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10 Uncommon Hobbies You Should Try in 2023

by Patricia West
fact checked by Rachel Jones

Get ready to broaden your horizons as we unveil a list of ten unique hobbies that will add a delightful twist to your year. From the thrilling to the unconventional, these activities promise to awaken your senses, ignite your creativity, and leave you with unforgettable experiences.

So fasten your seatbelts and prepare to embark on a captivating quest as we unlock the secret world of unusual hobbies waiting to be embraced in 2023!

Related: 10 Kings With Weird Hobbies

10 Geocaching and Letterboxing

What is Geocaching?

If you’ve always dreamed of finding buried treasure, you should definitely give geocaching a try. This is an outdoor treasure-hunting game where you can use GPS-enabled devices to search for hidden containers called “geocaches.”

But don’t turn up empty-handed! The key element to geocaching is that you take a treasure and leave a treasure behind. Don’t worry, though; it doesn’t have to be a priceless ruby or anything. It could be anything from a penny to a small figurine.

There’s a huge online community for this where adventurers can share their experiences online, including hints for where hidden boxes can be found at different locations.

If you’re interested in something with a few more clues, you might want to look into letterboxing. Similar to geocaching, letterboxing involves searching for hidden boxes containing a unique rubber stamp and logbook, using clues and maps.

9 Soap Carving

SOAP CARVING | Soap Flower | Relaxing to Make and See

The art of sculpting soap bars into intricate designs and figures can be both relaxing and creative.

You only need a few simple tools, like a carving knife, a pencil, and sandpaper, making it an affordable hobby that’s easy to start. Soap carving is relaxing and meditative, giving you a chance to unwind and express your creativity. It’s also a great way to improve hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and patience. Carving intricate designs out of a soft, malleable soap requires precision and attention to detail, and your finished sculptures can be used as decor, gifts, or even functional soap bars.

If you don’t feel like messing around with a bar of Irish Spring, you could also give gourd carving a try. Gourd art is the practice of decorating and carving hard-shell gourds to create unique pieces of art, from functional objects to sculptures.

8 Amateur Radio

Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is a hobby that revolves around communication using radio frequencies. It’s a global community of enthusiasts who utilize specially allocated radio bands to exchange messages, engage in conversations, and even assist during emergencies.

Pioneers like Hiram Percy Maxim and Marconi paved the way for amateur radio as we know it today. Over the years, amateur radio evolved into a global phenomenon, uniting people across borders and cultures through the sheer power of radio waves.

Amateur radio can also play an important role in public service. When conventional communication fails during a crisis, ham radio operators step up as community heroes. They provide critical communication links during natural disasters, participate in search and rescue missions, and even assist in relaying messages for astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

This is one hobby that involves a learning curve, especially regarding radio regulations and operating procedures, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And numerous online communities and local radio clubs support aspiring ham radio operators. From studying for the licensing exams to honing practical skills through hands-on experience, the path to becoming an amateur radio operator can be an exciting and rewarding journey.

7 Lock Picking

[1424] Lock Picking… An Inside Perspective

If you’ve secretly dreamed of living life as a super spy, this is one uncommon hobby you have to try. Lockpicking, also known as lock sport, is the recreational study of locks, lock picking, and the broader field of physical security.

Lockpicking offers a unique challenge that requires skill and knowledge to master. It involves understanding the intricacies of locks and their mechanisms and learning how to manipulate them with specialized tools. It requires patience, dexterity, and problem-solving skills—very mentally stimulating.

This is also a great hobby to try if you need something portable. Since lockpick sets are small and easy to carry, you can practice almost anywhere. Lockpicking also offers a sense of empowerment and independence, and there’s a market for competitions among enthusiasts.

6 Yarn Bombing

How yarn bombing grew into a worldwide movement | Magda Sayeg

Yarn bombing can transform mundane city streets into pure whimsy. Trees wear vibrant coats, lampposts don cozy sweaters, and park benches snuggle up in delightful crocheted creations. With this hobby, knitting needles become paintbrushes, and yarn becomes your medium.

In the early 2000s, yarn bombing, aka yarn graffiti or guerrilla knitting, emerged as a form of street art. This movement rebels against the drabness of urban landscapes and injects a playful spirit into the everyday.

Whether you choose to embellish a bike rack, wrap a statue, or knit a cozy sweater for a fire hydrant, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Oh, and you don’t need a formal art education or extensive training to get started with yarn bombing, either. There’s a very enthusiastic knitting community out there ready to welcome you with open skeins.

Begin by familiarizing yourself with knitting or crocheting techniques, and start with small projects, like covering a pole. Yarn bombing is a hobby that encourages experimentation and improvisation, where even mistakes can add character to your creations.

Just make sure you get permission before you start!

5 Bonsai Cultivation

Bonsai basics; how to grow a Bonsai tree

You might not have considered growing a tree to be a riveting hobby, but you’re about to be proven wrong. Bonsai trees are tiny and perfectly proportioned, especially when you’ve contoured their branches and delicately pruned their roots. Bonsai cultivation allows nature to be cradled in the palm of your hand.

Originating in ancient China and refined over centuries in Japan, bonsai is a meticulous practice that entails growing and nurturing trees in miniature form. The word “bonsai” itself translates to “tray planting,” reflecting the essence of this art—creating living landscapes within confined spaces.

Many bonsai hobbyists see this practice as a gateway to serenity, offering a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And you just might experience a profound connection with nature through the careful selection of tree species, pruning techniques, and the arrangement of rocks or moss.

Mastery of bonsai cultivation requires a grasp of horticultural knowledge, including understanding soil composition, pruning techniques, and the unique needs of various tree species. But there is plenty of information available online to make this a hobby you can deep-dive into.

Bonsai cultivation is not just about tending to a plant; it’s a relationship that demands care, observation, and respect.

4 Zentangle

How To Create A Zentangle

Close your eyes and envision a world where lines intertwine, forming intricate patterns that transport you to a state of tranquility and mindfulness. Zentangle is a mesmerizing hobby that combines meditation, creativity, and simplicity.

Zentangle is an art form that involves drawing structured patterns known as “tangles” within defined spaces. It originated in the early 2000s when Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, both artists and educators, discovered the therapeutic power of deliberate, focused drawing. They developed a method that allowed anyone, regardless of artistic ability, to find solace and creative expression through deliberate strokes of a pen.

By working within defined spaces and using a limited set of patterns, Zentangle encourages exploration within boundaries. It becomes a playground of creativity to explore countless variations of patterns, shading, and textures. And one of its core principles is that there are no mistakes—only opportunities for unexpected beauty.

This is one hobby that’s incredibly easy to learn. The simplicity of its approach and the step-by-step guidance provided by certified Zentangle teachers make it an ideal art form for beginners.

3 Quilling

Paper Quilling for Beginners | Paper Crafts

Quilling is a delicate dance of paper strips, gracefully twirling and swirling into intricate designs. This art form is a mesmerizing hobby that weaves together patience, precision, and boundless creativity.

Also referred to as paper filigree, it actually originated in ancient Egypt and later flourished during the Renaissance. Today, this hobby offers a therapeutic escape—a chance to feel immersed in the rhythmic and meditative process of rolling, shaping, and gluing paper strips. With each delicate coil, tension melts away, replaced by a profound sense of calm and focus. Quilling becomes a mindful practice, a sanctuary where creativity and inner peace intertwine.

The versatility of quilled paper allows for endless possibilities, from intricate floral arrangements and whimsical animal figures to personalized greeting cards and decorative wall art. With patience and imagination, paper strips transform into three-dimensional masterpieces that showcase the artist’s ingenuity and attention to detail.

Quilling is pretty accessible, making it a hobby that welcomes newcomers with open arms. And you’ll find abundant tutorials, books, and online communities dedicated to the craft.

If you’re interested, start by mastering the basic techniques like creating coils, scrolls, and shapes. As your confidence grows, you can combine different elements to create your own signature style.

2 Urban Exploration

“Vic Invades”: The Life of an Urban Explorer | Op-Docs

Ready to step off the well-trodden path, leaving behind the familiar to venture into abandoned halls. Urban exploration, an exhilarating hobby, invites you to unlock the secrets of forgotten places and discover hidden treasures in the concrete jungles that surround us.

Also known as urbex, this hobby lets you explore man-made structures, usually abandoned or off-limits, to document their history, architecture, or aesthetics. From factories and forgotten hospitals to derelict amusement parks and decaying mansions, these spaces hold stories waiting to be unraveled.

Over time, urbex has evolved into a passionate subculture driven by the desire to connect with forgotten histories, preserve architectural heritage, and capture the haunting beauty of decay.

For some, exploring is an insatiable curiosity—a longing to uncover the untold stories that lie within neglected walls. It’s a chance to walk in the footsteps of those who came before, to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of bygone eras, and witness the power of nature, reclaiming what was once built by human hands.

While you might need to hit the gym to prepare for this adventure, anyone with a passion for discovering can try urban exploration. You can start at your own pace, looking for accessible locations and gradually venturing into challenging environments. Just make sure you prioritize safety, respect property rights, and follow local laws while you’re adventuring!

1 Kintsugi

The Japanese art of fixing broken pottery – BBC REEL

Picture a broken ceramic vase, shattered into a thousand fragments, its beauty seemingly lost forever. Now imagine those fragments being pieced back together, with shimmering veins of gold illuminating the cracks. This ancient Japanese art form, known as Kintsugi, breathes new life into the broken, transforming it into a masterpiece.

Originating in the 15th century, Kintsugi, which translates to “golden joinery,” emerged as a response to the fragility of pottery. It was born out of a philosophy that values imperfections and cherishes history. Rather than concealing the cracks, Kintsugi embraces them, turning them into a part of the artwork’s narrative.

Taking up Kintsugi as a hobby isn’t just repairing pottery—it’s elevating it.

As you delicately mend the broken pieces using a special lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, you become a healer of objects, breathing life back into them and honoring their past.

In a world obsessed with perfection, Kintsugi celebrates the beauty in flaws, teaching us to embrace our own imperfections with grace and resilience. The techniques can be intricate, and the process demands a steady hand, attention to detail, and an understanding of the delicate balance between the broken and the mended. But with patience and guidance, the art of Kintsugi can be mastered by anyone passionate about embarking on this transformative journey.

fact checked by Rachel Jones