Seven Cheap Hobbies That You and Your Family Can Enjoy

These days it seems like everything is expensive, even having fun. Many people like having hobbies, but many of us have cut back when it comes to doing the things we like so that we can save money. Building model airplanes, for example, might have gone by the wayside with the recession because it is a hobby that can quickly get expensive.

If you are looking for a new hobby or simply something fun to do with your family that is inexpensive, there are quite a few options available to you.

Game Night 

Game nights are a great way to spend time with your friends and family. You can make them a weekly institution at your home. If you are playing with a group of friends, you can rotate who hosts the game night. You can play different board games each week, or you can make a weekly poker night (or any other card game). You can try getting a group together to play games like Bunko, which is not only for women, or you can even try Bridge, if you are up to it. Add drinks, snacks, and music, and it will soon become one of your favorite activities.

Bird Watching 

Bird watching is an entertaining, educational, and inexpensive hobby that you can enjoy either by yourself or with a group. You might want to take the time to search for a bird watching group in your area. All you need to get started is a book of local birds in your area and a pair of binoculars, and you don’t even need that if you don’t want.

Hiking and Nature Walks 

This is another great option that you can do by yourself or with your kids. Many places have places where you can go hiking or walking within an hour’s drive, and all you need is a sturdy pair of shoes. If you want, try purchasing a book that details your local flora and fauna. You can even make a game of it with your kids and challenge them to identify certain trees and plants, just watch out for poison ivy!


Fishing is another fairly inexpensive hobby. You can purchase fishing poles for a small amount at your local big box stores, and cane poles often cost just a few dollars. You can either purchase a few worms or a few lures. Bread and hot dogs also make decent bait for some fish. With fishing, you can make small purchases over time to build up your fishing supplies, so that it is not very expensive all at one time.


If you like reading, you can definitely make it your hobby. You can take the time to create a dedicated reading nook in your house. Simply place a comfortable chair by a window and set a floor lamp or a small table and a lamp next to it. You can take time out every week to read the paper, or a magazine, or a new book. Try buying second hand books or looking for inexpensive e-books to save money.

Online Forums 

Online forums are free, and you can spend a great deal of time talking to other likeminded people. Simply search for something that you are interested in such as baking, horseback riding, guns and ammunition, gardening, etc. Once you have found a good group, you can participate in the conversations that they have about the topic, and you can also make your own posts where you ask a question or start a discussion.


Karaoke along with trivia nights are a good way to get out of the house and have fun with friends. Many bars will have a weekly karaoke night where you can go and let loose with your friends. If you keep your drinks to a minimum (or if you stick to cheap beer), this is also a fairly inexpensive hobby.

Do you have any inexpensive hobby or activity ideas? What do you like to do in your free time?


Seven Cheap Hobbies That You and Your Family Can Enjoy — 24 Comments

  1. These are all awesome. My kids love to play outdoors and it’s totally free. I think their favorite toy is dirt =)

  2. I don’t know that Karaoke is a cheap hobby, given some of the bar tabs I’ve run up, and as I’ve never seen everyone do it who wasn’t engaged in heavy drinking. I guess buying cheap rounds of beer with friends could technically make it an inexpensive hobby.

  3. I love doing outdoor free type stuff: playing beach volleyball, snorkeling, etc.

    But I actually hosted a poker night that was super fun, small buy in got a bunch of friends, pizza and beer and everyone had a ton of fun!

  4. Ha,ha! When I read ‘birdwatching’ (which btw is probably good fun) I remembered how astounded I felt realising that in the UK there are people who go train spotting. Do you know what this is? They know the numbers of all trains in the network and hang about stations to spot them (noting everything neatly in a notebook). Oh, dear!

  5. I have a friend who trainspots here in Texas!

    People who know me know how much I love game night. We have a group of about eight professional men who get together and play games, maybe twice a month. (My group of friends in Michigan this summer who got together for game night managed about $250 – $300M dollars between them! All financial pros!) It’s a great cheap way to just hang out with buddies.

  6. We do a semi-regular board game night. When we visit my family, my sisters enjoy playing Catan and Ticket to Ride. At home, the two of us often break out Carcassone for a quickie.

  7. We love game nights around here! We spend our weekends playing games more often than not… because we are party animals like that!

    Geocaching is also an inexpensive hobby that we really like. If you have a smartphone, the GPS app is only $10 (one time fee) and can guide you towards hours and hours of fun. It lets us get outside and explore the world around us. We love it!

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