Spending on games and hobbies is up as consumers prepare to hunker down for fall

Aug 31, 2023
During the pandemic, people spent money on stuff. Then, they spent money on experiences. Now, it seems they're spending money on things that help them connect.
Ethan Childs, left, and Imani White play Magic the Gathering at Canton Games in Baltimore. Games are part of how they socialize.
Stephanie Hughes/Marketplace

Please explain: Why is New Mexico a hotbed for scuba diving?

Aug 11, 2023
There are three scuba diving schools in a small area of Albuquerque — 12 hours away from the ocean.
A group of Scuba Co. student divers at the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.
Courtesy Loring Schaible

Want to perform your own version of "The Little Mermaid"? These sisters will sell you a tail

May 26, 2023
Disney’s live-action "The Little Mermaid" is expected to bring in big bucks at the box office — and for the real-life mermaid industry, which is an actual thing.
Twin sisters Bryn Decker and Abby Roberts take photos and videos of professional mermaid Danielle Houston in their newest tail design, "Ariel's Melody."
Kimberly Adams/Marketplace

Americans are spending less on hobbies. How's that affecting stores that rely on them?

May 18, 2023
Commerce Department data shows retail sales for sporting goods, hobby, instrument and book stores were down 5.4% in April compared to a year ago. Sales for garden equipment and supplies were down too.
Lindsay Farrell, who works at Canton Games in Baltimore, holds out a 100-sided die. It costs $44.99. Stephanie Hughes / Marketplace
After a flurry of toy purchases fueled by the pandemic, toy company Hasbro recently reported layoffs and cratering sales.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gardening 101: Does it pay off for newcomers?

May 5, 2022
Pandemic lockdowns and high grocery prices have grown the ranks of gardeners. The costs of cultivation compete with savings on food.
Bobby Srour

2020, the year of the pandemic, and pandemic hobbies

Dec 30, 2020
To fill unexpected free time or to cope with stress, people have picked up hobbies: sculpting action figures and DJing socially distanced parties are just a few.
After getting furloughed from his job, Miles McAlpin has been creating custom action figures.
Courtesy of Miles McAlpin

For public good, not for profit.

Summer Dunsmore/Marketplace

Amid urbanization and expense, hunting declines as a hobby

Aug 1, 2017
Fewer Americans are hunting as a hobby, but those that are still hunting, are spending more money doing it.
Leith Konyndyk kneels with his son's first turkey, which they took home to clean and turn into barbecue.
Blake Farmer/for Marketplace

Want to get crafty? Help is only a click away

Feb 17, 2015
A website offering crafting tutorials is attracting students and venture capital.