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The 5 Hippest Hobbies To Take Up In Your 40s

You can start this weekend!

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Knitting needle and yarn
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Ah, your 40s … Your kids are becoming more independent or have left for college, life seems to have finally settled into a comfortable rhythm, and doing something for yourself doesn’t seem completely irrational anymore. It may be time — or you may have just realized you finally  have the time — to start a new hobby or seek out a new passion.

Since doing something for yourself has recently moved to the top of your priority list, at last edging out that coveted top spot your small children held for so many years, now is the perfect time to try one of these hobbies on for size. You may be surprised to discover that you’re capable of — and even really good at — something other than raising children.


The internet offers an endless amount of ancestor-seeking assistance, and what these services are able to access about your heritage may astound you. With the popularity and availability of personal-DNA study companies able to give you a complete rundown of your biological history, and the chance your local public or community college library staffs a genealogist, the ability to find out who you really are and where you came from is the easiest and most convenient it has ever been. A genealogy hobby makes it actually a good thing to dig up the past.

Home preserving/pickling/canning

I canned my first jar of strawberry jam about 15 years ago, and many a friend made fun of me. Now big retailers like Williams-Sonoma have entire agrarian lines of merchandise, and suddenly it’s super hip to make and ferment your own pickles and kimchi, and homemade marmalade is no longer just something found in your great-grandma’s pie safe. Guess what — it has always been cool and sustainable, and your great-grandma even knew this. Why not jump on the jam wagon,
too? Plus, once you taste the heaven that is homemade preserves and ferments, you will never go back to commercially jarred fruit spreads and pickles.

Pole dancing

No, I’m not joking. Pole-dancing fitness classes are popping up (and down!) everywhere, and offer an unparalleled upper body workout. They’ve been proven to be excellent self-confidence builders while burning some major calories. Taught by former gymnasts, acrobats and, yes, the occasional exotic dancer, these classes can be found at traditional gyms and dance studios. And who knows, maybe your sex life (and not just your biceps) will end up thanking you.

Making home brews and wine

Two words: It’s cheaper. I discovered this when my teenager brewed beer for a chemistry project, and $5 later we had five gallons of IPA in my closet. When he made hard cider for Christmas presents, I was totally sold. And do you have an Instant Pot? You can make wine in it. This is not a drill. I will bet there is a local home-brewing club near you offering classes and plenty of info for beer- and wine-making beginners. Did I mention you can order chocolate-flavored hops?

Knitting or crocheting

If you haven’t been to a yarn store lately, you may be in for quite a shock. Gorgeous hand-dyed, locally sourced and spun indie fibers await you, and we’re not just talking about making granny’s scarves anymore. Hip knits are all the rage, and folks at yarn stores are the friendliest people you will find, all eager to teach even the most creatively challenged people the knitting and crocheting basics with no judgment. And bonus: Did you know psychological science tells us knitters are just plain happier people, and knitting has been proven to reduce anxiety, depression and even dementia? Time to get those needles out, ladies, and MAKE SOMETHING!