What is a Hobby?

A hobby is an activity outside of work, school and other obligations that a person engages in for enjoyment. It can be creative or practical in nature and can be a way to relax. It can also be a source of income or a way to meet new people. Hobbies can boost mental health, teach skills, and provide a sense of purpose.

Hobbies can involve collecting physical objects such as stamps, coins, or antiques; or they may be a form of systematic recording of events of a particular kind, for example, train spotting, bird-watching or aircraft spotting. These hobbies can become a form of research, with the record keeping taking the form of a journal, photographic or online records. Hobbies can also include activities that are more interactive, such as playing a sport, cooking or painting. The most expensive hobbies include yachting, playing polo or maintaining a priceless car collection. These are often indulged in by the very wealthy, who have the time and money to devote to these pastimes.

Some hobbies are self-motivated, such as sewing clothes, growing vegetables or raising animals for their own pleasure and not to sell. However, if these hobbies become a significant source of income they can be classified as a business and be taxed accordingly. Other hobbies may produce an end product, for example woodworking, software projects, artistic projects like painting or cosplay (designing, creating and wearing a costume based on an already existing creative property) or model making from card stock or paper – known as papercraft.