With 2020 in the rearview mirror, it’s time for a fresh start and a year full of new possibilities. Carve out some time to explore a new skill or leisure activity that you find entertaining and uplifting. Need some inspiration to get started? Check out these hobbies that can be enjoyed year-round outdoors or from the comfort of your own home.Out and About
Embark on a modern-day treasure hunt with geocaching. Using a GPS-enabled device such as your smartphone, participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache, or container, hidden at that location. The container typically has a logbook inside for you to sign, then return to its hiding place. To get started, register at Geocaching.com for a free membership, and then search your postal code to find geocaches near you.
From the coast to the mountains, North Carolina is home to 469 different species of birds, each with its own unique voice, plumage patterns, colors and behaviors. Birding is a relaxing hobby that allows you to get outside and connect with nature. Grab a good pair of binoculars and a field guide and head over to local birdwatching hotspots including Mason Farm Biological Reserve, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Brumley Forest Nature Preserve, Bynum Bridge on the Haw River, Eno River State Park, Hillsborough River Walk and Jordan Lake, which is renowned for its bald eagle sightings.
Chapel Hill has a rich and fascinating history — and who knows what fun facts or amazing stories you will uncover when you start learning more about where you live. You can start with a free 90-minute walking tour of Chapel Hill that covers everything from the civil rights movement to the nation’s oldest public university. For a deeper dive, check out the three-hour Chapel Hill-Carrboro Historical Tour offered by Old North State Tours. Families can also enjoy going on a mural scavenger hunt. The town of Chapel Hill published this map to help you locate all 20 public works of art.
For a more physically intense activity, parkour can challenge your strength, stamina and agility. Parkour is the practice of traversing obstacles in a man-made or natural environment through the use of running, vaulting, jumping, climbing, rolling and other movements to travel from one point to another in the quickest and most efficient way possible. You can even hire a local teacher to show you the basics moves and get training tips.Cozy at Home
Knitting isn’t just for grandmas anymore. Chunky throw blankets are one the year’s hottest home décor trends and you can make one in an afternoon with these tutorials. Another pastime that is making a resurgence is chess, due in part to the popularity of the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. You can find tutorials online and play games against computers or virtual opponents.
Your computer is your ticket to a host of other fulfilling hobbies. Discover your family history through genealogy research sites like Ancestry.com, learn how to teach your dog fun tricks to surprise and delight your friends, or always have magic tricks up your sleeve to entertain the kiddos with these illusion tutorials.
With the right equipment and an interesting topic, you could also start your own podcast. Use these helpful tips to get started and think through every step — from planning to publishing your series.
If finances are tight after the holidays, there are hobbies that don’t cost a thing. In fact, couponing can even save you money. Pay less for groceries, household staples, apparel and other items for the family with the Beginners Guide to Couponing.
For a hobby that could make you money, try your hand at calligraphy. It takes time to develop the skill and master the art, but once you do, you could earn income on the side doing hand-lettered wedding invitations or making decorative goods to sell on sites like Etsy.com.
Whatever hobby you choose to try this year, dedicate a reasonable amount of time to hone the skill and always remember to enjoy the process.