A senior man in silly sunglasses having fun with a hula hoop at home

There are plenty of unique hobbies that active adults can take up in retirement.

With the goal of encouraging an active lifestyle, 55+ communities around the country cater to many different hobbies, activities, and personal interests. Some of the most attractive communities include golf courses, pickleball courts, arts and crafts classes, cooking demonstrations, book clubs, and woodworking shops. Such resources and facilities allow active adults to continue their lifelong passions or pick up new hobbies and skills while making new friends.

While some of these typical hobbies remain quite popular, there are many other options out there for retirees who want a more unique way to spend their time. Here are some lesser-known hobbies active adults can pick up in their 55+ community.

1. Acting or Improv

Three older adults in costumes laughing while performing on stage

Acting or doing improv can explore a side of you that you’ve never discovered.

Whether you’ve been acting all your life or you've never stood up on stage, joining a theater group is a great way to stay lively and active. Acting or doing improv can explore a side of you that you’ve never discovered. It’s a great way to see things from a new perspective and express yourself in a way you never thought possible.

2. Candle Making

An older woman smiling while making homemade candles

Candles don’t take long to make, and they're actually cheaper than buying your own.

When it comes to crafting, most people are familiar with scrapbooking, knitting, and needlework. One craft that’s steadily gaining in popularity is candle making. Candles don’t take long to make, and they're actually cheaper than buying your own. Beginners can pick up the trade pretty quickly, although you’ll certainly get better as you go along. Homemade candles don’t have to be just for your own enjoyment—you can sell or give them to friends, family, and neighbors. You can also have fun coming up with your own personal branding.

3. Home Brewing

Two older men smiling while drinking beer at an outdoor table

Experiment with flavors that you, your family, and your friends will enjoy.

As at-home brewing continues to grow in popularity, now is a great time to start your own homemade brews, whether it’s coffee or beer. There are many online and offline resources to help novice brewers. It’s important to start small, then grow your brewery hardware as you get the hang of it. Make traditional lagers or experiment with other flavors that you, your family, and your friends will enjoy.

4. Jewelry Making

Closeup on an older woman's hands as she uses pilers to make a necklace

There’s a good chance your 55+ community has its own jewelry making club.

While it’s not a solo job anymore, there’s still a strong community of amateur and professional jewelry makers. Whether you’re using metals, beads, or gems, all the materials and tools you need can be found at your local craft store. There’s also a good chance your 55+ community has its own jewelry making club. If not, talk to your neighbors about starting your own.

5. Creative Writing

An older woman smiling while relaxing on a couch and writing in a journal

Creative writing allows people to find new perspectives and express themselves in new ways.

Retirement is the perfect time to sharpen your writing skills, whether it’s for yourself or for others. Many retirees enjoy preserving their life experiences through memoir writing, and creative writing (much like acting) allows people to find new perspectives and express themselves in new ways.

Another great way to jump into writing is by creating an illustrated children's book. Publishers are always looking for children’s books, but more importantly, it would make a great gift for the grandkids.

6. Playing Video Games

An older man with a headset on excitedly playing video games at his desk

Retirement presents the perfect opportunity for you to get lost in a fun, digital world.

Playing video games isn't just for young people. Whether you want to relax and plant cartoon crops or embark on a fantasy adventure, there are plenty of games for active adults. You might not have had the time before, but retirement presents the perfect opportunity for you to get lost in a fun, digital world. The best part? This doesn't have to be a solo hobby. Grab a friend or a family member and challenge them to a game. Your community may even have a club or an event dedicated to playing video games.

7. Calligraphy

Closeup on a woman's hand using a pen as she learns calligraphy in a class

As an ancient practice in patience and discipline, calligraphy can help lower stress levels.

If you're looking for a leisurely activity that can help keep your mind sharp, try creating art with words through calligraphy. All you need is a pen and paper (though you can get really creative with fancier pens and paper) to make some one-of-a-kind works of art. As an ancient practice in patience and discipline, calligraphy can also help lower stress levels and boost your overall mood.