Check Out These Free Online Hobby Classes for Seniors
Check Out These Free Online Hobby Classes for Seniors
16 February 2024

Need Ideas for Learning a New Hobby? Find Free Hobby Classes Online and Locally

Thinking about finding a new hobby? Research strongly suggests that hobbies can provide an array of positive side effects and health benefits: 

  • Alleviating boredom
  • Reducing stress
  • Promoting creativity
  • Teaching patience
  • Developing skills
  • Improving relationships
  • Promoting well-being

A 2023 Nature Medicine study of 93,000 older adults found respondents with hobbies self-reported higher happiness, better health, and more life satisfaction than those who do not engage in hobbies. You may have landed here because you’re looking for hobby ideas. How do you find online classes for adults or local hobby classes? Here, we define hobbies and how to find your next hobby for free.

18 Ideas for Hobbies

Hobbies are activities performed regularly in your leisure time for pleasure. Some traditional and lesser-known hobbies that are ideal for older adults include:

  • Gardening
  • Knitting/crochet
  • Cooking
  • Bird watching
  • Fishing
  • Genealogy
  • Dancing
  • Theater
  • Astronomy
  • Photography 
  • Boating
  • Table tennis
  • Pickleball
  • Drawing
  • Yoga, tai chi
  • Camping
  • Second language
  • Playing musical instruments

A OnePoll study shows that 31% of Americans believe it’s never too late to learn a new hobby. However, when it comes to picking up hobbies like outdoor activities, 54% of Americans polled are hesitant out of fear they won’t be good at it. In addition, 47% feel discouraged from signing up because they’re worried they won’t fit in, even though they agree joining a local group or taking a class to learn new activities is the easiest way to pick up a new hobby.

There are a few ways to find a hobby. You can explore hobbies you had in your younger years, or take a personality test like the Meyers-Briggs, which can offer insight into activities you may not have previously considered, or dive into something new. To help you make the jump, we’ve compiled a few sites that offer free hobby classes, so there’s no financial commitment on your part to determine whether you like the hobby.

Search for Free Classes for Seniors

If you’re unable to attend classes in person or would rather take free online classes, you won’t have any trouble finding them.

You can search for hobbies online, using your OneLaunch browser.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.  

Michaels Craft store offers various hobby classes like crocheting, knitting, sewing, painting, wood-burning, and more. The classes are available online and in person (at participating locations). You may need to purchase supplies, while others are provided for free (in person). Most are an hour long. You can register for online and in-person classes at

RootsTech by Family Search lets you view their on-demand genealogy classes. You can search for on-demand classes by topic using keywords like methodology or DNA. The site also allows you to filter by research methodology, research location, language (42 options), and more. You can create a free account to track your classes. 

If you’re interested in learning a second language, Duolingo offers free classes (ad-supported) in 35 languages, including Spanish, Italian, German, and more. Classes are in a game-style format and focus on real-life goals like ordering at a restaurant through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. 

Whether you’re looking for instruction on hobbies like photography, playing the guitar, drawing cartoons, or thousands of other activities, YouTube could be the right place for you to start. Since YouTube has a vast library (reportedly over 1 billion) of videos, it’s best to search for a specific topic. The search results will display how old the content is, a short description of the video, and the number of views. While you’re visiting YouTube, check out OneLaunch’s channel, which offers tips and tricks for getting the most out of your OneLaunch experience. 

AARP offers free classes for adults 60 and older, on a variety of topics throughout the day. Topics include learning how My Chart works (one of the most-used healthcare apps where patients and their doctors can access patient records and communicate with each other); chair yoga and stretch classes; and technology classes like learning to use Google Maps, video chat apps and more. AARP classes for seniors through Senior Planet require a Zoom account, but don’t worry — they offer a class to teach you how to use Zoom! 

Find Hobby Classes Near You

Some hobbies, such as dancing, gardening, cooking, and theater, are often best learned in person. There are a few ways to find free hobby classes in your area. The first is to search Google using the phrase “find hobby classes near me.” Google will list available classes and other information, like class details, addresses, directions, and contact info. Other ways to find free local activities include:

  • Community centers: Check for free classes for seniors at community centers, which often provide free classes, social events, and exercise programs. 
  • Libraries: Try your local library, which may offer reading, writing, and art clubs or classes that are free to attend or require low fees (usually to cover supplies). 
  • Theater: Join a community theater, volunteer to usher or work concessions, or take improv classes.
  • Garden: Visit local nurseries for info on local gardening groups. Facebook is another great source to find local gardening clubs.
  • Silver Sneakers: Free to adults 65 and older through certain Medicare plans, Silver Sneakers offers online and in-person fitness classes.   
  • Join a meetup group. You can find local events and groups near you by searching (launched in 2002). Filters include location, day, distance, and category.  

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