By: Grace Mitchell
If you find yourself having more free time, or are simply looking for new hobbies to pursue, the following eight hobbies are a great place to start. Each of these is perfect to begin over a weekend, and many of them will cost little or nothing. Read on for list of ways to add knowledge, expertise and fun to your life.
1. Learn a Foreign Language
Not only are there several great software programs and books on how to learn a foreign language, there are often many opportunities to learn a new language in your own town. Community centers and churches frequently offer free classes, and you can further develop your language skills by joining a local club. Listening to podcasts or watching television in the language you’re learning are terrific (and easy!) ways to perfect your new hobby.
2. Community Theater
Got the acting bug? Joining your community theater is often as simple as a phone call. Whether you want to act, help with costumes, or work on tech, there are so many different jobs your community theater needs. Getting involved and developing arts and culture in your corner of the world can be a great benefit to your community.
3. Hiking Club
If you have difficulty motivating yourself to get out and exercise, joining hiking club may be a great hobby for you to try. It’s often much easier to exercise if you have group motivation, versus going at it alone. You could also start your own informal hiking group with a bunch of active friends and fellow hiking enthusiasts. Explore your town’s topography by hiking someplace new every time and finding your favorite trails.
Reading is good for the soul at any age, even years after you’ve studied the classics. Books connect you with times, places, feelings and characters outside of yourself can help you form new ideas, different ways of thinking and even transform your mood. Better yet, it is often free! You can go to your library and check out books in new genres that interest you, or you could even focus on one particular area and form a regular book club.
Perhaps you have always dreamed of writing a book, a poem or a series of short stories. Maybe you’ve had an idea for a novel for years, and just need to start. You do not have to be published to be a writer. Your writing can be treasured by your family, close friends or even just yourself, especially if it makes you feel fulfilled. Consider starting a blog on an interest of yours, or, if you’d rather keep it more personal, use an old-fashioned, pen-and-paper journal to express your thoughts.
6. Explore Your City
So many of us live in places with a rich history or back story that we may not even know about. Getting out and teaching yourself about where you live can give you a newfound appreciation for your surroundings. Look up historic markers in your area and go see them, read about how your town came to be and how it got its moniker, or explore new restaurants and eateries. This is a great hobby for the entire family.
7. Family Origins
Now may be a good time to look into your family heritage. There are so many online resources that make it easy to find out where you came from. It is fascinating to learn where your ancestors lived and worked, and even what they looked like. Delving into your family’s history and making a record of it can be a true treasure that all of your relatives will appreciate. Your discoveries can be passed down for generations.
You do not have to own a fancy camera to take beautiful photographs. These days, even a cell phone can take a great picture! Visit museums with photography exhibits to pinpoint what kind of photography you like and what inspires you. Read a book on photography to help teach you about lighting and composition. You can make an album of the photos that mean something to you or focus on a subject you enjoy.
Grace is passionate about home décor and smart DIY projects, as evidenced on her blog, A Storied Style. Being organized is the key to her calm as she and her husband raise their four children, ages 5 years and under.