There was a time many decades ago when young Americans would visit nightclubs and bars at weekends to blow off some steam and socialize with other members of Generation X – those born between the early 1960s and mid-70s. Now today’s youth, most commonly known as Millennials or Generation Y if they were born between the mid-1970s and mid-90s, appear to be indulging in surprisingly wholesome hobbies, with many of them choosing ‘juice crawls’ over bar crawls.
Over the last decade, 10,000 bars have served their last drink, whilst a further 6,500 clubs have been forced to reduce their hours or are closing down within their first year of business. There are multiple reasons why Millennials are choosing to stay at home including expenses, poor service and the inability to socialize at clubs due to the loud music.
So, what are Millennials doing for fun instead? Well, it seems that not only are they choosing to stay home during weekends like their older relatives; they are even taking up some of their hobbies. In fact, many young people are even referring to themselves as ‘Grandmas’ and ‘Grandpas’, whilst others describe their age group as ‘Generation Yawn.’
Despite the fact it was known as an old ladies’ game for most of the 20th century, over the past few years some millennials have been embracing bingo, or more specifically its online version. Some sites offer plenty of variants to the traditional 75- and 90-ball bingo such as Need for Speed and Peggy’s Place which can be found on bgo. Players are further enticed with sign-up bonuses and seasonal promotions – for instance at bgo if you spend £10 you will get to play with £50.
Bingo Billy has found a way to play on the social aspect of the game with “referral offers”: when inviting friends to join the site, players get 10% of their referral’s deposit. As for Cyberbingo, it hosts regular chat games such as Trivia, Mystery Ball and Digging for Diamonds to maintain a fun community atmosphere.
There was a time when the closest many of us would get to knitting would be watching our grandmothers produce socks at an alarming rate around Christmas time. Now, a phenomenon known as Netflix-and-Knit, or KnitFlixing, is all the rage amongst the younger generations.
If you have a Pinterest account, then you’ve probably seen a couple of these #KnitFlix boards packed with different patterns millennials can copy alongside which shows they should watch whilst knitting. Meanwhile, on Twitter and Instagram there are thousands of pictures taken of knitters with their needles and Netflix accounts ready to go. It may seem a little bit odd, but many believe that this hobby is loved for its meditative qualities rather than the excitement. “Knitters have that (fantasy) all the time, especially really hard-core knitters,” Kara Gott Warner, executive editor of Creative Knitting magazine, told The Boston Globe earlier this year. “The wish is to be able to just sit and watch a chick-flick and knit.”
Finally, perhaps the strangest vintage hobby that millennials have decided to embrace is shuffleboard. Anyone who grew up in Italian-influenced neighbourhoods is sure to remember that certain areas of local parks were once dedicated to shuffleboard and the espresso-drinking, cigar-smoking older folk who used to meet there.
However, more recently bars around the country have decided to build their own shuffleboard courts inside their establishments, with many comparing it to having a pool table or a dartboard. Brooklyn-based business owners Ashley Albert and Jonathan Schnapp even went as far as to open the world’s first ever shuffleboard bar, the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club. When asked why shuffleboard is so popular, Albert told The Brooklyn Eagle: “There’s something that’s a little hokey and wholesome and old-fashioned, but in an ironic way.”