Men need hobbies. But choosing a new pursuit is tough. Luckily, I put together The Best List of Hobbies for Men. These 20 fresh endeavors will have you feeling invigorated in no time.
When I was in fourth grade, some pain-in-the-ass kid in my music class complained to the teacher that he or she was bored. I can’t remember the details or who it was, but it was friggin’ whiny. My music teacher said something that stuck with me my entire life:
“Only boring people get bored.” Damn, Mrs. Duncan. That’s some deep, philosophical stuff.
But it’s true. Getting bored is totally avoidable, and it’s just laziness that allows life to bore us. My advice? Stop feeling sorry for yourself and pick up a new hobby!
Connecting to something outside of work or the same ole’ day-to-day is good for the soul.
Hobbies renew us. They breathe new, exciting life into a would-be passionless existence. Even if you love your job, putting your eyes and hands on something else keeps your work from consuming you and becoming just another thing you do.
Need some inspiration? No worries, we all do from time to time. To help, I put together the best list of hobbies for men to check out and try something new. Many of these hobbies are forgotten pastimes with which our generation should try getting back in touch.
Collecting (of any type)
Men love collecting things. Whether it be books, watches, guns, tobacco pipes, pocket knives, stamps, or coins, it’s in our blood. We do our best to learn every reference number, all the significant dates, limited editions, and anything else we can learn about a specific subject.
Collecting high-dollar items can get expensive, but there are different approaches you can take. For some guys, it can be creating the perfect collection, which could mean owning just a few items rather than an entire run. It’s not really about the items, but the pursuit of perfection.
“The art of chasing light,” or so they say. Photography isn’t inherently manly, but it’s an incredible hobby for men to pick up. Learning the camera’s ins and outs, noticing opportunities, and delivering a moment in time in such a way that someone who wasn’t there can understand it is a fantastic skill.
The best thing about photography is that you don’t need to spend any money to do it. If you have a modern smartphone, you’re pretty much equipped to get the job done. Some free or low-cost photo editing software will be enough to get you hooked on editing your shots — another hobby all of its own.
As a side note: if you get good at this hobby, you can make a bit of extra money, as well.
Birdwatching is a great way to get out into the fresh air, connect with yourself, and see some amazing creatures. The barrier to entry is pretty low, as all it takes is pair of binoculars, a bird identification book, and a journal for keeping track of what you’ve seen.
You can head to forests, ask farmers’ permission after harvests, or almost any public wetland or park with enough room to move around without bumping into other people.
There may be no better way to quench the adventure thirst while also getting in great shape (and even putting your life on the line). This is a hobby that some folks consider a lifestyle, and it may be given a shot.
Just make sure to get yourself all of the important safety gear, which it appears the fella in the picture above has chosen not to wear correclty.
Playing cards is one hell of a pasttime. There are so many games that you can either play on your own or invite friends to play with you. Not all of them have to be gambling games, either, so be sure to invite the kids.
We’ve actually just started playing an Italian card game called Scopa in our house, and everyone loves to join in (my 11-year-old kicks my ass).
Playing Board Games
Playing board games might seem childish, but they teach you strategy, patience, critical thinking, and humility. They also help keep the mind sharp and can even provide a helpful break from some of the things that might be stressing you out.
So what are some board games that don’t include Mall Talk or Candyland? Give Chinese checkers, chess, checkers, and Othello.
Biking isn’t just for kids or people living in trendy cities. It’s a physical activity that offers great exercise, offers plenty of adventure, and consists of a tight-knit community that always looks out for one another. It will also take you to places you’ve never seen before.
This extreme sport can be somewhat cost-prohibitive to get into off the bat, so if you need help finding a bike, this guide on the best beginner mountain bike will help.
Is there anything cooler than the world below sea level? In my opinion, it might as well be a different planet once you’re 20 feet under. Full of wild creatures, unbelievable sites, and more, scuba is a cool hobby that is definitely worth pursuing.
Scuba takes time though. You have to attend classes and get certified before anyone will fill your tanks. But, the first time you get to drive outside of a YMCA pool, you’ll probably fall in love. Bonus points: Scuba diving is also on my list of the 105 things men should do before they die, so there’s that.
Weight lifting is a great hobby. It helps you stay in shape, builds strength, and even increases testosterone, which can lead to more energy and greater sex drive. As we get older, who doesn’t need that?
You can set up a home gym and lift on your own or you can join a weight-lifting gym. Some gyms might only have machines, which is still good but might not provide the core stabilization workouts free weights can offer. Whatever you do, you’ll be able to improve your physical fitness while taking on a new hobby.
Play a Rec Sport
Miss that team sport you played in high school? Feel the need to compete? Join a rec league. There are more men’s baseball, softball, soccer, and basketball leagues than you might realize, and most of them would be happy to have you come out and see what it’s like.
Keep in mind that this is one hobby that involves other people, so if you’re not available as often as necessary, let the team know from the start. You don’t want to let them down.
Horseback riding is a great workout, but it’s also an amazing way to get in touch with nature. Also, connecting with a horse as you give it slight nudges to turn or stop makes you feel like you’re sharing a mind.
If you’re not lucky enough to live on a horse farm, there are dude ranches across the country that will le you ride for the day. But if you get hooked, you’ll have to take lessons at a local riding facility until you can afford your own ranch.
I loved training judo a few years back. I was in incredible shape, I always felt like I could handle my own, and I appreciated the Japanese culture and everything I learned about tit. Martial arts, no matter the type, can offer that type of feeling as a sport and as a fun hobby.
Just make sure you have the time to participate properly. Adults start and stop martial arts all the time, so be sure that you’re taking your training seriously, even if it is just a new hobby.
I know that a book club sounds feminine, but it doesn’t have to be. Get together with a few likeminded friends and start researching some manly books you guys can read. Then, when it comes time to meet, crack open a few beers and talk about whatever came to mind while you were reading.
A great way to start a book club is to revisit some of the classics you were forced to read in high school. Believe it or not, they’re not as bad as you remember.
Start a YouTube Channel
In today’s day and age, if you have a camera and something to say, you can be a star. While I’m not suggesting that you try to become a youtube right away, starting a youtube channel and sharing some insight or skill you have is one the best hobby ideas there can be.
You’ll learn a lot of useful skills when you start your channel, as well. Video editing, lighting, audio, and other aspects of producing Youtube videos are useful skills that could turn into a side hustle down the road.
Believe it or not, aquarium keeping can be addicting. I know so many guys who went from getting fish as a fun way to keep their kids entertained to obsessing over water levels, the newest fish at PetSmart, and even having a fish tank in every room.
Aquariums can be expensive, so it’s best to start small and see where it goes. You can often find aquariums in good shape on Marketplace or Craigslist, so you might want to start there.
If you don’t love the idea of kicking back and sipping on a cold concoction that you made yourself, we can’t be friends. Whether it’s beer making or wine making, being able to creat e your own custom libation is a great hobby that involves quite a bit of science.
You need the right amount of yeast, the right amount of fermentation, and the correct temperatures and humidity levels. You also need home brewing equipment, but there are kits that you can buy for a head start.
I’ll bet every guy reading this wishes they still had a few cards from when they were little. Unfortunately, most of them probably made their way to the trash heap in the sky. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start collecting baseball cards again.
It often blows my mind how much baseball cards sell for. If you’re good at it, they can actually be an awesome investing strategy that makes it both a smart decision and one of the best hobby ideas out there.
Getting in touch with your inner hunter-gatherer can be all it takes to breathe life back into a mundane existence. Tracking an animal through the woods, waiting for the perfect opportunity to take your quarry; that’s animalistic and primal.
Now, maybe you don’t want to take a shot at Bambi (that’s probably because you’ve never tasted venison, but I digress). That’s fine. Combine hunting with hobby number two on this list, and you’ll still get some of the primal benefits of hunting without having to draw a bead on any woodland creatures.
But seriously, try venison.
Fly fishing is one of the most zen ways you can spend your time in the great outdoors. The dance of casting a line through the air and your fly landing without the slightest splash is enough to make your cares melt away, if only temporarily.
Factor in all the knowledge that goes into becoming a fly fisherman, from flies and hatches to species and characteristics, and the “sport” becomes more of a religion. It’s definitely a lifelong pursuit.
If you’re less about zen and more about burning rubber, check out autocrossing. This affordable form of motorsport allows amateur drivers to take all sorts of vehicles (literally whatever you drive will do) across a course of cones in an empty parking lot. From tight turns to straight-away bursts, it’s a great way to get into motorsport.
There are lots of great affordable cars that will excel at autocross. Miatas, older 3-Series BMWs, any Honda Civic, Volkswagen GTIs, and Mini Coopers are great at throwing their relatively lightweight frames around the cones with surprising agility.
I sort of trashed woodworkers a bit in my last blog post, but I only did that because I knew this post was coming shortly after. The truth is that I love woodworking — I’ve been known to partake.
Building cabinetry, custom pieces of furniture, or a basic set of shelves is a great way to spend a weekend in the garage. If you really want to take the pursuit seriously, learn how to take a log from a tree and turn it into a cutting board without once stepping foot in the local home improvement store. That’s some hardcore stuff.
Building and creating are so crucial to man’s souls. Guys that might not be great with a hammer and nails might be incredibly gifted with a canvas and a brush. And, the sense of creating something that wasn’t there before you made it can be empowering.
Painting can be pretty affordable, too. While high-end paints and brushes are expensive, you can get started with inexpensive tools, paints, and canvas. You might even consider taking a class at a local community college.
A great adventure book or documentary can sweep you away to another world without ever stepping outside your own front door. Immersing yourself in another world will not only ensure you’re not bored, but it’ll also expand your horizons, strengthen your brainpower, and improve your creativity. Isn’t that exactly what a hobby should do?
If you don’t mind reading books on a tablet, there are no limits to the different books you can escape into this very minute. Personally, I’ve always preferred to hold a copy of the book in my hand, but that’s just me.
Hey, I didn’t say all these hobbies were going to make the health-nuts jump for joy. But, there are some awesome benefits to pipe smoking. For one, smoking a pipe takes up to 40 minutes, which means once you sit down and light yours, you’re forcing yourself to slow down. On top of that, there is something relaxing and contemplative about smoking a pipe. And, nicotine can improve focus and creativity.
Plus, who doesn’t want to look like a wizard?
Ah, there’s no denying that we’re big fans of learning to play music at The Graying Area. Whether you’re learning to play an instrument for the first time, getting back in touch with the instrument you haven’t played since high school, or simply curating a fantastic vinyl collection, music can certainly soothe the beast.
One of the best things about playing music is that there’s a genre or style for any mood. And since it requires constant improvement and effort, your chances of becoming bored are slim.
And, let’s be honest: shredding an electric guitar is a badass skill.
Now, wait a minute. I’m not suggesting that you spend your boredom in the bottom of a bottle. What I’m saying is that there is a lot to learn about the creation, consumption, and appreciation of fine spirits.
Whether you’re a cocktail man or you prefer your booze straight, there is as much to learn about the different spirits, years, recipes, and pairing as there is with any of the deepest, most involved pursuits. It’s basically like going to Professor Snape’s Potions class.
Coach Youth Sports
Coaching youth sports can be one of the most rewarding hobbies for men. By sharing your love of the game with children who might otherwise struggle to find something positive, you can make a real impact that can change lives.
And the truth is that youth athletics struggle to find volunteers to run their teams. Even if you’re not Tommy Lasorda, John Madden, or Knute Rockne, you can ensure kids have a safe and fun place to spend a few hours each week.
If you can put the violence aside, almost anyone can appreciate the skill and ability it takes to send a tiny piece of lead hundreds of yards for it to touch upon a small object the size of a textbook. The knowledge, technique, and control it takes to compete in a shooting sport is easy to admire.
Shooting is another one of those hobbies that can be a real rabbit hole. Once you start becoming confident in your skills, you’ll want to reach out and touch further targets. You’ll upgrade your scope, start hand-loading your own ammunition, and learn calculations that account for the curvature of the Earth’s surface. It’s all very addictive.
If you want to mix your love for nature with your passion for cars, overlanding is one of the best outdoor rhobbies for you. This casual sport involves outfitting your vehicle to go hundreds of miles off the beaten path, getting back in touch with the great outdoors.
There are some vehicles that lend themselves better to the sport than others. The Toyota Land Cruiser, for example, is one of the most durable overlanding vehicles ever made. On the other hand, your old Kia Sorento might not handle the rigors of the trail so well.
Collecting our thoughts is a skill we should all strive to master. The ability to write your thoughts clearly and in such a way that you can look back and relive those feelings can be such a great hobby. It might seem strange at first, but I promise, you’ll get better at it.
Here’s the fun part: You can upgrade your journaling gear just like any other pursuits. High-end fountain tip pens, quality notebooks, and luxury desk lamps make the hobby of journaling a truly personal, enjoyable experience. But to start, a ball point and a pocket notebook is all it takes.
If there’s one hobby on this list that will have your friends beating down your door, it’s food. Whether you learn to cook like a Culinary Institute graduate, or you become your social circle’s go-to on the best restaurants in your region, learning the ins and outs of a great meal is a hobby worth checking out.
In my opinion, the best way to start your culinary journey is by mastering a delicious sauce that you can use for both pizza and pasta. Be sure to subscribe for notifications, as I’ll be sharing my recipe in the next few weeks. It doesn’t hurt to find a go-to sandwich, as well.
You can also become a master of the grill. Start by learning how to light charcoal without lighter fluid.
If you’ve ever wanted to stand on the peak of a mountain and look across three states at a time, you might want to give the hobby of mountaineering a try.
Mountaineering isn’t just hiking. It often involves climbing, skiing, and map navigation, and other necessary survival skills.
The sights you’ll see as a mountaineer will be second to none. After your first climb, you’ll be burning for another summit.
Humans have been keeping bees for over 9,000 years, and as far as outdoor hobbies go, it’s as immersive as any other on this list. From learning about different species of honeybees, honeybee behavior, and how to care for them, you better make room in your noggin for a whole lot of new information.
There’s also a phenomenon that occurs when you keep and learn about bees. You’ll immediately start to see the world through a different lens, taking note of new flowers, pollen flows, and other pollinators. Pair this hobby with photography, and you’ll have enough gorgeous landscape prints to decorate your entire home in bee-utiful pictures.
Oh, you can’t forget the puns. They’re bee-yond plentiful, and few hobbies can offer so many.
Right now might seem like a strange time to mention travel as a hobby worth considering, but hear me out. You don’t have to go to a different country to see something new. Traveling to different cities and areas within your own state can still yield some incredible sights.
When traveling to other countries does become safe, this hobby will truly pay off. You see, it’s not just the week that you’re gone that counts as part of the hobby. It’s also the planning, the navigating, the organization, and the contacts you make along the way that make this hobby so sweet.
Some of the greatest men in history have tried their hands at expressing themselves through the written word. You should join them by doing the same. Whether you write poetry, non-fiction, adventures, or blogs like The Graying Area, expressing your thoughts and creativity with well-crafted sentences is an excellent way to pass the time.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if your first few attempts aren’t the literary goldmines you thought they’d be. You don’t have to be published to be a writer. You just have to write. You’ll get better over time, and there are lots of programs and apps that will help improve your final drafts. Just stick with it, because writing is one of the best creative hobbies you can try.
Guys looking for a useful hobby that could actually make them some cash should consider checking out leatherworking. Taking a hide from a natural raw material to a finely-finished leather good is an accomplishment the likes of which will make you proud. You can try making wallets, knife sheaths, guitar straps, and many more projects.
Leatherworking tools are relatively inexpensive, and you can buy lower-quality hides to practice with. After some time honing your craft, you’ll be able to upgrade your gear and try out high-end hides.
If you get really good, you’ll be able to sell your wares and be your own boss. Not bad for a sweet new hobby.
So, what would you add to this list of hobbies? What’s a pursuit that you’ve been longing to try but haven’t yet? Leave a comment below, and be sure to subscribe to my blog. I’ll be covering all of these topics in-depth in the future, and you don’t want to miss that.