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Top 50 Hobbies for Teens (That Aren’t Sports, Computers, or Gaming)

Written by Evolve's Behavioral Health Content Team​:

Alyson Orcena, LMFT, Melissa Vallas, MD, Shikha Verma, MD, Ellen Bloch, LCSW, Lianne Tendler, LMFT, Megan Johnston, LMFT
Meet The Team >

Data from the American Time Use Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows that most teenagers have about five hours of spare time on any given weekday. That’s after school, homework, and eating.

The best way to fill that time?

A hobby, of course.

But what if you aren’t interested in typical hobbies like sports or computers?

Don’t worry. There’s a whole world of things to do out there. It’s a matter of trial and error. And if you’re wondering why you need a hobby, check out our article on the benefits of hobbies for teens here.

Our Top 50 Hobbies for Teens That Aren’t Sports, Computers, or Gaming

1. Music

Classical, Rock, Pop, Bluegrass, Jazz, Blues, Country, Funk, K-Pop, I-Pop, Hip-Hop, Reggae. Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, Violin, Cello, Flute, Saxophone, Trumpet, Clarinet, Turntablism. Listen to it, play it, write it, collect it, produce it. All you have to do is love it. Music is the universal language of the soul. It can be an all-consuming passion or just something to pass the time. It’s up to you. If you love music, you already know: life is better when there’s music in it.

2. Visual Arts

Painting, drawing, sculpture. Portraits, comics, caricatures. If you’ve ever drawn a picture and made someone say “Wow” then you should pursue it. And if you want to learn to draw, it’s a great, stress-relieving way to pass the time. All you need to get started is a pad and a pencil.

3. Service Work

Build houses, pass out food, collect clothes, raise money, help out at a shelter. Go abroad and do a project in a developing country or look for something local and offer a few hours a week. Helping people is a wonderful way to get out in the world, do something positive to help those in need, and learn new things about people you might not otherwise meet.

Hobbies for Teens - Nature

4. Nature

Gardening, plant identification, conservation, environmental advocacy. Hiking, bird-watching, insect collecting. If you love the natural world, your opportunities are virtually limitless. Did we mention animals? They’re part of nature. Dogs, cats, horses, snakes, lizards, and toads – they’re all out there for you to learn about.

5. Writing

Stories, poems, plays, novels, articles. Fiction or non-fiction. Journaling. Writing is a healthy way to process emotions, create something new and exciting, or lay the foundation for a career in journalism. It’s also very easy to start: like drawing, all you need is paper and pencil.

6. Dance

Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Breaking, Flamenco, Tango, Ballroom, Country Line, Square, Contra. Find the music you love and the dance that goes with it. There are dance classes everywhere in just about any style you can think of, and probably a few you haven’t. Like Kathakali dance from India. We’re just saying. Find your groove and move your body: that’s all it takes to start.

7. Drama

Not as in who likes who or omg guess who did what this weekend. We’re talking acting. Designing and building sets. Rigging and running lights. Sound design. Doing makeup. Or learning improv, sketch, or stand-up comedy. Enjoy being the boss? Stage managing or directing might be for you. Love attention? Act your heart out. Behind the scenes or out front and center, there’s a spot in the drama world for you. One thing about drama people: no matter who you are, they’ll welcome you with open arms and find a place for you.

teen girl cooks with mom

8. Cooking

Everyone gets hungry every single day of their lives. Like more than once.  And guess what? They gotta eat. That’s where you come to the rescue with something yummy to make them happy and keep them going. Learn to cook classic American food, fine French cuisine, Mexican dishes, Italian pasta delights, or challenge yourself with the wonders of Asian food, which includes Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and more. From appetizers to dinners to desserts and snacks. From baking to grilling, find a food you love and learn to make it. Your belly – and probably your family – will love you all the more.

9. Astronomy

Scientists, hobbyists, and daydreamers – excuse us – nightdreamers have been looking up at the stars for centuries, thinking big thoughts and asking big questions about the nature of the universe and pondering the Biggest Question of All: Where Do We Come From? Take a deep dive into Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein, and Hawking. Or just get a star chart and learn to identify the major constellations. There’s nothing like lying on your back out in the yard on a warm summer night and gazing up at the stars. Or freezing your backside off at a mountaintop observatory. From the serious to the casual, you can’t go wrong with learning more about this amazing universe we live in.

10. Languages

Learn how to talk to people all over the world – without Google Translate. If you’re interested in learning a language, the earlier you start, the better. Right now, your brain is forming the advanced neural networks that enable you to learn a new language. Research shows that learning a language when you’re young – during your teen years, for instance – is much easier than when you’re an adult. Carpe diem!

11. Photography

Capturing the world around you can be one of the best hobbies for teenagers. Most teens have their phone with them at all times, and with the way phone cameras have been developing, it is increasingly easier to take amazing photos of anything you come across. From game nights to hanging out with friends, getting creative not only with capturing the moment, but seeing what can be created in editing platforms can add a whole new way to look at something as simple as taking a photo.

12. Hiking or Camping

Getting outside in nature can spark wonders for your imagination and help with realizing there is so much more to life than what we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. Hiking and camping are among many good hobbies for teens that can also help counteract teen fatigue.

13. Fishing

Looking to find a new sense of peace? Fishing is a great way to put your mind at ease. The long pauses between catches ignite deep periods of reflection and tranquility.

14. Model Building

Model building is a great outlet for both creative and meticulous minds alike. There is a great sense of accomplishment once a model is fully built.

15. Collecting

Crystals and gems? Skateboards? Shoes? Vintage clothing? Collecting is a great way to stay engaged with your surroundings, wherever you might find yourself.

16. Watching Movies

Whether it’s studying film for acting or production reasons, or simply for the enjoyment of the art, there are so many movies out there to be seen. This is one of the advantages of residential treatment for teens.

17. Skateboarding or Rollerblading

Getting active with skateboarding or rollerblading is a great way to exercise and build a sense of community with your peers.

18. Horseback Riding

Forming a bond with a horse and feeling the adrenaline of horseback riding is a great mixture for just about any teen.

19. Swimming

Swimming is one of the best teenage hobbies for getting in a full body exercise and learning a life skill that could save your life!

teen girl rock wall climbing

20. Rock Climbing

If you are into thrills and not afraid of heights, rock climbing is a great outlet for you.

21. Martial Arts

Undertaking martial arts is one of the best hobbies for teenage guys and girls, as it teaches discipline, routine, and respect. This translates into so many areas of life outside of martial arts.

22. Yoga or Meditation

Yoga and meditation will teach you to calm your mind, exercise your flexibility, and take control of your mindset each day. Yoga is commonly known to be one of those hobbies for teenage girls, but it is a great outlet for any gender. Meditation can also be great during family therapy.

23. Surfing or Water Sports

Kayaking in rivers and lakes, surfing in the ocean, and any other type of water sport is a great way to test your physical ability and gain respect for this vital earthly element.

24. Snowboarding or Skiing

If you enjoy snow, hit the slopes and find out whether snowboarding or skiing is right for you.

25. Mountain Biking

Not just a fantastic workout, mountain biking allows you thrills and views you just can’t get with hiking.

26. Parkour

Fascinated with human movement and physiology? Parkour blends both with also unlocking how to move through obstacles with the least resistance.

27. BMX or Dirt Biking

Ever watched the X-Games and thought that BMX or dirt biking looked awesome? Now is the time to try it out and see how you take to it.

28. Archery

For those that are fans of the movie Avatar, this is definitely something worth trying out.

29. Shooting Sports

If you have the ability to get out to a shooting range, you might find the focus of shooting sports to be fitting for your personality.

30. Sewing

Looking for a way to express your creativity? You can customize your clothes and create one-of-a-kind designs.

teenager tennis player

31. Tennis

Tennis is a great way to work on your hand-eye coordination while also getting in great cardio.

32. Golf

Golf is more accessible than ever. And it’s a great way to get outside for a few hours while learning something that’s loved by people around the world.

33. Bowling

Bowling is a great way to make new friends and involve yourself in a community of like-minded people.

34. Table Tennis

Also known as ping pong, table tennis is just a classic game that’s fun whether you end up at a tech startup after college or just simply play for fun.

35. Fencing

Ever wanted to feel like Zorro? Throw a suit on, pick up a sword, and learn the great art of fencing! There is actually more footwork to fencing than you might realize.

36. Badminton

This is a great way to have fun with friends without the intensity of tennis.

37. Rugby

Are you strong and love competition? Rugby requires both, and requires great team work.

38. Soccer

A world-renowned sport, soccer is a must try for teenage hobbies.

39. Baseball

The sport America is known for around the globe. If you’re not ready to go pro, it’s always nice to just play catch.

40. Softball

A great team sport for those looking to form connections with more of their peers.

American Football Player

41. Football

Football is great for teens looking to find a team and sport they can play for life and have something they can follow for life. This can really help influence teen happiness.

42. Basketball

If you’re tall and athletic, basketball is a great outlet to try. You could be the next Michael Jordan!

43. Hockey

If you enjoy ice skating and don’t mind the cold, hockey is a great way to take things to the next level.

44. Lacrosse

Considered the oldest sport in American history, lacrosse presents a very athletic and strategic challenge you might enjoy.

45. Track and Field

From pole vaulting, high jumps, and sprints, track and field has many options you can choose from to see if one stands out the most.

46. Weightlifting

Whether you’re wanting to get strong, become more athletic, or just take on a different look, weightlifting is a great hobby to take on, and a great answer to how can teens reduce stress.

47. Crossfit

A more intense version of weightlifting, this is something you can graduate to once you’ve got weightlifting mastered.

48. Pilates

Pilates can be one of the quickest ways to gain strength and flexibility simultaneously.

49. Zumba

Dancing and exercise combined into one. Dance with friends to fun music while getting a great workout in.

50. Gymnastics

Testing the boundaries of flexibility and athleticism, gymnastics is an outlet that will not only keep you in the best shape, but it could take you to the Olympics!

Frequently Asked Questions About Hobbies for Teens 

Why are hobbies important for teenagers?

Hobbies for teens provide opportunities for self-expression, creativity, skill development, and personal growth. They can help teens explore their interests, relieve stress, build confidence, and develop a sense of identity outside of academics or social pressures.

How can teenagers find hobbies that interest them?

Teenagers can explore different activities by trying new things, attending workshops or classes, joining clubs or community groups, volunteering, or asking friends and family for recommendations. Online resources, such as tutorials or forums, can also help teenagers discover new hobbies.

Are there any benefits to having hobbies for teenagers?

Yes, hobbies for teens offer numerous benefits. Pursuing a hobby can help improve a teen’s mental health and well-being, enhance their cognitive skills, foster social connections and friendships, provide a sense of accomplishment, and even potentially lead to future career opportunities or lifelong passions.

How can teenagers balance hobbies with school and other responsibilities?

Time management is key to balancing hobbies with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and other responsibilities. Teenagers must learn to prioritize their time, set realistic goals, establish a schedule, and communicate their needs and boundaries with family and friends.

Can hobbies help teenagers develop valuable skills?

Yes, hobbies for teens can help them develop creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, discipline, and perseverance. Then they can apply these skills to other areas of their lives, like academics, careers, and relationships. 

What if a teenager loses interest in a hobby?

It’s natural for interests to evolve over time, and it’s okay if a teenager loses interest in a hobby. They can explore new activities or revisit old hobbies to reignite their passion. It’s essential for teenagers to have the freedom to explore different interests and find what resonates with them.

How can parents support their teenagers’ hobbies?

Parents can support their teenagers’ hobbies by encouraging exploration, providing resources and opportunities for learning or practicing, offering praise and encouragement, and showing interest in their teenagers’ interests. They can also help facilitate access to materials, equipment, or classes related to their hobbies.

Are there any affordable hobbies for teenagers?

Yes, there are plenty of affordable hobbies for teenagers, such as drawing, writing, reading, running or jogging, hiking, photography with a smartphone, cooking or baking, gardening, and DIY crafts using recycled materials or inexpensive supplies. Additionally, many public libraries, community centers, and schools offer free or low-cost resources for pursuing hobbies for teens.

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