12 Boomer Pastimes That Leave Younger Generations Puzzled

Every generation has its unique set of hobbies and pastimes, shaped by the cultural and technological landscape of their time. Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, grew up in a world vastly different from the one we know today.

This has led to some of their favorite activities seeming quaint, or even baffling, to Millennials and Gen Zers. Let’s dive into 12 such Boomer pastimes that often leave the younger generations scratching their heads.

1. Listening to Transistor Radios

Before streaming and MP3s, transistor radios were a revolutionary way to enjoy music on the go. Boomers would carry these portable devices everywhere, eagerly tuning in to their favorite music and news stations.

2. Watching Drive-In Movies

Drive-in theaters were a staple of Boomer youth. These outdoor cinemas, where you could watch a movie from the comfort of your car, are a nostalgic symbol of mid-20th century America.

3. Collecting Vinyl Records

While vinyl has seen a resurgence in recent years, Boomers were the original collectors. They cherished the ritual of carefully placing the needle on the record and cherishing the album art.

4. Playing Board Games

Long before video games, board games were the mainstay of family entertainment. Games like ‘Monopoly’ and ‘Risk’ provided hours of analog fun.

5. Reading Print Newspapers and Magazines

In an era before digital news, reading print newspapers and magazines was a daily ritual for many Boomers, providing them with their news and gossip fix.

6. Using Typewriters

Before computers, typewriters were the primary tool for writing. The click-clack of the keys and the ding of the carriage return are sounds many Boomers remember fondly.

7. Attending Sock Hops

These high school dances were named for the practice of removing one’s shoes to protect the gymnasium floor. They were a cornerstone of social life for many young Boomers.

8. Watching Black-and-White Television

The early days of television were in black and white, and programs were limited. Boomers often recall having only a few channels and watching shows as a family.

9. Roller Skating Rinks

Roller skating was a popular pastime, with rinks often being social hubs for teenagers. The music, the disco ball, and the skates are all part of Boomer nostalgia.

10. Sending Letters and Postcards

In the age before email and texting, sending handwritten letters and postcards was the primary means of long-distance communication.

11. Playing Jukeboxes

Jukeboxes were a fixture in diners and soda shops, where Boomers would gather. Dropping a coin to play your favorite tune was a simple pleasure.

12. Using Film Cameras

Unlike the instant gratification of digital photography, using film cameras required patience and skill, from careful composition to the excitement of waiting for photos to be developed.


These pastimes offer a window into a bygone era, reflecting the simpler, analog world in which Boomers grew up. While technology and times have changed, these activities remain cherished memories for many and sometimes even experience a revival, bridging the gap between generations.

Leave a Comment