There is a gender gap when it comes to hobbies and leisure. While it might seem superficial in comparison to the gender pay gap or disparities in healthcare across the gender spectrum, hobbies are often an elusive aspect to a woman’s self-care.
Historically — and presently — women often fill a role of a caretaker or homemaker and statistically have less leisure time than men.
This makes it pretty difficult for women to break into traditionally masculine (whatever that means!) hobbies, or to find a hobby that is fun, engaging, and self-affirming.
Women and girls deserve more time to themselves to explore, play, and relax in whatever ways are most enjoyable to them — without shame.
If you’re someone who feels lost in the daily soup of work schedules, caretaking, homemaking, or just finding 10 minutes to enjoy a nice shower, you’re probably also someone who feels lost trying to identify what they like to do in those rare moments of free time.
Never fear! Read on for a comprehensive (but not complete!) list of hobbies and activities for women — because you deserve to have a little fun.
Note: While this article is dedicated to the experiences of women, we want to remind our readers that we are not the gatekeepers of gender, and anyone of any identity can participate in these hobbies.
Want to explore even more hobbies? Explore this comprehensive list of hobbies!
By the way, some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
The Ultimate List of Hobbies for Women
Watercolor, oil, acrylic, gouache, you name it! Break out the paints and make something beautiful. Or just something you want to express.
Not so far off from painting, you can unlock your creativity with a marker, colored pencil, crayon, — or digital pencil!
You can even take drawing lessons at a local community center or art studio — or find drawing tutorial books or YouTube videos.
Sewing isn’t just for hemming dresses. You can find a gently used sewing machine online, check one out from your local library, or take a class at a nearby fabric store and execute all kinds of projects.
From up-cycling thrifted clothes, repairing items in your closet, or making pillows, aprons, bags, and more, sewing might just be the perfect fit for you.
Knitting / Crocheting
More fiber arts! YouTube is full of resources for beginner knitters and crocheters, and it’s never been cooler to make your own sweater.
Whether you prefer knitting needles or a crochet hook, there are loads of patterns and projects waiting to be brought to life.
Did you know that quilting has long been a hobby associated with feminist movements? According to the International Quilt Museum, “activists employed quilts because they were historically women’s work, and therefore, considered less abrasive than standard activism.”
Whether you get into quilting for craftivism, to create a family heirloom, or to relax and unwind, we support it.
Embroidery / Needlepoint
Embroidery and needlepoint are another form of artwork that have long been deemed “women’s work.” Instead of seeing it as work, many women artists have embraced the fun, creative freedom of hand-stitching a beautiful design to display on walls, clothing — and even a snarky throw pillow.
One of the coolest things about the digital age is having a high-quality camera right in the palm of your hands. Whether you use your smartphone, a film camera, or a fancy schmancy mirrorless DSLR, learning photography is easier than ever.
If you feel like you have an eye for beautiful things and want to take it to the next level, you can also check out a photography course at your local community college or learning center!
This might sound controversial, but making and editing TikToks is indeed a hobby!
While a lot of us are now amateur video editors thanks to the nature of social media, you can level up with all kinds of small videos or montage videos through video editing software on your phone or computer. Keep learning that choreo and making memes — it’s totally valid!
If you’re really into production, scriptwriting, set design, or special effects, filmmaking could become a great passion project, too!
Not sure where to get started? Turn your lifelong idea into a script, sit your family and friends down for a documentary-style interview, or tap into your inner Ben Wyatt and try claymation. (Be warned: That last one might not be very encouraging, though.)
Were you a theater kid in high school? Have you ever dreamed of being on stage? Check out your local community theater for acting opportunities — or find an improv class near you! It’s all about the yes, and…
Pottery / Ceramics
You don’t need to be Patrick Swayze in “Ghost” to lean into that potter’s wheel. Find a ceramics studio near you, take a class, or just freestyle it with some clay and see what happens!
Do you find yourself oohing and ahhing over home tours on Architectural Digest’s YouTube channel? Or do you often get the urge to rearrange furniture or put new art on the walls? Put your interior design and decorating skills to use!
Whether you stick to projects in your own home or tag along with a friend when they hit the furniture store, let your creativity run wild.
Writing is an amazing and affordable way to tap into your creativity and tell your important stories. Poetry, prose, fiction, essays: It’s up to you!
You can even start by journaling or brain-dumping every morning.
With the resurgence of film and polaroid photography, lots of us have tangible memories we’re not sure where to keep. Instead of tossing your polaroids aside or keeping your film scans on a hard drive, print them out and create scrapbook spreads you can look back on fondly.
You don’t even need to get anything fancy to make this happen! Once you have your scrapbook or photo album, you can use found objects, papers, or stickers to create meaningful memories to cherish forever.
Are you someone who loves to put those “life hack” or DIY videos to the test? Create a Pinterest board full of ideas and use found or recycled items to craft your heart out.
Maybe you’re into welding, or maybe you’re into jewelry making, but either way, silversmith, you’ve got a talent for making something amazing.
Visit a local workshop for tools, or build out your home workbench and get going.
Another fun project for the workshop? Woodworking! Build your birdhouses, furniture, picture frames, or wood-burned signs with your own two hands. Bonus points if you use recycled, found, and ethically sourced materials!
Paging Jan Levinson from “The Office!” We all love a good candle, so why not try making some yourself? If you’re intimidated by starting on your own, there are many candle shops that offer DIY workshops to help you pick your perfect scent and learn the process from start to finish.
From polymer clay earrings to beaded bracelets, there are countless ways to make cute, unique jewelry right from your own craft bench.
Skip the easily-tarnished jewelry from the department store and make something that will stand out!
Arguably one of the art forms with the most bad-ass reputations, glassblowing is a great avenue for those who love detail work and learning about unique processes.
Search for a glassblowing class near you or join a studio to partake in the fundamentals.
If you believe that letter-writing is a lost art or just want to try your hand at something new, calligraphy is a fun, traditional art that will have you flexing your new skills every time you need to address an envelope, create a name tag, or produce signage for an event.
Start with a workbook (anybody remember those elementary school cursive lessons?) and then break out the beautiful stationery once you’ve leveled up.
Calling all high school show choir alumni! Do you love to sing? Like, outside of the shower? Show off your chops!
Take singing lessons, join a community choir, audition for an a capella group, or just make plans to take the stage at your local karaoke bar.
Nail art has been around for centuries, but modern nail art traces its roots back to disco culture popularity among Black women in the 1950s.
Once you learn this storied history and can embrace the origins of such a unique and beautiful art form, you’ll be able to lean into your own creativity, too! Maximize your at-home manicures or practice your work on a friend.
Building a dollhouse? Painting miniatures for your next Dungeons & Dragons campaign? Creating fairy gardens? No matter your end goal, the medium of miniatures can be a whimsical way to build a new world within your own reality.
Just be sure to use the tiny paint brushes!
Regardless of if you’re starting from a sketch, sitting at a sewing machine, or wearing artfully curated outfits, fashion design is an explorative and expressive avenue for showcasing your truest self.
While stereotypes paint women as people who just like to gossip and shop, it takes real skill to strategically and consciously shop.
Use your ethical shopping skills to curate a cozy home, grow your apparel selections, or consult with your friends as they take on the challenge of discovering their perfect finds.
An even more exhilarating experience? Finding exactly what you’re looking for at the local thrift store — or any online second hand retailer.
Dive in the bargain bins, sift through the racks, and eyeball the housewares like there’s no tomorrow.
Plus, you can feel even better knowing that your thrifting helps the planet by creating a circular life cycle for your new-to-you items.
The estate sale girlies know how to get things done. If you’re already a pro at the window shopping and thrifting game, consider the possibilities of antiquing.
Antiques and vintage wares are especially fun because they often have a story or a historical significance that can bring even more meaning to the artifact at hand.
Super fans, this one’s for you. If you’re going to a convention or just want to unleash your alter-ego through photos or videos, dedicate your free time to perfecting your character cosplay with elaborate costuming, makeup, and more.
Who will you be?
Having a collection is not only a great way to explore the world, but it’s a great outlet for finding community.
Connect with the stamp collectors, vinyl collectors, or Beanie Baby collectors of the world and enjoy the mission of finding the next holy grail item in your lot.
Have you ever caught yourself looking at old family photos and desperately wondering about the stories behind them? Genealogy might be a path for you to travel.
You don’t even have to take a DNA test just yet! Start by exploring what you already know about your family tree, ask your relatives questions, look through family documents, check state or federal records, or even stop into your local library to learn more.
Learning a New Language
Whether you dust off those AP Spanish books from high school, or you download an app to help you learn a new language, this is a great hobby to add to your roster. Plus, it’ll help you tremendously if you’re hoping to travel to a different country one day!
Computer Programming / Coding
In this day and age, knowing how to work with computers and code is an extremely valuable skill. If you never learned how to code and want to get into programming and web development, there are plenty of great avenues to get started!
Plus, if you really fall in love and want to pursue it professionally (not that any hobby ever needs to be monetized), there are loads of resources from organizations like Women Who Code to help you break in as a woman in STEM.
If you’re a sucker for scavenger hunts, you may have found the hobby of your dreams.
Geocaching uses GPS to help people hide and seek containers or “caches” at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world. They might have been right under your nose this whole time!
Download the Geocaching app and start exploring.
If geocaching is totally your vibe, you might also love metal detecting. It might sound like something for an old dude in a floral shirt and cargo shorts, but isn’t this whole thing about reclaiming our leisure time?!
You might find some treasures — or, at the very least, help clean up some litter in your area! All you need to get started is a metal detector, headphones, some sturdy boots, and something to dig with. Ahoy!
No more being the “lovely assistant,” am I right? Learn some card tricks, practice your sleight of hand, and impress even the most cynical of audiences.
Taking Online Classes
There is no shortage of niche subjects to explore online. Whether you enroll in a course at a college or university, purchase a few sessions on MasterClass, or even scour YouTube for some videos in your special interest, you can truly lose yourself in the journey of lifelong learning on the world wide web.
No matter your genre of choice, we can guarantee there’s a good book to be read that you haven’t found yet. Read through our list of book recommendations, check out your local library, or pick a read from your TBR List!
Not sure if reading is for you? Try starting with an audiobook while working on another task or chore. It’ll make time fly by.
If you’ve been video game-averse for a while (thanks, first-person shooter games), I’d love to introduce you to the world of “cozy gaming.”
If you’d prefer to play Grand Theft Auto or Fortnite, do your thing! But if you’re more into a relaxing vibe, there are truly countless games out there designed with you in mind.
Whether you want to explore museum collections digitally or spend some time at a local museum, you’d be pleasantly surprised by how much there is to uncover.
Challenge yourself to read all the plaques at each exhibit, bring a notebook or sketchbook for your next solo art museum jaunt, and make a habit of checking out all the new and exclusive exhibitions.
Bonus points if you can become a member at your local museum to help preserve arts and culture right in your own community!
Social butterflies, spread your wings and soar! I’d argue that there is no greater time to be a party planner. Between inspiring Pinterest boards and aesthetically pleasing TikToks, there are so many themes, ideas, and activities floating around for the best get-togethers.
You don’t need an excuse to celebrate, either! Sure, it can be fun to plan your nephew’s fourth birthday, but if you love hosting, you can be the go-to gal for monthly dinner parties, book club meetings, and more.
Listening to Music
We know, we know. Putting on your headphones and listening to an album with no distractions? Feels fake.
Challenge yourself to lean into an album, take it in, and jam out. If you need an end goal or a project, consider making custom playlists or listening to the Rolling Stones’ “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time” from top to bottom. You can even take it to the next level by listening to the podcast “Song Exploder.”
Behind on “Abbott Elementary?” Itching for a new high-stakes series that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat?
No matter your taste, watching TV is a perfectly acceptable hobby and can provide a great relaxation outlet — or a thought-provoking platform to stir up your own creative ideas.
OK, we know not every movie can be a Greta Gerwig film, but there are still plenty of good ones out there. Watch from a list of classics, explore titles from A to Z on your streaming platform of choice, or take yourself to the movies with no agenda.
Well, except to get extra butter.
Listening to Podcasts
Another entertainment avenue with infinite possibilities? Podcasts. True crime, pop culture commentary, interviews with celebrities, or news of the day: Podcasts are a great way to spend your time and enjoy something for your ears only.
Playing an Instrument
If we’re being honest, most of us have had some sort of lifelong desire to be a pro musician. Whether you’ve always wanted to rock out on the bass guitar or tinker away on the piano, there’s no reason you can’t start today!
Search for lessons in your community, watch tutorials online, or learn from a friend who has been riffing away and threatening to play “Wonderwall” at parties for years.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been told that your life is so absurd it sounds like a plot from a TV show.
Good news: You’ve got some material on your hands.
If you get a rush from making people laugh or you’re always in on a bit, stand-up comedy might be the endeavor for you.
Do you have experience with music or sound production? A huge library of music? A desire to share your mashups with the world? Start spinning, DJ!
You don’t have to be a prodigy to enjoy a game of chess. Heck, you don’t even need a board! Play chess online with anonymous opponents, or set up a little tournament within your friend group. It’s good for the brain.
If you’re an avid reader but feeling a little lonely after you finish a book and have to say goodbye to all of your new favorite characters, it’s time to take it up a notch with a book club.
Find some friends or acquaintances who truly love to read, plan discussion topics, and get creative partaking in themed gatherings (any excuse for a cheese board, right?!).
For many of us, cooking is a chore. It’s another thing on the daily list of to-dos that can feel overwhelming and inaccessible on the best of days and damn near impossible on the worst.
But for those who love the culinary world, playing with new recipes, or exploring flavorful dishes, cooking can be a great way to relax, unwind, and have fun.
If you’re a foodie, try dedicating at least one meal a week to your own culinary practice! You can challenge yourself to trying new methods or flavors, perfecting a favorite recipe, or experimenting with dietary guidelines like veganism or dairy-free alternatives.
This sentiment goes for the bakers, too! Grab your apron, scoop your flour, and make yourself something sweet. Might we suggest starting with Bon Appetit’s brown butter and toffee chocolate chip cookies?
And… invite us over when the smoker’s almost done.
Be it cocktails or mocktails, your mixology moment is here! Get all your ingredients, garnishes, and mixers and impress your partner or your friends (or yourself!) with a delicious drink.
Props if you serve it up in some recycled glassware!
Wine enthusiasts, do you live in a temperate climate and want to grow your own grapes? Give it a shot! This hobby definitely takes time, patience, and research, but if you’re dedicated to the craft, hopefully you’ll be on your way to bottling in no time.
Now for the beer buffs! Get ready to grow some hops, grab your raw ingredients, and get to fermenting. Not exactly sure where to start? Check out the Homebrewer’s Association for lots of resources and tips!
And if you need a little inspiration, read about how these three women opened up their own brewery in Colorado, dedicated to giving back to their community.
Start by tending to some small herb plants and then make your way to the big leagues with a garden bed full of your favorite seasonal produce, plants, and flowers.
Gardening also gives you a great opportunity to fully commit to composting! Less waste, more fresh harvests, happier you.
Whether you clip flowers from your own garden or support a local farm stand, flower arranging can be a soothing and special craft to try out. Just be sure you’re making sustainable choices and opting for natural supplies (no foam blocks here!)
HGTV has nothin’ on you. Throw on some work pants, grab the power tools, and make some upgrades around your place!
If you want to up the ante, challenge yourself to make energy-efficient swaps in your renovations, stick to a certain color palette, or thrift all of your decor items. Let your creativity run free! (But, like, don’t forget the tape measure.)
There are few things on this earth more soothing than a good jigsaw puzzle. Whether you tinker around with one in your free time or time yourself tournament-style, puzzle-making is a great way to enjoy your leisure time.
Pet care might also be one of those things that can feel like a chore, but most times, it’s a great way to connect with your furry (or scaly!) friends, get active, and try a new activity.
If your pup is already pretty well-trained, consider enrolling them in a sport! For real, dog sports, like dock-diving and agility courses, are a great way to keep your pup stimulated, engaged, and happy.
If you’re a houseplant hustler, it can be truly rewarding to watch your plant babies grow. Plus, being around greenery is proven to be great for our mental health!
Consider this your permission slip to grow that houseplant jungle.
Athletics & Outdoor Activities
Strap on your boots, take the scenic route, and be prepared for elevation gain. Whether you’re trying out a chill new path in your area or gearing up for a big climb, hiking is a wonderful activity to connect you with nature, your body, and your community.
OK, speedster, we see you! It doesn’t matter if you’re training for a marathon or going for a relaxed jog; Running has amazing health benefits.
Plus, once you get past the “running” of it all, it actually feels pretty darn good.
Bikes aren’t just for commuting without a car (but they’re great for that, too). Pump some air in your tires and take off for a leisurely ride.
Serious cyclists can get into racing (and even fundraising), or you can find a cycling crew in your community and join them for a ride to get tacos or donuts.
If you’ve never been fishing, you might not realize how truly lovely it is. Seriously — you’re sitting by a nice big body of water, enjoying nature, and probably chatting it up with a friend. Plus, you have a strategic activity to focus on while you’re there! My ideal scenario, to be honest.
But… fishing has been perceived as a rather masculine endeavor, so it’s not always easy to get into. Good news: there are tons of other helpful anglers who would love to help you out!
Do some research and see if there is a group in your area — like Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing in Florida — to get started.
What better way to experience the great outdoors than by sleeping under the stars? Pitch your tent, lay out your gear, start a fire, and you’re set!
Plus, once you become comfortable camping, you have a great skill to use if you want to road trip or travel across the country. Might we suggest checking out America’s national parks?
Gym intimidation is a big hurdle for women who want to get into weightlifting or other athletic endeavors (and it sure would help if dudes stopped making weird comments or catcalling us while we’re there).
But weight-lifting can be extremely rewarding! This hobby is a great way to build strength, confidence, and discipline, especially if you do it alongside other empowered women.
Check out Ladies Who Lift to find some more resources and community in the weight-lifting world!
A day on the green? Beating your personal record? Picking out a cute little outfit to wear on the course? Yeah, you don’t have to ask me twice.
If you want to really get into golf as a hobby, try finding a home course, starting a group, or even searching for a teacher or mentor to help you perfect your game.
Whatever happened to Little League and flag football teams? It seems like once you become an adult (if you’re not a pro athlete), playing sports on a regular basis is nearly impossible. Myth: busted.
Try intramural sports or a recreational league! You can sign up for these teams through local community centers like the YMCA, or you can form a squad with some friends and grow your circle online or with other acquaintances.
Lots of gyms, baseball fields, tennis, or sand volleyball courts are available to the public for free — or for a small rental fee.
Roll out the mat and find your breath! Regardless of if you practice yoga at home or in a studio, it’s a great way to unwind, relax, and improve your strength all at the same time.
Find a class near you — or even consider getting certified to teach a class of your own!
If you want to combine your love of exercise and strength training with yoga and breathwork, pilates might just be the activity for you.
Check out Pilates studios in your area (or find a free routine on YouTube!).
There are definitely days when I wish I never hung up my ballet slippers when I was in kindergarten, but dance doesn’t always have to be choreographed!
Embrace the natural movements and rhythms of your body and dance to your favorite tunes, or consider taking any number of classes: Ballroom, tap, ballet, hip hop — you name it!
You’d be surprised how many “adult beginner dance classes” are just a Google search away.
The love child of dance and strength training, pole-dancing is another exciting and energizing activity to get your blood pumping! If you’re looking for an athletic endeavor that might be a little more “off the beaten path” than some traditional exercise classes, look into pole-dancing lessons near you.
If you’re looking for a more structured aerobic activity, Zumba combines cardio fitness with upbeat music and dance for a session of sweat and serotonin.
Attend a class near you or find a guided session online!
Another frequently male-dominated hobby, skateboarding is a creative, active pastime that builds problem-solving skills, coordination, and flexibility.
But… definitely be sure to bring the helmet and knee pads with you.
If you live near a body of water and want to get on a board, maybe it’s time you boogie out to sea. Beaches are full of helpful surf instructors, rental equipment, and more.
If you’re not ready to hang ten, you can also try paddle-boarding or kayaking!
Get out there and see the world. There are so many elements to traveling that can be hobbies of their own!
From planning an itinerary and making a road map, to problem solving on the road or camping in an RV, cure your wanderlust and hit the road.
Perfect your backstroke. Beat your personal record. Jump from the high-dive. Lounge by the pool. Whatever your definition of “swimming,” we endorse it.
If you want to take things to the extreme, you can try out some fun water sports like water polo, dragon boat paddling, water skiing, jet-skiing, and more.
Strike! Join a bowling league at your local bowling alley — or just make time to hit up “open bowl” hours a few times a month. Bonus points if you get a custom ball or bowling shirt for the full aesthetic experience.
We’re not telling you to immediately get in the ring with someone, but kickboxing sure is a great outlet for big feelings — and is known to boost your strength, and act as a stress reliever.
Plus, it’s a pretty handy self-defense tool to have in your back pocket.
If you are ready to do your research and commit to taking care of a hive in a climate-controlled environment, beekeeping could be a great hobby for you!
Aside from helping to save the bees and pollinate your native plants, beekeeping provides you (and your neighbors!) with fresh honey. What’s better than that?!
Saddle up! Tap into your inner “horse girl” and take some riding lessons, visit some local stables, or even explore the possibilities of equine therapy.
Horseback riding provides a number of stress relieving benefits and helps you see nature from a totally different perspective.
You don’t have to be Katniss Everdeen to wield a bow and arrow. If you have the space to practice at home, there are a variety of resources for on-your-own learning, but you can also research to find some local archery ranges near you for the full experience.
Making An Impact
We all have a cause close to our hearts that could use some more support. If you love project management, working with others, and doing good, fundraising can be a great way to channel your “I want to be productive but also have fun” energy into something that makes a difference.
Whether you fundraise for a political campaign, nonprofit, or mutual aid request, there are tons of creative ways to host events or charity drives, or garner support among your community.
Another way to make a difference for a cause you care about is to volunteer your time and talents. You can help distribute meals or resource kits for people in need, phone bank or canvass for a candidate you support, or even sign up to field calls at a crisis line.
Find something that’s aligned with your values and give it your all!
Want to combine your love of walking with your desire to protect the earth? Get out there and clean up some litter! You can do this activity with a local organization or just gather some friends and head to your local park or beach to clean up trash on your own.
Just be sure to be safe and have all the supplies you need!
Want to have a positive impact on a young person’s life? Consider becoming a mentor! Sign up with an organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters and connect with someone who could use your wisdom and guidance.
Mentors aren’t just for career or academic goals either! Your role is that of a fun and supportive presence in a young person’s life — in whatever way is best for everyone involved.