Every online list of hobbies for seniors says the exact same boring stuff. Thankfully, this list is different because I've found the real hidden gems.
Most lists say things like golf, gardening or yoga and there's nothing wrong with those activities, it's just that we've seen them all before on another hobbies for retirees list.
This makes it challenging to actually find something original, interesting or inspiring.
Today I'm going to help you with that. I've done some extensive research and I've come up with 10 hobbies that you won't find on all the other lists.
These activities aren't mainstream and from a popularity perspective they aren't the top hobbies for retirees but they are almost for sure hobbies that you haven't thought of before.
I like to think of them as the hidden gems of hobbies. Have a look.
BUILD A BACKYARD CHICKEN COOP AND ENJOY THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF FRESH ORGANIC EGGS
So there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding backyard chicken coops. Don't believe everything you've heard and keep an open mind when reading this.
Most people think that chickens are loud and that they smell. This simply isn't true.
People probably believe this because they drove past a chicken farm once and it was loud and stinky. That's completely different because those farms have thousands of chickens.
If you put thousands of any creature into one building it's probably going to be loud and stinky.
With a backyard coop you'll only have 2-5 hens and of course you won't have roosters because obviously they're loud in the mornings and they don't produce eggs.
Here's how to get started.
So backyard chicken coops can be a wonderful hobby that can benefit both you and your hens.
Most people who have a coop say that the chickens quickly become part of the family just like any other pet.
They're pretty low maintenance as far as pets are concerned. Just make sure you clean up after them just as you would with a dog or cat and provide them with plenty of food, water and love.
One thing to look into before you start shopping for a coop would be city bylaws. Some cities have bylaws against chicken coops because of the many misconceptions surrounding them.
Another thing to consider is what type of coop you should get. There are some really nice fancy ones but you can also make a very basic and cheap one depending on which route you want to take.
If you think you have the ability to build your own that is great but you could easily find a plan for one online and hire someone to do it for you.
START A BLOG AND WRITE ABOUT SOMETHING YOU TRULY LOVE WHILE MAKING EXTRA MONEY
Most people think that you need technical skills to start a blog but nowadays you can do it even if you have zero experience.
If you can turn on a laptop, you can start a blog. Here's how to get started.
The great thing about blogging is that you can literally write about any topic you want. That makes it easy because everybody has at least one interest or passion that they can write about.
Generally with a blog you pick a theme and run with it. So if you're really into making model airplanes, that could be your theme (or niche).
Having your own blog can be a really rewarding hobby because the perks truly are endless.
As a blogger you get to share your knowledge or experience about a topic and then people from all over the world can read it and interact with it.
You have your own forum for communicating with people who have similar interests and you can help them, entertain them or both.
As your blog grows over time so does your audience. Once you have a decent size audience you can easily monetize it.
There's a ton of different ways to monetize a blog. A few examples are ads, affiliate marketing, email marketing and e-commerce. It's a really neat industry and a lot of average people with no prior experience are making really good money from their blogs.
If you aren't very computer savvy you can find all sorts of great courses to help you get started even if you're totally clueless when it comes to computers.
One of the biggest reasons people choose NOT to start their own blog is because they don't think they have the technical skills that are required.
This is a big misnomer because with the state of the art training available today it's very easy for anyone to learn the necessary skills in a matter of days. Here's where I learned to blog.
START PLAYING VIDEO GAMES TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF AND REDUCE STRESS
Video games in moderation can be a great way to reduce stress, challenge yourself and even help with depression according to this article in the Washington Post.
I know this might sound odd that I'm suggestion that video games are a good hobby for seniors but hear me out because you might be surprised by them.
Modern video games are extremely advanced and they're actually a great way to keep the mind active. There are certain games that are better than others but of course it's mostly a matter of opinion.
There are all different types of video games so don't get wrapped up in what you think video games are like. They aren't all about violence.
There are puzzle games, strategy games, artistic games, memory games and more.
Here's what to do if you're interested in trying video games as a hobby.
Now of course you don't actually have to buy a system if you don't want to. There are plenty of other ways to play video games nowadays.
You can play video games on your computer, laptop, tablet and even your smart phone. These are all good options and I think you'll be surprised how much fun it can be.
EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS AND HELP THE NEEDY BY ORGANIZING FUNDRAISERS
There are so many worthy causes out there and everyone has something near and dear to their heart so it shouldn't be very difficult to find something you can fundraise for.
We've all seen plenty of fundraisers before and it can be anything from cancer research, charity events to a little league baseball team. The cause doesn't matter as long as it's something you truly care about.
Here's how to start a fundraiser.
Your fundraiser should be fun. It should be something that people get excited to take part in or donate to.
You don't have to hold an event if that's not your thing. You could raise money other ways like go door to door or place donation boxes in businesses.
There are plenty of different ways to raise money. A really great resource for fundraisers is gofundme.com. They are by far the best website for creating fundraiser campaigns.
TEST YOUR DETECTIVE SKILLS WITH ESCAPE ROOMS
When I first heard about escape rooms I thought it sounded a little bit creepy and weird. You pay someone to lock you in a room just to see if you can get out.
It does sound a bit weird but it's actually a lot of fun.
If you're not familiar with them, here's the gist of it........
Most cities have a few different escape room companies that you can choose from. Each company will have 3 or 4 different themed rooms that are designed to be really challenging to get out of.
The themes can be anything from pirates to mummies. I've seen all sorts of neat themes.
It's best to go in a group of 4 people but you can go with up to 6 people if you want. The more people you have the easier it will be because you have more minds thinking together.
The rooms are full of clues that will help you escape and there's a timer going that counts down from 1 hour. Your goal is to get out of the room before the time runs out.
Then if you escape really fast you get your name on the wall of fame. Here's how to get started.
So you might not be sold on this and maybe it's just not for you but I really urge you to give it a try.
I had no idea how much fun it could be. Once I tried it I was hooked.
Now I have a group of friends that my wife and I like to go with on a regular basis and it becomes a social event.
After we finish we always go for a coffee or beer and talk about the room. We chat about all the intricacies of the room and all the different methods we tried or should have tried.
It's a great bonding experience because you have to work together as a team.
BE SOCIAL AND MAKE LIFE LONG FRIENDS BY STARTING A COFFEE GROUP
Have you ever gone into a Mcdonald's on a weekday morning? If so, you've probably noticed the groups of seniors sitting around chatting.
This is a really common thing for retirees. They get together with a group of friends on a regular basis and just chat about their lives.
Some do it once a week and some even do it 5 times per week. Just depends on how busy you are.
Now it doesn't have to be a Mcdonald's it can be anywhere you want. I think the reason Mcdonald's is a common one is just because it's affordable.
Here's how to get started.
If you have a hard time finding people to invite then don't worry because there's other ways.
Most senior living communities and retirement homes have communal message boards and you could just post something there asking if anyone is interested.
If that doesn't work, you can just join an existing coffee group.
Head over to a Mcdonald's location on a weekday in the morning and try to spot some seniors having coffee. Grab a table next to them and start up a conversation.
More times than not someone in the group will gladly invite you to join them. It's a very inviting environment and you shouldn't have a hard time getting involved if you're willing to put yourself out there like that.
Give it a shot.
MAKE MONEY AND MEET PEOPLE WHILE DRIVING FOR UBER
If you have a reliable car you might find that driving for Uber is a really fun and interesting way to make some money and pass the time.
One of the best things about Uber is the freedom of being able to decide when to work and how long to work.
You aren't forced to work long shifts or any specific time. It's all up to you. You could be sitting at home and decide to log into the app at your leisure.
Then when you see who's near by looking for a ride you can pick and choose who you want to drive.
Each member has a profile with a picture and a rating. So if you want to be really picky you can, all you have to do is choose to only pick up people with a 5 star rating or only females or males. Whatever you want.
Here's how to get started.
So it's pretty straight forward and easy to get started. I think it's a great thing for anyone looking to fill their day and the extra money is a nice bonus.
Here's a great resource to learn more about the ins and outs of becoming an Uber driver Thesimpledollar.com
SEE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD FOR CHEAP BY BEING A HOUSE SITTER
Being a house sitter is really easy. It's not physically demanding at all because all you're actually doing is living in the house.
More often than not the houses that you'll be looking after will have a pet that needs to be cared for. That usually involves cleaning up after them, feeding them and walking them.
So if you don't like animals, you probably shouldn't become a house sitter.
For those of you who like animals, this can be an awesome thing to do in retirement. It's something you can do with your spouse and it can allow you to see beautiful parts of the world for very cheap.
There are some great resources out there for people who want to do this. My personal favorite is Trustedhousesitters.com
On Trustedhousesitters.com you can sign up to become a house sitter and create a profile of yourself. This will allow people who are searching for house sitters to find you and hire you.
Generally house sitting isn't a paid job, It's just a nice and easy way to stay somewhere for free.
The more flexible you are and the more willing you are to travel long distances, the more likely you are to find jobs.
Here's how to get started.
Be aware that as a house sitter you will have to pay for your travel to get to the location and pay for all of your food when you're there.
This might sound expensive but it's really just travelling with free accommodation so I would say that it's a great way to save money if you already like to travel.
SPICE UP THE LOOK OF YOUR HOUSE WITH A FISH AQUARIUM
A nice fish aquarium can be a really great addition to any home's decor. I've had a few aquariums in the past and I have to admit that it's a lot of fun.
You might be surprised how beautiful some of the new fish tanks are these days. There's all sorts of unique styles of tanks that can suit any home.
Once you have the tank you're ready for the fish.
Picking out the fish is great. There are so many wonderful looking fish out there and you'll probably find that once you get all set up you'll spend quite a bit of time just watching them.
You'll have the choice of getting a fresh water tank or a salt water tank but I would recommend sticking with the fresh water tank at first because it's cheaper and easier.
Once you have some experience then you can consider getting into the salt water fish.
The main benefit to the salt water tanks is that there are just way more colorful and exotic species that you can choose from.
There are still a lot of great looking fresh water fish to choose from but just not as many when compared to salt water fish.
Here's how to get started.
The tank will most likely be a starter set and it should come with all of the necessary items that you need to operate a healthy living environment for your new pets.
In addition to the tank you'll need gravel, plants, a filtration system, a light, a heater and fish food.
As I said before, you're starter kit should come with all of these things.
Once it's all set up you can just enjoy them. It's also a great conversation piece for when you have guests over, you'll find that your house guests will enjoy looking at your fish.
Kids also love them. If you have kids over to your house you'll be happy to see how much joy the fish tank brings them.
LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
So I know they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks but that's total bull crap. Learning a new language is extremely challenging but isn't that a good thing?
It takes a lot of time, dedication and hard work but it is also incredibly rewarding.
There are a few different ways you can go about it these days. There are websites and apps that have really changed the way people learn languages.
You've probably heard of Rosetta Stone. They make books and software that help people learn languages and they're really good.
There's also one called Babbel which is actually my personal favorite. It's an app as well as a website and it teaches you practical language skills.
It will go through exercises with you and make sure that you're practicing things that you would actually need if you were to be dropped in a foreign country like taking a taxi, ordering at a restaurant, checking into a hotel or finding rest rooms.
This is a great thing to do no matter where you live or how old you are. Whether you're living independently or living in assisted living in Florida or somewhere else, this hobby is fantastic.
Here's how to get started.
There's also a lot of other apps that are great for learning languages and some of them are even free. Here's a fantastic post listing the 7 best free language learning apps.
Obviously it takes a lot of time and you'll probably never be perfect at it but that's not the point anyways.
Just being able to communicate in another language with someone from another country is extremely rewarding and I promise you that it's well worth the hard work.
So there you have it, 10 hidden gem hobbies for seniors that can really make your life more interesting.
I hope you found at least one idea here that interests you that you hadn't thought of before. The important thing to remember when looking for a new hobby is just to be brave.
You might think that you're too shy for something or too afraid to try another thing. Don't think like that because if you do you'll miss out on a lot of great life experiences.
Another important thing to remember when trying out new things is to give them some time before you make up your mind about it.
Most things that are rewarding or enjoyable will take you some time to get used to. You might not like something at first but if you stick with it for a couple of weeks you might find that it becomes more fun every time you do it.
There is almost always that period of learning that can be frustrating or discouraging but once you see yourself improve you'll be excited and encouraged.
I hope you enjoyed this post and keep an eye out for my next article on hobbies for seniors with dementia.
So thanks for stopping by today and do me a favor and get out there and try something new.
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