Hobbies can be a stressbuster and contribute to mission and family readiness. They are a great way to spend time alone, meet new people or bring you together with family and friends. Hobbies can also help you relax, learn and strengthen your bonds with others.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you pursue a hobby:

Have fun on a small budget.

Your budget doesn’t have to dictate your fun. There are plenty of recreation and entertainment options available close by that you can enjoy at virtually no cost to you and your family. Train for a local race or try joining a recreation league involving your favorite sport. Join a book club or start one of your own. Take on small carpentry jobs around the house, make crafts, garden or build furniture.

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Volunteering can help you connect with your community. Ask around your installation or community center about working as a tutor, mentor or coach. Or consider working at an animal shelter or local park, or with any group involved with something you enjoy.

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Learn about your new surroundings.

If you’ve recently moved, hobbies can be a great way to connect with your new location and learn about the area. If you’ve moved overseas, take the opportunity to learn a new language. Cooking is also a great way to explore local traditions as you shop for new ingredients and try different foods.

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Visit a museum.

Between Armed Forces Day in May and Labor Day in September, you can soak up history, science or another piece of culture by visiting museums across America. This is part of the Blue Star Museums initiative, a collaborative effort between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and participating museums.

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