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Geeky activities, by definition, have limited appeal. But just because most people find something uninteresting doesn’t mean you will too. You really have no way of knowing whether any given geeky activity will appeal to you until you try it.
I’m always open to trying things I’ve never done before. “Always at least once” is how I like to live—and I’m happy to say that it has led me to tons of new interests, many of which I thought I’d hate when I decided to try them. In fact, when you find a geeky activity that resonates with you, it really tends to resonate!
It’s good to leave our comfort zones every once in a while. Here are some geeky activities that you’ll probably enjoy if given a chance. I recommend trying each of these at least once!
1. Escape Room
An escape room is basically a live-action adventure puzzle. You start off stuck in a room and you have anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to figure out how to escape. Each escape room has its own theme—ranging from dungeon cells to haunted houses to mysterious mansions—and its own difficulty level. A narrative usually unfolds as you progress, but the main attraction is that escape rooms test your logical and deductive skills under a time pressure. Even if you hate puzzle games, escape rooms offer a thrilling experience that’s unlike anything else.
All around the world, there are small containers (called “caches”) that are hidden away in various locations (hence “geo”). In geocaching, you pick a cache from a master list of all available caches—usually one that’s near you—and your goal is to find it by navigating to its GPS coordinates. Some geocaches are hidden along forest trails or natural landmarks, while others are stashed in the heart of a city. What’s great is that geocaching is a community activity: anyone can hide a cache and add it to the master list. It’s a fun and free way to get active and start exploring the world.
3. Grow a Plant
It’s one thing to receive a bouquet and try to keep it alive as long as possible; it’s another thing entirely to buy seeds, some soil, some nutrients, and try to grow something new from out of nothing. Don’t worry about building a full-on garden. Begin with one plant! You don’t have to spend much to get started, and it’s not like you have to tend to it 24/7. Water it, give it sunlight, and be mindful of temperature—and you may find it to be a surprisingly rewarding experience. When I grew my first lima bean plant, the feeling of accomplishment was downright euphoric.
This may not be so easy if you live deep in a city, but if you have the chance to drive out into a rural setting overnight—perhaps a camping trip—then you ought to sit in darkness and take in the night sky. If you thought the stars were pretty, you’ll be blown away when you see how much is out there without light pollution getting in the way. Try to count the stars while you’re out there. And if you want to take it to the next level, bring a telescope or download one of the numerous free astronomy apps on the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store.
5. Trivia Night
Once you’re out of college and living life, you may find it hard to make new friends and socialize. Trivia Night is a great way to meet new faces and break through barriers—plus it’s a fun way to test how much useless knowledge you’ve stored up over the years. Not sure where to find a Trivia Night? Ask around at local bars, libraries, or even churches. You might even be able to find something on sites like meetup.com or local subreddits.
6. Game Night
If Trivia Night is a little too out there for you, then at least try Game Night with card games and board games. You might be rolling your eyes if your only experience has been Monopoly, Clue, or Guess Who. I’m here to tell you that there’s a whole new world of games out there, and they’re way more interesting than the ones you grew up with. Look around for a local game store—one that specializes in modern card games and board games—and see if they hold public game nights. If they do, attend one! And if you already have experience with games like Concept, Cash N Guns, or The Resistance, then why not throw your own private game night?
7. Dungeons and Dragons
Arguably the geekiest and nerdiest activity of all, Dungeons and Dragons gets a bad rap. You don’t have to be a basement-dwelling troll to enjoy this game. In fact, the more creative and personable you are, the more likely you’ll love this game—because Dungeons and Dragons is all about imagination, improvisation, and social interaction. Yes, there’s some dice rolling involved, but it’s not the cringe-fest that you might be thinking it is. It really comes down to who you play with. Give it a try! And if you don’t have anyone to play with, see our guide to finding a D&D group near you.
8. Paint Miniatures or Models
Painting would be super relaxing if it weren’t for the whole blank-page-what-if-I’m-not-artistic problem. The solution? Paint miniatures or models instead! With all of the “creation” already done, you just have to exercise creativity (and a little bit of dexterity) painting the objects however you want. You can then use the painted pieces as components in games (e.g. wargaming) or decor around your home.
9. Adult Coloring Books
Who said coloring books were only for kids? While they’re certainly good for training youngsters in motor coordination and creativity, they’re also excellent for adults who just need to zone out and relax in a creative way. Adult coloring books are more intricate than their for-younger counterparts, and the resulting colorings are pretty much always pleasing to the eye no matter how “uncreative” you might be.
10. 5,000-Piece Puzzle
If you can set aside a chunk of flat space for weeks at a time, I highly recommend completing at least one mind-numbingly difficult jigsaw puzzle in your lifetime. This 5,000-piece Ravensburger Beneath the Sea puzzle is beautiful, and once you’re done, you can mount it and turn it into an art hanging for your home. If you’re an achiever-type who really wants a challenge, you might even opt for a bigger one—like this insane 18,000-piece Ravensburger At the Waterhole puzzle that’s 9-by-6 feet when completed.