Top 15 Family-Friendly Hobbies That Don’t Suck

Who said finding a hobby that the whole family will love is impossible? No way! There are tons of hobbies out there that even your moody teenager will love. And what’s better than a shared family hobby? It’s a fantastic way to keep those communication channels open, bond with each other, and have a fun activity that everyone can enjoy. 

Top family-friendly hobbies include learning American sign language, photography, creating time capsules, establishing MasterChef or Lego challenges, cosplaying, or making YouTube videos. Outdoor hobbies include metal detecting or drone flying. Animal lovers may enjoy keeping sea monkeys. 

While you might consider spending time with your family a hobby on its own, sharing an interest adds a whole new dimension. Get everyone involved with our list of 15 guaranteed “non-sucky”, family-friendly hobbies. Learn, craft, build, laugh, and create lifelong memories together. 


Just because a hobby earns the tag “family-friendly” doesn’t mean it has to be watered down or boring. Although finding those hobbies that spark excitement can be tough to find if you don’t know where to look – they’re a bit like the proverbial needle in an enormous haystack, but they do exist! And that’s what we’ll share with you today.

But before we reveal our list, we wanted to share the criteria of how a hobby ended up here. We evaluated hobbies based on the following 7 criteria:

  • Age-Friendly: Our picks cater to young and old alike, keeping everyone entertained.
  • Shareable Gear: No need for fancy equipment—our hobbies use what you’ve got or easily shared items. 
  • Family Appeal: We’ve curated activities perfect for diverse families of all ages and interests.
  • Wallet-Friendly: Fun shouldn’t cost a fortune, so we’ve chosen budget-conscious options.
  • Accessible: Discover hobbies that fit your family’s lifestyle and unique circumstances.
  • Timeless: Create stories and memories that last generations with these lasting activities.
  • Pure Fun: Mix learning, enjoyment, and family bonding with our exciting, irresistible selections!

Drumroll, please! Presenting our 15-hobby lineup for the family, guaranteed to dazzle everyone in your crew. So gather the gang or let everyone weigh in – either way, we’re certain you’ll find a crowd-pleaser that turns skeptics into enthusiasts by the end of this list. Let the adventure begin!

1. Learn American Sign Language Together

Ever thought of learning a new language but found it too impractical? Say hello to American Sign Language (ASL) – where learning becomes a blast! Not only is ASL super trendy and great for communication, but it’s a brain booster, too. The whole family will develop critical thinking skills along the way.

ASL is used as a first language by half a million people in the US. So besides having a cool semi-secret and silent language within your family, it may come in handy more often than you’d think.

Learning ASL is a valuable skill that definitely doesn’t suck. You’ll find loads of easy-to-follow tutorials on YouTube, and even the little ones can join in the fun – even our 6-month-old learned how to sign for water and milk. Prepare to be amazed as you quickly master everyday signs and share the joy with your whole family.

2. Photography

There’s always the designated photographer in a family, but what if you could unleash your entire family’s creative geniuses? It’s possible with photography, while you may only think this hobby is reserved for the person holding the camera, it’s a hobby that can easily be modified to include the entire family. 

Plus, Forbes lists photography as one of the most valuable hobbies you can have. Nothing like building familial bonds and developing lifelong skills at the same time.

Don’t worry about fancy gear; digital cameras and smartphones work just fine for capturing stunning shots. Affordable and accessible, photography has something for everyone.

Why not spice things up with weekly or monthly family photo challenges, or host in-house exhibitions? Watch as photography transforms into a cherished hobby your family will enjoy for years to come, and you’ll have tons of visual proof to capture your memories.

Get ready to communicate with your future self or even leave a message for future generations. These little treasure troves offer a creative and fun way for your family to bond and reminisce.

Regularly creating memory-filled time capsules, finding creative ways to store them, and agreeing upon set dates in the future to reopen them can be fun and exciting. No fancy crafting tools are needed! Just gather everyone’s heartfelt contributions, from letters to the future and drawings to photographs and keepsakes.

Creating time capsules is a fun way to unlock the creative side of everyone in the family. Each person can draw on their imagination. Some may like to write letters to the future; others may want to include drawings, photographs, or small mementos.

Time capsules can work well as an enduring family hobby if presented as an annual project, with the sealing of each capsule set to take place on a specific and special date each year. It’s a great way that a hobby can also become a treasured family tradition that contains a sprinkling of mystery. 

4. Home MasterChef Cookoffs

Cooking is a daily necessity, but it can also become an enjoyable hobby for the entire family. Instead of parents always being responsible for the weekly menu and food preparation, the whole family can be brought together to create exotic dishes or have fun cookoff challenges. That sounds nice, right?

A great spinoff to this is learning more food-specific hobbies as each person’s skills advance, such as cheesemaking and pickling. Each is a great way to expand on this theme. 

Food prep might sound like a chore, but it’s a special time to talk as a family, experiment, learn, and bond in an informal, relaxed environment. Everyone loves food, so gathering in a warm homely kitchen filled with laughter and delicious aromas is a sure way to create memories that will last a lifetime. 

5. LEGO Mania

If this is your first time at New Hobby Box, you should know that we have a serious LEGO addiction. While our child is too young to play with LEGO just yet, the anticipation is building (pun intended) for when we can build bricks together.

Sure, puzzles are fun, but if you want to amp things up and keep the entire family engaged and entertained, simply haul out the LEGO. We’ve done this with our nieces and nephews when they come over, and regularly adding a few new challenging sets is a great way to get the whole family gathered around, actively building and setting up scenes. 

The beauty of LEGO is that there is no age limit. Many adults have happy memories of creating scenes from Star Wars and Pokémon from the 90s, and those sets can still be used and adapted to create weird and wonderful creations with modern app-controlled LEGO creations.

The only downside is that LEGO can become an expensive hobby when your family really gets into it, but to begin with, you may even be able to find bargains at garage sales or on Facebook Marketplace. Fortunately, LEGO is easy to wash…

6. Cosplay

For the uninitiated, cosplay is short for “costume play”. Thanks to this new-age hobby, families no longer have to wait for Halloween or the Rennaisance Fair to get into a character from their favorite movies, video games, books, cartoons, or history.

The idea is to bring characters to life by creating costumes and accessories and wearing them to fan conventions and events. You can even set up in-character photoshoots at home.

Getting into cosplay can be a fun hobby for families as everyone can coordinate outfits to represent different characters. Sewing costumes at home can save you loads of money. 

Cosplay is becoming increasingly popular, and there are even competitions cropping up more frequently where Cosplayers (individuals or groups) get to show off their creations. This is one hobby that ticks all the boxes for outgoing families with a flair for the dramatic!

7. Create Family YouTube Videos

If you’re looking for a family-friendly hobby that definitely doesn’t suck, turn your family into a production crew and start filming. The process leading up to producing your vlogs can be carefully planned and your entire family can enjoy being part of the exciting process. The best part is that everyone can be included. 

All hobbies should be primarily about relaxing and having fun, so while vlogging can result in financial rewards when doing it as a family hobby, the emphasis should be on working together and just having fun. It is not something you should go into with your family if you are doing it for an income, or it will start feeling more like a job and less of a relaxing family hobby. 

All you need to start a YouTube vlog is a smartphone and an internet connection. Share authentic content about specific topics or share experiences with your audience. Maybe you want to share how you searched and found the perfect family hobby with the help of New Hobby Box!

8. Go Retro With Sea Monkeys

If you have a family of animal lovers but aren’t up to the commitment of a puppy or guinea pig, consider sea monkeys. These teeny tiny ‘instant life’ shrimp that fascinated generations of kids in the 70s and 80s are making a strong comeback and can be a really fun hobby for families. 

Older kids can experiment with creating different tanks or teach their sea monkeys tricks (kidding). Each family member can have their tiny sea monkey exhibit to care for, or you can create one large, shared tank. 

Sea monkeys are great, low-cost starter pets that can be a springboard onto larger aquariums. They’re fascinating to observe and make a great year-round indoor activity. 

9. Metal Detecting

Everyone loves a good treasure hunt, and if your family loves the great outdoors, metal detecting can be a cool activity for all – especially on the beach. Even if you only find squashed bottle caps when you start, it will undoubtedly result in plenty of funny stories and memories as you plan trips and explore new terrain together. 

Surprisingly, metal detectors don’t need to break the bank. However, definitely try to borrow one and do a trial expedition to see if your family catches the metal-detecting bug before investing in equipment. Several kid’s metal detectors cost well under $100, and the most popular National Geographic Junior comes in at less than $50. 

Create a memory gallery of objects you find during your metal-detecting excursions. It’s a great way to make history come alive. If you want a more low-key start to this hobby that doesn’t require any equipment, start by searching for fossils – they’re all around us if you know where to look!

10. Build A Bug Hotel

Solitary beekeeping is a fun hobby, but it may not be for everyone. The younger set may quickly get bored waiting for solitary bees to arrive and set up home in your garden. An excellent way to cover your bases and provide homes for more types of insects (including bees) is by creating larger bug hotels. These neat habitats can be made by repurposing items you already have and kitting the interiors out with natural sticks, logs, bricks, and pinecones you find lying around. 

According to Better Homes and Gardens, bug hotels are valuable additions to gardens and encourage and protect a range of pollinators and other insects. Your family can create big hotels ranging from tiny shoebox-sized versions to large hotel structures. It’s kind of like playing Monopoly but with real bug houses.

To keep the hobby alive, create a bug-monitoring logbook. Identifying occupants and modifying the ‘hotel’ to attract specific species can be hugely rewarding. Who knows, you may already have a few budding entomologists in your family.

11. Fishing

Fishing is one of the most enduring, non-sucky hobbies ever created. You never know what you may catch, and there is no substitute for spending time outdoors with your family.

The cost of fishing varies depending on how seriously you take it. There are also other great fishing-related hobbies, like fly tying, that your family may like to try during the off-season.

Everyone has an uncle or cousin who tells tall tales about the big one that got away! Every fishing expedition becomes an opportunity to create memories, and everyone can enjoy fishing, from the youngest, to the most senior family members. 

12. Reenact Famous Paintings

If you can’t tell the painting above, it’s a play on DaVinci’s “Last Supper”. But this was meant to give you an idea of what reenacting a famous painting can look like. Combine creativity and a lot of laughs by taking up the challenge made popular during the Covid lockdown. Classic art pieces or famous photographs are carefully replicated using whatever (and whoever) is at hand. Best of all, it won’t cost a lot since the idea is to use things you have available. 

The beauty of this hobby is that it unlocks plenty of creativity and fun. Art pieces must be selected, characters selected, and makeshift outfits, accessories, hair, and makeup all coordinated to recreate scenes as closely as possible. This hobby is a definite winner for families with a sense of humor and loads of creativity!

13. Indoor Climbing

If your kids are older than six, indoor climbing offers an all-weather activity that the entire family can enjoy. While this hobby doesn’t suck, the only downside is that it requires more outlay than many others and a family membership to a climbing gym. Bouldering is a hobby that we love around here, and it’s one that you might be surprised by how young kids can quickly pick it up and feel accomplished right away.

Climbing walls are rated so even family members who aren’t as nimble can enjoy safely scaling beginner walls, while the more daring can tackle more advanced sections. Indoor climbing combines physical activity with problem-solving skills in a fun, safe way. 

One of the real benefits of indoor climbing for strengthening families is that it requires teamwork and trust. As climbers work their way through the levels, they will need a belayer to hold their anchor rope from below and catch them if they fall – it’s a great metaphor for what families are all about. 

14. Food Gardening

Mention the word gardening to most kids, and you’re likely to instantly hear bored sighs as they imagine spending hours raking and weeding the yard. On the contrary, gardening is one of the most enduring hobbies that often last a lifetime. 

When gardening is presented in a family-friendly way, it can become a multifaceted activity that keeps everyone busy. My neighbor’s tween son, who took a while to warm up to the idea, has recently enthusiastically taken over the maintenance of the compost pile. 

Armed with his compost thermometer, he spends hours monitoring the product’s humidity, temperature, and overall quality. He even enthusiastically searches for extra ‘ingredients’ required to create the perfect soil amendment! 

To get younger kids hooked, help them plant a few rows of easy and quick crops like radishes or peas. Nothing beats the excitement of harvesting your produce fresh from your veggie patch.

If the weather is a limiting factor in your area, take a look at some countertop indoor hydroponic kits. There are even some plants that can be grown in water, and many seeds can be started indoors before moving them outside in summer. 

15. Drone Flying

An adage says that families that play together stay together. What could be more fun than being outside playing with high-tech toys?

Drones are becoming increasingly popular. To legally register as a drone pilot, operators must be 13 years old, but most drone enthusiasts start under supervision much earlier. In fact, most drone sites indicate that kids as young as 7 can fly beginner drones. 

Although drone flying is not the most inexpensive family hobby on our list, it does have a lot of medically endorsed benefitsYou may need some technical guidance to get started on this exciting hobby. Fortunately, plenty of drone enthusiasts and clubs throughout the country are extremely welcoming and happy to guide beginners. 


One of the most valuable aspects of having a shared family hobby is that it fosters a strong sense of belonging. Your family is your squad, so sharing interests and activities is a way to have fun while strengthening bonds that will last a lifetime. 

Versatile family hobbies include dancing, fishing, board games, gardening, and painting. Choosing the perfect family hobby should consider factors like age appropriateness, cost, and accessibility. Family hobbies should be able to be adapted to span generations and include multiple skill levels.


Kids and hobbies are nothing new. Remember building that treehouse with your friends and collecting glass marbles or trading baseball cards? While reading has always been popular, more recently, kids’ hobbies have become increasingly solitary, with electronic games and television commonly listed. 

Common hobbies for kids include reading, playing a sport, watching television, playing video games, and coloring. Popular sports include swimming, horseback riding, dancing, and basketball. Many children enjoy cooking and building puzzles or Legos in their spare time.

Final Family-Friendly Hobby Wrap

Sometimes all that is needed is a new twist on an old theme to create an enduring family hobby that will stand the test of time. Other times, you might like to try something completely different and learn to do something new together as a family. 

We hope you feel inspired and excited by our list of guaranteed non-sucky, family-friendly hobbies. Gather your family and let them know that a new hobby adventure is just around the corner. 


Hey - I'm Steve, co-founder of New Hobby Box, and hobby enthusiast. A few years back, I felt like I was getting dull when it came to learning new things. That's why I was part of the original crew who set out to challenge ourselves to learn new things. We liked it so much that we decided to take our challenge public - and that's what ultimately started New Hobby Box. I love going against the status quo when it comes to hobbies, I've tried so many things that I would never have thought to do, that ultimately became part of my life. You'll find quite a few of my hobby experiences throughout the site. Happy Hobbying!

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