There are times in life, such as during a job interview or even a casual conversation when someone might ask you “What do you like to do for fun?”
This is most often an innocent question, but it is a question that can strike anxiety in the hearts of many.
When someone asks you this, your mind might go blank. You might stutter and stall. Or, you might suddenly feel you have no interests at all and wonder what is wrong with you.
First, know that many people get wrapped up in daily life and don’t spend much time exploring personal hobbies and interests. Others simply don’t like talking about themselves or have social anxiety. There are many reasons for being unsure of what you like or being able to articulate the answer.
In this article, let’s solve knowing what you like doing and how to confidently answer “What do you like to do for fun?”
First, get 101 ideas of what to do for fun. Read through actionable tips to discover how you enjoy spending your time. Pick a few fun ideas to investigate if you feel like it.
Then, find out how to answer the question of “What do you like to do for fun?” authentically and with confidence. Know exactly to say (and how to say it) fearlessly.
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It’s normal if you don’t know what you like to do for fun
Recently, I read an article about a survey of therapists who were asked: “What are some common problems that a lot of clients tell you about that would surprise other people?”
“Not knowing what I like to do for fun” was at the top of the list.
If this is how you feel, you are not alone.
Many people, for many reasons, don’t know what they’re into. They don’t know how to respond when asked about what they like to do for fun on a date or at a job interview, and they get anxious about not knowing.
But “not knowing what you like to do for fun” needn’t be an ongoing theme in your life if you want to change. Knowing and answering this question can become a breeze.
To get some quick ideas about fun-sounding things to do, read through this list. Then, learn more about discovering your authentic interests and how exactly to answer this question with confidence.
What to do for Fun: 101 Ideas
- Spend time with friends and family.
- Spend time with pets.
- Read or write jokes.
- Listen to music.
- Take walks around your city or town.
- Practice photography of your city or town.
- Draw, paint, or illustrate your city or town.
- Do some exercise- weights, yoga, dance, or go to the gym.
- Try other physically active hobbies such as hula hooping, jump rope, rollerblading, cross-country skiing, martial arts, or belly dancing.
- Read fiction or non-fiction books, magazines, graphic novels, memoirs, etc.
- Learn about history by watching YouTube, reading websites, and reading books.
- Learn about art history and architecture.
- Investigate mysteries, the paranormal, and the unexplained.
- Learn about personal development, mental and emotional wellness, and physical health.
- Learn about anatomy and physiology.
- Practice meditation or Tai Chi.
- Try cooking, baking, grilling, smoking foods on a smoker, campfire cooking, solar cooking, bread making, fruit art, or cake decorating.
- Try inventing your own recipes.
- Dine out, go to farmers’ markets, and become a foodie.
- Draw, paint, try charcoals, practice hand illustration, and use pastels.
- Participate in an art challenge.
- Start crystal collecting.
- Go rock-hounding.
- Watch documentaries and educational programs such as nature shows.
- Try art journaling or scrapbooking.
- Write poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.
- Start blogging and learn about SEO.
- Graphic design. Try using Canva, Photoshop, or Procreate for Ipad.
- Start an Etsy shop for selling your graphic designs.
- Enjoy sports of all kinds- play them, go to games, watch them on your TV or with friends. Go to sports bars.
- Enjoy semi-sports (is that the right term for them?) such as frisbee, pool, ping pong, or hacky sack.
- Explore the woods, explore nature, go to parks, go hiking, camping, and do other outdoorsy activities.
- Learn to read tarot cards.
- Go to the movies.
- Go to live theatre, concerts, plays, and festivals.
- And to the library.
- Take a bike ride.
- Take a motorcycle ride, scooter, dirt bike, 4-wheeler, snowmobile, Skidoo, or horseback ride.
- Birdwatching, squirrel watching, and other animal observation.
- Gardening, yardwork, landscaping.
- Yard sales and thrifting at thrift shops.
- Reselling your finds online on eBay, Etsy, or another reseller’s site.
- Learn how to fix things that are broken, such as a broken refrigerator. Investigating how things operate, such as a microwave.
- Sew things.
- Learn mechanical skills like auto work, plumbing, electric, and HVAC.
- Learn about natural remedies, essential oils, old home remedies, and lost health knowledge.
- Help other people by kindly answering questions on Quora, Reddit, and such sites.
- Build stuff out of wood. Use electric screwdrivers, saws, hammers, levels, and other tools.
- Organize and declutter.
- Do meal planning.
- Make homemade décor for holidays.
- Experiment with makeup as art, nail art, and fashion.
- Go bowling on a regular basis.
- Sing karaoke.
- Fish, hunt, forage, and learn nature and survival skills.
- Swim at the beach, stream, pond, pool, or lake.
- Try boating of any kind- in a canoe, raft, speedboat, kayak, or even an inner tube.
- Try bingo, chess, checkers, solitaire, and other board games.
- Knit, crochet, or weave.
- Party plan and throw a party. This includes décor, food, drinks, music list, invites, games, etc.
- Sing or play a musical instrument.
- Try filmmaking.
- Make a YouTube channel.
- Chicken, goat, rabbit, or other animal-keeping.
- Make miniature things for dollhouses or as collectibles.
- Go ice skating or sledding.
- Interview elders about their memories.
- Have philosophical discussions with people.
- Brainstorm business or creative ideas and write out lists.
- Brainstorm questions you have about life and then look for answers.
- Listen to podcasts.
- Collect old records or other old technology.
- Try candle making, soap making, sunscreen making, laundry detergent making, etc.
- Volunteer work with animals, the homeless, elders, teens, or anyone you feel called to serve.
- Pick up trash in your neighborhood.
- Make or refurbish furniture.
- Do (safe) science experiments in your kitchen.
- Do crossword puzzles, seek and finds, Sudoku, and Mad Libs.
- Coloring books.
- Learn about ancient myths, legends, mysteries, and folklore.
- Research Tartaria.
- Learn about numerology.
- Investigate astrology and get your entire chart online for free.
- Travel plan.
- Go berry, pumpkin, or apple picking.
- Learn about wild mushrooms.
- Learn to whittle or carve wood.
- Tree shaping.
- RC cars.
- Brew beer or wine if you’re 21+ and responsible.
- Otherwise, try kombucha brewing.
- And while you’re at it, kombucha sculpture art is a thing.
- Fossil hunting and collecting.
- Go to a comedy club, try stand-up comedy, or perform spoken word poetry.
- Drone flying for amazing scenery footage.
- Try a metalsmithing class. As in, for example, jewelry making.
- Learn a foreign language.
- Leaf or flower collecting and pressing.
- Build fairy gardens.
- Collect vintage toys.
Tips to discover what you actually enjoy learning or doing
1. Take action
You have to take action to learn about what you like to do for fun. It’s good to imagine and think about what you might enjoy doing for fun, but you will never know until you actually do it. Action is the key to discovery.
Take camping, for instance. Camping may sound terrible with all the bugs, but when you’re outside under the stars next to a campfire, you may just fall in love with the whole experience.
2. Break out of your comfort zone
Often, taking action involves pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. You may have to face social anxiety, for example. Or cancel other plans to make time for something extraordinary. You may even have to make big lifestyle changes.
Breaking out of comfort zones isn’t always easy. But, the more you practice doing so, the easier it becomes.
3. Follow your intuition
To know what you like to do for fun, listen to your inner voice. Is there anything you’ve been wanting to try or learn about? Is there anyone doing things you’d like to experience?
Also ask yourself, is there anything holding you back from exploring your interests? What is it? Can you break free? If so, how?
4. Think back to the past
What did you enjoy as a child? What did you always want to try? What fascinated you? What were you or are you naturally inclined to do or be good at, without anyone directing you?
Write out everything you can about what you like doing, and also about what you dislike doing.
Journal any ideas that come up, and anything that is blocking you from discovering your interests. Be honest with yourself and go as deep as possible.
Set some goals for yourself by listing a few activities to try. Use some journal prompts if you think they can help.
6. Accept what comes up
Accept the results of all this introspection.
For instance, if you don’t like making art, no problem. Maybe you prefer sports or mechanical engineering. Don’t judge yourself or force yourself to engage in activities that don’t light you up inside. Follow your natural interests.
Just make sure not to give up on trying new things or assume you’ll never be interested in certain hobbies. You will likely change over the years and your interests will evolve.
For example, I hated computers in High School in the 90s. I thought they were boring (spreadsheets, ugh!) Now I love graphic design and blogging. You can’t predict how technology will evolve, how the world will change, or how you will change. Stay open.
How to answer “What do you like to do for fun?”
No matter you reply to the question “What do you like doing for fun?” be authentic.
Make sure your reply is truthful and from the heart. Don’t be self-conscious about whatever the actual answer to the question is.
Know that whatever you like to do for fun is probably fine, and truly feel that confidence.
It’s ok if you like something “weird.” It’s probably not that weird, honestly. Don’t judge yourself and chances are good you won’t be judged. Speak with confidence, others will receive a positive impression from you.
As far as actual words to use in your reply, you could answer in a specific way, such as “I enjoy writing poetry.”
Or, in a nonspecific or general way “I enjoy being creative and writing.” I’ll give some more example answers in just a moment.
How not to answer “What do you like to do for fun?”
You’re probably trying to avoid answering with “I don’t know.” But even if you do, it’s ok. That answer is not the end of the world.
Whatever you do, don’t give a fake answer. Don’t lie. That is usually the least helpful thing you can do, both for you and the person you’re speaking with.
You also may not want to divulge that you enjoy drinking, pornography, or being a criminal.
You might instead say you enjoy fine wine, the arts, or urban exploration. I suppose it depends on who you’re talking with.
Why do people ask this question?
Mostly, people ask this question as a basic way to get to know you. This question usually comes up in job interviews, when forming friendships, and making other acquaintances. People want to connect with you, understand your personality, and make basic conversations.
If you get asked this question at a job interview, know that the person interviewing is simply doing their job. The question is probably asked of every job candidate.
How to answer this question fearlessly?
Answer in a positive, truthful way and you’ll be fine.
Know that you’re likely not being judged by your actual answer. Most hobbies are cool with most people, including in interviews. In fact, unusual hobbies might make you more interesting or memorable in the job interview scenario. You also might connect with your interviewer or friend over a shared interest. What might have been an otherwise neutral encounter can turn magical.
Again, you’re not answering with a certain set of words to seem interesting, smart, or cool. You are interesting, smart, and cool already!
If you answer to impress, then your answer is more likely to have the subtle energy of desperation.
A contrived answer can harm your self-esteem. A lie can damage your sense of integrity. Just be authentic and real. It is ok to be yourself!
10 Sample answers to “What do you like to do for fun?”
- I like spending time with family and friends
- Spending time outside is my favorite thing to do for fun.
- I like watching football games. I love sports.
- I enjoy art and cinema.
- I love food, dining out, and cooking.
- Getting to know new people is one of my favorite things.
- Taking my dog to the dog park.
- Learning about or researching _____ (anything that interests you.)
- Learning how to _____ (A new skill.)
- I’m always discovering things to fix or organize. I enjoy taking care of my home.
As a final idea, you can always say that you don’t have much time for hobbies, but you enjoy relaxing (around your home, in the park, at the beach) when you can.
Know that it is ok to have a hobby you barely practice. It’s still your hobby. Claim it as such. There is no rule that you can’t say you love art if you only draw once in a while.
It’s also ok if you still haven’t discovered your interests. See not knowing what you enjoy doing as an opportunity for joy, not a character flaw. Because discovering your true authentic self is a beautiful opportunity for sure.
A few book recommendations:
Here are some helpful books for getting to know yourself and dealing with social anxiety.
How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety. Such a good book, I just finished reading it. Helpful!
If you don’t know what you like to do for fun, then you stand before a vast realm of possibilities for pure fun and fascination. So, instead of feeling anxious, insecure, or bad about yourself for not knowing, get inspired!
If not inspired, then simply accept where you are and go from there.
There are so many interesting things to learn, discover, and do. We all have many amazing opportunities for fun. And there’s also nothing wrong with doing nothing.
I hope you found this list of fun things to do interesting, and maybe one or two can inspire you. Please let me know what you think in the comments. Have a lovely day!
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