Help me find new hobbies or activities

For a variety of reasons, I’m looking for new hobbies, activities, etc. to fill my spare time. Ideally, I’d like to find a mix of things that will put me in situations where I can meet (and hopefully befriend) some new and interesting people, allow me to be charitable with my time, and maybe teach me some new skills or uncover hidden talents (not necessarily all at the same time).

I’m not especially athletic, as is evidenced in this thread, though I do hike, have recently taken up in-line skating, and enjoy bocce ball. I don’t think I want to put myself into a group of strangers and admit that at almost 35 years of age, I don’t know how to play volleyball or swing a bat. I suppose some would consider me intelligent, but I’m not looking for anything “intellectual” (as in, I don’t really want to get into a book club and discuss what the author meant because I don’t really give a rat’s ass, and all that matters is that I was entertained).

What kinds of hobbies or activities would you suggest for me?

  1. Take an art class at the local junior college. Or you could check at the local art-glass store, for stained glass or glass fusing classes.

  2. If there’s a chapter of the Sierra club need by, join. They do lots of out-doorsy stuff for all levels of ability.

  3. Volunteer at the local hospital. They always need people who will read to patients. If you go to a childrens’ hospital, you would even be able to spend a couple hours rocking babies! (Its good experience)
    Good luck!
    And IMO you play perfectly well!


Contra dancing? It’s an intensely social activity. About the only requirement (which I sadly lack) is the ability to swing without getting motion sickness.

Help prepare meals at a local soup kitchen.

Volunteer to be an English tutor for non-English speakers who need to practice speaking English in order to be less self-conscious about their accents. If they can speak better English, they will be better understood, and not be regarded as ‘&*!@ immigrants.’

Help children at a homeless shelter with their homework.

I’ve done, and do, all of the above, and so doing adds meaning to my life. I’ve made good friends with people I met through doing this work. A young mother was so thankful that I was there to read to her five year old girl staying in a shelter.

Human kindness is a wonderful thing. You can make a difference. Someone out there will thank you.

So far, I’ve decided to register for a “Discover Yoga” class, which will run one night a week for eight weeks. I’m also looking into tutoring basic literacy skills at the local library. picunurse, I’m finding out more about the Sierra Club, so thanks for the suggestion. They seem to be more of an activist group with activities rather than an activity group with activism. The latter would probably suit me better, but I’m going to read more about them.

Become a mentor or “Big Brother” to an underpriviledged kid.

Get on a bowling or darts league.

Brew your own beer (but this doesn’t get you out of the house much, but it may get you more visitors)

About the Sierra Club: Run away! A larger group of :wally es never existed! From all I know about them, they seem to hold the idea that “We need to protect the wilderness FROM YOU! Oh, WE can go there, hike and enjoy it, BUT NOT YOU! You can’t be trusted to use our public lands, but WE CAN!” Bunch of wankers if you ask me.

As luck would have it, the official “hobby queen” has read your thread and is prepared to answer your questions.

First of all, almost anything can be social if you take a class or get into a group of others with the same interest. Not only that, but showing interest in someone ELSE’S hobby (which you are thinking of taking up, of course) is a GREAT way to meet people because they will be very excited to entertain (or bore) you with the details.

You don’t say if you’re trying to meet people of the opposite sex. Also, I assume you’re a man, but I’m not even sure about that! With those things in mind, here are my suggestions.

  1. Take up a girly activity like KNITTING, which is very big right now. Go to a knitting shop and ask when they have lessons or classes. Women will argue over who gets to teach you stuff. Plus, lots of men knit…you can make people gifts for the holidays!

  2. Canoeing or kayaking…can do at any level of athletic ability. Very easy and inexpensive to go rent a canoe for a couple of hours and paddle around. Taking lessons is social and being outdoors in a place where others are paddling is also very social. Basically, it’s just easy and fun!

  3. Ballroom dancing lessons. Two left feet acceptable. Get to dance with everyone in the class, get some exercise, step on some toes…great fun.

  4. I second the BIG BROTHER idea. This is fun, social, and rewarding. It also costs next to nothing (depending on what activities you do with your little pal). This can lead to things like learning new languages, getting involved in what goes on in your local schools, etc. It seriously opens doors. I’d die without my Little Sister. Don’t forget to teach your little pal all your new activities.

  5. Yoga is great!


You could try SCUBA diving. It has a significant startup cost, but if that doesn’t phase you, it would be great. The people that I have met during my (very) brief time as a diver have all been really nice, open, and friendly. It gets to be very social as you hang out on shore waiting for your second dive. And, it doesn’t require great atheleticism. If you can swim twelve lengths of a pool with no time limit, you can pass the test.

For volunteerism, you could try Habitat for Humanity. There are usually events that help you get to know your fellow workers, and you get to see a completed house at the end of it, that you helped build. Fun, and you get to learn a lot from experienced builders.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I’m a person who hates exercise and I love bjj. I’ve heard that there are hundreds or even thousands of moves out there that one can learn, and it’s not just about being strong. I’m not strong by any measure, and I do okay with the stronger guys.

There are principles and specific moves. Moves get you out of bad situations, move you between situations, or get you into good situations. While there are bursts of speed, you don’t have to play the game that way—you can think it out as slowly as you like.

It takes a couple of months to get the feel for it, and then after that you’ll be as good as gold.

I just saw a conversational Spanish class advertised at a local community college the other day. It appealed to me because I love the challenge of learning a foreign languages, but I also have a natural talent/ability when it comes to fluency. It also fuels that little dream of actually visiting the native country someday. The insights and worldview of a different culture and its language are invaluable. it will change you from the inside out. Probably the most satisfying worthwhile skill that one can attain, IMHO. Maybe you’d enjoy something like this.

Take a drawing class. Everyone can draw, but not everyone believes it. You’ll be shocked by what you can do once you take even an intro art class. I’m just at that level myself.

If you have the money, learn a new skill. Take course in sailing. Get a pilot’s license. Go get a motorcycle license. Just something to give you more confidence, stretch your mind and spirit, and have a lot of fun.

Or get involved in scouting. Or volunteer at the YMCA or Habitat for Humanity.

The best hobbies are the ones that make you a better person.

Well, I’m going to be taking a woodworking class in September, that’s an idea. Its offered by the local high school after hours in their woodshop, sounds like a good time to me.

I did this a few years ago with my wife no less and we had a ball. Ended up outfitting our barn as a wood shop. We’ve got the full line of Delta tools from table saws, to a medium deck lathe, and I recently bought a 36" plainer. :slight_smile:

I love working with wood, I’m currently learning how to make Root Furniture :slight_smile:

I was going to suggest learning a second language too. When I graduated college and started my first “real” job, I started getting really, reallly bored. There’s only so many books you can read ina week. Than I started getting interested in Japanese. It’s been a great hobby, I take classes at the local community college and spend time every evening working on it. Yeah, it’ll probalby take me 10 years before I’m anywhere approaching fluency but, so what? I got the time…