Every guy needs at least one hobby, and the best hobbies for men can help you become a more well-rounded and happier person overall. Even if you love what you do for a living, the pressures of a job can sap some of your enjoyment. With a hobby, on the other hand, you’re only under pressure from yourself to improve. And with hobbies, you never really have to improve. As long as you’re enjoying yourself and feel engaged, then your hobby is worthwhile.
The benefits of engaging in hobbies are well documented. The tricky part is finding a new hobby that you really enjoy. The only way to really do that is with trial and error. While you shouldn’t give up if you don’t have fun right away, you should trust your instincts when trying a new hobby. You’ll learn pretty quickly if something is or isn’t for you. There’s no shame in calling it quits and finding something else that’s more to your liking.
Another instinct you might have once you start improving is to try to make money off your new hobby. And while you might just find a new fulfilling career path, you also risk turning your relaxing pastime into another stress-inducing responsibility. In short, it’s worth having hobbies just for the sake of it.
While many good hobbies include competitive pursuits like basketball and board games, there are plenty of non-competitive hobbies worth taking up, like baking and birdwatching. Below are some of the best hobbies for men (and some gear to get started), ranging from mixology to martial arts. We also consulted with our SPY’s writers and editors to learn what they like to do in their downtime, including pickleball, metal detecting and drone flying.
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Pickleball has enjoyed an explosion in popularity in the past few years, largely because of how accessible it is for people of different fitness levels to join. It’s also attracted fans among our staff, including Site Director Tim Werth. SPY’s senior E-commerce editor Taylor Galla is a fan, too, and notes that “You don’t have to be athletic or very good to enjoy it and get a great workout, and it’s just as fun to play inside as outside.” And if the pickleball courts are too crowded, there are plenty of alternatives like badminton, which is a great workout that you can take anywhere.
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Yoga is another activity that exploded in popularity over the course of the pandemic, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s relaxing and restorative, and you can do it at the pace and schedule that works best for you. It’s one of the best hobbies for men at home. Many people sign up for classes, but there are also free videos that make it easy to get started, such as Yoga with Adrienne.
3. Flying Drones
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Many of the best hobbies have been around for decades, if not centuries. Drone flying is a decidedly modern hobby, but it’s one that combines the fun of RC vehicles and photography. SPY’s tech editor John Velasco is a fan. “Achieving new vantage points is exactly what I love most about flying drones as a hobby. The immersive feeling like your soaring through the air is relaxing, plus you see landscapes from a different perspective than what you would on land.”
4. Martial Arts
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Martial arts vary widely, from grappling sports like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to classic disciplines like Karate. They’re a great way to develop discipline, build strength, learn self-defense, and safely work out a little anger, too. The best way to get started is to sign up for a class in your area.
5. Bird Watching
Birding is a great relaxing hobby for any nature lover, and you’ll quickly come to appreciate the diversity of your local ecology. You can download free apps like the Audobon Society’s app to see what other birders are spotting in your area. Digital or physical field guides will help you identify the birds you see, and you can also bring a camera if you want. The only piece of equipment you absolutely need to buy is a pair of binoculars, making this a reasonably affordable hobby to get into.
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Think LEGO is just for kids? Think again. LEGO regularly releases new sets featuring pop culture characters, building replicas, and sets related to just about any other interest. LEGO sets can be impressively complex and time-consuming. The Star Wars Razor Quest set from 2022 has a whopping 6,187 pieces. An alternative to LEGO is Nanoblocks, which SPY’s Managing Editor Sheilah Villari is a fan of.
7. Metal Detecting
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You might not get rich, but you can learn a lot about the history of your area by bringing a metal detector to the park or the beach. SPY’s Reviews Editor Anthony Mastracci is a fan, and says “Metal detecting has been an awesome excuse to get walking outside, away from all my screens, and embrace my inner history nerd. It’s fun for those who go with you and passers-by always enjoy watching. And although you find a ton of trash in the ground, finding it and properly discarding it helps clean up your community.”
8. Bike Riding
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There’s nothing like cruising down the street on a leisure-filled bike ride. Sure, cycling for exercise is great too, but a bike ride to the flea market, the beach or through the park? Nothing beats that. It’s one of the most calming hobbies and one that’s also good exercise. Win-win, in our book.
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Baking competition shows often show contestants under extreme pressure as they watch their cakes fail to rise and their cookies literally crumble. But baking doesn’t have to be stressful, as long as you let yourself make mistakes along the way.
10. Wheel Throwing
Wheel throwing uses a potter’s wheel to form clay into cups, mugs and bowls. You can sign up for a class or workshop in your area, but if you get really into it, you can even buy a wheel for home use. SPY’s senior e-commerce editor Taylor Galla is a fan. “Ever wanted to scream at a pile of wet dirt and yet you also somehow find peace? That’s what wheel throwing is like for me. It’s deceptively hard and I’m not very good at it, but I love it.”
Most sports make great hobbies, but basketball is an especially good option because it’s inexpensive and you can practice by yourself. While most sports require a partner or a group, you can easily practice free throws or play around the world by yourself and still get a surprisingly great workout.
12. Beer Brewing
Drinking it doesn’t count as a hobby, but making it certainly does. Making your own refreshing beer is easier than you might think. With a simple beer brewing kit, such as the set below, you can start brewing your craft beer from home. Of course, since it takes up to four weeks before the beer is ready to drink, you might want to stock up on some from the store before you get started.
Fishing has been a staple of men’s pastimes for ages, and it’s hard to think of a more stereotypical hobby for guys. Relaxing on a beach, pier or boat with friends (and maybe a beer) is sure to relax any stressed-out dude — even if you don’t catch anything.
14. Board Games
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On a rainy day, it doesn’t get better than board games. Once you start getting into them, it’s easy to start amassing an unwieldy collection. Party games are great for small groups of (potentially drunk) friends when there’s no chance of explaining complex rules. It won’t be long before you’re playing board games that take 45 minutes just to set up.
Codenames has quickly becine a modern classic. The game combines the mechanics of Password with an element of strategy, and it works best with four players, though there’s also a two-player version of codenames.
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If you haven’t touched a game controller in the past 10 years, maybe it’s time to pick one back up again. There are a plethora of new and improved consoles out there. The Playstation 5 is the latest and greatest from Sony, but you can save a good bit of money by going down a generation and picking up the PS4, easily one of the best consoles ever created. And of course, there’s tons of fun to be had on XBOX and Nintendo. If you’re a PC gamer, you can take things to the next level by building your own computer.
16. Film Photography
Still snapping every single possible photo on that iPhone? How boring. Spice it up by shooting 35mm film the way they did in the good ‘ole days. The process helps you slow down when shooting because there are only so many photos per roll of film. You can’t see the photos until they’re developed, either, so it’ll really test your patience. Whether it’s been a couple of decades since you’ve last put your hands on a film camera or the medium is new to you entirely, it’s an excellent way to create art and test your patience.
Save the bees! This might be one of the more niche hobbies for men on our list, but hear us out: beekeeping is the bee’s knees. We’re all in favor of a hobby that’s both fun and helps the world in some way, and beekeeping is a great way to improve your local ecology. Your reward? Delicious, delicious honey.
Unlike most forms of gambling, poker involves quite a bit of skill. If you want to (respectfully) take your friends’ money, win online or just have more fun with the game, poker can be a great hobby. There are countless poker books you can read to better understand the mathematics and strategy behind this game, or you can simply host a low-key poker night with your friends. You don’t even have to play for money, either.
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Hiking is one of the best hobbies because it can be as challenging or as easy as you want. You can find a 1.5 mile out and back or challenge yourself with a full day of hiking. Experience new trails and locations you’ve never been and see where the world takes you. Plus, hiking doesn’t need to be an expensive hobby. Just make sure you invest in comfortable hiking shoes or sneakers and bring plenty of water.
Sewing is a hobby that’s also useful. The next time your jeans rip or you lose a shirt button, you’ll know how to fix it yourself. And with a sewing machine, you can also create your own pieces, and get as creative or simple with it as you want. Brands like Bode have made the patchwork look popular, and a sewing machine allows you to get a unique, upcycled look on a budget. A dope way to get started is by heading to your local thrift store, picking out some patterns you like via old tees, sheets, dresses or anything else you might find on your trip, and attaching various patterns to a pair of old jeans or adding pockets to a solid button-down you haven’t worn in a few years.
Archery has a long and storied history, and modern compound bows pack incredible power (this is not a sport to take up lightly!). Archery is a beautiful intersection of focus, technology and exercise (it’s a serious back workout, too), and very addicting once you get the hang of it. Remember: while archery is one of the best hobbies for men and women, you can hurt yourself or others if you don’t practice this sport responsibly.
Chess can be played casually and quickly (speed chess), or you can set out to be the next Bobby Fischer. The best way to play is in person with a friend or family member, but of course, there are plenty of online chess sites and apps for solo play. The good thing about chess is that it’s fairly quick to learn. Mastery, on the other hand, is a whole different question.
Craft cocktails have skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade or so, but the best way to enjoy them might not be at a trendy cocktail bar. Mixing your own concoctions can be more fun than watching a bartender, and it’s far less expensive as well. So grab your favorite whiskey and tequila, a cocktail kit, and start inventing new recipes. Or, learn the techniques by picking up a mixology book like Meehan’s bartender manual or Cocktail Codex.
24. Learning A New Language
Learning a new language might seem more like homework than a hobby, but apps like Babbel and Duolingo allow you to learn a new language on the go. Next time you’re on a commute or waiting in line, skip the game and bust out your language learning app.
25. Computer Programming
Programming might be the most useful hobby to pick up in the 21st century. It’s cutting-edge, lucrative (if you get good) and simply fun. Learn how to create new spaces and tools for our shared digital world. For more resources on learning to code, check out our favorite computer programming apps and books.
26. Vinyl Record Collecting
Vinyl is definitely having a moment right now, but this tried and true format isn’t going anywhere, even if the hype dies down. Sure, it takes some work to flip through dusty old albums at a record store or hunt down the best vinyl online, carefully stashing your burgeoning collection and playing the records on a turntable. But, wait — doesn’t that sound awesome?
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Action sports are one of the best outlets for clearing your head while getting some exercise, but skating is probably the easiest hobby to get into. All you need is a board and a flat concrete surface — ramps, pools, rails and stairs are all optional, but greatly appreciated.
28. Book collecting
Getting into book collecting doesn’t just mean buying books. Whether you want to read the classics, build up a collection of science-fiction, or find investment-worthy first editions or books with iconic dust jackets, the real fun is in the search. Of course, having an impressive library to peruse is also very rewarding.
Psychologists agree: making art is a great de-stressor, no matter your skill level. Paint the sunrise before work, let out emotions after dinner or relax with some landscape painting on the weekends. It doesn’t just have to be painting, either; you can work in charcoal and ink. Let your inner doodler run free.
Running is pure freedom. It’s easy to start and makes a great excuse to explore nature, cities or your own neighborhood. Plus, it’s an affordable hobby to get into. Once you have comfortable clothes and good quality shoes, you don’t need much more.
You might think you need a big outdoor space to get into gardening, but that’s not necessarily the case. You can get growing using just your balcony or windowsill. It’ll make your home feel fresher, and you’ll also enjoy the benefits of fresher food. If you have the space for them, tomatoes are famously easy to grow, making it a great place to start.
Knitting is for everyone, including manly dudes like Ryan Gosling and Russel Crowe (really). The simple art form can be accomplished at any time, anywhere. Work on a hat while zoom calling, a sweater while watching TV or a scarf while listening to music. It’s therapeutic, and you get something to wear at the end of it. Win-win in our book.
Meditation may be less of a hobby and more of a practice, but it’s one that can greatly boost your mental well-being. Plus, starting your day with meditation will put you in the right headspace for any other hobbies you might want to pursue. It can be challenging at first, but greatly rewarding in the long run.
Want to make beautiful sculptures without a mess? Try origami. The Japanese art form is easy to pick up (you just need paper and directions) and produces some mantle-worthy results. Plus, giving someone something you made, even if it’s as seemingly simple as folded paper, can be a really thoughtful gift.
Instead of snacking while watching TV or sitting in online meetings, try whittling. That’s right, whittling. With a simple set of tools and a bit of determination, you can turn any piece of scrap wood into usable art. And if you want to start making bigger pieces, whittling is a great gateway to woodworking, another incredibly fulfilling hobby.
36. Rock climbing
Rock climbing has recently become much more popular thanks to the rise of climbing gyms in many metro areas. The sport is an incredible workout and requires serious focus, even if you never try to scale an actual rock wall out in the wild. This sport does require some dedication, but few things are more rewarding than completing a tricky climb, whether out in nature or at your local climbing gym. For the sports-inclined, this is one of the best hobbies for men who aren’t afraid of hard work (or heights).
Yes, everyone has a podcast. No, that’s not a bad thing. Podcasting is a great hobby because it’s easy to get into once you make the initial investment in microphones and recording equipment. Even if your podcast never grows beyond a few listeners, it can still be fulfilling way to learn about and discuss something that you’re passionate about.
38. Learn an Instrument
It’s never too late to learn how to play an instrument. There’s a reason guitar is a classic hobby; it allows you to tap into your creative side, while also giving you the tactile pleasure of strumming some chords. Of course, guitar is hardly the be-all-end-all of beginner musicians. Try your hand (or mouth) at instruments like bass, piano, harmonica or sax.
Writing may be one of the first things you learned how to do in kindergarten, but it’s something that’s hard to do well. Writing fiction can be a great way to express your creativity, but you don’t have to be the next Tolstoy to be a writer. Putting pen to paper and scribbling down something as simple as what happened to you that day can be a rewarding experience.
While we’re not 100% if this is technically considered a hobby, it’s a hell of a great way to kill some time. TikTok is a stellar way to waste your day in bed. There are loads of hilarious, helpful and even scary short clips to watch, depending on your preference. Maybe even get in on the fun and create some videos yourself. Who knows what’ll happen.