What Are The 10 Most Popular Hobbies in the U.S.?

Ever wondered where most Americans find escape from the churn and burn of everyday life? In this whirlwind it’s all too easy to neglect the value of “me” time, an essential ingredient for our well-being. Pursuing a hobby is more than just a way to pass the time – it’s a powerful tonic for our minds and moods, a medium for expressing creativity, and gateway social bonding.

So, are we investing the little leisure time we have in the most fulfilling activities? Better yet, what are the most popular hobbies in the U.S.? The 10 most popular hobbies in the U.S. include: 

  1. Cooking And Baking: 39%
  2. Reading: 36%
  3. Pets: 34%
  4. Video Gaming: 32%
  5. Watching TV – Including Netflix, Cable, etc: 31%
  6. Sports: 28%
  7. Fitness: 25%
  8. Fine Arts (General Art, Painting, Drawing): 24%
  9. Crafting: 23%
  10. Music – Listening and Creating: 22%

Trying out hobbies is our hobby. So we’re uniquely positioned to create this friendly guide, giving you the facts on the 10 most popular hobbies in the United States, including our takes on each hobby.

All 10 hobbies are easily understood and well-known, so we’ll take it one step further and uncover the underlying reasons for their popularity, the general trend of interest, and finally what’s driving this trend.

Let’s dive into the top 10 hobbies in the U.S., starting with the main event: cooking and baking.



Did you guess it? According to Statista, a whopping 39% of Americans find solace in this culinary duo. But why do these kitchen activities take the cake?

A Recipe for Success

The kitchen – an adult’s sandbox. It’s where you mix, match, and master culinary creations. Then there’s the bonding. The shared joy over mom’s lasagna, perhaps?

And the special occasions. Remember the homemade birthday cake or the Christmas pie? Plus, it’s a hobby that’s kind on the wallet and a great stress reliever. Sold yet?

A Trend on the Rise

Pinpointing a hobby’s popularity trend? Not so simple. But here’s our theory: the recent COVID-19 pandemic had us all home-bound. Cue the rise in home chefs and bakers (The Atlantic).

So, why this surge in kitchen maestros? We can point to a few culprits.

  • Foodie culture, for one.
  • The resurgence of home-cooked meals, for another.
  • Don’t forget the influx of cooking shows and food influencers.
  • Plus, we’re all about healthier and more sustainable cooking these days.

In essence, cooking and baking aren’t just hobbies. They’re reflections of our changing lifestyles. So why not join in? Don your apron and embrace America’s #1 hobby!

Psst… If you want to get into this hobby, you should start by learning how to pickle and ferment foods. It’s a fantastic gateway into America’s favorite hobby. And, it’s delicious.


Coming in hot at second place is a timeless hobby: reading. Statistics show that a strong 36% of Americans indulge in this intellectual pastime. But what makes reading so compelling?

The Power of the Written Word

Reading is our window to countless worlds. From books and magazines to blogs and newspapers, it’s an ever-changing landscape that stimulates the mind and relieves stress. Who wouldn’t want to escape reality now and then?

Plus, it’s a hobby that transcends age barriers. And the benefits? They run deep, improving mental and emotional well-being, and fostering personal growth.

Why We Love a Good Book

So, what makes reading such a hit in the U.S.? Simple.

The lure of the unknown. The joy of escaping reality. The thirst for knowledge.

After all, reading taps into our innate curiosity. It offers relaxation and enjoyment, making it an essential part of our human experience. We like books so much, we learned how to bind them…

The Rise of the Bookworm

As for reading trends, they’re a bit tricky to pin down. Demographics play a role, of course. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic likely bolstered the ranks of readers looking for ways to pass the time. And why not, when reading offers such enticing benefits?

Escapism and the thrill of new worlds. The endless opportunity for learning.

In essence, reading is a journey, an escape, and a learning opportunity all rolled into one. Why not grab a book and join the adventure?


Claiming the third spot on our list is a hobby that will make your heart flutter: pets. A significant 34% of Americans are spending their time with their furry, feathery, or scaly friends. So, why are pets such a popular hobby?

Furry Friends and Feathered Companions

There’s a special bond between humans and pets. It’s companionship, emotional support, and often an impetus to stay active and venture outdoors. From walking the dog to playing with the cat, pet hobbies are as varied as the animals we care for.

The Pet Connection

So, what makes pets so beloved in the U.S.? Here are a few ideas.

They provide companionship and emotional support. They create unforgettable family moments. They boost our physical and mental health.

In fact, pet keeping is one of the most adopted hobbies globally, spanning centuries. Pets have a way of wiggling, waddling, or slithering into our hearts, don’t they? Pets are the ultimate family hobby as well – since, well, they are family. That’s why they made our list of top 15 family hobbies that don’t suck.

The Pet Hobby Trend

As with other hobbies, the popularity of pet-related activities can shift with demographics. However, the COVID-19 pandemic likely increased pet hobbyists, as people sought companionship and connection. And it’s easy to see why. Pets can bring joy, companionship, and a whole lot of fun. 


Video gaming storms into fourth place as a dynamic and ever-evolving hobby, captivating around 32% of Americans. What keeps millions tapping away on their controllers?

The Digital Playground

Video gaming, as this Game Quitters article reveals, brings us together, forming friendships, creating worlds of excitement and novelty, and even offering avenues for expressing creativity. It’s a hobby for everyone: young or old, novice or expert.

The perks of gaming?

  1. Stress relief and an escape from reality.
  2. Building connections and friendships.
  3. Providing immersive experiences.
  4. A platform for learning and discovery.

Gaming: The New Great American Pastime

What makes gaming such a beloved hobby in America? A few key reasons:

The joy of connecting with others. The thrill of expressing creativity. The much-needed escape from reality.

It’s not just a game; it’s an interactive digital world that provides an escape from the ordinary, as highlighted by this B&M Stores article.

Leveling Up in Popularity

The popularity of gaming may fluctuate with demographics, but as The Atlantic points out, the COVID-19 pandemic likely saw a surge in video gaming as people sought ways to stay entertained and connected. Gaming is not just a hobby, it’s a community. Ready to play?


Fifth on our list is a familiar favorite: watching TV, with streaming platforms like Netflix. This pastime engages about 31% of Americans. But what makes this hobby so alluring?

The Couch Potato Revolution

The convenience and personalization of streaming services have revolutionized our TV watching experience. As this BeOnAir article explains, it’s an inexpensive pastime that can be enjoyed solo or in a group, providing relaxation, entertainment, and cultural insights.

Why do we love it?

  1. The relaxation after a long day.
  2. The cultural updates it offers.
  3. The education it imparts through various genres.

TV Watching: America’s Chill Pill

Why is watching TV so popular in the U.S.?

The convenience of streaming services. The ability to share the experience with friends and family. The relaxation it provides after a long day.

Watching TV/Netflix can provide educational content and help people learn new things, as suggested by this Pastime Geek article.

Binging on the Rise

Watching TV may have always been popular, but it likely saw a boost during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people at home, it became a go-to hobby for relaxation and cultural connection. Grab some popcorn and start streaming.


Securing sixth place is a hobby that gets hearts racing: sports. Participating or spectating, about 28% of Americans are engaged in sports as a hobby. What makes sports such a winning choice?

The Allure of the Game

Sports unite us. As this Teen Ink article explains, sports hobbies involve participating in or watching sports, like basketball or football, leading to bonding over shared interests.

Why are sports so beloved?

  1. The sense of community it builds.
  2. The thrill of the game.
  3. The health benefits it provides.
  4. The life skills it imparts.

Sports: The American Spirit

Why do sports hold a special place in American hearts?

The camaraderie and bonding. The active, healthy lifestyle it promotes. The sense of community it creates.

Participating in or watching sports events can be an enriching experience, fostering a sense of community, as reiterated in this Scientific American piece.

Scoring Big on Trends

The popularity of sports as a hobby might have seen an upswing during the COVID-19 pandemic as people sought ways to stay active and healthy. Whether it’s the roar of the crowd or the thrill of the game, sports have a way of capturing our collective spirit. 


Flexing its muscles in seventh place is fitness, a hobby that 25% of Americans are devoted to, as indicated by Statista.

Fit is the New Fun

Fitness hobbies, as highlighted in this Influence Digest article, involve exercising and staying physically fit, often through activities like running or weightlifting. The benefits of fitness as a hobby are plenty:

  1. Improving physical and mental health.
  2. Boosting self-esteem.
  3. A chance to connect with others with similar goals.
  4. Setting and achieving personal goals.

Fitness: America’s Wellness Mantra

Why does fitness make the cut in the list of top American hobbies?

It’s a way to improve health and well-being. It brings people of all ages and skill levels together. It’s an avenue to achieve personal goals.

Fitness as a hobby helps people maintain a healthy lifestyle and connect with others who share similar goals, as corroborated by this FitStays article.

Sweating it Out

Fitness likely saw an upswing in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people strived to stay active and healthy, as suggested by this Teen Ink article. Fitness is no longer just about exercise; it’s about improving overall well-being and achieving personal goals.


At number eight, the arts paint their way into the hearts of Americans, with 24% engaging in painting, drawing, or general art, according to Statista.

The Artistic Escape

Creating art, often through drawing or painting, as this Influence Digest article explains, allows people to express their creativity. Here are some reasons why art is a cherished hobby:

  1. Exploration and development of creativity.
  2. Expressing oneself creatively.
  3. The therapeutic and relaxing nature of art.
  4. Improving mental health.

Art: America’s Creative Outlet

Why is art a treasured hobby in America?

Art allows self-expression. It provides a creative outlet to relieve stress. It serves as a therapeutic activity.

Art as a hobby can improve mental health and relieve stress, as mentioned in this YouGov article.

Sketching a Trend

The trend for art as a hobby may have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic as people looked for ways to express themselves creatively and relieve stress.



Crafting threads its way into ninth place with 23% of Americans indulging in it as a hobby, according to Statista. We have way too much to say about crafting, since this makes up many of the tutorials we’ve drawn up. But if crafting seems up your alley, head over to either our DIY Crafts projects, Fiber Arts, or Paper Crafts – you really can’t go wrong with any of them.

Crafting Joy

Crafting, as outlined by Statista, involves creating handmade items, such as jewelry or clothing. The allure of crafting as a hobby includes:

  1. Exploration and development of creativity.
  2. Expressing oneself creatively.
  3. The therapeutic and relaxing nature of crafting.
  4. The joy of creating unique and handmade items.

Crafting: America’s Creative Connection

Why has crafting captivated Americans?

It’s a way to express creativity. It encourages making unique items. It fosters bonding over shared interests.

Crafting serves as a therapeutic activity and a way to bond with others over shared interests.

Crafting a Trend

Crafting may have seen a popularity boost during the COVID-19 pandemic as people sought ways to express themselves creatively and connect with others.


In tenth place, we strike a chord with music, a hobby that 22% of Americans engage in, whether listening or creating, as indicated by Statista.

Melody of Life

Music as a hobby involves listening to music or playing a musical instrument, as reported in this YouGov article. Here’s why music is a universal favorite:

  1. Creative self-expression.
  2. Improving mental health and emotional well-being.
  3. Providing relaxation and unwinding.

Music: America’s Soulful Symphony

Why does music resonate with Americans?

It’s a medium for creative expression. It promotes relaxation and unwinding. It improves mental health and emotional well-being.

Music, as a hobby, is a means to express oneself creatively and improve mental health.

Playing the Trend

Music, as a hobby, might have seen an upsurge during the COVID-19 pandemic as people looked for ways to express themselves creatively and relieve stress.


Our journey through America’s favorite hobbies illustrates the diversity of interests across the nation.

From sports to art, music to gardening, the eclectic mix of hobbies showcases a universal desire to learn, play, create, and connect.

In the heart of these hobbies lie joy, relaxation, and a unique way of expressing oneself.

So, whether you’re a seasoned hobbyist or someone looking to try something new, remember that hobbies aren’t just about pastime; they’re about passion, creativity, and personal fulfillment. 

Happy Hobbying, America.


Hey - I'm Steve, co-founder of New Hobby Box, and hobby enthusiast. A few years back, I felt like I was getting dull when it came to learning new things. That's why I was part of the original crew who set out to challenge ourselves to learn new things. We liked it so much that we decided to take our challenge public - and that's what ultimately started New Hobby Box. I love going against the status quo when it comes to hobbies, I've tried so many things that I would never have thought to do, that ultimately became part of my life. You'll find quite a few of my hobby experiences throughout the site. Happy Hobbying!

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