15 Cheap Hobbies Beyond Walking and Running


Hobbies can be fun and healthy, and they’re constructive uses of time. Some are quite expensive, though, like creating drone footage and collecting electric trains.

What are some inexpensive hobbies other than walking and running, which many people do already?

Library Time

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Library cards are free or cheap. At modern libraries, you can also do a lot more than read. You can watch movies and shows, go online, listen to music, and more.


handsome guy holding book while smart pet read it
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Reading is a wonderful way to pass the time. As a bonus, you’ll expand your knowledge and your vocabulary, and it might even help you become a better writer.


Young girl bird watching
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Sure, you can spend thousands of dollars on a top-of-the-line viewing scope, but that isn’t necessary. All you need is a decent pair of binoculars. Birding is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, learn more about the world, and get some exercise.

Cooking and Baking

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This hobby is more than just a constructive use of time. You also get to enjoy the results of your efforts. Plus, since you have to eat anyway, you’re knocking off an essential chore and having fun doing it!


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This can be as simple as doodling with a pen or pencil. On the other end, you could be using colored pens and pencils to create impressive sketches. Not naturally talented in art? You can find free online demos covering the basics of drawing.

Learn to Play an Instrument

Woman using laptop to learn play guitar
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Find an inexpensive instrument that has always appealed to you. If you want to save money on professional instruction, you can find self-guided courses. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you have something fun to do almost anytime you want.


Hands of woman knitting.
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Here’s another hobby that results in a finished product you or others can enjoy. Some people get so good at this that they start making their own clothes!


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There’s no shortage of organizations desperate for help from volunteers. Many people find volunteering to be deeply rewarding since they get to give back to their communities and make a difference in people’s or animals’ lives.


cropped image of woman gardening.
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You don’t have to have a green thumb to enjoy spending time outdoors in your garden. Just tending to a few flowering plants can feel satisfying. All the same, you can also grow food for your use, cutting your grocery bills.


Athletic girl with hair flying in the wind leading electric bike. Outdoor portrait against blue cloudy sky.
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One of the healthiest forms of exercise and among the best ways to enjoy some fresh air, biking has great appeal to a lot of people. You can also do two things at once by using your bike to run some errands.


Travel, traveler, backpack.
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Okay, technically this is walking, but hiking implies that you’re doing something more than walking around the neighborhood. Often, it involves beautiful outdoor settings where you can also recharge your spirit.

Disc Golf

The smiling young man throws the disc golf disc
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Disc golf has caught on in a big way in recent decades. You can get a group of friends to do it with you or join a recreational league.

Rock Climbing

Woman, hand and rock climbing with rope on mountain, hill or remote hiking for workout, training and exercise.
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It doesn’t cost that much to take a course on the basics of safety and techniques, and gear for the basics will only set you back a few hundred dollars. The gear will last a long time, and you can enjoy this activity no matter your age or ability level.


Group of senior friends playing chess game at the park. Lifestyle concepts about seniority and third age
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This classic game of strategy can fill hours at a time and challenge your mind. If you don’t have someone to play, you can play chess online for free.


Couple kayaking together. Beautiful young couple kayaking on lake together and smiling
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Kayaks aren’t cheap, but a basic all-around model isn’t all that expensive. After that, all you need are a PFD, paddle, and water shoes, and you’re set to enjoy the water. If you’re going to take on whitewater, you’ll need a helmet as well and should seek qualified instruction.

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Image Credit: Julaix/Shutterstock.


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An elderly woman looks sadly out the window.
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Author: Robert Sihler


Robert Sihler is an educator, freelance writer, and rock climbing guide and instructor living with his family in Driftwood, Texas. In his spare time, he enjoys reading fiction, streaming films, completing crossword puzzles, and rock climbing. When he goes on vacation, he likes to visit the mountains of the West and climb remote, obscure peaks that have seen few or no prior ascents.

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