Hands hold up utensils, instruments, and tech devices from behind a sofa.

As the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler, many people find themselves with more free time on their hands. This is the perfect time to start a new hobby! Hobbies can provide a sense of purpose, relieve stress, and help you connect with others. It can help keep your joints limber and muscles strong. Starting a new hobby can also help keep your mind sharp and may reduce your risk of developing dementia later in life.

Why choose the fall to start a new hobby?

The weather in fall is cooler, which makes it more comfortable to be outdoors. Fewer distractions, such as summer vacations and holidays, mean more downtime (hopefully) to indulge in learning a new craft, skill, or activity. The changing leaves and other fall foliage provide inspiration for many hobbies. There are also many fall-themed events and activities that can help you get involved in your new hobby. And when the weather is too chilly to be outside, you can relax indoors with a new hobby, too.

Deciding on a hobby can be overwhelming. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to find a new hobby that’s right for you:

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Choosing a hobby that’s in line with your current interests means you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

How much free time do you have to dedicate to learning a new hobby? Some new hobbies, like learning a new skill, can be time-consuming. If you don’t have a lot of free time, you may want to choose a hobby that doesn’t require a large learning curve.

What are you passionate about? Once you have a general idea of what you’re interested in, you can start to narrow down your options.

Consider your skills and abilities. Some hobbies require a certain level of skill or ability from the start, while others are more beginner-friendly. To help you choose a hobby that you’re likely to stick with, try to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses.

Think about your budget. Some hobbies can be expensive, while others are relatively inexpensive. Set a budget for yourself, and stick to it.

Find a community. Many hobbies have online or in-person communities where you can connect with other people who share your interests. This can be a great way to learn new things, get support, and have fun.

Which Hobby Should You Choose?

Once you have answered some of these questions, you can think about which hobby you’d like to try. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to stick with just one hobby. You can try out different things until you find one that you really enjoy. And if you get bored with a hobby, you can always switch to something else. The most important thing is to find something that you’re passionate about, and that makes you happy. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

A group of people stand around a table cutting vegetables while laughing and talking.

Cooking or Baking

Fall is a great time to experiment with new recipes and bake delicious treats. Turning some fresh-picked apples into a pie or taking a pumpkin from the farmers market and baking a delicious loaf of bread are just a couple of suggestions. They fill the house with comforting smells and give you a feeling of warmth when you eat them. There are endless cookbooks and websites to help you get started. Of course, Ocean State Job Lot has all the bakeware, cookware, and kitchen gadgets you need to help your food come out perfect!


With the cooler weather on its way, fall is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Pack a picnic and check out the changing foliage on a wooded trail. The nice thing about hiking is that there are many different trails and paths to accommodate everyone, from beginners to experts. Ocean State Job Lot has sunscreen to protect your skin and insect repellent to keep bugs at bay.

Hikers using trekking poles and wearing backpacks walk through a forest.
A woman plants flower bulbs in the dirt.


Fall is a great time to plant bulbs and perennials that will bloom in the spring. You can also start seeds indoors for transplanting in the spring. We have a wide variety of bulbs ready for planting and gardening tools available, including many from our private-label brand, Tiller & Rowe. From gloves and shovels to rakes and planters, we’ve got what you need to get your hands in the dirt this fall.


Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and meet new people. It feels good to help people, too! There are many volunteer opportunities available in every community, so you’re sure to find something that interests you. Ocean State Job Lot strives to strengthen and support our local communities through our Charitable Foundation as part of our Mission, Vision, Values.

A group of people wearing t-shirts that say, "Volunteer' stand in around a table.
A close-up of a woman's hands sewing red fabric on a sewing machine.

Fiber Crafts

Studies have shown that hobbies like sewing, quilting, needlepoint, crocheting, knitting, and embroidery can help relieve stress and help strengthen the hand muscles, which may help alleviate and prevent symptoms of arthritis. Following a pattern can also keep your mind active.


Fall is a beautiful time of year, and there are endless opportunities to take great photos. You can take photos of the trees’ changing leaves, your children playing in a leaf pile, or simply the beauty of nature. Take your phone or camera with you apple picking, on a hayride, or plan a day trip and experiment with different shots and angles.

A woman crouches down to take a photo outside.
A mother and daughter read together while wrapped in a blanket.


Fall is a great time to curl up with a good book. It doesn’t matter if it’s a tablet or a physical book, getting lost in a story or reading someone’s life story can be a great way to unwind. To make the most of your reading time, we suggest making a hot cup of coffee or tea and wrapping yourself in a cozy blanket. If you’re not used to setting aside time to read, you can set a timer for just 10-15 minutes or challenge yourself to read one chapter each day.


Some studies show that journaling can help reduce anxiety and manage stress. Getting all your thoughts and worries onto paper can help you process your feelings and put things into perspective. It doesn’t have to be fancy to start; a regular notebook will do. You can add a daily task list or a habit tracker to create a journal/planner combo! Try adding some calligraphy and hand lettering to indulge your artistic side. Our selection of art supplies, including artist-quality markers and colored pencils, can help bring some color to your pages.

A man sits at a desk and writes in a journal.
A young woman wearing earbuds takes notes at a desk with a book and notebook.

Learn a New Language

Learning a new language not only flexes your brain, but it might help you professionally too! In addition to improving memory and helping to ward off dementia, adults who speak a second (or third) language are valuable in the workforce because you can communicate with more people, helping everyone you work with feel understood.

Play an Instrument

Do you always play air guitar or rock the drum solo when your favorite song comes on? Learning to play an instrument can help you live out your childhood dream of being a rock star! Playing an instrument “engages every major part of the central nervous system,” according to the chair of Neuroscience at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, John Dani, Ph.D. This article explains that even learning an instrument later in life has incredible health benefits for your body and mind.

A woman tunes a guitar in a music shop.

Tips for Beginners

  • Set realistic goals. Don’t expect to become an expert overnight. Set small, achievable goals for yourself, and celebrate your successes along the way.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes when they’re learning something new. Don’t let this discourage you. Just keep practicing, and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.
  • Have fun! Hobbies are supposed to be enjoyable. If you’re not having fun, you’re less likely to stick with it. So keep looking until you find a hobby that you really enjoy, and make sure to make time for it in your schedule.

We hope these tips help you find a new hobby that you love. Don’t forget to stop by your local Ocean State Job Lot for supplies to get started. No matter what your interests are, there’s sure to be a hobby out there that’s perfect for you. So get out there and explore, but most of all, have fun!