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Hobbies For The Elderly: Find Your New Favourite Pastime

March 3rd, 2023

Making the most of your later years and discovering new retirement hobbies is key to a longer life. Staying active, both physically and mentally, is extremely important for all of us. In fact, research from Public Health England has shown that 1 in 6 deaths every year is as a result of inactivity. Not only does keeping busy contribute to a longer life, but exploring activities for older people can be fun, enriching, and invigorating. A new hobby can bring with it a new lease of life and make retirement much less daunting.

This guide delves into possible hobbies for the elderly, from sporting and outdoor activities to crafts and educational pursuits.

Retirement Hobbies



One of the biggest benefits of retirement is the extra time you get back. With no more traffic-filled commutes or long days at the office, there is more time to indulge those passions and interests that have been sidelined. Retirement hobbies don’t have to be anything new – they can be a pastime that you had to put on the back burner while you focused on other areas of your life.

Hobbies for older people are very often long-forgotten activities, sometimes even going back to childhood. If you were once a keen photographer or enjoyed making model trains, now is the time to resurrect these hobbies and invest more of yourself than you were previously able. 

If the idea of retirement or getting older seems somewhat daunting, look at it instead as a chance to indulge in the activities you’ve always wanted to. Consider retirement hobbies as a second wind and an opportunity to find joy in the things you truly love.

The Best Hobbies For Older People

Perhaps you were lucky enough to pursue your hobbies before retirement and are looking for something new to try. Maybe you didn’t have any hobbies while working as your time was so stretched. If so, then there are a number of activities for older people that you might like to try for the first time. The great thing about trying new retirement hobbies is that you get to have a completely new experience and potentially discover something you had no idea was for you.

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Here, we break down the many different types of hobbies for older people and why you should give them a try.

1. Outdoor Activities For Older People

Getting out in the great outdoors is nourishing for the soul at any age. There are many outdoor activities for older people to enjoy, some more physical than others. Look for local walking groups or schedule regular walks with friends and a hot flask for a leisurely retirement hobby.

Similarly, bird watching or fishing are relaxing ways to spend a weekend among nature. For lovers of gardening, retirement is an ideal time to start tending to the garden more, or you could even look into taking on an allotment where you can grow your own fruits and vegetables, and really get away from it all.

2. Creative Hobbies For Older People

Creative hobbies take many forms and can be incredibly satisfying. Creative hobbies for the elderly can mean taking on a fun project and seeing it through from beginning to end, for example, knitting a blanket or painting a canvas. On the other hand, they can be ongoing activities, such as photography or card making that you can indulge in anytime you like. 
As well as simply being fun, creative hobbies for the elderly can also help to reduce cognitive decline and improve brain function due to the concentration and skill involved. It can also be a wonderful way to connect with others by offering your creations as special gifts or joining like-minded people at group craft events like the Creative Craft Show in Birmingham. For inspiration on some creative activities to try, take a look at 10 Easy Craft Ideas For The Elderly.

3. Modern Hobbies For Older People

Nowadays there are a whole host of hobbies for older people that tap into modern technology. Smartphones, tablets, and apps are the norm and can open up a whole new world of activities for older people. The most basic of these types of hobbies are apps that can be played easily on a device and can be excellent for brain training and cognitive health. Our Guide to the best brain apps for seniors can steer you in the right direction, with ideas including Wordle or memory games.

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Social media is another relatively new way to pick up a new hobby. Apps like Facebook can help you to stay connected to loved ones and encourage regular interaction, while TikTok can be a really fun way to stay active and have fun with your grandchildren. TikTok has thousands of videos dedicated to seniors dancing or short clips of funny moments with grandsons and granddaughters. Alongside being one of the more lighthearted activities for older people, social media can help keep seniors young and encourage intergenerational friendships

4. Musical Activities For Older People

There’s never a bad time to give a musical hobby a go, but retirement can give you more time to dedicate to it. If you’ve always wanted to take up a musical instrument, now is the time to try it. You can try learning online with instruction videos or find a local tutor to teach you. Some lessons take place in groups too, so you can meet new people at the same time.

One of the best hobbies for older people who love to sing could be to join a choir. You’ll meet like-minded people and indulge your passion for singing. You can use the internet to find local choirs. 
If dancing is more your thing, then why not go to a local tea dance or sign up for some dance classes? You can find dance classes aimed at seniors on the Age UK website by inputting your postcode and finding a dance school near you.

5. Educational Hobbies For Older People

It’s never too late to learn a new skill, and taking up a retirement hobby can be the perfect excuse to expand your horizons and keep your mind sharp. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn a new language but never got around to it. There’s plenty of opportunity to do so after retirement, and you can either try online courses or go to in-person classes at local colleges or education centres. It’s also a great excuse to book a holiday once you’ve mastered a few phrases. 

Whether you’re an accomplished cook or not, one of the more immersive activities for older people is taking up cooking classes, trying new cuisines, or spending more time baking. Food brings people together too and is a great excuse to spend time with family or friends trying out your new dishes.

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 6. Sporting Activities For Older People

It goes without saying that physical activity is incredibly important for everybody. Physical activities for older people are even more important and can be the key to longevity. It could be something as simple as doing some YouTube exercises, but taking up a new sporting hobby is a great way to stay fit and healthy.
Walking football has become one of the more popular hobbies for older men in particular, with walking football clubs available across the UK. It’s a fun pastime for football lovers that isn’t too intense. Other active but relaxing sporting activities for the elderly include yoga or Tai Chi, and for those who like walking, retirement can be a good time to take up golf. Swimming is one of the best physical activities to do and can be done at your preferred speed at a local leisure centre or gym.

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Sport is a wonderful way to meet new people by joining teams or clubs of like-minded individuals. Things like ParkRun are large group activities that can be done at a fast or leisurely pace in a local park, followed by a nice coffee and a catch up afterwards.

7. Classic Activities For Older People

Of course, there will always be those traditional activities for older people that never lose their appeal. Reading, whether on a Kindle or from a book, is a pastime that most of us never tire of. For senior readers, a trip to the library can satisfy the need for a good book and allow time for socialising and conversation. You could also join a book club to really make the most of your love of books. For those who love books without the reading involved, then audiobooks could be a new way to reinvigorate an old hobby.

Other old school activities for the elderly include board games or a good crossword. Board games in particular encourage friendships or time with family, especially younger members like grandchildren. Monopoly, Scrabble, or even just Connect 4 can be brilliant for wiling away an afternoon. If starting a physical activity or creative hobby feels like too much of a commitment, then rediscovering favourite games and pastimes can be a simple way to enjoy some fun activities.

Travel For The Elderly

Age is certainly not an excuse to give up on a sense of adventure. Travel activities for the elderly might not be as far flung as they once were, although there’s no reason why not, but there are still plenty of places to explore. Seniors can make the most of their railcard to visit places across the UK, or can even enjoy days out to local areas like Manchester or Nottingham. Travel can take place as far from or as near to your doorstep as you want, and there are always new places to see and explore whatever age you are.

Activities For Older People At New Care Homes

There is no age milestone for giving up hobbies or enjoying activities. At New Care Homes, we have a dedicated wellbeing programme and offer many activities to our residents, from bridge clubs to gardening clubs.

We also organise trips to the local area, including the seaside, shopping centres or museums, among others. 
Our fine dining restaurants and communal areas are social spaces too. Residents can take part in card games or discuss books, art, and sport at their leisure. Please contact us to find out more about our activities or to visit one of our care homes.