5 Realistic Hobby Ideas for Parents that Aren’t Complete BS

Man on a wooden canoe with a one year-old baby

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Looking for some realistic hobby ideas for parents?

For most parents, finding time for themselves is hard. You don’t need me to tell you why that is. 😁

However, it’s important to find time for hobbies and activities that you enjoy.

I’ve written a whole article on why it’s important for you to have hobbies as a parent, so check that one out if you need some encouragement to take some time for yourself.

That being said, some hobbies are a little less realistic as a parent and I want to share a few ideas with you that’ll benefit both you and your kids. You can do all of these things with your kids (if you want to) so that’s what makes them a bit less laughable.

Here’s some realistic hobby ideas for parents.


Gaming on a laptop on the couch - a super realistic hobby idea for parentsPin

One hobby that is perfect for busy parents is gaming. It’s an activity that you can do on your own schedule, and there are a variety of games to choose from that can fit any interest.

Whether you’re looking for a competitive game to play with friends or something more relaxing to unwind with after a long day, there’s definitely a game out there for you. In addition, many online games now offer multiplayer options, so you can still socialize and interact with other players even if you don’t have time to meet up in person.

Gaming doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing thing. You don’t need to play games for 10 hours per day to be considered a gamer. I love gaming and try to play most nights for an hour or two after my kids are in bed.

Sometimes that doesn’t happen. It’s related to the weekends during busier times. And sometimes I skip a month here and there. But games are such a fun and somewhat fulfilling thing to have in my back pocket if I need a pick-me-up or some personal time.

Plus, gaming is a great way to bond with your kids – they’ll be thrilled to teach you how to play their favorite games. And you’ll be able to share your own favs with them!

Gaming is probably one of the more realistic hobby ideas for parents because you can quite literally do it almost anywhere and it’s something kids tend to go along with without much complaint. Games can be a great way to bond with your family, too.

Here are some of my favorite games to play that don’t have a big learning curve or require a fancy gaming computer:

  • The Sims franchise (You can snag The Sims 4 on sale for $5 on Steam quite often!)
  • Runescape (A 20-year-old, amazingly fun online role-playing game that you can play quite a bit of for free. Fight monsters, craft weapons and armor, make potions, chop trees, or just explore.)
  • Stardew Valley (A cute, chill farming game with some exploration. Costs around $20 on Steam.)
  • Shop Titans (My go-to mobile game. It’s free and it’s a really cute and simple game where you craft weapons and armor for your shop. You’re the shopkeeper in the game.)

I could keep going here because I have a long personal history with gaming. But these are some pretty solid recommendations for parents who don’t have a ton of extra time on their hands but want to explore gaming.


Forgive the vagueness here, but learning a new craft can be a great hobby idea for moms. (I’ll give tons of specific examples in a sec!)

It’s a fun way to spend some time by yourself, and it can be rewarding to see your finished product.

There are also potential benefits to learning a new skill.

For example, it can help to increase your self-confidence, and it can give you a sense of accomplishment. In addition, crafting can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends.

There are Facebook groups and subreddits and other internet communities based on any kind of craft you could think of. It’s pretty easy to get connected with all kinds

If you’re looking for a hobby that will keep you busy, challenged, and engaged, then learning a new craft is definitely worth considering.

Here’s some ideas for crafts you could take up. Some of these have a heftier time or monetary investment than others, but I think it’s a great idea to explore your options!

  • Crocheting
  • Foraging wild plants and herbs
  • Canning, dehydrating, and preserving food
  • Candlemaking (I do some of this now!)
  • Soapmaking
  • Woodworking or woodburning
  • Furniture flipping
  • Sewing
  • Recycling old clothing and fabric into new items (also called upcycling or refashioning)
  • Glassmaking
  • Glass staining
  • Cooking or baking
  • Graphic design
  • Papercrafting
  • Screenprinting
  • Hand lettering



Gardening is a great hobby for parents because it’s practical and beneficial.

It can help you save money on groceries, get some exercise, and teach your kids about nature and the environment.

Plus, it’s a relaxing hobby that can be enjoyed year-round.

Whether you have a green thumb or not, gardening is a hobby that anyone can enjoy.

And, if you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available to help you get started.

Here are some ideas for getting into gardening as a first-timer:

  • Start small by planting herbs or veggies in pots on your windowsill.
  • Join a community garden.
  • Attend a local gardening workshop.
  • Check out some books from the library about gardening.
  • Talk to your friends and neighbors who garden for tips and advice.



Okay, so this hobby idea might not be for everyone. But I think it’s worth mentioning because it’s a great activity to do with kids! And it can be really fun and rewarding to find a hidden cache of goodies.

Plus, it gets you outside and moving, which is always a good thing.

If you’re not familiar with geocaching, it’s basically a worldwide scavenger hunt. People hide little caches of goodies (usually trinkets or toys) and then post the coordinates online.

Other people can then use those coordinates to try and find the cache.

It’s a really fun hobby and one that the whole family can enjoy



Once your kids are older than just a couple of years old, it becomes easier to do things like hiking with your family.

If you’re in the newborn, baby, or new toddler phase with any of your kids, it can be hard to imagine going hiking with the fam and loving it. It does get better, though!

Hiking is such a great hobby to have as a parent because it’s awesome with or without your kids. Hiking solo is almost magical. Hiking with your partner or a friend can be a genuine bonding experience and a great date/hangout sesh.

And hiking with your kids is fun and educational for them. Learn about some of the plants you’ll see in the area before you go and talk to your kids about the flora and fauna you come across on the hike. Tell a story about something weird that happened in the local area. Or just play the quiet game and listen to nature together.

The app, Alltrails is great for browsing hikes and sorting them by difficulty, length, and area so that you can find hikes that will work for you.

So there you have it – some realistic hobby ideas for parents that aren’t complete bullshit.

Whether you’re looking for something to do by yourself or with your kids, I hope you found something here that piqued your interest.

Happy hobby-ing!



Hey! I'm a freelance writer and a mom of three. I've been blogging for over 10 years now and def I write posts here about working from home as a parent, mindful parenting, and tips for how to develop a more sustainable home.

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