The arrival of COVID-19 has curtailed much of our opportunities to get out and about over the past year or so, meaning that we have had to look closer to home to keep ourselves entertained and fulfilled. Hobbies and interests have proved to be a lifeline for many people as the pandemic has continued, offering distraction, enjoyment and a sense of purpose.
If you are stuck for ideas about suitable hobbies for men, or are looking for some new, cool hobbies to try then read on. Here are 17 manly hobbies that can be done at, or closer to home, and that could well become your latest obsession and delight.
Collecting antiques can be extremely rewarding, both from a hobby point of view and financially too if you develop a good eye. The variety of antiques to collect is vast, from centuries old porcelain and paintings to vinyl and collectables from the late 20thCentury. Choose something you like, do some research and see what you can find to buy, sell and collect, You might find that you enjoy restoring antiques too, or even cataloguing well-known collections. The scope is very wide to enjoy a trip into the past through the appreciation of the artefacts and objets d’art of yesteryear.
The final frontier. The great beyond. Whatever you call it, mankind has always had a fascination with space, the planets and stars. Excitement over the recent successful landing on Mars by the space rover Perseverance shows that this obsession is not ending anytime soon. Get online to find maps of star constellations over your house and invest in a telescope or strong binoculars to see what you can identify in the skies above us. Seeing what lies beyond our planet is one of the best hobbies for men with an enquiring mind.
Brewing your own beer or alcohol can be extremely satisfying, notwithstanding the headaches that follow any extensive sampling sessions. As pubs and bars shut down during the various lockdowns, people have been searching elsewhere for their tipple of fancy and hone brewing kits are easy to find and relatively cheap to buy online. If you are strong-willed enough not to drink the fruits of your labours straight away, you will also have some nice supplies built up for when we are allowed to meet up again to socialise and chat over a couple of pints at home.
Another of those undeniably manly hobbies is getting the tent and sleeping bags out and camping overnight, ether in the garden or a local campsite. There’s nothing quite like waking up to the dawn chorus and a stunning sunrise while boiling water on your gas stove for the first cup of tea or coffee of the day. Combine camping with a spot of nature watching or some invigorating hikes around the local area to boost your energy while you are not being quite so active as usual. This works out as one of the cheaper hobbies for men as, once you have invested in the kit, you can enjoy mini-breaks and nights under canvas for little to no additional financial outlay.
Men and machines have always been a winning combination and the male fascination with engines, pistons and things that make vehicles move is enduring, even in a pandemic when we are not travelling as much as usual. Being able to tinker under the bonnet of a car or to do up a motorcycle to restore it to its former, snarling glory is a thing of beauty for many men, and the perfect way to while away a few hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Chess is one of those good hobbies for men who are logical thinkers, competitive contestants and excellent strategists. Once you have learned the rules of the game and how the pieces move across the board, it’s time to delve deeper. Into the myriad strategies and techniques that can help you win. The idea is to stay several steps ahead of your competition – something which will help keep your mind keen and your aspiration for success intact as you weather the pandemic storm at home.
We have already covered antique collecting, but why limit yourself to this area of interest? People collect quite literally anything, from the traditional stamps, coins and books to celebrity memorabilia, gaming cards and musical instruments. The thrill is in tracking down rarer or sought-after items to add to your collection, plus there are online forums to help you meet like-minded collectors and discuss your shared interest.
More time at home means more opportunities to experiment in the kitchen and try to unleash your inner chef. Cooking covers a wider range of interests that could each take their own slot on a list of hobbies for men to try out in their own right, from baking and decorating biscuits and cakes to mastering Asian or European cuisine or even learning how to butcher your own meat. We all have to eat, so why not take the time now to learn how to make delicious dishes that make people’s mouths water? It could lead on to a whole new career!
Exercising is very important during a pandemic, as we need to stay fit to help fend off disease and keep healthy. Cycling is a great hobby to pick up, or return to at any time, as it gets the blood pumping, the arms and legs moving and the brain firmly in gear. Plus, it lets you escape the immediate locality and go off and explore wider areas, all in the name of exercise and fresh air. Don’t forget to buy the right protective equipment, including a helmet and high-vis outerwear to keep you safe on the roads.
Computer gaming has become incredibly sophisticated, with realistic graphics, compelling storylines and impressive advances in technology such as virtual reality and online co-operative game play. There’s much to be said for setting yourself a goal of completing a game, getting to a high level or winning an online tournament, plus it is sociable, relaxing (unless you’re fighting the final boss with one tiny bar of life left…) and helps you discover new worlds and existences, all from your gaming chair.
Cultivating a garden and watching pants that you nurtured from a seed or bulb grow into their fruitful glory is immensely satisfying. As is eating fruits, herbs and vegetables grown by your own fair hand when you sit down to dinner. You don’t need to own a country estate to start a gardening hobby. Even a window box will give you enough space to get started with a few smaller plants. Watch TV programmes, read books and join online gardening forums to learn more.
There is a sense of reassurance and grounding in knowing where you came from and what your family tree looks like. Genealogy is all about researching your ancestors, searching for birth and death certificates and tracking family members’ marriages, house moves and changes in jobs and personal circumstances across the centuries. There are free to use websites to get started, but be prepared to invest more money as you delve deeper into your research and start to unearth more interesting details. Don’t forget to talk to your relatives and share your findings with them too. It could become a whole family hobby to enjoy together.
What child’s party wouldn’t be improved with a spot of magic or a balloon trick or two? What better way to impress a potential date than some amazing sleight of hand that sees a playing card disappear in thin air and appear somewhere else, seemingly by magic? Learning how to do some magic tricks will stand you in excellent stead in all kinds of circumstances in the future, plus magic is great fun to master. Just remember that a magician never reveals his secrets!
Learning a musical instrument can bring immense joy both to the learner and his audience – once he has got good enough to perform with aplomb. Music brings many opportunities to socialise in non-pandemic times, from orchestras and choirs to bands, groups and gigs. If you are not so keen on picking up an instrument, there is much enjoyment to be gained from listening to favourite tunes, studying music as an academic subject and following a favourite singer, band, style, composer or show.
If you are more interested in seeking creative, fun hobbies for men, then photography should be high up on your list of possibilities. You can dip into this hobby as an occasional past-time or embrace it big time and buy all the cameras, lenses and apparatus that you could possibly dream of, depending on your interest levels, available time and budget. The great thing about photography is that there are potential subjects for your pictures everywhere. Choose from portraits of family members, landscape views of your local area, pet photos, food shots or even set up some abstract compositions. The choice is endless.
Often misunderstood as one of those hobby ideas for men who are less extrovert, or who don’t like socialising much, reading is, in actual fact, an amazing hobby for men (and women) of all personality types. If you have a good book – or a full kindle – in your pocket, you can be transported to another world wherever you are. You can get caught up in an exciting plot, learn new and fascinating facts, meet intriguing characters and explore new worlds, every time you turn a page.
Last, but by no means least, we come to volunteering as the final entry on our list of hobbies for men. Volunteering your time, resources or expertise for free for a worthy cause is a great way to use any spare time to help further good causes all over the world. Volunteering is about as versatile a hobby as they come, as you can choose to work with a vast range of causes – children, animals, veterans, technology, environment, health, politics… the list goes on. Other benefits include increasing your own skills, boosting your self-esteem, helping improve society and making some great new friends along the way.