12 Hobbies You Should Pick Up This Summer

There’s a saying about hobbies; you need one to keep you active, one to make you money and one to keep you creative. While you might already be an aficionado at drawing or film making, the summer is a perfect time to explore some of your other interests. Don’t worry about what others will think, just get out and find something you love!

1. Photography.

Is there a more perfect season to take up photography? If there is, I can’t think of it. As an added bonus, we’re super fortunate to live in a gorgeous state. The cities provide some perfect industrial shots, while the lakes and forests are peaceful. Photography is very popular, and the internet has tons of tips on how to shoot perfect pics without an expensive camera. Check out this link for some simple photography tips for iPhone and Android users.

2. Yoga.

Yoga is said to have a ton of health benefits, including increased flexibility, stronger muscles, better posture, the list goes on and on. It’s fairly inexpensive, all you need to start is a mat. Just like photography, yoga is super popular and there are plenty of tips available online for beginners. Start with this list of beginner yoga poses. What better way to spend the summer than getting stronger and more confident? The Rec Center is offering an 8-week yoga class this summer, but there are tons of other yoga studios in the Twin Cities such as CorePower and Yoga Center.

3. Take up hiking or biking.

Another hobby for those who like to stay active, biking or hiking is a great option for those who are a little more adventurous. You can start small and bike around the Twin Cities using the Nice Ride system or one of the other dozen bike rentals. Even though we live in a metropolitan area, there are some great hiking trails that are easily accessible by light rail or just a short drive away. Check out this article for the nine best hiking trails near Minneapolis and St. Paul.

4. Gardening.

Gardening, even just a few houseplants in your apartment, is said to relieve stress and boost your mental health. Also, it helps the earth and adds some natural beauty to your space. If you’re not ready for a huge commitment, start out with some succulents then progress into some larger ferns, herbs and flowers. If you have the space you could even try planting your own vegetables!

5. Read classic literature.

First off, I’m sorry if this suggestion is giving you horrible flashbacks to your high school English classes. But trust me, classic literature is much more enjoyable when you’re reading it for your own enjoyment rather than because it was assigned. You can read anywhere, and it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. A quick Google search of “the 100 best books of all time” will gather a large selection for you to choose from. For fans of Gilmore Girls, here’s a complete list of all 339 books referenced by our favorite bookworm Rory Gilmore.

6. Calligraphy.

This was a hobby that I decided to take up last summer (insert shameless plug for my lettering Instagram here) and I absolutely love it. If you know how to write, you can learn to do calligraphy. It’s super easy and you don’t have to buy any fancy markers or paper to start out. It’s relaxing, creative and makes awesome gifts for your friends. Check out this post from Hand Lettering for Beginners.com for more awesome tips and advice on how to get started.

7. Learn to cook.

Hey, we all need to eat. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to make yourself a nice meal instead of relying on Easy Mac and freezer chicken nuggets? Start off by learning your basic cooking techniques then expand into full recipes. Again, the internet is your go-to for easy, healthy and cheap meals to cook for yourself and all of your friends.

8. Volunteer.

There is nothing better than giving back to your community. There are countless opportunities and programs available in the Twin Cities. Whatever your interests are there’s something out there for you. An incredible resource you can use is HandsOn Twin Cities. The website is a huge collection of events and agencies available as well as information on all of the agencies. There are opportunities out there for individuals and groups, so grab some friends and help the community!

9. Find a podcast you love.

If reading isn’t your thing, perhaps you might try listening to podcasts. This is a fairly new form of media that has steadily increased in popularity over the years. This is another hobby where no matter what your interests are there is an option for you. Do you love true crime and serial killers? Check out My Favorite Murder. Are you more into politics or world news? Try one of the dozens of options that fit your particular political alignment. There are options for the trivia lovers like Stuff You Should Know. There are podcasts for the intellectual, philosophical and humorous. Seriously, spend your days on the beach with your headphones and any of the thousands of options available.

10. Watch documentaries.

Thank goodness for Netflix and their awesome selection of documentaries. While staying inside glued to your television might not be the healthiest activity, it’ll make you a more educated and informed individual. Check out our recent article on 4 Must See Documentaries for some ideas on where to start.

11. Keep a journal.

According to this article by Huffington Post, keeping a journal can give you more self-confidence, improve creativity and better your communication skills. Also, it’s super fun and what better way to remember your summer 2K17 adventures than putting it on a page? If you don’t want to write about your day, check out a list of journal prompts. You can make your journal as artistic or as practical as you want, which is what makes this hobby such a versatile option!

12. Coloring.

Most of us are pretty aware of the whole “adult coloring book” trend that has boomed in the past year. Personally, I’m a huge fan of coloring books, the more detail the better. I would recommend the gorgeous books by Johanna Basford, but there are hundreds of other options to choose from. It’s super relaxing to sit outside and color, so grab some colored pencils and start!

Hopefully this list inspires you to go out and try something new. Happy summer gophers!