I've been a sloppy bastad since my first was born 6 years ago. Part of that is a destroyed left knee, the other part is lazyness.
Recently I've taken up a small portion of my weight training routine from once upon a time. I feel great after only 2 weeks. I'm stronger, happier and my dress shirts are looking better on my rotund frame. I highly recommend...
But what i really liked that i started doing a few years ago was making things from wood. made the kids a swing set, made my son some wooden toys, made some picnic tables, made some chairs.
Granted none are perfect but it seems the more i do it the better they get. im working my way toward making indoor furniture that actually looks professional.
I think what i like about it, is i can give it to people to use, keep the stuff for the family to use. I have a end product to have pride in. And it is something that actually has purpose. you can sit on the chair, sit at a table, kids can play with the toys etc.
very relaxing and fun to do.
odd thing... i love "making" things... one thing that i'm big into is music, and so i've always done full fabrication projects with my cars (car stereos - the nice ones, not the ones you hear bouncing down your neighborhood) ... fiberglass, wood, etc.. which i recently gave up because my wife hates my hobby. i love building stuff though... i have a pretty decent set of tools, and i can pretty much build anything without a problem. perhaps i should tell her i didn't give it up afterall...
about 2 months ago I started P90X. I found that I really enjoy the workouts, and wake up a bit early to get them in before I have get ready for work. Plus I'm eating healthier now than I ever have - cut way back on candy/sweets and soda.
When I'm home on weekends, I try to spend most of my time with my 3 year old son - swimming pool, playground / park, etc. I'd hate to take too much time to do things alone and miss out on time with my son.
As for hobbies:
Soccer (or other sports) - even watching on tv
Photography - you can get an inexpensive Point & Shoot camera with manual controls and still take the time to properly learn how to use it.
Car/Truck groups - just as mentioned with a car project. I met a great group of guys, and have learned to do some work to my own truck - intermittant windshield wipers installed, lift kit installed, replaced wheels, changed oil, transfer case oil and front/rear differentials.
Ahhh... A subject right up my alley. I have a lot of hobbies and over the years had to cut back on some. I saw one of your requirements is cost. That is a big factor.
Hunting- Expensive, even if you have access to public land, you still have to get your license, gun or bow, gear, travel, processing, taxidermy, you name it there is a cost.
Fishing- Varies in cost, it depends on what you are fishing for. If you get into the area of boats, well now its gettng expensive.
Shooting- Moderate cost, you can hit the indoor pistol ranges, rifle ranges, or skeet/trap shooting. You can pick up a decent pistol or rifle fairly cheap. If its skeet/trap, you can pick up a decent over/under shotgun for $300-$800. Shells are fairly cheap and you can compete if you really like it.
Golf- Moderate to expensive, you are in a good area for this thats for sure. I mainly played as an excuse to drink beer and still do about once a month.
Carpentry/home projects- This is a good one. I dont know your skill level but you can accomplish a lot by doing your own projects. There are a lot of books and learning materials to get you through. Start small but ALWAYS FINISH A JOB BEFORE TRYING ANOTHER.
Poker night- Great way to get a group of friends over and is cheap.
Anything that involves beer (darts, bowling, electricity).
- Have my best friend in the world over. We set up something we call "treehouse" time that we do a few times a year. Just the two of us shooting the breeze, playing video games, watching films, discussing whatever. It's all very juvenile, but pretty freaking incredible. My wife loves for me to have this time, and she respects it.
- I take long, 8-10 mile walks late at night, usually when she's sleep. Long walks in the solitude are incredible.
- Go to the movies. I have no problem going with friends, or alone. Film is my passion, and my career, and going to the movies is a pastime that I cherish above all others.
- Hang out at a bar with one of my other best friends. I'm not even a heavy drinker, but it's a fun time, and he's a big connoisseur of various interesting beers.
- Chill at a friend's house.
- Watch Football. Wife can't stand it, so it's usually just me and the game.
- Video games. Love them, even though I don't play them nearly as much as I use to. But I hope to have gaming in my life on some level for the rest of my life.