18 Unusual Hobbies for Seniors to Try

man shaping a green tree with four circles

18 Unusual Hobbies for Seniors to Try



Retirement is supposed to be a time of relaxation. For many, it is also a time to do all those hobbies and activities they have not had time for. Perhaps you have always wanted to learn how to dance, or maybe you have wanted to start a collection of vintage dolls.


Maybe you have wanted to learn how to keep bees or act on stage. Just because you are of a mature age does not mean you can’t start some unusual hobbies as a senior.


The transition from working to retirement can take some time and for many it can be an overwhelming and stressful time. What better way to make the transition fun and exciting than by finding a new and unusual hobby to learn?


You can learn as many of these unusual hobbies as you like, you don’t have to stick to one, in fact the more you learn the more exciting it will be.



If you are stuck for ideas and not sure what some unusual hobbies for seniors are, keep reading, we have put together a comprehensive list of the most unusual hobbies for seniors to help keep you busy.


We have something for everyone including those who might want to get out of the house and those who would prefer to stay indoors.

Hobbies For Seniors that Can Be Done from Home

  1. Learn a New Language



Have you always wanted to learn French or maybe Italian, now is the time to dive right in. Want to be unusual? Learn Latin or something unique. You can find apps that will help you learn new languages, or you could be a little more adventurous and join a class. Doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it. .



2. Help Scientists Collect Data



You probably have not heard of this hobby, but it can be a great hobby to take part in. Organizations often need help collecting data about people and their surroundings, if you have access to a computer, you can help them to gather this data.


Examples of the type of projects you could work on include, wildlife monitoring, bird observation, air quality monitoring. Not only will this hobby help to keep you busy you will also be positively contributing to science. If you get some of your friends involved, it can become a fun group activity.


3. Find Out Where You Came From

This has become increasingly popular in recent years and what better time to research where you came from than during your retirement. There are many online resources to help you get started and keep track of everyone.


Also, many offer DNA tests to help you on your genealogy adventure. One of the advantages of this is that you will engage with your family as you learn more about each branch of the family tree.



4. Collect Your Favorite Things… Unusual Things



The possibilities are endless with this hobby. You could start collecting something simple and ordinary like plants or pretty teacups or you could collect something out of the ordinary and unusual like unopened coke bottles or bagpipes.


The more unique the collection the “harder” you will have to work to build it up, making it more interesting. Depending on what you are collecting you might find groups you can join allowing you to meet new people while also learning more about the items you are collecting.


Hobbies that Get You Out of the House



5. Trainspotting

This is a great hobby if you enjoy travel because it can take you anywhere. As the name suggests, trainspotting is about spotting trains. There are so many advantages of this hobby – you will learn more about trains and the areas they are from, you will get out of the house and into the fresh air while you walk around spotting the trains.

You can stay local, or you can venture further than your city and travel around the country looking for new trains to add to your list. You could even start a local trainspotting club and in doing so possibly meet new people.

6. Travel

What better time to start working on your travel bucket list than your retirement? Whether you want to travel locally or internationally, pack your bags and get exploring.  Plan your itinerary with your partner (or travel solo) and set sail for new and exciting shores. What’s unusual about this? Pick a place you’d never imagined you’d go to, and plan it. Have you ever seen a polar bear in the Arctic?

7. Live-Action Role Playing

This hobby definitely falls into the unusual category and is great for those who have an open mind and love fantasy and improvisation. Generally, live-action role-playing takes part outdoors in a park or open area.


This can be a great hobby to push you outside of your comfort zone and get you to try something new and meet a completely new circle of friends. If you can’t find a live-action role-playing group in your area why not start one.

8. Birdwatching

Birdwatching requires a lot of patience and time, and you may have both in abundance. Join your local bird club or start your own and get outside and start crossing off birds from your list – you never know where your bird watching adventures might take you.

9. Photography

To start photography, you don’t even need a fancy camera – smartphone cameras work really well. You can take a course to learn the basics, or you could learn as you go. Photography is a great way to get you to slow down and really focus on your surroundings. Want to get unusual? There are many techniques that create super weird photos, get creative.

10. Tree Shaping

You ever seen those cool trees with fun designs? They didn’t grow like that. Get creative, find a tree that needs shaping, and make it look like something you’d be proud of. Do you know anybody that shapes trees for a hobby? I don’t, it’s unique to me!

Active Hobbies for Seniors


11. Dancing Lessons

While dancing might not be unusual, you could learn something unusual to you such as Balkan Kolo Irish dancing. This type of dancing is fast past, making it a good cardio work out and you will get to meet a whole new circle of friends.


Dancing is a great way to get those endorphins going and is something you can do with your partner. If Irish dancing really isn’t for you, you could find another type of dance that excites you – maybe salsa or hip hop even – the floor is yours!

12. Learn Tai Chi or Karate

Martial arts are about more than self-defense, it is a great work out and is also considered a form of meditation that can help you reduce stress and calm your mind. You could learn karate, or you could focus on something more meditative like Tai-Chi, which is often done outdoors, allowing you to get outside and into nature. 


This is a great hobby to take up as a senior citizen because you will get a full body work out while also keeping your mind sharp.

Cultural Hobbies for Seniors

13. Join Your Local Theater

It is never too late to learn a new hobby, even acting. Can’t say acting is a regular hobby for seniors. If this is something you have always wanted to do, join an acting class or you could even try out for a local theatre production. If you get cast, you will meet a whole new group of people and be exposed to a range of new opportunities, and it is lots of fun!

14. Learn to Play an Instrument

Like dancing, this might not seem unusual but if you pick an interesting instrument then it definitely can be an unusual hobby. Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to play the oboe or the toha.  Learning how to play a new instrument will not only be fun but it is also a great way to keep your mind active and stimulated.

15. Write Your Memoir

Everyone has a story to tell, it is time to tell yours. You can write a book, or you could start a blog and share your adventures with the world. This is also a great legacy to leave for your family and a special way for your stories to continue being told.

Hobbies for Seniors that Give Back

16. Share Your Knowledge

You have almost a lifetime of experience and skills to draw on. This knowledge is invaluable and needs to be shared. You can find an adult education program that suits your skillset or volunteer your time teaching one of the many skills you have learned over the years.


If you play a musical instrument, you could offer music lessons or you could offer to teach young people how to sew – the possibilities are endless. What better way for your legacy to live on than by teaching the next generation.

17. Volunteer Your Time

This is a great way to give back to your community and keep you active. There are many ways you can volunteer – you could offer your time, prepare food, help build a community garden, take animals for a walk, or work in your local library.


Look for organizations that support causes you are passionate about and find out how you can help. Want to make it unusual? Volunteer at the local high school and be the coolest role model there!

18. Foster a Pet or Two

If you are a pet lover then this hobby is really great. Many animal shelters and rescue centers are looking for foster parents to care for their animals temporarily. You can decide how many pets you want to take care of at one time and what type of animal you would like to look after. The advantage of this is that you get the benefits of a pet without the long-term commitment.

How Unusual do You Want to Get with Your Hobby as a Senior?

For many people, retirement can seem like a scary time of long boring days, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many unusual and new hobbies you can learn that will get you out of the house, keep your mind active, and even allow you to meet new people. It is important to remember to keep an open mind and don’t be scared to try something new, you never know what might happen if you do.

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