9 Wallet-Friendly Hobbies and Activities for Active Adults

55+ communities now make it easy to explore new interests and rediscover old hobbies without breaking the bank.

Retirement often means you have more free time than ever before, but living on a fixed income can make filling that free time harder than expected. If you’re looking for cheap hobbies, 55+ communities offer a variety of low-cost clubs and activities that allow residents to get out there and socialize while on a budget.

Whether you want to join a pre-existing club or just take up a cheap hobby of your own, here are nine of our favorite, free or inexspensive hobbies and ways to spend your leisure time.

Nature Walks

Older Asian couple walking on elevated trail through lush, green forest.
Whether it’s just a walk in your community or heading to a nearby trail, walks are rewarding and free.

A great no-budget activity for retirees is a nature walk. Ideally done in groups of outdoor enthusiasts rather than alone, nature walks provide both exercise and an appreciation for the world around you. Whether you have a nearby park or just some neighborhood walking trails, a nature walk is a great way to catch up with friends while also taking in the great outdoors.

Singing Groups

Group of older adults singing around a piano
Joining a group in your community or town is free and a rewarding way to embrace the arts.

Appreciate the arts but don’t have the money to spend on attending concerts and musicals? Start your own community singing group, where some simple sheet music and a piano can turn a quiet afternoon into a creative outlet. Once your group has practiced, performing for your community is a great way to bring free entertainment to everyone.

Creative Writing

All you need is a pencil and a notebook to start writing.

Whether done as a solitary activity or in a class through the community, creative writing is a great way for retirees to pass the time while creating something lasting. Whether you’ve always wanted to try your hand at poetry or playwriting, retirement is the perfect time to give it a shot­­–– and all you need is a pen, some paper, and a great idea.

Book Club

Stack of books against a blue wall
Joining a book club is a great way to spend free time with others and yourself.

Looking for a thought provoking way to spend your time? Start a community book club where residents can get together and discuss current or classic literature. Not only is it a great excuse to cross some novels off of your reading list, but you’ll also benefit from great conversation with friends and neighbors.

Game Night

Two older men playing Playstation in a dark room
Wether it’s a board game or a video game, getting together to play with friends makes for an affordable night.

If you’re looking for an entertaining way to spend an evening without spending an arm and a leg, invite friends to a common area and ask them to each bring a card or board game of their choice. This is a great way to catch up over some friendly competition without any spending.

Movie Night

An older couple on a bed under covers watching a movie
A movie night is a great way to spend a cheap night at home.

Many active adult communities offer a multi-media area or common space to watch films, so a themed movie night is a fun and free way to spend time with friends. Go for a blast from the past with old classics, and vote on which titles make the list.


Close up of older woman knitting
Knitting supplies are in inexpensive and a it’s a great way to relax.

With minimal supplies needed that you can buy at any nearby craft store, knitting is a great way to relax in retirement. Whether done alone or in a knitting group, it’s not only a good way to pass the time, but it’s productive–– you can use your newfound skills to knit gifts for friends and family.

Cooking Club

Older couple cooking over a stove in modern kitchen
Joining a cooking club means swapping recipes and food.

Everyone needs to eat, so why not gather a group of culinary-minded friends to cook up some of your favorite dishes together? Rather than making dinner alone, invite other residents to share favorite recipes and have your own potlucks. You can even schedule times for different members to do demonstrations of how to make group favorites.


An older couple gardening in their backyard.
Starting a garden is relaxing and saves you money on ingredients in the long run.

Whether alone or as part of a club, gardening is both a relaxing and rewarding activity. Maintaining a garden allows retirees to stay active outdoors while also keeping their yards looking beautiful, and the best part is that a small garden can be kept with even minimal supplies. These are just nine of our favorites. Are there any popular low-cost activities in your  age-restricted neighborhood that are not listed above?

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