What Do the Amish Do for Fun?
The Amish live in close-knit communities and outside influences usually don’t make their way in. So do the Amish engage in typical American pastimes and what do the Amish do for fun?
They value family life and simple living, and they have a community-orientated approach to most things. They’re known for their reluctance to adopt modern-day living standards, intolerance of technology and maintenance of their traditional ways of life.
But how do these things factor into popular Amish pastimes?
Let’s delve into what the Amish do in their downtime. We’ll also explore some popular Amish hobbies and explain how their beliefs impact how they spend their leisure time.
What this article covers:
How Do Amish Beliefs Factor into How They Have Fun?
The Amish are a denomination of the Anabaptist church. Therefore, their Christian beliefs often factor into numerous Amish fun activities.
Simple living, plain dress and not using technology are all key aspects of the Amish culture. So with clothes shopping, photography, and video games off-limits, you may be wondering, “what do Amish do for fun?”
What’s more, the Amish tend to have large families with an average of 7 children per family. But do the Amish adopt children? Yes! In cases where couples can’t have children themselves, they will happily adopt both Amish and non-Amish children to create a big family.
But with so many children and no television to put them in front of, how do Amish parents keep their kids entertained and what do Amish do for fun? Let’s take a look.
Contrary to popular belief, the Amish aren't all work and no play. The Amish enjoy a wide range of different activities, from fishing and hunting to auctions and picnics.
Let’s have a look at some common Amish activities, and answer the question “what do Amish do for fun?”
Hunting and Fishing
Yes, Amish people do hunt. In fact, the Amish commonly hunt both for food and for fun.
The Amish are a practical group of people. So, if they’re successful and manage to bring something home, it’s a double-win for them.
Using guns and bows, they usually hunt deer and birds. Occasionally, they take trips to the west to hunt larger game animals.
Because they love spending time outdoors, they’re also enthusiastic fishers. Fishing is also another double bonus and it provides entertainment and feeds the family.
The Amish love nature and the outdoors. And nothing is more Amish than setting off on a camping trip with the entire family.
This connects to their value of simple and community-orientated living.
You will often spot an Amish family camping in a meadow or a wooden area, surrounded by family and friends. Sometimes, they may even camp in the backyard.
Occasionally, men prefer to make it a guy's trip. They’ll spend the weekend together in a cabin and head off hunting or fishing.
Because of their simple and practical approach to life, people often ask “do Amish have mirrors?” Yes, the Amish do use mirrors. Although they don’t take pictures or engage in extensive grooming, they’re allowed to own mirrors. Men use them when shaving and women use them to ensure they’re presentable when leaving the house and for haircare.
There are divided opinions on sports across different Amish communities.
Some Amish people love sports and happily play typical American sports such as basketball, hockey, volleyball, and softball.
Young people sometimes enjoy skiing in the snow and on the water.
However, others believe that these games are for children. So they’ll allow their kids to play, but prefer that they stop when they enter adulthood.
Many Amish people are avid bird watchers, and it’s particularly popular in Ohio.
In line with Amish values, here we have another fun outdoor activity that can be done alone or in groups.
Bird watching involves spotting a bird, identifying it, and then observing its behavior for several minutes. What's more, Amish people are well-known for keeping notes of their observations. They keep annual lists of species spotted in each state and engage in friendly competitions.
The beauty of bird watching is that it can be done almost anywhere. And because many Amish people live on farms, there’s no shortage of outdoor spaces with numerous birds flying over.
Like many other communities around the world, the Amish enjoy singing. But do Amish people listen to music?
The Amish culture centers around Christianity and the church, therefore their musical focus is on singing hymns rather than listening to the latest rap hit.
What’s more, there is one particular Amish singing activity that stands out.
Sunday night singing isn’t only one of the most common Amish hobbies for young people, but it’s also a way to meet their future spouse.
Young people gather from different communities once every two weeks, to mingle, eat, and sing. It's the perfect blend of leisure, worship, and dating.
Are Amish people allowed to dance? Typically no, the Amish don’t dance and don’t play musical instruments, either.
Board Games and Card Games
Still wondering “what do Amish do for fun?” There’s a lot more.
Amish games nights are very popular amongst the Amish communities.
Because the Amish value family life and enjoy living in close-knit communities, a night filled with board games and card games is the ultimate Amish pastime.
Again, we see popular American board games such as Trivial Pursuit, Chess, Monopoly, and Scrabble being played. Card games, such as Uno, have also made their way into the Amish communities.
They will enjoy feasting on popcorn or other snacks and often play late into the evening.
Sewing and Craft Making
The Amish are known for their attention to detail and expertise in handmade crafts. But how does that related to leisure and what do Amish do for fun?
The Amish believe that everything they do is a reflection of their dedication to God. In other words, they give their absolute best to everything they do. The phrase “good enough” doesn’t enter an Amish persons vocabulary.
Reading and Writing
What do Amish do for fun when they’re alone?
Like many others around the globe, the Amish are enthusiastic readers and often enjoy trips to the library. Amish libraries include a range of books on history and nature. Biographies are also popular choices as well as religious books.
Often, Amish people subscribe to “the Budget” which is an Amish and Mennonite newspaper. Some Amish people prefer to read their local newspaper.
When they aren’t found curled up with a good book by the fireplace, the Amish can be found writing letters. This is because most communities do not allow the use of telephones or the internet, so letter writing is still a popular art form and method of communication.
What is an Amish fireplace? An Amish fireplace is, in fact, an electrical heater disguised to look like an old-fashioned fireplace. Reading or writing next to a beautiful burning fire is a perfect pastime for wintery days.
We can’t answer “what do Amish people do for fun” without talking about Amish auctions.
Auctions are surprisingly common amongst the Amish. In line with Amish beliefs, they’re usually planned to raise funds for a certain cause, such as the local school or a humanitarian relief project.
An auction may include selling items from a particular person’s estate or may include the sale of livestock and horses. Two well-known auctions take place in Lancaster county: the Lancaster County Mud Sale and the Auction to Benefit the Clinic of Special Children.
Spending Time with Family and Friends
This is one of the most popular Amish leisure activities.
Socializing is a big part of Amish life. And although a non-Amish person may not consider an afternoon cooking with a family member as a leisure activity, this is the cornerstone of Amish culture.
So what do Amish do for fun with their loved ones?
Visiting family and friends usually occurs in the evenings or on Sundays after attending church. They are similar to non-Amish meetups and involve a few people sitting together, chatting, and enjoying a slice of cake and a coffee. Picnics are also very popular.
Even though the Amish way of life usually doesn’t permit the ownership of motor vehicles, the Amish have found ways around this to explore further afield.
Nowadays, groups of Amish people organize buses to take them out of the area. Visits to nearby zoos, natural sites, or historic villages have become increasingly popular in recent years.
What do Amish do on Sundays? As you might already suspect, every Sunday the Amish attend church services. After church, group picnics are usually arranged.
Rumspringa is an excellent example of Amish people having a good time.
This is the time in a young person’s life when the usual community rules, known as Ordnung, are relaxed. This is to enable Amish youth to gain knowledge and experience of the outside world.
Simply put, they are allowed to go out and enjoy themselves however they want to. However, don’t let your imagination take you away.
It’s uncommon to see groups of teens gone wild, and is usually a lone teen trying out a new hairstyle. But what do Amish do for fun during rumpspringa? Here are a few examples:
- Attend Sunday night singing
- Begin courting and searching for a spouse
- Wear non-traditional clothing
- Not attend church services
- Drink alcohol
- Use technology such as cell phones and computers
Rumpspringa usually begins around age 16 but more commonly occurs between the ages of 17 and 21. Afterwards, the young person can choose to leave the community or join the church.
Leaving the community is very rare so this is when people are usually baptized into the church.
So, what do Amish do for fun?
Amish leisure time is centered around spending time with their loved ones and often includes an aspect of nature. Evenings together playing board games or card games are a classic Amish night-in.
Some popular American activities have made their way into Amish communities. Sports such as basketball and volleyball are enjoyed by many Amish people.
Solitary activities, such as reading and writing, are also fun pastimes for the Amish.
We could all do to learn something from this simple, peaceful, and community-orientated way of living. Why not add a piece of Amish culture into your life with these hanging file baskets, storage baskets for shelves, or under-bed storage baskets?
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