Fun hobbies can be a stressbuster, ultimately contributing to mission and family readiness. Whether you’re bringing the family along or making new friends, picking up a new hobby or revisiting an old one can help keep you learning, relaxing and strengthening your bonds with others.

Here are some ideas as you pursue a hobby:

Have fun on a small budget.

Your budget doesn’t have to dictate your fun. There are plenty of options for recreation, entertainment and relaxation close by and at virtually no cost to you and your family. Train for a local race or try joining a recreation league for 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 to better connect you to your community. Ask around your installation or community center about working as a tutor, mentor or coach. Or think about finding animal shelters, local parks and other nonprofit endeavors you can support with your time.

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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 your surroundings. 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 new tastes.

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Visit a museum.

Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you can soak up history, science or another piece of culture by visiting a museum across America as part of the Blue Star Museums initiative, a collaborative effort between the Department of Defense, the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and participating museums.

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