high time for a list of interesting hobbies...that were, well, actually interesting hobbies!
But 1st...let's back up and review some of the primary benefits of pursuing an interesting hobby in the first place...
The Benefits of Having an Interesting Hobby
The benefits of interesting hobbies go far beyond a way to pass the time after the kids are gone. Here are my top five favorites.
Hobbies are entertaining and engaging. When you find an interesting hobby you love, you'll enter a state of flow and focus as the time flies by. This feels AMAZING!
Hobbies help us reduce stress as we relax and mindfully unwind from the demands of everyday life.
Hobbies provide a break from the routines and the grind of daily life.
Hobbies allow you to connect with communities of people interested in the same things as you. This can be particularly important given how difficult it is to make friends as an adult (especially if you have recently relocated to a new city) and/or if you are someone who is more introverted in terms of your social relationships.
Many hobbies are inspiring and/or exciting, releasing the dopamine rush we all know and love.
How To Find the Perfect Hobby for You
This is a trick heading. Looking for the "perfect" or "best" new hobby for you is actually the opposite of the approach you want to start with. Hobby options can be overwhelming, but my suggested strategy is actually very simple...
Simply...get out there and try whatever you come across that sounds at least mildly interesting (even if it doesn't sound immediately particularly exciting or inspiring). If you love the experience...keep doing it. If not...try something else. Rinse, repeat.
(If you find yourself battling with self limiting thoughts such as "I'm too old to learn something new", check out this past blog post regarding how to be aware of and fight back against the most common self limiting beliefs that women in mid life experience.)
12 Actually Interesting Hobbies For Women
#1. Beekeeping. A fascinating hobby
Beekeeping, or "apiculture", is a fascinating and immensely rewarding hobby that not only provides the sweet reward of honey, but also helps you play a pivotal role in supporting your local ecosystems through pollination.
As a beekeeper, you will find your understanding and appreciation of the natural world greatly enhanced as you delve into the fascinating intricacies of hive structures, bee communication, and the production of honey. You'll also become an integral part of the environmental cycle, aiding in the growth of local plants and flowers, and indirectly supporting other local wildlife that depends on them.
Apiculture is a hobby that demands patience and dedication. Nurturing a hive takes time and careful attention to ensure your bees are healthy and productive. If you're considering this hobby, it's important to join a local beekeeping club and sign up with a beekeeping mentor before you get started.
#2. Bird Watching. An enchanting hobby
You might be like "Bird watching makes the top 12 list of interesting hobbies for women? Seriously?" But...Bear with me here...
Bird watching, also known as "birding", is a surprisingly engrossing pastime that offers deep insights into the highly complex world of avian species.
Birding not only fosters an appreciation for and a connection with the natural world, but it also stimulates mental acuity due to the sophisticated cognitive processes involved in identifying different species, keenly observing their behaviors and understanding their habitats.
Birding also encourages physical activity as birders often venture into parks, forests, or reserves in their quest to spot different species.
Getting started with birding is simple. With just a pair of binoculars and a field guide, you're all set to embark on this exciting journey. It's a perfect hobby for those who love the outdoors and are seeking tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of urban life.
(Tip. Watch The Big Year for inspiration and a peek inside the more "intense" aspects of this subculture.)
#3. Craft Cocktail Making. A hobby your friends will appreciate
Craft cocktail making, a hobby that marries creativity and culinary skills, has become quite popular as a delightful, hands-on pastime. This form of mixology allows beverage enthusiasts to explore a world of flavors, experimenting with a wide array of spirits, bitters, sweeteners, and garnishes.
Craft cocktail making involves the careful balancing of elements to create a drink that's not just tasty, but also visually appealing and aromatic. The joys of craft cocktail making lie not only in savoring the final product, but also in the process itself – in understanding the interplay of ingredients and in the tactile pleasure of shaking, stirring, and serving your creation. It's an expressive hobby that invites endless experimentation, learning (and, of course, sharing with friends).
I've added two craft cocktail sub-hobbies below for you to consider.
Clear Ice. A cool hobby
As simple as it sounds on the surface, making clear ice is not just a skill; it's an art and a hobby that caters to the meticulous, the detail-oriented, and those who appreciate the beauty in the ordinary.
Clear ice isn't about simply freezing water, it's about controlling the freezing process to create an utterly transparent and visually stunning piece of ice. The exquisite clarity of the ice you craft adds an element of sophistication to any drink and can turn any gathering into a sparkling event to remember.
This hobby does take some time and patience, but the end result makes it all worthwhile. (Your friends will oooh and aaah over your clear ice, trust me.)
Liquor Infusing. A deliciously creative hobby
If you have a passion for spirits and a creative flair, making liquor infusions is a hobby worth exploring. This enjoyable pastime not only allows you to experiment with flavors and create custom, unique blends, but it also provides an excellent talking point when entertaining friends or family.
Liquor infusions are a method of flavoring alcoholic beverages by immersing selected ingredients into the spirit. The infusion process extracts the flavors from these ingredients, creating a unique and enhanced taste profile. This method allows for endless creativity as virtually any ingredient can be used, from fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices...all the way to exotic elements like cocoa beans or chilies!
The result is a distinctive and personalized spirit, ideal for crafting specialty cocktails or even for simply sipping neat. Whether you're looking to impart a sweet, spicy, or savory tone to your liquor, the infusion process affords unlimited possibilities to concoct a spirit that is uniquely your own.
#4. Foraging. An ancient hobby experiencing a resurgence
Foraging, the ancient practice of searching for wild food resources, is experiencing a resurgence as a popular hobby among nature enthusiasts, environmentalists, and gastronomes alike. This interesting hobby offers a unique opportunity to reconnect with nature and appreciate the bounty it provides. It combines the thrill of the hunt with the satisfaction of self-sufficiency, as you learn to identify, collect, and prepare your own wild edibles.
From wild berries and mushrooms to edible greens and medicinal plants, forests and fields are teeming with natural treasures just waiting to be discovered. Of course, it's vitally important for beginners to understand that not all that grows in the wild is safe to consume. A sound knowledge of local flora, guided by expert advice or comprehensive field guides, is essential to avoid harmful or potentially lethal misidentifications.
Whether you're seeking an excuse to get outdoors, a way to supplement your pantry with organic produce, or an immersive sensory experience, foraging is a hobby that welcomes all.
#5. Furniture Restoration. A satisfying and rewarding hobby
Antique furniture restoration is an art, a science and a service to our environment. Bringing new life to a time-worn piece is an endeavor that combines practical skills with an appreciation for the historic craftsmanship embodied in every dent, scratch, and faded patch of varnish. Furniture restoration is more than just a repair job; it's about finding and then preserving the essence of a piece while enhancing its durability and functionality.
Restoring antique furniture can be a deeply satisfying hobby, breathing new life into a piece while preserving a slice of history. It's a creative pursuit that requires patience, skill, and a deep respect for the past, but also one that can be highly satisfying and even financially rewarding.
#6. Go Kart Racing. A thrilling hobby
Kart racing is more than just a fun, one-off adrenaline filled activity; it's a hobby that brings speed enthusiasts together, igniting and fostering a community of thrill-seekers. From the moment you grip the steering wheel, you're drawn into a world of roaring engines, sharp turns, and high-speed thrills, leaving an indelible mark on your leisure pursuits.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned racer, karting offers a unique blend of excitement and competition that's hard to find elsewhere. It's not only about speed and winning, but also about strategy, control, and endurance. It's a hobby that teaches you to make quick decisions, tests your limits, and builds your confidence.
With its universal appeal, go kart racing serves as a rare, engaging hobby for people of all ages. It's a perfect blend of adventure and camaraderie, where you can compete with friends, hone your driving skills, and above all, have an exhilarating time.
If you're looking for a hobby that accelerates your heart rate and leaves you craving more, kart racing might just be the perfect fit for you.
#7. Hydroponics. A sustainable hobby
Hydroponics is not just a modern farming technique; it's an engaging hobby and sustainable life choice that combines the joys of indoor gardening with the thrill of innovation.
Hydroponics is a novel way of cultivating plants without soil, instead utilizing nutrient-rich water solutions. Thus, you can enjoy year-round gardening from the comfort of your own home, unaffected by typical constraints like weather or soil quality!
Perfect for beginners and experienced gardeners alike, hydroponics offers a satisfying and educational process of observing and interacting with plant life.
There are numerous benefits to hydroponics as a hobby. Firstly, it can be done indoors, making it accessible to those without outdoor space or in colder climates. Furthermore, it requires less water than traditional soil gardening and is more efficient at utilizing nutrients, making it an environmentally friendly option. Since the plants are grown in a controlled environment, there is no need for pesticides or herbicides, resulting in healthier and safer produce. Finally, hydroponics allows for year-round gardening, enabling you to enjoy fresh produce even during the off-season.
The results of your hard work can be incredibly rewarding, ranging from vibrant decorative plants to fresh homegrown vegetables and herbs.
#8. Pizza Making. A hobby worth savoring
Believe it or not, pizza making can be an extremely rewarding hobby, blending the popular creativity of cooking with the tactile satisfaction of kneading dough. There's nothing quite like the smell of a home-cooked pizza wafting from your oven, or the feeling of accomplishment when you pull out a perfectly-cooked pie, knowing you've made it entirely from scratch.
Another advantage of the hobby of pizza making is that it enables you to customize your pizza to your exact liking, experimenting with unique toppings or different types of dough. (More on these things below.) It's not just about the end result; the process itself is therapeutic and engaging, making pizza making a hobby that caters to all the senses.
The Art of Dough. A surprisingly scientific hobby
Creating perfect pizza dough is truly both an art and a science. It requires a delicate balance of ingredients, precise measurements, and patience. Many factors can affect the final outcome - from the type of flour used to the temperature and humidity in your kitchen. As you continue to make pizza dough, you'll learn how different flours or hydration levels can affect the texture and flavor of your dough. With time, you'll develop a deep understanding of the dough-making process, making it easier to troubleshoot and adjust as needed.
Topping It Off. The hobby of pizza design
Whereas the perfect dough is crucial for a great pizza, toppings are what truly bring it to life. The possibilities are endless when it comes to topping combinations, and this is where the true creativity of pizza making comes into play. You can stick to traditional toppings like mozzarella cheese and pepperoni or get adventurous with unique ingredients such as figs and prosciutto. The key is to find your perfect balance between flavors, textures, and visual appeal to create a well-rounded pizza.
#9. Storytelling. An influencer's hobby
Storytelling is an ancient practice that has been an integral part of human communication and culture since time immemorial. As a hobby, it not only nurtures creativity and imagination, but also positively influences our emotional intelligence.
Engaging in storytelling allows us to explore different perspectives, promoting empathetic thinking and understanding. In today's digital age, storytelling has expanded beyond traditional verbal narratives to include written stories, digital content, and even visual narratives. This evolution has made storytelling an easily accessible hobby for people of all ages and backgrounds.
So, whether you're spinning tales around a campfire or creating engrossing digital narratives, storytelling as a hobby can be a fulfilling and enriching endeavour.
#10. Soapmaking. A hobby with limitless possibilities
Embracing soap making as a hobby can be both an enjoyable and rewarding experience (and a hobby that your family and friends will appreciate). There's something truly mesmerizing about combining simple ingredients like water, oils, and lye to create a product that's not only functional, but also a reflection of your personal style and creativity.
Learning about different types of oils and their properties, how to properly (and safely) measure and mix ingredients, and the science behind saponification (the chemical reaction that turns oils into soap) are the first steps in this hobby.
Once you have a good foundation of understanding, soap making is an artisanal craft that offers endless possibilities for customization—from the selection of scents and colors to the choice of mold shapes and sizes.
You can try out different techniques like layering, swirling, or marbling to create unique patterns in your soaps. Or play around with natural colorants and other beneficial additives like clays, spices, herbs and oatmeal.
#11. Sushi Making. A creative, cultural hobby
Sushi making has recently become an increasingly popular hobby, appealing to those who appreciate culinary arts and hold a deep fascination for Japanese culture. This pastime not only allows you to explore the intriguing world of sushi — a dish admired for its aesthetic minimalism and nuanced flavors — but it also offers a creative outlet, where each roll is a canvas for your culinary expression.
The beauty of sushi making lies in its simplicity and the delicate balance between the freshness of the ingredients and the precision of the technique. This is a hobby that can start as a casual interest and soon become an enriching journey of flavor exploration and cultural discovery.
#12. Thrifting and Upcycling. A hobby with many benefits
Thrifting and upcycling have taken the world by storm, creating a new culture of sustainable living that marries creativity with responsibility.
Thrifting, the act of shopping ("treasure hunting") at second-hand stores, markets, and charity shops, is not only a fantastic way to save money but also a means to find unique, vintage pieces that will add character to your wardrobe or home.
Upcycling, the process of transforming unwanted or outdated items into something new and useful, goes hand in hand with thrifting. Upcycling brings out your creativity and innovation, all the while contributing to the reduction of landfill waste. This hobby allows us to see potential in what others might dismiss, turning an old piece of furniture, clothing or even everyday objects into something beautiful and functional. It's a hobby that not only benefits the hobbiest, but also our planet, making it a fulfilling and worthwhile pursuit.
To sum up, there is a huge array of enjoyable and truly interesting hobbies for ladies that are far removed from the 'rocker in the corner' stereotype. If you're looking for something new to do, don't just settle for what's been done before, dig a little deeper and explore some of the niche interests available on the internet and discover some fresh activities that spark your curiosity.
After you've found a hobby or two that you enjoy, don't forget to keep exploring new hobbies as well - after all, variety is the spice of life! Social clubs, such as The Trybe Women's Social Club have many benefits and can be extremely helpful with finding and trying out new hobbies because they organize the people and the fun...so all you have to do it show up and enjoy!
About the Author
Angela Caveney, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychologist and Founder of The Trybe Women's Social Club. Her absolute favorite thing to do is to help women find their people and thrive throughout midlife. She can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(*Note. If The Trybe Women's Social Club is not in your location, reach out to Angela Caveney to start a conversation about creating a club where you live. Even if you don't know a single person in your new city, don't worry! This is a great way to start to meet new people fast. We'll provide the framework to get you started.)