15 Great Examples of Recreational Activities That Anybody Can Do

Examples of recreational activities

You no longer have an excuse if you have been searching for examples of recreational activities that you can do. Don’t be part of the people that ignore or overlook recreational activities without understanding that these activities are essential for your well-being and maintaining a healthy lifestyle

One of the reasons for this list of recreational activities is to provide options for activities that can be done for recreation.  The list is also meant to help people like you who may be confused about what to do for recreation and to show them where they can get more information about their desired activity.

The list includes information about different recreational activities and some descriptions to help you understand what these activities entail.  However, before you dive into the list, it is important that you understand the difference between recreational activities and leisure activities since some people use them interchangeably. 

What is Recreation?

Recreational activities are experiences or organized activities that you actively participate in with others, to have fun and enjoy life during your free time. This includes experiences that require physical activity and interactions and playing with other people. They are not things that you do all by yourself (although you can attempt to do some by yourself, you will miss the fun of doing it with others). 

What is Leisure? 

Leisure activities are the things that you do primarily for relaxation and pleasure, and which don’t involve much work. These activities could be very passive requiring little or no physical activity, and you can do them by yourself if you don’t want to do it with others. 

Differences Between Leisure and Recreation 

One of the basic differences between leisure activities and recreational activities is that leisure activities can be very passive with little or no physical activity and you can do them by yourself whereas recreational activities require physical activity and interactions with other people

Types of Recreational Activities

There are several types of recreational activities and different criteria can be used to categorize these activities. Activities can be categorized based on the level of activity and interaction with others etc. Some of the different types of recreational activities include:

Physical Activities: E.g. Sports and games like volleyball, tennis, etc.

Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung Tennis Racket (Black/White, 4 1/8)
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Social Activities: This includes things like parties, picnics, carnivals, etc.

HulaFish Foldable 59''x79'' Extra Large Waterproof Picnic Blanket - Thick Outdoor Picnic Mat Perfect for Park and Beach, Water Resistant for Happy Picnic. Machine Washable Picnic Tote… (Green Gingham)
Source: Amazon

Outdoor Activities: This involves activities like camping, backpacking, etc.

Aqua Quest Safari Tarp - 100% Waterproof Lightweight SilNylon Bushcraft Camping Shelter - 13x10 ft Woodland Camo
Source: Amazon

Arts and Crafts: Examples include activities like painting, woodwork, sculpting, etc. 

Craftsmart Natural Air-Dry Clay, White, 10lbs – All-Purpose Modeling Clay for Sculpting, Hand Modeling and Throwing, Non-Toxic,10114031
Source: Amazon

Musical Activities: Includes musical bands, singing, dance groups, etc.

Panta Dual-use Sheet Music Stand, Folding Music Stand for Sheet Music, Portable Metal Music Stand with Carrying Bag Folder, Adjustable Book Tripod Stand with Clip Holder for Desktop and Floor Use
Source: Amazon

Drama and Theater: This includes acting, plays, puppetry, etc.

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Source: Amazon

Service Activities: awareness for causes (e.g.running for cancer), fundraising, volunteering, etc. 

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Source: Amazon

This is just a sample and easy classification of recreational activities, it is by no means exhaustive and you can add different criteria to it or choose a different method of classification that is most suitable for you. 

Examples of Recreational Activities 

Most recreational activities are known to be very beneficial to your total well-being and most of them will help you relax and help you manage stress better. Some of the top examples of recreational activities that you can do include:


Examples of recreational activities

Backpacking refers to an outdoor recreational activity where equipment and supplies are packed and carried in a bag (backpack). Some of the common backpacking equipment or gear include shelter (tents, sleeping bags, etc.), cooking equipment (stove, pans, and pots, etc.). These items are packed carefully such that only the very important items are carried because of weight concerns and limited space. 

Backpacking trips can last for only a few days to several months sometimes. Most backpacking trips involve traveling with public transportation or hiking for long distances mostly in the country and often unfamiliar terrain.  


Examples of recreational activities - bowling

This is an indoor recreational game or activity where a player rolls or throws a bowling ball on a lane to hit target pins at the end of the lane. The game is normally played between two to eight players per lane. The lanes have wooden or synthetic surfaces which makes it easy for the ball to roll on it.

There are two types of bowling: pin bowling and lawn bowling. In pin bowling, players throw or roll the ball to knock off target pins and it is mostly played indoors whereas in lawn bowling players try to hit their target pins on the other end of the lawn.  

You can find some of the bowling equipment you need here.   


Examples of recreational activities-camping

Camping can be described as a recreational activity that entails spending time outdoors overnight in a temporary makeshift shelter. People who go camping usually tend to pick serene, undeveloped, and natural locations. The camp can be for one night or several nights depending on how long you want to spend time outdoors. 

It is different from other similar outdoor activities like hiking because you sleep outdoors in a makeshift shelter overnight. Camping is very common nowadays and it can be done throughout the year. The availability of commercial campgrounds and recreational vehicles (RVs) has made camping a delightful experience for many people. See some of the basic camping equipment you will need to have an awesome outdoor experience.


Examples of recreational activities-canoeing

Canoeing is another interesting and exciting outdoor activity that involves paddling (the act of propelling a canoe forward using a paddle) a canoe with a single-bladed paddle. It can be combined with other outdoor recreational activities like camping where canoes are used as a means of transportation to the campsite.

It can also be done as a sport where people can compete to be the first to reach a certain point. It can also be used as just a means of transport around a water body to see the scenic beauty of the environment. Canoeing equipment is very affordable especially if you really love this activity and you can always rent the equipment too if you are not ready to buy it yet.  


Examples of recreational activities-fishing

This is an activity that entails using different tactics to catch fish using a fishing rod and fish baits. This is done mainly in different water bodies in the wild or in community ponds around your neighborhood. Different tactics are usually employed to catch fish and there are a number of fishing competitions where people can compete as individuals or in teams.

Usually, the person or team that catches the biggest fish (by weight) within the given time wins the competition. Fish caught during most fishing events are usually released back into the water body after celebrating the catch, except in a few cases (like when you are camping) where the fish caught is cooked for meals.  There are various kinds of fishing equipment from fishing rods, baits, fishing gear, etc. Most of these are very affordable, especially for beginners.  


Examples of recreational activities-golfing

Golf is a game that is played with clubs (Golf Clubs) where players hit the ball and try to get the ball into several holes on the golf course (field or specially designed lawn for playing golf) with a few strokes as possible. The golf course has different terrains and players have to play the ball across the different landscapes to get to a hole. 

Some parts of the golf course can be hilly with different elevations, some are just plain and there are often water bodies (like lakes and ponds) in the golf course. Golf is played as a recreational activity (game) and it is common to find golf courses in most cities and neighborhoods. Golf is often considered as an affluent sport for the wealthy but it is also played as a professional competitive sport. Golfing equipment like clubs, gloves, shoes, golf bags, etc. can be pricey but you can always find affordable golf equipment too especially if you are just starting out. 

Ice Skating

Examples of recreational activities-Ice skating

Ice skating is the ability to propel yourself and glide across a sheet of ice using special shoes with metal blades known as ice skates. It is done as a recreational activity as well as a competitive sport. It can be done both indoors and outdoors.

Indoor areas known as skating rinks are typically designed and built especially for ice skating and outdoor locations could be areas with naturally occurring frozen water bodies or areas with natural ice sheets like mountain slopes, lakes, etc. It can be practiced for exercise, recreational activity as well as a professional sport. 

You can always rent equipment at most skating rinks but you can find very affordable skating equipment like skating shoes, gloves, elbow, and knee pads, etc. especially if you want to have yours.


Examples of recreational activities-kayaking

This is the use of a special kind of canoe-like boat to move across the water. The kayak is different from the canoe by the sitting position of the paddler and the type of paddle used. The paddler sits facing forward with legs in front and straight.

Kayaks typically do not have much space and are often designed with closed decks. The paddle for a kayak also has two blades and the paddler has to paddle front to back on one side and then the other side to propel the kayak forward. Kayaking is an individual activity but it can be done in a group as a recreational activity and in combination with other recreational activities like camping, fishing, etc. 

The most important kayaking equipment that you will need is a kayak with paddles and life jackets. However, there are other important kayaking accessories that will make your experience more meaningful.


Examples of recreational activities-sailing

This involves leveraging the power of winds against sails to propel a sailboat on the surface of the water and in some cases ice and even land (land yacht). The sailor needs to maneuver the boat and adjust the sails with respect to the wind direction to propel the boat forward. 

Sailing has become a recreational sport for many people who love it and there are often competitive sailing events around the world. It can be an interesting recreational activity to engage in and you will find sailing clubs with sailing enthusiasts in many cities (especially coastal cities or cities with large water bodies). 

Sailing is another recreational activity that is considered as an affluent sport and the main equipment is a sailing boat but a sailing club membership can get you access to one if you don’t own a sailing boat. However, you may have to get a few personal sailing equipment and accessories like a rain jacket, safety harness, guide books/manuals (especially for beginners) for your personal use.


Skiing is a good example of recreational activity that is done mostly outdoors where participants use skis to glide on snow while moving or traveling from one location to another. Skiers use specially designed skiing equipment and accessories like shoes with long blades for skiing and special rods known as ski poles for support and propulsion especially when ascending a slope.

The basic types of skiing include Alpine skiing, Nordic Skiing, and Telemark skiing. Besides recreational activity, skiing is also done as a competitive winter sport where skiers compete in a race or gliding (jumping) competition. 


Examples of recreational activities-rowing

Rowing involves propelling a boat forward with the use of oars. It is different from canoeing or kayaking because it uses oars while canoeing and kayaking use paddles. Oars are different from paddles because they are fixed to the edge of the boat with the boat edge serving as a fulcrum.

The person rowing only needs to pull the oars backward to propel the boat forward. Rowing can be done with different types of boats from a boat that can take only one person to a boat that has a capacity for up to 8 people (with all of them rowing) in addition to other rowing equipment. 

You can find rowing clubs in most cities especially those close to the coast or cities with large water bodies like rivers or lakes. Most people do rowing for recreation but there are professional rowing teams as well and it is a professional sport in most international athletic meets. 

Scuba Diving

Examples of recreational activities-scuba diving

This refers to underwater diving (often deep water diving) where the diver utilizes their self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) that provides the oxygen they need to breathe underwater which is independent of surface supply. Scuba divers tend to have more independence in diving since they don’t depend on surface oxygen supply. The main Scuba diving equipment can be pricey but scuba diving accessories are very affordable. 

This enables them to dive to greater depths and stay longer underwater than divers who don’t have their own breathing gas or are dependent on surface supply. Most people do this for recreational purposes, especially people who are interested in marine life and coral beds. However, there are quite a number of professional divers who do this for a living too. 


Examples of recreational activities-skydiving

This is an exhilarating activity that involves diving from high altitudes into a free fall under the force of gravity and then controlling your descent speed and landing with the use of a parachute. This is also referred to as parachuting. Skydivers are usually flown to a drop zone in an aircraft and then dropped from there where they jump out of the plane and descend under the force of gravity before using a parachute to control their speed of descent and landing. Skydiving is a fast-growing recreational activity in most urban areas and large cities, and competitive games are also emanating from this activity.   


Examples of recreational activities-surfboarding

Surfing is a water surface sport where the surfer essentially rides on the forward side or face of a moving wave that propels the surfer forward towards the shore. Surfing is commonly done in large water bodies like the ocean where wave tides are strong. However, there are artificial wave pools nowadays where giant waves are created artificially for surfing.

There are different types and styles of surfing some of which include using your belly, knee, etc. for surfing. Surfing clubs are found in most coastal cities and areas and it is now common to find surfing clubs even in cities that are not located on the coast because of the ability to create artificial surfing pools. You don’t need a lot of equipment to get started. All you need to start snowboarding is some training and snowboarding equipment like snowboards, bodysuits, eye goggles, etc. 


Examples of recreational activities-swimming

Swimming is one of the most common examples of recreational activities that you can find anywhere (especially during the summer!). It basically involves self-propulsion through water using coordinated movements of the limbs and body. There are different swimming styles and techniques that you can use. 

Swimming is a common recreational activity and it is a popular competitive sport as well. You can find swimming pools in most public recreational facilities and you can even have one in your home. There are innovative solutions that have made swimming pools for home use very affordable for most people. You can also find swimming lessons both online and in your area or hire a swimming coach to help you swim better or learn how to swim.

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