Five Free Hobbies to Pick up This Spring

Updated on October 10, 2019
JillianK profile image

Jillian never tires of finding new ways to spend her time. Her favorite hobbies include writing, reading, archery, and couponing.

Spring is the perfect time to develop the skills you never knew you had!
Spring is the perfect time to develop the skills you never knew you had! | Source

1. Writing

When I was a child, my parents would send me to my room whenever I misbehaved. The idea was to have me reflect on my poor behavioral decisions in solitary confinement, but what ended up happening, nine times out of ten, was that I’d plunk myself down on the floor and start scrawling out stories in the notebooks I kept stacked beside my bed.

When I was first starting out, I knew nothing about writing’s deep intricacy; I just knew that I liked to put the stories in my head on paper. Something about the creative process appealed to me, and by pursuing writing in my spare time, I had the chance to explore that interest.

Nowadays, starting to write is as easy as booting up Google Docs and jotting down the first sentence that comes to mind. It can be as terrible as you like—the first sentence of this article was hardly a masterpiece when I first thought of it—but commit to seeing it through. There’s always time to go back and edit your work once you’ve gotten it down on the page, and the more practice you get churning out ideas rapid fire, the better you’ll get at coming up with clear, snappy sentences on the spot.

Although some writers shrink at the idea of monetizing their hobby—claiming that doing so takes the fun out of a valuable creative outlet—it’s an option I can’t recommend enough. Amazon, for instance, offers a convenient platform for authors to self-publish their work, promising writers up to 70% of the profits their books generate.

For those interested in less traditional routes of publication, starting a blog on Wordpress is a promising—and potentially lucrative—option. Building a website from the ground up is complicated, and when you’re just starting out on your journey as a blogger, the convenience of hosting your writing on a premade site may outweigh the costs of relinquishing a portion of your ad revenue. (But if you're still interested in making your own site, you might want to look at the fourth hobby listed in this article.)

At the end of the day, though, I advise not thinking too much about money: You’re writing for fun, after all, so try to have fun.

2. Playing Chess

I remember sitting across the table from my brother every Friday after school let out, fingers hovering over the pawn I wanted to move. Our weekly game of chess was something we both looked forward to, a rare moment we could sit down and talk about the day over an intense battle of wits.

Regardless of whether you have someone to play with like I did, chess is a fantastic way to spend your time. As hobbies go, it’s one of the more intellectually enriching ones out there, exercising critical thinking skills and encouraging strategic thought in a single blow.

And it’s not just while you play that you’re benefiting: By taking time after a match to analyze your performance, you challenge yourself to come up with new strategies you can apply in the future against more difficult opponents.

And in today’s day and age, those opponents don’t necessarily need to be human. Mainstream chess sites offer a range of computerized players for you to test your skills against, from simple bots to AI with the prowess of grandmasters. If you’re especially determined, you can even make your own.

Practice your skills online against the computer or a live foe.
Practice your skills online against the computer or a live foe.

3. Reading

Few things are more relaxing than taking a break in the middle of a long day to read. I can’t count the times I’ve dropped by my local library just to browse the shelves, choosing titles at random to flip through. It’s how I’ve found some of my favorite stories, the bulk of which I remember to this day for their engaging plots and riveting characters.

Like writing, reading doesn’t take a whole lot to start doing. If you have access to the Internet, you can download ebooks by the millions at sites like Library Genesis and Project Gutenberg. Amazon, too, lists thousands of free titles—I usually search “0.00” if I want to browse them. You can also drop by your local library to find physical books for checkout.

In addition to being relaxing, reading can make you smarter. Devouring nonfiction gives you a heightened sense for what’s going on in the world, from ongoing political struggles to social issues that formed the basis, many decades ago, of the society in which you live. Fiction, too, stretches the mind: George R.R Martin’s novels expose you to the indefinite nature of good and evil, while Lemony Snicket’s show in clear color the value of sticking a chase through to its end.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out this article on themes in fiction and how they relate to your own life here if you want to learn more. (As a point of clarification, reading articles online totally counts as reading.)

4. Programming

If you’re bored and have access to a computer, you might consider trying your hand at programming. The language you choose when you’re just starting out with programming isn’t of groundbreaking importance, but some of the most popular choices are Python and C. If you live near a community college, you could try enrolling in introductory courses for either language; alternatively, you could follow lesson plans published online by providers like Sololearn and Freecodecamp.

A word of warning: Before getting wrapped up too tightly in programming theory, which can get real complicated real fast, try writing a simple program to complete some task you find yourself doing again and again in the same way. It could be as simple as calculating the number of moles present in a sample of ideal gas given its pressure, volume, and temperature, or as complicated as balancing your budget. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination (and, to some extent, by your skill at searching Stack Overflow for a solution to the problem you want to solve), so take a crack at it and see what happens. The results will likely be good.

5. Baking

Alright, I’ll admit that this one isn’t free, but it’s worth mentioning because of its versatility. With an oven, some ingredients, and a dash of creativity, you can bake just about anything you put your mind to.

Even if you've never baked a day in your life, it's easy to start. Sites like Supercook and Allrecipes can help you narrow in on the perfect recipe for your occasion, and others, like the Food Network, give exceptional tips to help you perfect your technique.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)