11 Puzzle Hobbies for Curious Minds (Start Solving Now)


Puzzles are great for curious and inquisitive people, mainly because it allows you to challenge yourself to see how you overcome problems.

This is an important skill not just for hobbies but also in day-to-day life.

Many of the skills needed to solve puzzles are transferrable hence why people enjoy doing them so much.

Other than that, it’s just a great way to pass the time and they’re easily shared with family or friends who can join in with them.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best puzzle hobbies for curious and inquisitive people.

Best Puzzle Hobbies for Inquisitive and Curious People: Our Top 11 Picks

1. Jigsaw Puzzles

This wouldn’t be a puzzle hobby list without jigsaw puzzles — it’s the quintessential puzzle-based hobby that is loved by millions of people all around the world.

Perhaps one of the most charming aspects of jigsaw puzzles is that they can be made and solved by people of all ages meaning all your friends or family can get involved too.

Bgraamiens Puzzle-Aztec Totem-1000 Pieces Round Puzzle Color...
  • ★The Bgraamiens Puzzles – Aztec Totem is 1,000 pieces worthy of any skilled puzzler. Made of sturdy blue chipboard on...

There is a wide assortment of jigsaw puzzles too, you can find ones that have hundreds of pieces and some that have thousands — it all depends on your preference.

Most people, though, love the intricate imagery and artwork that puzzles feature, especially ones that are designed from your favorite fan fiction such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

This adds to the allure of a puzzle set and also makes them more enticing for young children to get into them or for collectors to collect.

man sitting in the park working a crossword puzzle

2. Crosswords

Crosswords are another fairly traditional type of puzzle hobby where you’ll seek to identify the correct letters for the appropriate word based on the clues you’re given in the crossword menu.

The concept is fairly simple but it can be deceptively difficult at times depending on your word knowledge, or if you haven’t tackled this type of puzzle before.

You’ll be able to find crosswords in many free newspaper publications meaning you can get started without any money, however, we recommend grabbing a cheap crossword book as it’ll give you thousands of them to keep you busy for a long while.

Better yet, doing crossword puzzles has been shown to have a notable positive effect on keeping your brain sharp as you get older. What’s not to love?

3. Codebreaking

For those who fancy themselves as WW2 codebreakers or some type of hacker, codebreaking is truly one of the best hobbies for you.

Codebreaking is notoriously difficult and often requires a curious mind to tackle, or someone who has the ability to think outside the box.

That’s because code is designed on a set of novel concepts that only the code writer knows — you almost need to reverse engineer their thinking to come up with a solution which isn’t always an easy task.

Mostly, code is based on mathematical principles meaning you’ll have an advantage if you understand important mathematical concepts.

In fact, codebreaking has gained notoriety over the years through movies like The Imitation Game, and through news publications that have discussed famous codebreaking problems.

If you’re not sure where to start then we recommend getting a codebreaking puzzle book as it’ll give you plenty of options to tackle various problems.

4. Puzzle Toys (Brain Teasers)

Puzzle toys (sometimes referred to as brain teasers) are uniquely designed puzzles that offer specialized challenges for you to solve.

They’re often built in a 3D format which means they’re constructed with all sorts of unusual mechanics for you to unlock and explore.

In most cases, the solution is as novel as the design that they’re represented in meaning it’ll be something you probably won’t have seen before.

For people who like to think outside the box or engage their minds in different ways, puzzle toys are perfect for you.

5. Coding

You may be surprised to see coding listed as a puzzle-type hobby, however, it offers lots of conundrums and problems that you’ll need to solve that are very similar to how puzzles work.

In most cases, you’ll need to reverse engineer code, fault-find bugs, and even come up with more efficient, novel solutions that help make the code operate better.

In a way, you can be the puzzle maker as well as the puzzle solver.

It can be as infinitely complex or simple as you want it to be meaning there are challenges for different skill levels depending on your preferences or choice.

In fact, there are thousands of coding languages available meaning you’ll never be stuck for choice or find yourself wanting more.

Firstly, we recommend going to Codecademy to dip your toes into coding to see if it’s for you as they offer some free courses.

If you’re wanting more specific information, then it might be worth doing a bit of video research on YouTube to get some better examples for what you might want to learn.

a screen of coding as an example of a puzzle hobby

6. Mazes

Whether it’s huge people-sized mazes, puzzle book mazes, or pocket-sized toy mazes, mazes are one of the quintessential puzzle hobbies that’ll keep you entertained for hours on end.

Mazes also challenge our skills of navigation and the ability to orient where we are in relation to where we’ve been or where we’re going.

This is unique compared to other puzzle types meaning a maze can offer something a little different depending on your personality and personal desires.

Essentially, a maze feels more like an adventure rather than a deliberate task that you need to solve.

It involves elements of fun and also allows you to collaborate with others to get some team bonding on the go.

7. Meccano

Meccano is a construction hobby where you’ll be tasked with building functional objects and bringing various engineering projects to life on a miniature scale.

Essentially, Meccano is similar to other sandbox hobbies (such as coding) where the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

This is very similar to a puzzle, however, the task is much more creative and less about overcoming a specific problem.

In case you didn’t know, Meccano is very similar to Lego where you’ll be able to get different pieces that can be attached together to form different objects, however, Meccano is a little more nuanced as the pieces can be mechanized.

In most cases, you’ll want to start with a pre-prepared Meccano kit as it’ll task you with building something specific.

This is much better for learning what each individual piece can be used for before attempting to make something yourself.

8. Illusion Rooms

An illusion room is a uniquely designed room that is designed to exploit human perception to make it harder for you to get through it.

The most common type of illusion room that most people have been to is a mirror room at a funfair or usually at some type of theme park.

There are, however, some more niche-specific illusionary fixtures such as The Vortex at Camera Obscura in Edinburgh.

Illusions don’t always have to be an on-the-nose puzzle, and in fact, sometimes it’s more enjoyable wondering how they work rather than how difficult they were to overcome.

a circus funfair logo as an example of a puzzle illusion room

9. Escape Rooms

Escape rooms have gotten massively popular since the early 2010s and there seems to be no sign of them losing steam any time soon.

That’s because escape rooms can offer all the things that make a puzzle great and more.

Better yet, they’re people-sized, adventurous, and are often completely unique.

In fact, some escape rooms even offer an element of competition as they’ll usually time how long it takes you and your team to solve the problem to escape the room.

Some escape rooms also like to incorporate an element of roleplay or are centered around specific themes such as espionage, horror, and fantasy.

There’s lots of fun to be had at an escape room event and we recommend trying to make a day out of it with friends and family.

10. Riddles

A riddle is a type of word puzzle that uses creative context, grammatical syntax, and evocative wordplay to misdirect the person attempting to solve it.

In hindsight, riddles can seem really obvious once you know the answer which is what makes them both enjoyable and incredibly frustrating at times.

They attempt to confuse our logic and will often have us daydreaming about the most far-off possibilities when in most cases the answer can be hiding in plain sight.

If that seems like an intriguing pastime then you’ll be happy to know that you can find millions of riddles online for free, or you can get a book of riddles to keep you entertained for hours.

11. Geocaching

Geocaching is a modern-day treasure hunt that’ll have you navigating across local and far-off landscapes in search of the prize at the end of the journey.

It involves finding clues, solving mysteries, and using navigational wit to find where you need to be before other savvy treasure hunters get there first.

It’s relatively easy to get started with this as there’s a geocaching app that you can download for your smartphone to find geocaching events in your area.

You’ll also be able to find groups hosting events through social media which can help you to keep your finger on the pulse for outings like this.

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