18 ‘60s Hobbies That Will Baffle Anyone Younger Than Boomers

If you grew up in the ‘60s, you’ll likely recognize (and probably participated in) quite a few of the hobbies on this list. Anyone younger, however, may be baffled by a time when people were entertained by these simple (and somewhat odd) activities. Let’s uncover 18 of them!

Hula Hooping

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Just the thought of hula hooping makes us reminiscent! This classic activity involving colorful, plastic hoops became a popular form of exercise and entertainment back in the ’60s. It wasn’t unusual to step outside and find your neighbors hooping! The hobby even led to competitions and performances.

Collecting Troll Dolls

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Known for their distinctive, colorful hair and so-ugly-they’re-cute faces, troll dolls became extremely popular in the ‘60s. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, “Americans collectively spent more than $100,000 on trolls per month in the toy’s heyday.” They became quite the cultural phenomenon!

Building Scale-Models

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Popular among both young boys and adults, building scale models such as airplanes, rockets, and spaceships was not unusual at the time. While the kids of today probably wouldn’t lie around with hundreds of tiny parts and little bottles of glue, it was a real obsession back in the day!

Pet Rocks

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Yep, you read that right! Keeping rocks as pets was a novelty concept that became a fad in the ‘60s. Rocks were marketed as low-maintenance, quirky pets and came with humorous instruction manuals and boxes. Why get a puppy when you can have a rock, right?

Spirograph Drawing

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Kids, teens, and even adults in the ‘60s would spend hours with a spirograph, developing an artistic hobby by using the drawing tool to create intricate, colorful patterns. The tool was popular for the mesmerizing designs it created, promoting creativity and precision.

Baseball Card Collecting

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A favorite pastime for young boys and teens, baseball card collecting was very popular in the ’60s, which may surprise those younger than boomers. The collecting hobby included buying, trading, and playing games with the cards, which quickly gained immense popularity throughout the United States.

Home Gardening

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People began to take great pride in their gardens and homes in the ’60s. As shared by Country Life, “Plastic pots revolutionized the garden-center and nursery trade in the 1960s.” Loved by various age groups and influenced by the back-to-nature ethos, home gardening became very popular.

Lava Lamp Fascination

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Lava lamps became a trendy home décor item in the ’60s, which may baffle younger generations, as they are now very out of style. Known for their soothing, flowing colors and shapes, people enjoyed watching the strange blobs move around within the lamp. They symbolized the psychedelic and groovy culture of the era.

Sea Monkey Keeping

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Another strange yet popular hobby of the ’60s was keeping “sea monkeys” as pets. These were actually brine shrimp kits, bought to create a fun and educational pet-keeping experience for kids. This hobby gained popularity due to the easy maintenance of the tiny creatures and the fascinating growth process.

Amateur Radio Operation

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Fiddling around with a radio doesn’t sound too fun these days, but back in the ’60s, it enabled communication with people worldwide. The hobby was also known as HAM radio operation. As shared by ARRL, “People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones.” It naturally became less popular with the rise of the internet.

DIY and Interior Decorating

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Decorating became a popular post-World War II activity, and this hobby included both home improvements and personal projects. People were influenced by TV shows like Barry Bucknell’s Do It Yourself. Nowadays, this may seem like more of a chore than a fun activity, but it’s still enjoyed by some.


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Back in the ’60s, many people enjoyed preserving their memories through physical artifacts, and scrapbooking became a cherished hobby. People would cut out photographs, magazine printings, and so on, to stick into their scrapbooks. This hobby has shifted to digital formats in modern times.

Psychedelic Art and Music

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In the 1960s, the counterculture movement gave rise to psychedelic art and music, hallmarks of the era’s spirit of experimentation and non-conformity. Influenced by the sociopolitical context of the ’60s, people truly enjoyed this form of entertainment back in the day.

Motor Activities and Maintenance

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The 1960s saw a surge in motor-related hobbies, blending people’s practical skills with something they were passionate about. Motorbike riding, car maintenance, and customization were particularly popular, often involving detailed work and a passion for mechanics. This hobby provided a hands-on experience for enthusiasts.

Dancing and Social Gatherings

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Dancing continued to be a huge hit and popular hobby through the ’60s, and a variety of dances were popular at the time that would now baffle people. According to Sixty and Me, popular dances of the 1960s included “the twist,” “the mashed potato,” and “The Madison.” Community social events and parties were common occurrences.

Collecting Vintage Items

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During the ’60s, collecting vintage items became a popular hobby, driven by a fascination with retro toys, clothing, and memorabilia. This pursuit of nostalgia allowed individuals to reconnect with the past, preserving and appreciating historical items.

Jigsaw Puzzles

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We all enjoy jigsaw puzzles every now and again, but back in the ’60s, putting together puzzles was a very popular hobby, offering a relaxing indoor pastime. It was loved by various age groups. However, puzzles have shifted in popularity with the rise of digital entertainment, and you won’t typically find young people spending their time on this activity.

Record Collecting

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With the rise of digital media and technology, most people now listen to music on their phones or through speakers. In the ’60s, however, collecting vinyl records of various artists was a much-loved hobby. People would spend all their spare money on adding to their record collection!

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