Never Stop Learning! 11 Hobbies to Try Out

Cedars of Chapel Hill Members enjoy birdwatching at our bird sanctuary.

There’s never a time to stop learning because there’s always something new to try. Finding a new activity or interest is essential regardless of age or physical capabilities. Like Henry Ford stated, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” With that in mind, now is a great time to pick up a new hobby.

If 2020 has taught us anything, there’s always an opportunity to learn. Whether simple, like developing a reading habit, or more involved, like learning to cook, taking the time to broaden your interests is a beautiful way to connect with others.

11 Hobbies to Explore

It can seem easy for children and young adults to jump in and do something new. But, unfortunately, our willingness to explore can sometimes get misplaced as we age. However, that doesn’t mean we should stop doing something different. So, here are some great hobbies to check out.


Did you dance way back when? Well, dust off those dancing shoes and two-step or foxtrot your way back to the dance floor! And, if you have never learned how to dance, then now is a great time to do so. From swing to salsa or even modern hip hop, learning to dance is a great way to make new friends and get some exercise.

Building Models

Building model boats, cars, aircraft, trains and houses is a great way to unwind. You can find an assortment of model kits at any craft store or online. These kits come in a range of difficulty levels, so even if it has been years since you last built something or perhaps, you have never created a model, you are sure to have fun.

Baking or Cooking

By rights, these could each be a new hobby! However, baking is more appealing to people inclined towards precision and measuring because it is more of a science. But don’t let the science side of baking deter you! After all, there’s no denying the artistry of a beautifully decorated cake.

Cooking is an excellent choice for those who like room for more creativity. Unlike baking, where measurements need to be more exact for a cake or pie, cooking allows for more flexibility. Sure, cooking requires basic measures – for example, a roux is equal parts flour to fat – but once you have mastered the basics, you can take that simple roux and make dozens of different dishes just by changing the flavor profile!

The great thing about these two hobbies? You get to enjoy the outcome. And don’t be concerned about having too much. Having those extra dishes and desserts means it is time to invite friends over for a visit.


Whether sitting on a bank or aboard a boat, getting out on the water is a great way to spend the day! If you have never cast a fishing line, now is the time to learn how. Whether you find a friend to teach you, talk to a local pro or find yourself digging out that old tackle box, rod and reel, making time to fish is a hobby worth trying.

Get Artsy!

Sign up for a painting or drawing class, take voice lessons or learn to play an instrument that has always fascinated you. There’s never a point where it’s too late to learn how to draw, paint, sketch or play the bass. Not sure where to get started? Check out the Orange County Arts Commission for possibilities. In addition, the Cedars of Chapel Hill offers Members a variety of art classes weekly. No matter the artistic endeavor, you will enjoy exploring your creative side!


Exercise has come a long way since the calisthenics we learned in school! Today you can take classes such as Zumba, Pilates, Water aerobics or Tai Chi and indulge your competitive side with pickleball, badminton and many other sports. Whatever activity you decide on, you will feel better and healthier for doing it. Building slowly from your current fitness level is the key to success and safety when beginning a new routine.

Volunteer Somewhere

From local groups to far-reaching organizations where travel abroad is the norm, finding a way to give back is an excellent way to live your days. All of us have a skill or experiences others can learn from, so choosing a hobby where you share this knowledge is a beautiful way to expand your circle of influence. And more than likely, the people you are teaching will also teach you a few things along the way.

Tech World

We have all seen the memes of the kids teaching their grandparent(s) how to use a mobile phone, computer or other tech-related skills. So why not take matters into your own hands and sign up for a class at the community center or local college? According to a Harvard School of Public Health survey, only about 50% of people over 60 are comfortable using the Internet, while only 20% of people age 57 can use the Web quickly. Avoid participating in these statistics and sign up for a tech class today!


Many retirees have found learning about gardening to be a great activity. Whether traditional gardens of your favorite flowers, creating terrariums, learning all about succulents or taking up vegetable gardening, this is a worthy hobby to bring you great delight!


While today’s phones can make nearly anyone feel like a photographer, there is still much more to taking a great pic than a point-and-shoot phone. Consider taking a photography class if you have or are interested in higher-end camera equipment. On the other hand, if the modern approach is more your thing, take some courses on photo editing using tools such as Lightroom, Canva and other photo programs.


Sure, we have all seen birds. But have you observed them in their natural element? Birdwatching is a great pastime. You will find great delight as you begin to study and learn about the birds in your area. Birds are such fascinating creatures, each species with its personalities and differences.

And as you know more about the local birds, you may even get a bit more exercise as you explore local hiking and walking trails looking for a Tufted Titmouse, Ruby-throated Hummingbird or Carolina Chickadee. Ready to find a local group? Check out Carolina Birding Clubs to discover one that suits your interests.

Of course, no longer being under 60 doesn’t mean one suddenly stops trying new things. On the contrary, you have a unique opportunity to indulge the interests you have always wanted to try. Or, perhaps, you will find a new hobby you never considered. So, what hobby will you explore?

For additional ideas, check out this month’s activities in the Cedars Post.