How to Find a New Hobby in San Francisco

  • Mary Macpherson
  • 09/2/21

San Francisco is a magical city filled with people who aim to improve themselves constantly. If you wish to fill your free time with something amusing and practical, look no further than this list of engaging hobbies. 

Pottery 

Making your own kitchenware is extremely rewarding, so why not dedicate an hour to spinning a pottery wheel at the Clayroomsf ceramics studio? You’ll quickly learn how soothing and tranquil making ceramics can be, and you’ll feel accomplished, too! There are two different studios in which to spin some pottery. Take the TryDay: Fri. Night Clay- Wheel Throwing class at the SoMa location, where you’ll enjoy two hours of getting muddy, learning basic potter’s wheel techniques, and creating a piece. If Saturday is your only free day, try the Potrero Hill class

If you find yourself loving pottery, you can sign up for the long format series, where you get to explore different methods, themes, and projects in ceramics or woodworking. Alternatively, if you enjoy working independently without instruction, you can join the membership program. You’ll receive dedicated shelf space, access to both studios and the woodshop, exclusive “Power Hour” classes, use of studio and glaze equipment, free event invitations, and heavily discounted specialized workshops. 

If you’re looking to learn some useful pottery-making or woodworking skills, look no further than Clayroomsf. With enough practice and courses under your belt, you’ll have a kitchen filled with handmade cookware and a condo filled with handcrafted furnishings in no time.

Cooking

 If you’ve been putting off learning to cook for a while now, take the plunge by signing up for a cooking class. The San Francisco Cooking School is reopening soon and offers various courses to get you whipping up a four-course dinner for your family in no time. However, if you’re looking for a fun idea for your next gathering, private cooking parties are available for booking! An expert chef instructor will provide you with a tour of your kitchen for the evening, go over recipes, and share some pro-tips to get your feast preparation underway. Your team will work together to prepare a multi-course seasonal menu of your choosing. Get up to 50 colleagues together for a team-building culinary experience with the market basket challenge. Whether you wish to take a class solo, with a group, or with your coworkers, learning to cook is a fun and crucial skill to have.

In addition to the San Francisco Cooking School, various cooking classes are offered throughout the city, with such themes as Classic Italian with Modern Influences, The Magic of Macarons, Confident Knife Skills, and more. From learning the basics to delving into international cuisine, a variety of courses are readily available! 

Photography


Hone in on your photography skills via the many exhibits, lectures, classes, workshops, and events held at the Harvey Milk Photo Center. Inspire your inner photographer through professionally-led classes fit for all skill levels. Styles range from intro-level lightroom to creative portraiture. See the city through a new lens when you pick up this valuable and amusing hobby. Soon enough, you’ll be capturing awe-inspiring memories and sharing them with your loved ones for years to come.

Yoga

Get in touch with your mind, body, and soul by taking up a yoga practice. Yoga has become a popular way for people to get in shape, but consistent practice offers students much more. Yoga is a mindful meditation practice that people of every body shape and fitness level can enjoy. San Franciscans are no strangers to yoga, and there are plenty of open studios studded throughout the city.

Satori Yoga Studio is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the Financial District. This studio is dedicated to helping urban professionals relax, unwind, and move their bodies in a comfortable and conveniently located environment. Yoga to the People currently offers free video Power Vinyasa classes. The studio believes that yoga requires no specific clothing, no right answers, and is for everyone and every body type. There are many other studios to check out — several of which offer outdoor yoga classes — so you can bask in the sunshine as you meditate through movement. 

Indoor Climbing

Credit: Planet Granite


Climbing gyms are not the first thing that comes to mind when people think of SF. However, San Francisco is home to some of the best indoor climbing gyms in the United States. This pastime is a fun and fresh way for the whole family to get some exercise.

Mission Cliffs is a unique studio bridging the old and new. As San Francisco’s oldest climbing gym, Mission Cliffs has ensured its longevity by staying on top of industry trends. The studio offers 23,000 square feet of climbing terrain, a 50-foot high lead wall, 2,000 square feet of bouldering, and over 160 routes. It offers an Intro to Climbing Class that teaches the basics of rope climbing, which requires a harness and belay device. Other courses include lead climbing, bouldering, fitness, and kids classes. 

Another fantastic gym, Planet Granite, features 25,000 square feet of climbing, a fitness and cardio area, two yoga studios, and top-out bouldering, giving clients a well-versed exercise experience. The studio offers courses on rope climbing, bouldering, and leading. Take up indoor climbing with your entire family by signing your kids up for an after-school program. Your children will build self-esteem and socialize through various games, activities, and classes on the fundamentals of climbing. 

Ferry Bocce League

Bocce is an amusing Italian version of team bowling and is a great way to get active and social in San Francisco. The Ferry Bocce League is ideal for connecting with professionals based in the Financial District and a way to enjoy some friendly competition. 

The league accommodates individual players by teaming you with up to seven other similarly interested people. Folks build lifelong friendships through league camaraderie. Participation fees cover your bocce instructor and drink services for the season. Meet your teammates for weekly night play once a week. You are more than welcome to sign up with a group of friends or workmates, as well.  If you’re new to the city and looking to make new friends or just want to create some lasting memories, opt to join the Ferry Bocce League. 

Hiking

Credit: Batteries to Bluffs Trail


Pack some trail mix and soak up the Northern California sunshine with a good hike. Although SF is an urban enclave, there are several beautiful outdoor areas to explore. What could be better than taking up a free hobby that gets you moving and exploring nature? Hiking in the Bay Area can be as laid-back or challenging as you desire - San Francisco has a broad range of trailheads for every objective. 

Batteries to Bluffs is a short, 0.7-mile trail that is rated moderate to difficult. Relish panoramic ocean views along this majestic route, which weaves along the Presidio’s shoreline and connects to the peaceful Marshall’s Beach. For a more leisurely hike, check out the Ecology Trail. This 1.4-mile path is rated easy to moderate and boasts views of lush grasslands, native wildflowers, oaks, eucalyptus, Monterey pine, and Monterey cypress trees. The Interior Greenbelt Trail features a Woodland Creek and a half-mile trail. An additional historic trail was recently restored that links the park to Mount Sutro, giving the public access to 72 acres of lush open space. 

Disc Golf

Disc golf is played much like golf, but instead of a ball and clubs, players use a flying disc or Frisbee. The sport was formalized in the 1970s and is designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Given how easy it is to learn, it makes for a perfect new hobby.

Head to Golden Gate Park and pass a disc around with some friends at the GGP Disc Golf Course. Disc golf is a fun and easygoing pastime - no fierce competition here. This particular 18-hole disc golf course is enjoyed by novices and experts alike and was funded and built by the San Francisco Disc Golf Club. It’scurrently maintained by volunteers, and the club supports the course through fund-raising, purchasing necessary equipment and supplies, and hosting the occasional work party. 

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