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21 Hobbies for Dads to Try

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

They say when a man turns 30 he has to choose to get really into WW2 history or smoking meats. But it's never good to be a one-trick pony so here's a list of 21 hobbies for dads to try.


These hobbies are suited for all personality types and the goal of this list is to get you out of your comfort zone. It may take a try or two, but you'll quickly fall in love with a new hobby and enjoy life a little more.


Kids are expensive and this is written for dads so there is a slight bias towards affordable hobbies that can be done at any time.


1. Learn to Cook

Cooking is a lot of fun (once you get the hang of it) and will earn you lots of brownie points! If you need Ikea-style directions, HelloFresh is wonderful for building your confidence.


If you love a certain recipe, save the recipe card and you'll always have the ingredient list on hand. We regularly make the Moo Shoo Pork Taco recipe we tried 5 years ago from Hello Fresh.


2. Join a Rec League Through Your City or Gym

If you played sports in your younger years, joining a rec league through your city or gym is a great way to spend time with friends or meet new people.


Sports are always an easy conversation starter and the adult leagues typically start later at night so they don't interfere with family time.


3. Play Board Games or Cards

If you are guilty of turning on TV and scrolling on your phone the second the kids go down, this is a great way to spend quality time with your partner.


For a quick and easy 2-person card game, buy a Cribbage set!


When we have friends or family over, Monopoly Deal and 5 Crowns (make sure you buy the scoring book with it) are easy to learn and fun to play.


Both games still allow you to have good conversation while playing and don't take too long.


4. Learn a Foreign Language

Learning a new language takes lots of practice and patience, but is well worth it. It keeps your brain sharp and you'll likely interact with people near you who speak the language.


The Babbel app is a great place to start and doesn't require more than a few minutes a day. The city you live in may also offer affordable classes that you can sign-up for.


5. DIY Projects

Who doesn't love a good DIY project? Inevitably more time-intensive and costly than you expected, but the sense of accomplishment after its completed is worth it.


You can also pickup old furniture for free on Facebook Marketplace and restore / refresh it. There are lots of people who do this as a side hustle and make good money doing it.


6. Write in a Gratitude Journal

Most men, including me, suck at identifying and expressing our emotions (unless its anger). Plus, it can be depressing to keep up on world news and current events in this day and age.


Studies have shown that keeping a daily gratitude journal allows you to feel positive emotions and have a more optimistic outlook on life.


It's a low risk / great reward hobby since it's for your eyes only.


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7. Learn How to (actually) Dance

Learning how to dance is a fun, easy hobby that is great for bonding with your partner or kids. Plus, its great exercise.


You can watch YouTube videos to learn, but it's always a good idea to go to at least one class so the instructor can tell you if you're actually doing it correctly. Start with the box step and build from there!


It's fun to see a specific dance scene in a movie or show and think to yourself, "hey, I know how to do that!".


8. Volunteer

There are plenty of organizations near you that would love your support. You can start small and pick one organization you are passionate about to volunteer for. This can also be a fun, educational way to spend time with your kids.


You can use VolunteerMatch.org to find a volunteer opportunity that interests you.


9. Read a Book From a New Genre

Reading will always one of the best hobbies a person can have, but people tend to drift towards one specific genre. You can learn all about people and events, or dive into another world (looking at you Harry Potter) so I challenge you to try something you wouldn't normally read.


One of the benefits of having Amazon Prime is that you can pick a free eBook every month from a wide selection. With no actual expense, its another great risk / reward hobby.


For inspiration, a few of my favorite books by genre are below:

10. Play Video Games

If you're too mentally exhausted after a day of parenting to enjoy reading, video games are a great alternative way to escape to a different world. As a parent, I find it hard to play online games since you can't pause, but there are single-player sandbox games to try.


Some game series worth checking out include: Legend of Zelda, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and Outer Worlds.


Most of my free time will be devoted to Starfield as soon as its released this week!


Sport games used to be fun, but they've gone overboard with the microtransactions and I don't recommend spending your time or money on them.


11.Travel (within your state)

Traveling is a fun hobby, but we're dads. We're strapped for cash and low on time. There are plenty of interesting places, events, and sights in every state (except maybe Iowa) to fill up your weekends.


You don't even need a hotel room for most of the travel, which your wallet will appreciate.


12. Photography

If you enjoy taking pictures of your kids, then this is an easy hobby to start! Wherever you go, try taking a few pictures of your surroundings and see how they turn out. The cameras on new cell phones are great these days and have lots of editing options built in.


For an easy side hustle, you can sign up as a contributor on Alamy or Getty Images and earn money from your pictures!


13. Take a Kickboxing Class

Being a parent is stressful and kickboxing is one of the best stress relievers I have found. The combination of exercise and stress relief makes it worthwhile, and the time commitment is much less than a strength or cardio training routine requires.


9 Round is a great starting point that is less intimidating than a traditional boxing gym. I've been a 9 Round member for years (and was a trainer for a year) and it helped me lose over 50 pounds!


You can find a location near you and sign-up for their free introductory workout.


14. Find a Stretching (or Yoga) Routine

We're getting older, which means everything cracks and aches a little bit more. Stretching for 10 minutes a day can create huge improvements in your mobility and how you feel in general.


You can also find Yoga classes on YouTube or the fitness apps like Peloton if you want it to be a full workout!


15. Attend Local Concert in the Park Events

This is a great way to support your local community and meet people. They usually have a wide range of music genres so anyone can find something they enjoy!


16. Crossword Puzzles

Doing a crossword puzzle instead of scrolling through Instagram during your morning constitutional is a great way to activate your brain in the morning.


To avoid paywalls, download the free Omni Crosswords app. It posts the puzzles from the major newspapers and is ad-free. It's wonderful.


17. Start a Collection

Baseball cards, whiskey, Squishmallows. The possibilities are endless!


You'll see an increased passion for whatever you start collecting and its quite fun to chase down the final piece of a collection.


Plus, if you take care of the collection it could be worth a pretty penny down the road! A perfect example of the value of collecting is what Pokemon cards are being sold for on eBay.


18. Buy a 3D Printer

If you have kids with new interests every day, this is a great idea for a birthday or Christmas gift. You can bond over building cool toys. And once they are asleep you can build whatever you want!


They are a lot more affordable than a few years ago and the Amazon Choice option is under $200!


19. Create a Website / Start a Blog

If you want a productive hobby that you can tinker with after the kids are asleep, starting a blog is a great option. You can get up and running in less than an hour and for under $100 so there is a very low barrier to entry.


If you're not a master of design like me, check out Fiverr to build out your logo, colors, and site design.


If you're a DIYer - Fiverr Learn has great online courses that walk you through every aspect of your website. A great place to start is this 'Build a Professional Website with Wordpress.com' course.


There are plenty of ways to monetize your blog once you're up and running so it could turn into a lucrative side hustle or full-time job.


20. Start a Podcast

I guarantee you have something interesting to say. Or a different perspective. Yes, podcasting is one of those "Buzzword hobbies" to try, but for good reason.


You can focus solely on one thing, like why Game of Thrones ended the way it did, or talk about whatever is on your mind that day.


21. Try Creating Something Everyday

Creativity works like a muscle. The more it is used, the better it gets. Do at least one thing each day to exercise your creativity muscle and you'll begin to notice more frequent creative ideas floating around in your head.


Start with a small goal of at least brainstorming ideas or giving a prompt to Dalle-2 or MidJourney each day.


More Hobbies for Dads to Try Coming Soon

I hope this list has given you at least one new hobby to try out! There are endless hobbies to try and I will continue to build out and organize this list as I test them out.


Subscribe below to get more posts like this beyond the initial hospital stay. I also explore and share my experiences with parenthood and ways to save and make money.


If you know a dad who needs a new hobby, I'd love if you shared it with them!


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Now, back to waiting for Starfield to come out!

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