New hobbies!
December 9, 2021 12:27 PM   Subscribe

What's a hobby you picked up as an adult?
posted by NorthCoastRiver to Grab Bag (80 answers total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
Stained glass! It's on the expensive side so I haven't gotten a chance to do a lot of it, but it feeds my creativity.
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:37 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Fanvidding -- making video art pieces as collages of pre-existing music and video.
posted by brainwane at 12:37 PM on December 9, 2021 [5 favorites]

posted by wemayfreeze at 12:38 PM on December 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Sewing clothes! Bicycling!
posted by esoterrica at 12:39 PM on December 9, 2021

Indoor rock climbing!
posted by hepta at 12:40 PM on December 9, 2021 [3 favorites]

Several musical instruments (harmonica, ukulele, synthesizers, piano, recently bass)

Kite flying (fighter kites, stunt kites, maybe trick boxes next)

Roguelike video games (Nethack, DCSS)

Cooking outside my native cuisines (Indian, Chinese, Mexican for me)

Gardening (vegetables, native planting, fruit trees)
posted by SaltySalticid at 12:41 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

posted by champers at 12:42 PM on December 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Becoming pretty good at unicycling takes 40USD and six hours. Becoming decent enough at Asian (Tuvan/Mongolian/Buryat) overtone singing to slightly impress westerners at parties takes twenty hours and a psychopathic lack of self-consciousness or wide open spaces when starting. Musical instruments are probably obvious and depend a lot on what you already know and like.
posted by eotvos at 12:43 PM on December 9, 2021 [13 favorites]

Mod note: We know this question might be seeing as chatfilter. But let's see what happens and value the great answers
posted by loup (staff) at 12:44 PM on December 9, 2021 [20 favorites]

Pretty much all of them. Flying, astronomy, astrophotography, model trains, guitar, banjo, ukulele, scale model building, hiking, climbing, kayaking, camping, fishing, unicycling, cooking, baking and several dozen more. Most of them were temporary. Some I did for a few months (flying), some I pull out every few years (astronomy), some I don't do much anymore as my body can't handle it (hiking) and some I was obsessed with for three weeks and then never did again.

The one that stuck was making things. Mostly woodworking. It sucks to start something at age 47 and feel you have to catch up with the people who learned from their grandfather as a child but it's also satisfying when you can see actual progress and occasionally come up with something you're really proud of.
posted by bondcliff at 12:44 PM on December 9, 2021 [14 favorites]

Fly fishing, fly tying, woodworking, spoon carving, birdwatching.
posted by bajema at 12:46 PM on December 9, 2021

Hiking, gardening, sewing, patchwork and quilting, birdwatching!
posted by amf at 12:47 PM on December 9, 2021

Geocaching! Drawing! Pretty much all sports activities (lifting, swimming, running, road biking).
posted by Dotty at 12:51 PM on December 9, 2021

Knitting, but especially cooking. I barely even know how to use a can opener when I graduated college, but ended up dating someone who loved to cook. It was a pretty bad relationship but it did teach me that cooking is fun and not as intimidating as it can seem if you have no experience. It's been a big part of my adult life!
posted by cakelite at 12:59 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Rock climbing, photography...all the cool things I always wanted to do as a kid but couldn't afford.
posted by MissMissy at 1:02 PM on December 9, 2021

Cross stitching and ukulele. Neither very expensive in the long run unless you are me and buy a new uke every eight months (I have three; I promise to slow down).
posted by wellred at 1:03 PM on December 9, 2021 [3 favorites]

Lindy hop (swing dancing)! Running (though I don't do it any more)! Canning! Low-stakes gaming!
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 1:05 PM on December 9, 2021

Mother effing ice skating. It's hard and I'm not good at it but it is so damn fun.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:06 PM on December 9, 2021 [8 favorites]

Gunpla model building. It doesn't seem expensive at first....
posted by Eddie Mars at 1:09 PM on December 9, 2021 [3 favorites]

Houseplants. Hand drumming. Zumba. Hiking.
posted by anderjen at 1:10 PM on December 9, 2021

Knitting. Bird watching. Cooking.
posted by missrachael at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2021

Cooking, foraging, herbalism, solo travel, meditation, gardening, hiking.
posted by wicked_sassy at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2021

Spoon carving.
posted by saladin at 1:16 PM on December 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

I was mostly indoorsy as a kid so the fact I've been camping multiple times as an adult is new and strange.

I started cooking around high school but I don't think I ever consciously made a hobby of it. I definitely came to baking as an adult, and sourdough was a pandemic addition.
posted by fedward at 1:21 PM on December 9, 2021

Modular synthesizers: rather wonderfully vcv rack makes this completely accessible ( free and not several thousand $s) to anyone with a fairly recent computer. . Beware, though. It is a gateway to spending real money on the physical versions of the modules if you are at all likely to be tempted.
posted by aesop at 1:24 PM on December 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Geocaching, knots & tying, soldering electronics (and Raspberry Pis in general -- though they only came along after I got old), journaling, home-brewing mead & hard cider.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:24 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

I took up swimming (having *never swam for exercise ever*) after my body gradually started to reject running as an option. I hated it at first because I felt like a disaster, but now that I've had enough practice I find it relaxing.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

ukulele. pub trivia and "competitive" trivia generally. hiking. finding new and interesting ways to cook: squash, applesauce, flatbread. recreational drugs (and then un-picked it up a bit later). making mossariums. meditation. maintaining bird feeders. visible mending.
posted by jessamyn at 1:28 PM on December 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Hiking. Photogrpahy. Trying to pick up DnD just now.
posted by pyro979 at 1:29 PM on December 9, 2021

Machining and building pointless clockwork devices. Cutting gears is surprisingly zen.
posted by aramaic at 1:31 PM on December 9, 2021 [5 favorites]

Traditional hand tool woodworking: safer, quieter, cleaner, and more contemplative than power tool woodworking, in my experience. It can range from purely aesthetic (carving or the creation of non-functional sculptural forms) to purely functional and anywhere in between. The results can last several lifetimes or be tossed in the fireplace or woodchipper, like sweeping away a sand mandala.

Rock climbing, both indoors and out. It requires one's full mental and physical attention in a way that takes you out of the rest of the world for a while. Competitive, but really only against oneself. It can be safely (-ish) done alone, but even one companion is enough to unlock a lifetime's worth of challenges. It's a very Sisyphean activity, but I find that a lot of adults really appreciate the existential aspects.
posted by jedicus at 1:34 PM on December 9, 2021 [8 favorites]

Dungeons and Dragons and painting minis.
posted by wwax at 1:49 PM on December 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

Amigurumi—crocheting little cute creatures. Very fun, quick when you get good at it, very portable, fun to give away.
posted by Orlop at 1:53 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Baking some the stuff they make on The Great British Bake Off.
Isomelt, gelatin, and chocolate rings are pretty fun and very cool.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:58 PM on December 9, 2021

Climbing. Guitar.
posted by backwards guitar at 1:58 PM on December 9, 2021

Spanish guitar, music production, oil painting, knitting, needle felting, gardening
posted by thebots at 1:59 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Astronomy and ukulele in my 30s, hand tool woodworking (fist bump to jedicus) in my 40s to now, kayaking and calisthenics in my late 50s. Most of my hobbies have something to do with wanting to foster my human impulse to make things well, understand my place in the solar system, and kayaking has been about engaging more actively with the passing seasons in a way I hadn't been able to do much since childhood. Doing calisthenics in my late 50s has me feeling it a lot more forgiving of my body than I felt in my teens or 20s.
posted by brachiopod at 2:00 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Cross stitching and yoga. Reading these answers is making me aspire to take up even more hobbies!
posted by nancynickerson at 2:05 PM on December 9, 2021 [3 favorites]

Running D&D games (was a player pre-pandemic), synthesizers and lately recording to tape, cooking, herbal loose leaf tea (making my own blends, etc.), pickling, giving a crap about my mental health.

I've come to think about hobbies as stuff that you think about and, like, nerd out about when you're not working. I realized for a while that doomscrolling was a hobby based on that metric and I've tried to cut back.
posted by sleeping bear at 2:26 PM on December 9, 2021 [9 favorites]

Candle making. So many fun smells.
posted by jasondigitized at 2:35 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

improv - it also doubles well as a way to meet lots of new people as an adult.
posted by mmascolino at 2:35 PM on December 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

Aerial silks
posted by pangolin party at 2:37 PM on December 9, 2021 [3 favorites]

Building and flying radio control quadcopters, airplanes, and helicopters (started when I was in my late 20s, have flown less during the pandemic but still tinker with things now in my late 30s).

Flight simulators, up to and including building replica cockpit pieces (started in my mid-20s, may have bought many parts from a decommissioned helicopter cockpit simulator this year through a surplus vendor because YOLO).

Camping/walking (mid-20s).
posted by Alterscape at 2:44 PM on December 9, 2021

Jewellery making, crochet, knitting, origami, cross stitching. I like having something to do with my hands.
posted by MelanieL at 2:53 PM on December 9, 2021

Action figure photography
Playing D&D as a player
Running D&D as a GM
Making Perler bead art
Building model kits
Pub trivia
Indoor climbing

Some of these are far more occasional than others, but I still like doing them on the whole. (I'm sure I'm forgetting a few.)
posted by xenization at 2:57 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Skiing and paddle boarding. Didn’t start skiing until my late thirties. I’ve taken a few windsurfing classes but am not very good at it. Painting. Gardening. And playing in rock bands.
posted by gt2 at 3:02 PM on December 9, 2021

Fencing (did it for a year in college, now picked it back up again 20 years later - I'm not particularly good, but I have fun), muay thai, mail art (I love painting on envelopes because all the iterative practices still have purpose, and also go away and don't clutter up my office forever)
posted by tautological at 3:27 PM on December 9, 2021

long distance running
ukulele, though i gave it up
voracious reading
posted by hollisimo at 3:36 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Cross stitching! Soothing, produces cool art, can be done while listening to an audio book or podcast or a movie that doesn't require a lot of attention.
posted by skycrashesdown at 3:52 PM on December 9, 2021

Novel writing! Started last February. Now I have a first draft!
posted by marimeko at 3:55 PM on December 9, 2021 [3 favorites]

Enameling, embroidery, sewing, knitting, backpacking, traveling
posted by sugarbomb at 4:05 PM on December 9, 2021

Embroidery, rowing, running, piano (I played as a kid), violin (I did not play as a kid), D&D. Oh, cooking and baking, though I also loved those as a kid.

It took me a good 10 years after college to start doing any of these things for fun. Hobbies were for college resume building as a kid, and then depression made everything joyless for a while after that.

In the offing: sewing with a sewing machine, hiking, singing, maybe ice skating? Maybe curling? Two things it took me a while to realize are that a few lessons can get you pretty far pretty fast, and that trying a hobby doesn’t need to be an actual commitment. I’ve been meaning to read Tom Vanderbilt’s Beginners, which might be interesting for you.
posted by punchtothehead at 4:17 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yoga, belly dance, embroidery, canning.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 4:34 PM on December 9, 2021

Electronics, starting with putting together kits, and moving on to analog timer chips and hooking up radio/music player components.
posted by amtho at 4:43 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Drop spindle spinning and making paper models.

I started playing D&D in college, but only got really into in the last few years, which led to learning about and playing other ttrpgs, which now has led to a thriving solo rpg hobby.
posted by darchildre at 4:44 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Home lactofermentation, specifically hot sauce and sauerkraut. Rewarding and fun!
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:05 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

1. French polishing and furniture restoration. Took this long to have the time and space to practice. Incredibly satisfying.
2. Singing with a covers band. I no longer care about making an artistic statement with my musical doings. It's just enormous fun. Great songs played well make everyone happy.
3. Painting with acrylics. Bold colours, cheap brushes, experimenting with textures. No one ever need see the result, it's just so pleasing to me.
posted by freya_lamb at 5:20 PM on December 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Jumping rope

I would do mosaics if I had more time.
posted by NotLost at 5:48 PM on December 9, 2021

Handspinning yarn (spindle and wheel), sprang, tablet weaving. Natural dyeing (for real). Hand making books & boxes. Cooking for real. I didn’t get my first looms until I was an adult although I identified as a weaver earlier than that. Hobbies I have -kept- from pre-adulthood are much rarer: reading, accumulating books, baking.
posted by janell at 5:49 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

I picked up whittling as an adult a couple of years ago. It's weird, but I find it so relaxing to carve. There's just something about the way that the shavings come off the wood that is incredibly satisfying. I love the way it sounds and even the way the wood smells when you work on it.

It's cheap too. I only have a couple of knives, but both were less then $30, and you can find free wood just about anywhere if you aren't too picky.
posted by MaryVictoria at 6:04 PM on December 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

Studying Japanese, which is a fascinating language, rich in history.

Composting. It's really interesting, thinking about creating earth from kitchen leavings and leaves.

More broadly, gardening.Yes, I know it's a cliche, but pottering around my backyard, tending my plants, gives me a sense of purpose and peace. The amazing resilience of plants! I don't water them correctly, or feed them enough, or prune them correctly, but they all welcome me, every morning.
posted by SPrintF at 6:07 PM on December 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Amateur radio! I also kept bees for a few years, so that's another one that started (and ended) in my middle-agedness.
posted by jquinby at 6:10 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Blockprinting! At age 30. And now it’s my full time job 7 years later.
posted by sucre at 6:32 PM on December 9, 2021 [5 favorites]

Papermaking using this kit.
posted by chiefthe at 6:53 PM on December 9, 2021

I'm pretty proud of how i picked up knitting (work travel; picked up some yarn for a friend; decided to buy me a pair of needles too and spent the evening on YouTube learning long-tailed cast-on as my very first thing). Just before that, crocheting from a book. Eventually, and thank god for YouTube (seriously!): weaving, dyeing, drop and Russian spindle spinning, Tunisian crochet and actual handsewing (beyond the minor repairs i learned in school). With that, because i was so curious why my part of the world had extensive weaving traditions and centres but not yarn spinning/thread production, I'm becoming a bit of an amateur textile historian/nerd (especially also because anglophone resources for hobbyists are geared for western-located traditions). The knitting and crocheting was around in my late 20s. Can't believe I've been at them all for over a decade! The pandemic has one silver lining for me: with all these hobbyists conferences and panels moving online, i got to actually attend some of them.

Other than that it's definitely languages. I think my project the next few months is improving my conversational skills in Japanese and French. I've been learning them on Duolingo long enough!
posted by cendawanita at 6:54 PM on December 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

I didn't start lifting weights until I was well into my 30's. I went to r/weightroom for some advice and found many of the members to be jerks ( reddit) and found r/powerlifting to be a much better community so I gravitated towards a more powerlifting focused training style.

I competed in my first meet at 40 and I had a blast! I'm excited to do more and I'm in the best shape I've ever been in.

I also started playing guitar as adult after not really ever learning an instrument. Used instruments are plentiful and tend to hold their value when bought used and I found plenty of lessons and resources online to learn the basics.

And I find that to be generally true. If there is something that people do as a hobby, someone has created a bunch of content to help people get into that hobby and put it on the internet.

posted by VTX at 7:03 PM on December 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Quilting! I started with a kit a few years ago and never looked back.

I’ve dabbled in pretty much every craft there is, but nothing has stuck around like quilting.
posted by itsamermaid at 7:54 PM on December 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Watching and following my local university women's basketball team.
posted by NotLost at 10:57 PM on December 9, 2021

I can trace a line from moving in to my first apartment in college to where I am today for a good chunk of my extracurriculars. I started learning how to cook for myself, and I have always loved food, so that slowly led to learning the French techniques. I got more interested in the local food movement, so when we finally moved to a place with a small yard I began gardening in earnest. Tied in with that, we had an acquaintance who raised livestock invite us to buy some of his meat... provided we cut it up ourselves. So, I learned butchery and charcuterie. This led to a desire to learn to harvest my own meat, so I took up fishing and hunting. Shooting sports came along for the ride in order to maintain my proficiency.

Learning outdoors skills as an adult has been incredibly challenging. These are the kinds of things that tend to get passed down through the generations, and existing hunters and anglers can be very protective of their "secret spots." Folks don't want newbies tagging along and potentially spoiling the experience. Thankfully, the state runs a lot of free courses geared at novices, and the internet's not a bad place to ask questions (as long as they are broadly about technique and gear and don't give away locations).
posted by backseatpilot at 5:24 AM on December 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

Started rock climbing (indoor and outdoor) at 36 immediately after having kid #3, haven't looked back. As a lifelong sports-hater, it's the first physical activity I've ever fallen in love with and it's been great for me physically and mentally.
posted by Ausamor at 6:33 AM on December 10, 2021

Crochet (winter), taking walks outside (seasonal), swimming (when available).
Reading is a lifelong hobby.
posted by TrishaU at 7:39 AM on December 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Adult coloring.
Running and weight training
Container gardening
posted by kathrynm at 10:20 AM on December 10, 2021

Crochet and knitting.
Kickboxing as of last month.
Block printing.
posted by elisebeth at 10:24 AM on December 10, 2021

Basically everything I do, I picked up as an adult. As a kid I basically just read and played guitar and flute.

But now, I really value moving my body and making things with my hands.

Distance running, yoga, knitting, crochet, spinning yarn on all manner of tools, dyeing yarn and spinning fiber, embroidery, cross stitch, machine sewing garments and quilts and utilitarian things, English paper piecing, making jewelry, bookbinding… I’m sure I’m forgetting some. I do a lot of things.
posted by liet at 10:43 AM on December 10, 2021

Expanded the music theory knowledge a childhood of orchestral cello didn't really provide (after letting my music-making lie fallow for a decade) and picking up guitar and piano in the doing has been probably the most rewarding. The other two best are carpentry (furniture and home restoration/alteration) and bikepacking, which combines my love of bicycles and hiking neatly into its own thing. I want fly fishing to be up there, but haven't yet given it the time it takes to get to anything resembling mastery.
posted by lhputtgrass at 8:19 PM on December 10, 2021

Railway modelling.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:41 AM on December 11, 2021

Baking bread

Product, if done well is better than most stores since most bread is best fresh out of oven and rested for about 1h=best (unlike many other foodstuffs...)

Appeals to measuring & systematic side of kitchen work more than many cooking styles (soo many variables!)

Yeast is powerful stuff.
posted by lalochezia at 6:29 AM on December 11, 2021

Glass bead making.
Metal smithing for jewelry.
Glass micro mosaic for jewelry.
posted by antiquated at 8:59 AM on December 11, 2021

I took up watercolors in pandemic time, and it's been huge for me. I do colorful doodles at home and small-scale landscapes when I go on hikes that I send off as postcards. Having a lot of bright colors in your eyeballs is therapeutic, I think, and damn, looking at a landscape and then trying to put it on paper makes my brain rev like a camry pulling an RV up a mountain.
posted by Rinku at 7:42 AM on December 12, 2021

Knitting, jigsaw puzzles, playing ice hockey (!)
posted by horsegnut at 8:44 AM on December 14, 2021

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