19 Vintage Hobbies Making a Comeback in the Modern Era

Vintage hobbies have witnessed a major cultural renaissance in the past few years. Since the recent global pandemic, there has been a cultural reset and a huge focus on wellness and self-care.  In our technological age, we’re deliberately stepping away from our screens and rediscovering some of the best vintage hobbies.

From collecting vinyl records to learning to sew, these timeless pastimes are experiencing an exciting resurgence. Social media, an unlikely hero, has really helped revitalize these hobbies, providing the perfect platform to share, explore, discuss, and rediscover the charm of these retro activities. 

Why Do We Love Hobbies?

Happy beautiful young Caucasian woman talking with female Indian friend, discussing artwork during creative group class with diverse young people in modern loft studio, drawing in paints on canvas.
Image credit: fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Hobbies can also be a way to make friends and express themselves. 

Hobbies play a significant part in our personal growth and building our sense of self. Whether it’s drawing, playing a sport, or gardening, hobbies bring joy and fulfillment, helping to enhance our quality of life. They make people happy, help them relax, and encourage the learning of new skills. Hobbies are also a great way to make friends with others who share similar interests.

Here are some of the best vintage hobbies that have recently experienced a genuine resurgence!

Board Games

Board game party with my friends. Settlers of Catan, popular board game. Players are scrambling the area to get more resources and victory points.
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Board games have been around for centuries, the oldest dating back to around 3100 BCE! Before modern technology, these were all the rage, and thanks to lockdown, millions of us had the time stuck at home to rediscover the trials and tribulations of some of the most iconic games, like Monopoly and Mouse Trap. Board games continue to provide the perfect way to provide a social and interactive respite away from the monotony of our online lives.

Vinyl Records

Front cover of the vinyl record Sultans of Swings
Editorial Credit: Miguel Angel RM / Shutterstock.com.

There’s been a major resurgence in interest in vinyl’s authentic, warm sound, thanks to its ability to make anyone feel nostalgic instantly. The rise in vinyl and vintage records has also sparked a huge new interest in vintage classics, especially the sound of the 1970s and 80s, which continue to inspire musicians today.

Origami

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This ancient practice has gained significant popularity thanks to its meditative and accessible nature. Thanks to social media and online platforms offering a range of tutorials and groups for all levels, this beautifully intricate hobby has found a place in the modern world. 

Chess

Chess board with chess pieces isolated on black
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Thanks to the hit Netflix show The Queen’s Gambit, interest in chess has skyrocketed, whether online or in real life. This strategic and centuries-old game has experienced an impressive renaissance, and with the emergence of online clubs, social groups, and competitions, it looks like chess is back for good! 

Letter Writing

Writing a love note
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There has been a real rise in letter writing and penpals thanks to the pandemic, which saw a resurgence in the old forms of communication given that we had more time on our hands. Amidst the monopoly of digital communication, the art of letter writing has re-emerged as a more intimate, personalized, and thoughtful way to connect. There are even online platforms and social media groups dedicated to letter writing, encouraging people to share their creative designs and penmanship.

Stargazing

Couple star-gazing
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​​The resurgence of the ancient interest in stargazing and astronomy has been fueled by a desire to reconnect with the natural world through finding spirituality and the widespread fascination with learning about astrology, especially via social media platforms. 

Social media and apps have even developed platforms designed for stargazing, such as Star Walk and SkyView, which provide tools for enthusiasts to share their celestial observations, astrophotography, and stargazing tips.

Sewing and Needlecraft

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Not only is this a fun, thrifty, and creative way to repair, refresh, and create new things, from clothing to homeware, but there’s not much you can’t do with a nifty needle and thread.  Embroidery and cross-stitching have gained significant popularity as therapeutic social media and TV alternatives. 

The trend has even contributed to amazing social networks and craft clubs both online and across local communities, connecting people through a love of creativity, where they can share advice and showcase their creations. 

Candle Making

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Not only is candle-making a fun activity, but people are also finally realizing how sustainable and affordable it is. Social media platforms, like Pinterest and Instagram, provide amazing platforms for sharing techniques, designs, and tips for experimenting with color and fragrances. Getting creative with different scents, colors, and styles is a great way to unwind, alone or with friends, not to mention they make the best gifts. 

Knitting

Woman knitting
Image credit: goffkein.pro / Shutterstock.com

Knitting is another amazing crafting hobby that has seen a major resurgence. Knitting is believed to have originated in Egypt around the fifth century and later spread across Europe. This is a wonderfully fun and relaxing craft that helps you learn dexterity, express your creativity, and share your designs and creations with friends, family, and through online social networks. 

Gardening

Enjoy gardening at the rooftop
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A timeless and fulfilling hobby, gardening is having a major comeback, especially among younger generations seeking to reconnect with nature. The recent pandemic meant we saw a huge desire to grow our food both for the pleasure of it and for sustenance. 

Gardening is also a form of long-lasting exercise and a lifelong pursuit. It is a rewarding and sustainable way to meet basic human needs while also fostering physical and mental well-being.

Canning/Preserving

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This practice predates fridges as a universal way of preserving food. Since lockdown, canning/preserving/pickling has become a huge craze for many as a fun way to experiment with flavors, create sustainable, homemade, high-quality snacks and ingredients, and reduce food waste while learning an ancient new skill.

Baking

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Lockdown truly bought out the bakers in all of us. Whether it was banana bread or sourdough, we all tried our hand at becoming the next winner of the bake-off! The therapeutic nature of baking and the joy of creating a staple from scratch have drawn people to this timeless vintage hobby. 

Social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube have transformed into social hubs for sharing sourdough starter tips, cool new recipes, and even artistic bread-shaping and cake-decorating techniques.

Jazzercise

 Horizontal, medium closeup of "Jazzercise" fitness studio facade brand signage
Image Credit: Bruce VanLoon / Shutterstock.com

Jane Fonda jazzercised so that millennials could Zumba. Thanks to Fonda’s first at-home video tutorials back in the 80s, workout culture has been revolutionized, from the return of dance-inspired workouts like Barre Fit to the accessibility of online workout classes and tutorials. This vintage hobby has even inspired modern-day megastars like Dua Lipa, with her hit song Let’s Get Physical.

Roller Skating

Friends rollerskating
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Roller skating has existed for decades but is making an epic comeback. We can thank Barbie, last summer’s blockbuster hit, for the sudden resurgence of shoes with wheels and fluorescent 80s-style outfits! 

Bowling

Person playing bowling
Photo by: Jorik Kleen on Unsplash

Bowling is officially making a comeback. This retro hobby has recently been revived among millennials and Gen Z, making the bowling alley the place to be. Whether for a first date or group hangout, bowling is a pretty affordable and fun way to spend time.

Thrifting

Woman In Thrift Store Looking At Handbags
Photo credit: SpeedKingz / Shutterstock.com.

Thrifting and car-boot sales are officially back in vogue. While the concept is old, the obsession is new; thanks to TikTok, more and more people are getting involved in secondhand markets, car boot sales, and thrifting as a more sustainable and cost-effective way to find new things and get creative with your goods.

Bird Watching

Young girl bird watching
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​​Bird watching has been experiencing a major resurgence as a fulfilling and accessible way to unwind and embrace the outdoors. Nowadays, younger generations are getting more involved thanks to its fun, therapeutic benefits and the newfound desire to reconnect with nature and get outdoors. 

Birdwatching is a fantastic hobby that provides a peaceful escape, fosters mindfulness, and allows its enthusiasts to appreciate the beauty of biodiversity. 

Jigsaw Puzzling

Hands of diverse group of senior friends playing with jigsaw puzzles in sunny dining room at home. Retirement, friendship, wellbeing, activities, togetherness and senior lifestyle, unaltered.
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A centuries-old practice, puzzling has long been a great way to relax, unwind, and challenge your mind. With varying difficulty levels, you can even choose the pictures you assemble, turning the completed puzzle into a beautiful piece of art to frame in your home. Jigsaw puzzles have a rich history, originating in the late 1700s. Today, some puzzles can boast over 40,000 pieces and extend more than 20 feet in size.

Scrapbooking

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This vintage hobby was a major, long-lasting hobby before the rise of modern-day technology. Scrapbooking has long been a fun and creative way of preserving family history and gaining popularity in the Victorian era. The resurgence of scrapbooking has been fueled by a desire for more tangible, hands-on activities in the digital age. This hobby provides a nostalgic and rewarding way to document and cherish your special moments whilst also providing the opportunity to express creativity, relive memories, and showcase crafting skills.

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