10 Hobbies You Should Seriously Look Into During This Crummy Pandemic…

What are you doing with your time these days? Quarantining has got us reading lots of books, spending time video chatting with friends and family, working from home, all that jazz.
One thing we’ve noticed is that a lot of people are taking up fun new hobbies to pass the time and boost the spirits- and we have to say, some of them are pretty cool.
Always up for finding ways to make lemonade when life hands us lemons, we wanted to share some of these with you in the hopes that it’ll inspire you to get out there and learn some new stuff. The best part? They’re safe because you can do a lot of them at home, and the ones you can’t are super social-distancing-friendly. So take that, quarantine.

1. Archery

Go on, release your inner Katniss. There’s something badass about aiming, pulling back that bow, and watching that arrow fly. It’s not too hard to find an archery club or range in most places (here’s a link for some in Orange County), and you can usually rent a bow and arrows for a one time fee. If you’re hooked after the first shot, monthly memberships are often available.

It’s easy to learn, relaxing, and usually done outdoors. Not to mention you’ll seriously impress your friends.

(BTW, if you don’t already play, golf is another outdoor, social-distance friendly sport to consider…)

2. Woodworking

We’re going full-on summer camp, here. After your archery lesson, it’s on to woodworking, where you’ll learn to make all kinds of cool and useful things. Working with your hands is so satisfying, especially if you’re creating things with them.

There are plenty of resources out there on the net (especially YouTube) about how to get started, including what you’ll need, as well as guides on how to make super simple projects like cutting boards, end tables, and of course, birdhouses.

Don’t trust yourself? It’s all good. The Weekend Woodworker provides online hand-holding classes to make sure you’ve got the skills, tools, videos, resources, ALL the things. It’s designed to aid you from the very beginning all the way to advanced woodworking.

3. Become a Chess Champion

Ok, it may take a while to claim champion status on this one, but everyone needs to begin somewhere. Chess.com is a one-stop-shop for lessons, live matches, move-by-move coaching, and feedback, and once you’re ready, tournaments. It’s free to sign up and get started, plus it’s a lot of fun!

Go on, you know you’re looking forward to demolishing your know-it-all cousin Dave at Thanksgiving. Make it happen.

4. Learn How To Forage

You know how we were talking about how you may feel kind of uneasy about handling woodworking tools for the first time so you might want some guidance? This one is non-negotiable. Don’t do it without someone who knows what they’re doing. Usually, you can find guides in your city online.

Look for Facebook groups, or Meetups groups, you’ll be surviving like a mountain man (woman) before you know it. Also, the next time you host a dinner party (fingers crossed that it’ll be soon), you can serve some of the cool stuff you’ve foraged and teach your friends!

5. Take Up Gardening (If You Don’t Already)

Getting outside and digging in the dirt is incredibly therapeutic, as is watching what you’ve planted flourish and grow, especially if it’s edible. A quick trip to your local gardening center is a good place to begin and to ask questions about what’s good to grow in your neck of the woods. The people working there are usually more than happy to share tips and tricks on planting and landscaping.

If you’ve got a black thumb, don’t worry about it, you’d be amazed at how many plants there are out there that refuse to die.

If you’re already a seasoned gardener, why not up your game and build a composter or create a worm farm?

6. Learn How To Pickle And Can Food

Yaay! You foraged for it, you’ve grown it, and you’ve probably served your super-impressed friends and family meals made with it. Now, it’s time to learn the art and science of pickling and canning those fruits and veg!

There are plenty of online resources that teach the basics, and we’re confident that it’ll turn out so good, you’ll probably never buy store-bought canned and pickled stuff again.

7. Learn How To Brew Beer Or Make Wine

It makes complete sense that homebrewing is becoming one of the most popular shelter-in-place activities of “the time of the COVID” as we’re calling it around here. Not just anyone can create a quality ale or beautiful rose. It’s an art and a science. It takes precision, craftsmanship, intuition, and all the loving care of a mother tending to her children.

Plus we really like to drink beer and wine, so yeah, thumbs up.

There are beer and wine kits online all over the place for every taste, and there are online tutorials (again with the Youtube) if you get stuck and aren’t sure about something.

Two things you should know:

First- it takes up quite a bit of space, so be sure to clear out a corner in the dining room no one ever uses, or the garage or something.

Second- Drowning your COVID boredom/sorrows/problems in booze doesn’t actually work, unfortunately, regardless of how many times you’ve tried and could’ve sworn it did. Sorry. We don’t make the rules.

8. Geocaching

This one’s such a fascinating, fun hobby. (And you’ll feel like you’re in The Goonies, so cool!).

If you don’t know anything about it, geocaching is essentially an interactive, hide-and-seek, treasure hunt sort of game that you play with others from your area. Visit https://www.geocaching.com/play to learn how many things are hidden in your city, download the app, and get going!

It’s great for exercising your orienteering (is that a word?) and observation skills. It’s also great for exploring your city, you never know where you could end up!

9. Become A Car Buff

If you don’t know how the mechanics of a car works, now’s the time to learn.

Get online (yes, Youtube) and watch some tutorials on the basics. If you don’t already know, learn how to replace spark plugs, change a tire, change your oil, etc. Learn how to diagnose what’s wrong with your car when you’re hearing a mysterious noise from under the hood or it’s running strangely. Start with all of the simple, useful stuff that everyone needs to know about caring for their car DIY style. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your calling? Maybe you’ll really enjoy tinkering around with cars?

Good, ‘cause that’s when the real fun begins. Next stop: Buying and restoring that ‘69 Mustang that’s been rusting under a tarp in your neighbor’s garage for the last 10 years…

At this point, you may be thinking- “But I’m a girl, I don’t think I’d ever be able to do that…” Oh yeah? Don’t think you can do it? Well watch All Girl’s Garage, and wash that doubt right out of your hair, sister.

10. Learn How To Pick Locks

This is actually a really useful skill to have. Not because you want to go breaking into your neighbor’s house or take up a side hustle as a cat burglar, but because people get locked out of places. Who do we call when we get locked out of places? Someone who knows how to pick a lock.

It’s also a lot of fun. Like chess, it’s a puzzle that requires lots of focus to solve, and when you get it, it’s soooo satisfying. It’s super inexpensive to grab a simple lock-picking kit on Amazon. Once you get that down, there are more complicated kits (and locks, of course). Here’s a cool online guide to get you started.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to taking on a new hobby, and there’s so much more out there, we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. (Learn to code? Become an equestrienne? Take up spelunking?)
Hopefully, we’ve given you some inspiration to get out there and learn some new stuff, master some stuff you already know, or just pass the time doing something other than binge-watching Netflix.