Participatory dance whether it be a folk dance, a social dance, a group dance such as a line, circle, chain or square dance, or a partner dance such as is common in western Western ballroom dancing, is undertaken primarily for a common purpose, such as entertainment, social interaction or exercise, of participants rather than onlookers. The many forms of dance provide recreation for all age groups and cultures.
Music is composed and performed for many purposes, ranging from recreation, religious or ceremonial purposes, or for entertainment. When music was only available through sheet music scores, such as during the Classical and Romantic eras in Europe, music lovers would buy the sheet music of their favourite pieces and songs so that they could perform them at home on their instruments.
Woodworking, photography, moviemaking, jewelry making, software projects such as Photoshopping and home music or video production, making bracelets, artistic projects such as drawing, painting, Cosplay (design, creation, and wearing a costume based on an already existing creative property), creating models out of card stock or paper – called papercraft fall under the category visual arts. many of these are practised for recreation.
Drawing goes back at least 16,000 years to Paleolithic cave representations of animals such as those at Lascaux in France and Altamira in Spain. In ancient Egypt, ink drawings on papyrus, often depicting people, were used as models for painting or sculpture. Drawings on Greek vases, initially geometric, later developed to the human form with black-figure pottery during the 7th century BC.
With paper becoming common in Europe by the 15th century, drawing was adopted by masters such as Sandro Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci who sometimes treated drawing as an art in its own right rather than a preparatory stage for painting or sculpture.
Writing may involve letters, journals and weblogs. In the US, about half of all adults read one or more books for pleasure each year. About 5% read more than 50 books per year.
Like drawing, painting has its documented origins in caves and on rock faces. The finest examples, believed by some to be 32,000 years old, are in the Chauvet and Lascaux caves in southern France. In shades of red, brown, yellow and black, the paintings on the walls and ceilings are of bison, cattle, horses and deer. Paintings of human figures can be found in the tombs of ancient Egypt. In the great temple of Ramses II, Nefertari, his queen, is depicted being led by Isis. Greek and Roman art like the Hellenistic Fayum mummy portraits and Battle of Issus at Pompeii contributed to Byzantine art in the 4th century BC, which initiated a tradition in icon painting. Models of aeroplanes, boats, cars, tanks, artillery, and even figures of soldiers and superheroes are popular subjects to build, paint and display.
An amateur photographer practices photography as a hobby/passion and not for monetary profit. The quality of some amateur work may be highly specialized or eclectic in choice of subjects. Amateur photography is often pre-eminent in photographic subjects which have little prospect of commercial use or reward. Amateur photography grew during the late 19th century due to the popularization of the Hand-held camera. Nowadays it has spread widely through social media and is carried out throughout different platforms and equipment, including the use of cell phone. Clear pictures can now be taken with a cell phone which is a key tool for making photography more accessible to everyone.
Many recreational activities are organized, typically by public institutions, voluntary group-work agencies, private groups supported by membership fees, and commercial enterprises. Examples of each of these are the National Park Service, the YMCA, the Kiwanis, and Walt Disney World. Public space such as parks and beaches are essential venues for many recreational activities and Tourism has recognized that many visitors are specifically attracted by recreational offerings. In particular, beach and waterfront promenades such as the beach area of Venice Beach in California, the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes, the Promenade des Anglais in Nice or the lungomare of Barcola with Miramare Castle in Trieste are important recreational areas for the city population on the one hand and on the other also important tourist destinations with all advantages and disadvantages for the locals.
In support of recreational activities government has taken an important role in their creation, maintenance, and organization, and whole industries have developed merchandise or services. Recreation-related business is an important factor in the economy; it has been estimated that the outdoor recreation sector alone contributes $730 billion annually to the U.S. economy and generates 6.5 million jobs.
A recreation center is a place for recreational activities usually administered by a municipal government agency. Swimming, basketball, weightlifting, volleyball and kids' play areas are very common.
A recreation specialist would be expected to meet the recreational needs of a community or assigned interest group. Educational institutions offer courses that lead to a degree as a Bachelor of Arts in recreation management. People with such degrees often work in parks and recreation centers in towns, on community projects and activities. Networking with instructors, budgeting, and evaluation of continuing programs are common job duties.
In the United States, most states have a professional organization for continuing education and certification in recreation management. The National Recreation and Park Association administers a certification program called the CPRP (Certified Park and Recreation Professional) that is considered a national standard for professional recreation specialist practices.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, there are more and more online booking / ticketing platforms for recreational activities that emerged. Many of them leveraged the ever-growing prevalence of internet, mobile devices and e-payments to build comprehensive online booking solutions. The first successful batch includes tourist recreation activities platform like TripAdvisor that went public. The emergence of these platforms infers the rising needs for recreation and entertainment from the growing urban citizens worldwide.