When you run a quick search for the most popular hobbies in the United States last year in 2023, you see things like this:

  • Cooking/baking
  • Reading
  • Pets
  • Video gaming
  • Outdoor activities
  • Travelling
  • DIY Arts & Crafts
  • Socializing
  • Board games
  • Gardening

Some of the other top hobbies and/or activities last year included meditation, photography, cars, writing, and making music.

However, when you look at the hobbies that are really getting people interested, especially here in Illinois, you should skip all of those listed above and think about something sweet. Or, something stinging. Really, it's both, and you'll need something like this to get yourself started:

View of beehives in nature
Getty Images

And maybe a cool outfit like this:

Getty Images
Getty Images

A Website Devoted To Aquariums, Fish, Aquatic Animals, And Aquatic Design Polled 3,000 People To Find Out What Alternative Hobbies We're Interested In For 2024

ModestFish.com's survey also features a map that shows what the primary alternative hobby is for each state. Here in Illinois, along with nearly every one of our neighboring Midwestern states, the highest level of interest turns out to be...

Beekeeping. Beekeeping is also known as apiculture, and it involves the maintenance of bee colonies, usually in man-made hives, by humans. Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri residents all chose beekeeping as their number-one choice for an alternative hobby.

Here in Illinois, if it's not beekeeping, ModestFish.com's survey says it's aquascaping, which they define as "the craft of arranging aquatic plants, rocks, or driftwood, aesthetically within an aquarium—in effect, gardening under water."

Getty Images

So, If You're Not Into The Idea Of Beekeeping Or Aquascaping, What Other Alternative Hobbies Are Illinois Residents Interested In?

The survey wasn't kidding when they said these are alternative hobbies, because I actually had to look up the definition of a couple of these hobbies since I had no idea what they were. Here's their full top-ten list, along with definitions so you won't have to look them up:

    1. Beekeeping is the most popular hobby for 2024, highlighting a desire to connect with nature and contribute to environmental sustainability.
    2. Aquascaping and Aquarium Keeping rank second, indicating a growing interest in creating and maintaining intricate underwater ecosystems.
    3. Falconry emerges as the third favorite, showcasing a fascination with wildlife and the ancient tradition of training birds of prey.
    4. Lapidary, the art of cutting and polishing stones, is fourth, reflecting a blend of geology and creative expression.
    5. Metal Detecting ranks fifth, appealing to the thrill of treasure hunting and historical exploration.
    6. Homebrewing places sixth, underscoring a trend towards DIY culinary arts and craft beer culture.
    7. Astrophotography takes seventh place, combining a passion for the cosmos with photographic skill.
    8. Toy Voyaging in eighth position, reveals a whimsical and imaginative side of hobbies, blending travel and storytelling.
    9. Foraging, ranked ninth, signifies a growing interest in sustainable living and nature-based food sourcing.
    10. Urban Exploration rounds out the top ten, indicating a fascination with urban history and decay.

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