7 hobbies to pick up in quarantine

James Bunton, a junior, attempted woodworking for the first time during quarantine. It didn’t go exactly his way, but he said he’d keep trying. (Photo used by permission of James Bunton)

James Bunton, a junior, attempted woodworking for the first time during quarantine. It didn’t go exactly his way, but he said he’d keep trying. (Photo used by permission of James Bunton)


With everyone stuck at home, there isn’t much to do. You shouldn’t be going anywhere, and digital learning only takes up so much of your new-found time. Now is the perfect moment to pick up a hobby– something to do just for pleasure. 

Check out the list below to find some inspiration.

1. Participate in #starentine

Megan Eaves, a London-based amateur astronomer, has started this collective, worldwide hobby. She coined the term #Starentine— quarantine stargazing. Eaves posts the times of live stargazing sessions on her Twitter account

Each session focuses on a planet, star, or constellation visible in the Northern Hemisphere that night. You don’t even need a telescope or any experience. However, an app like SkyView or Night Sky may help you identify what you’re looking at if you’re struggling to tell Orion from the Big Dipper.

2. Learn some art skills

There are plenty of resources online of tutorials focusing on painting, drawing, and digital art. The Virtual Instructor has over 1,300 art videos, courses, ebooks, and weekly live instruction.

They’ve released five recorded Live Lessons to everyone for free for at least the next 4 weeks. These lessons cover over 25 hours of art that is usually just for members. It’s a great opportunity for people who are more experienced and have materials like charcoal and pastels. 

If you’re newer to the art scene, SkillShare has videos covering daily practices to improve your drawings. Some videos are only available to Premium members, but they also boast a large library of free videos. People around the world upload content, from teachers to teens.

3. Inflate those flat bike tires

Raleigh has 117 miles of greenway trails. While state parks like Umstead remain closed, greenways are still open for the most part. The City of Raleigh website has two great resources for seeing what greenways are open near you: an interactive map and a general announcement page with closures and modifications. 

It’s easy to drive to a greenway for a bike ride alone or with family. If you don’t feel up to biking you can always walk or run a greenway path. The point is, getting outside and into nature is still a possibility.

4. Join a book club

Hundreds of book clubs have moved online and hundreds more have popped up on a purely online platform. One such book club is the Quarantine Book Club. They host about two Zoom meetings a day with different authors and designers. Tickets to the meetings are $5, and they cover specific books of different genres.

A free book club option is The Perks Of Being A Book Addict on Goodreads. Every month they have a group of Books of the Month, reading challenges, and blogs. Their only rules are to be respectful of everyone’s opinions and not to spoil anything for other readers.

5. Improve your storytelling and acting

The Virginia Stage Company is offering free classes for students and the general public. If you’re looking for some acting classes they have acting labs, monologue labs, and virtual artist self-care sessions.

They also have virtual readings of plays, if you’re more interested in listening to theater than participating in it. The Company hosts a spontaneous storytelling class and a class all about understanding Shakespeare, too. 

6. Bake or cook something new

Now might not be the best time to go grocery shopping for that rare ingredient for some extreme pastry, but you can still bake with ingredients you already have in your pantry. 

Minimal ingredient recipes that don’t require eggs or flour do exist. Also, substituting in various ingredients for others, like sour cream for plain yogurt, is always an option. One great website with eight ingredient recipes, five ingredient recipes, and no-yeast breads is Sally’s Baking Addiction. There are recipes for new bakers and experienced bakers alike. 

If cooking is more your speed, check out SuperCook. You enter what items you have in your fridge and pantry and the website finds matching recipes for you to try. Videos and articles discussing basic cooking skills are easy to find on Google, from amateur cooks to Gordon Ramsy himself.

7. Become a master of origami

Origami is great for all skill levels– you can work on folding a simple butterfly or try to make a paper Yoda. It’s proven to better concentration and reduce stress. The YouTube channel PPO has great videos to follow along with, and you don’t need origami paper to participate.

Once you hone your skills to perfection, you can try to make the Yoda mentioned earlier. 

That concludes the list of seven hobbies to try out during quarantine. However, there are a countless number of hobbies that you can do. Now is the best time to rekindle an old passion or try something you never had the time to do. 

Come out of quarantine with something positive, even if it’s just the ability to make origami penguins. 


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