Somewhere amongst the nappy changes, lunch boxes and late nights (read: 8pm) helping out with our kids’ last-minute assignments, we seem to have misplaced our hobbies. And to make matters worse, we don’t even know what they look like anymore.

Of course, the time we once dedicated to hobbies has been eaten up by… you know, parenting. A worthwhile pursuit, to be sure – but why can’t we have both?

In fact, science tells us we must have both. According to the Australian Government’s Head to Health initiative, purposeful activity (be it walking the dog or writing a novel) is essential for improving your mental health. It’s even better when you feel like that purposeful activity is meaningful to you, be it because it brings you joy or it makes you feel accomplished.

So, parents, we give you permission to search for and hold onto your old hobbies once again (or even find new ones). It will be a commitment, sure, and you may need to sacrifice a bit of time and energy to make it happen. But can you think of anything more worthy of commitment and sacrifice than your happiness? We didn’t think so.

Here are a few hobbies worth starting up…


Have you heard of pickleball? Like sweater vests and record players, it’s another thing we’ve co-opted from the older generations and Instagram-ified to make our own. Since its invention in the 1960s, pickleball has become a firm fixture on retirement home social calendars. It sits somewhere between tennis and table tennis and is beloved for its short learning curve and dynamic pace. Click here to find out where to play on the Gold Coast.


Keen to move and groove? There are plenty of places to do it on the Gold Coast. Whether your dancing skills are in hibernation or you’re a total novice (save for those nightclub dancefloors you tore up in your early 20s), there’s a nearby dance class for you…


Now that we’re heading back into summer and the early mornings are brighter (not to mention warmer), there’s no time like the present to dip your toe into swimming  – literally. Whether it’s just an early morning plunge you’re after (like Cold Nips or Tidal Talks) or a proper squad session (like Saltwater Swimmers or the Miami Swim Squad) there are groups all over the Gold Coast that can fit your needs and schedule.

Arts and crafts

If you’re looking to flex your creative muscles, you’re in the right place – the Gold Coast is teeming with creatives, many of whom are ready and waiting to teach you their ways. From the clever folks at The Craft Parlour (which offers a huge program of creative workshops) to the life drawing nights at The Dust Temple, there’s something for everyone. Pottery more your speed? Our friends at scout magazine have shared the top places to do ceramics on the Gold Coast.

A book club

Those looking for something a little more low key (and potentially more affordable) may want to start up a book club? It’s an easy way to make a traditionally solo activity more social, giving you the perfect excuse to catch up with your buds and discuss your latest read – over a few wines and a cheese platter, if you desire. You’ll likely end up talking about everything *but* the book you read that month, but whatever that gets the gang together is okay by us.



haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.