The ultimate active gift-giving guide

Even though it’s been a long time since you’ve sat on Santa’s lap, or spun a dreidel, I imagine you’re getting yourself set for a holiday season of warm wishing – including, that ever-elusive “perfect gift”. Something that won’t send your giftee into a food-induced coma or sit around gathering dust.

Lucky for you, you’ve somehow made your way over to ParticipACTION, where our mission is to help Canadians sit less and move more. Well, we’ve put together The Ultimate Active Gift-Giving Guide for Adults. (If you're looking for active gift ideas for kids, we recommend that you check out the Active Toy Guide from our friends at Saskatchewan in motion.)

Items are priced from low to high, and I’ve tried to include a range—from stocking stuffers, to big-ticket items. We also tried to include only items that were relatively accessible to most people.

10 active gift ideas:

  1. Give an active date: What lots of people are looking for is some quality time to spend with loved-ones. So break out the craft paper and smelly markers, it’s time to make a voucher to go for a skate, or a late night stroll through a winter wonderland. You could even include a bonus skate rental for those who are without.
  2. Reflective Gear: We often hear that people limit their outdoor time in the winter due to safety concerns, especially when it starts to get dark by lunch time* (only a slight exaggeration). Good news is there’s a ton of different types of reflective materials – everything from stickers to put on your bike/helmet/bags to straps, and stickers. Many athletic companies have even started to integrate reflective material into their “work ready” lines. You can also buy cheap lights to attach to pretty much everything (dog collars! Kids backpacks!).
  3. Insta-heat: You know, those hand warmers and heat packs that activate when you take them out of the package? They’re pretty cheap and can be a serious life/hand/toe saver if you’re prone to getting cold. You can even buy reusable packs for the eco-conscious gift giver!
  4. Shoe grips: I know this has been a staple for my grandparents for years and has made their time outdoors a lot safer. They come in many shapes/sizes, but are basically studs that you hook over the bottom of your boots to keep your footing on slippery sidewalks.
  5. An activity card: Many gyms offer single or multi-use passes that a recipient can bring in for a comped pass. The price will depend on the type of activity you want to sign up for but plan to budget for $10-20 per visit. If they already have a membership, see if you can get them access to a special class or extra perks.
  6. A ski/snowboard pass: Similar to an activity card, how about a ski pass for a day/night on the slopes? Night passes are usually even cheaper than a day pass and you’ll benefit from shorter lines! This is also a great activity for a family or group of friends.
  7. Indoor activities: If you’re not into the winter wonderland, what about an indoor pass to a trampoline park, archery tag, or AXE THROWING! There are a ton of non-traditional, weird or quirky sports out there that you can try. Bonus is that most of these activities are so out there that everyone will be a beginner!
  8. Snowshoes: This is maybe a little extreme for the average budget, but if you’re looking for a splurge, snowshoes may be a perfect fit! Snowshoeing is one of my favorite activities because it requires very little specialized skill (i.e,. anyone can do it), can be done anywhere (that has snow), are portable, and is a great workout (especially if there are hills involved).
  9. Gear: As we mentioned in a recent blog post on active transportation, staying comfortable in the great outdoors has a lot to do with how well you’re dressed. Unfortunately, to keep you warm and dry you you’ll need some good quality gear, and a good jacket, quality mitts, or a good pair of boots is a bit of an investment. Think of it as an investment in your (or your loved ones’) health.
  10. An active vacation: So this is probably unrealistic for most of us, but, an important thing to keep in mind if you are planning a trip to the sunny south this winter. Try and choose your spot based on the types of activities they offer – the more, the better!

Happy shopping!