Recreation is the employment of time in a non-profitable way, in many ways also a refreshment of one's body or mind. Recreation is often distinguished from leisure. Where leisure is, or ought to be, restful, recreation is refreshing and diverting. As we lead more and more sedentary life styles, the need for recreation has grown. The rise of so called active vacations exemplify this.

The weekend is typically a time for recreation, perhaps (in Judeo-Christian and Muslim cultures) because the Sabbath falls on the weekend and the Sabbath is "the day of rest." Holidays are also a common time for recreation.

Traditionally music and dance serve as recreation in many cultures, as do sports, hobbies, games and tourism. Watching TV and listening to music are common forms of recreation, or rather leisure.

Many activities may be functional and/or recreational:

In recent years, more 'exciting' forms of recreation include: skiing, snowboarding, bungee jumping, sky diving, hang gliding, paint balling, rock climbing, Backpacking, canyoning, caving, BASE jumping.
Some people enjoy forms of recreation that are considered immoral by others, for example drug use, gambling, nudism and some forms of sex. Also some people believe that there are restrictions in time for certain forms of recreation, e.g. not on Sunday, sabbath or during Ramadan.

See also: List of game topics, List of hobbies.