Writing about hobbies has become my brand. Some bill themselves as food writers or film critics, but I’ve found myself happily within the hobby space. Niche, yes, but also paradoxically expansive. See, I love hobbies because the idea of committing yourself to something without expectation is perhaps the most freeing experience we as people in 2023 are allowed. While I bill myself a writer, I’m also a knitter, collage-maker, hiker, biker, and infinite other things that make up my endlessly complex identity. But enough about me. If you’re feeling inspired to explore your capabilities and curiosities and grow deeper into yourself this season, let’s get right to it. Dive into this list of the most energizing spring hobbies to kickstart your warm-weather revival.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
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12 Spring Hobbies to Make the Most of the Season
With temps rising to manageable levels, it’s time to brave the great outdoors. But after a few months cooped up inside, I’m sure you don’t need the extra push to crack open those windows and let the fresh air in. I always love this time of year—while some see New Year’s as their natural restart, I’m inspired by the natural shift of the seasons.
The spring hobbies below all make the most of the warmer weather and sunnier days. Take this as my invitation to pick up something that piques your interest and sparks inspiration. Whether that’s foraging for mushrooms, making fairy gardens around your neighborhood, or sitting down with pen and paper to write a small note of kindness to friends and family—drop what it looks like and embrace the beauty of simply doing this spring.
There’s nothing more celebratory of spring than starting your own garden. And the good news: you don’t need to have a backyard to exercise your budding green thumb. If you do, amazing! The best place to start? Let Camille’s DIY garden beds inspire your planning. This guide also walks you through an easy-to-follow, step-by-step list of what to consider when starting your first garden.
If you don’t have the space for garden boxes or a plot, no problem! Container gardens are one of the easiest ways to make it happen. Get everything you need to know about starting your own container garden here.
Start a Collection
I’ve been collecting piggy banks since I was 10. It all started because yes, pigs are my favorite animal. But it’s continued well into my twenties because seeing all of my many piggybanks lined up on my shelves simply brings me joy. And while many of us may be embracing a minimalist lifestyle, I’m all in favor of curating your home with objects that make you smile. (It’s all about the intention, right?) Whether that’s matchboxes collected from your favorite restaurants and hotels, pottery pieces, egg cups, or what have you—there’s always space for more happiness in your home.
Join the club! Since the pandemic, everyone’s been lacing up their boots and enjoying the simple pleasure of nature. Even if you don’t live in the mountains, many parks and nature areas boast trail systems that are perfect for a weekend afternoon stroll. AllTrails is a great resource for learning more about the hiking opportunities in your area, or you can research local trails and nature preserves by visiting your state’s State Preserves website. (For example, I live in Chicago, and Illinois offers plenty of information regarding permits and ideas for outdoor activities.)
But I can’t stress this enough: no matter the hike, always set out prepared. REI has a thorough day hike checklist so you can adventure with peace of mind.
Have you heard? Everyone’s foraging these days. The now mainstream movement is seeing people setting out in search of mushrooms, wild garlic, greens—everything! But of course, you need to know what you’re looking for—and how to identify your findings—to truly be safe. Many experts offer foraging tours, clubs, group trips, and private excursions so you can learn from the best. Research what’s available in your area and get out there!
Write Love Notes
Of course, sending letters isn’t exclusive to spring (it’s something I love doing all throughout the year). But with the natural world blooming and coming alive all around us, it’s likely you’re feeling a swell of gratitude for all the gifts in your life. Gather your favorite stationery, pour a cup of tea, and sit down to write. You can make it a weekly habit of sending short notes to friends and family sharing just how thankful you are to have them in your life. It’s one of the simplest, most heart-warming ways to make someone’s day.
Make Fairy Gardens
Did you grow up making fairy gardens in your neighborhood? If you’re unfamiliar, fairy gardens are miniature gardens designed with small plants and teeny-tiny accessories and playthings constructed with the intention of “luring” fairies. You can build yours in mini containers, at the base of trees, in small bushes—wherever! They’re so fun to make with children and remind everyone that there’s always magic present in every day. You just have to look for it.
Take this as your sign to go to Trader Joe’s immediately and purchase a few of your favorite flowers to take home and construct your own custom bouquet. They’re an inexpensive and creative way to brighten your home and bring the outdoors in. And as Miley says best: you can buy yourself flowers.
Or any racquet sport of your choosing. As someone who’s been playing tennis since she was 8, I’m partial to the sport. But if you want to get out on the court, soak up the sunshine, and wear all the cute clothes that come with holding a racquet in your hand (the skirts! the tanks! the hats!), any variation will do. That’s right, it’s time to finally get into pickleball and understand what everyone’s raving about.
DIY Your Own Home Décor
Because it’s oftentimes less expensive and there’s nothing better than recreating a high-quality dupe of your favorite pieces. Let Camille’s antique dough bowl sink transformation motivate you: yes, you can really do anything. Check out some of our favorite resources and sites for DIY home décor:
Embrace the Fiber Arts
It is my ultimate wish that everyone can know the fun and joy of picking up a pair of needles and taking a scarf or hat from start to finish. And I’ll confirm: no—knitting, crocheting, sewing, and the like are not exclusive to the colder months. Visit your local yarn shop and chat with the (always kind!) folks there about a good first project, lessons they offer, and any clubs to join. The fiber arts community is truly one of the kindest I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of, and I want everyone to get to take part.
Make Your Own Ice Cream
Summer might not be here yet, but now is still a great time to start experimenting with homemade ice cream. Pull out your old ice cream maker (or invest in a new one—they’re less expensive than you may think!) and start dreaming up your favorite flavors. If you need inspiration, try this Haldhi Doodh Ice Cream or our recipe for Peachberry Shortbread Ice Cream. But trust, when it comes to ice cream, the options really are endless.
Camp With Friends and Family
I’ve decided that 2023 is the year I get back into camping. My family would always adventure out to Maine to go camping in the summer and I loved the simplicity of this kind of low-key vacation. Of course, there’s quite a bit of equipment you need in the beginning, but once you’re set with your tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, and any recreational gear, it’s easy to pack up the car any old weekend. Or, if you like things a little less rustic, Getaway offers beautiful, minimalist cabins a short drive away from most major American cities.