With many people working from home and options for entertainment outside the house limited, Americans had to get creative with how they spent their time in lockdown. Some people turned to streaming (remember “Tiger King”?) or baking (it seemed like everyone made their own sourdough), while others picked up new hobbies like gardening or knitting.
Read More: COVID’s Financial Impact After 1 Year: See All Our Coverage
As we hit the one-year anniversary of pandemic lockdowns, take a look back at some of the most popular lockdown hobbies — plus, how much they cost.
- Cost: $10.99 for a San Francisco-style sourdough starter
Baking was such a popular quarantine hobby that there was actually a yeast shortage. Some people opted to make their own sourdough, some got fancy and made focaccia art, and others returned to the everlasting baking staple, banana bread.
Read: COVID-19 Blew Up Everyone’s Plans — Guess Which Generation Is Planning to Retire Even Earlier
- Cost: $5.99 for the “Quarantine Coloring Book”
Coloring has been a popular pandemic hobby among children and adults alike. Scott Ward, national sales manager of Coloring Book Solutions, told the Advertising Specialty Institute at the start of the pandemic that his company had been “slammed with orders.”
Not only is coloring an inexpensive, screen-free activity, but it can also help relieve stress.
“Coloring allows us to switch off our brains from other thoughts and focus on the moment,” Ward said. “Concentrating on coloring an image may facilitate the replacement of negative thoughts and images with pleasant ones.”
Find Out: How To Keep Supporting Your Local Small Businesses During COVID-19
- Cost: Varies
Both Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts have seen a surge in sales over the pandemic, with Michaels shares surging 300% over the past year, The New York Times reported.
Read More: COVID-19 Is Changing How (and Whether) We Take Care of Ourselves — and Our Healthcare Dollars Tell the Story
DIY Home Improvements
- Cost: $1,365 to repair a patio, on average, according to HomeAdvisor
A survey conducted by Porch.com in July 2020 found that 76% of homeowners in the United States had carried out at least one home improvement project since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the most popular projects being landscaping and gardening, renovating or building a patio, renovating the structure of the house, repainting walls, adding new flooring and renovating bathrooms. Americans cited having more free time as their No. 1 motivation for taking on this new hobby.
Related: Renovate Your Home for Under $10,000 — Here’s How
- Cost: $199.95 for Click and Grow’s The Smart Garden 9
Many people who had never tried their hand at gardening before started growing their own produce in so-called “COVID gardens” as a way to stay busy while also creating their own self-sufficient supply of fresh veggies. Even apartment-dwellers got into the hobby by buying indoor herb gardens.
Did You Know: How to Turn Your Natural Talent Into Cold Hard Cash
- Cost: $12.99 for the Boye “I Taught Myself to Knit” Kit
Knitting is known to be a stress reliever, so it’s no surprise it became a popular hobby amid the pandemic lockdowns.
“It’s very much part of the human condition to go back to basics,” Deborah Nadoolman Landis, a Hollywood costume designer and fashion scholar, told The New York Times. “In the joy of making something you can wear yourself, whether it’s a mask or a sweater, there’s an enormous feeling of confidence — in that ability to be self-reliant.”
Did You Know: 10 Best Sites and Apps To Sell Clothes Online
Playing Video Games
- Cost: $59.99 for “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”
Many Americans turned to video games to pass the time, relax and even socialize (remember the “Animal Crossing” phase of the lockdowns?). According to Marketwatch, videogames became a bigger industry than movies and North American sports combined last year due to the pandemic, with global gaming sales rising 20% to nearly $180 billion in 2020.
Fun Facts: The Evolution of the Gaming Industry
- Cost: $29.99 for a 1,000-piece “Happiness Puzzle”
Another screen-free activity that became a go-to was assembling jigsaw puzzles.
“There’s a global shortage of puzzles actually,” Brian Way, co-owner of the online retailer Puzzle Warehouse, told NPR in November 2020. “There’s not a factory on the planet that is not months behind on production.”
Read: How These Luxury Brands Have Fared Through COVID-19
- Cost: $8.99 for a basic monthly membership
In 2020, Netflix added 36.6 million streaming customers, Variety reported. Some of the most popular shows on the platform in 2020 were “The Queen’s Gambit,” “The Office,” “Ozark” — and yes, “Tiger King,” Forbes reported.
Related: Which Streaming Services Give You the Most for Your Money?
- Cost: $1,895 and up for a Peloton bike
With gyms closed, many people upped their home gyms by stocking up on weights, treadmills and stationary bikes, including prestige-y Pelotons. Peloton was expected to make roughly $1.8 billion in sales for 2020 — about double its $910 million in sales the company made in 2019, according to JPMorgan.
More From GOBankingRates
- If You Get a Stimulus Check, How Will You Use It? Take Our Poll
- How Long $1 Million in Savings Will Last in Every State
- Navy Federal Platinum Credit Card Review: Great for Balance Transfers and More
- 27 Ugly Truths About Retirement
Photo disclaimer: Please note, photos are for representational purposes only.