Gifts of all kinds are opened on Christmas morning and you secretly hope you have found that one item to keep the kids occupied for hours so you can finally rest. And while no one likes to put their feet up at the end of a crazy day more than me, I look forward to the holidays and the extra time we have to do fun and ‘active’ activities with the kids.
The holidays are a perfect time to introduce the kids to new experiences and give them the gift of your time. Use Christmas (and Easter and Birthdays!) as an opportunity to get the kids gifts that will inspire them to be active – new ice skates, new running shoes, a skateboard, skipping rope or scooter, toboggans for snow, thermos for hot chocolate on hikes and look for adventures you can do together.
Give the kids home made gift certificates for new activities you can try over the holidays or in the new year. Why not sign up for a couch-to-5km fun run as a family? Why not learn to belay and teach your kids to rock climb? Skip the crazy indoor kid-only play zones this holiday and find some family fun that you can all do together.
Presents that Give the Gift of Family Time
Kids as young as 4 can go bouldering or rock climbing. Check out your local climbing wall or climbing facility and learn something new as a family. Rock climbing not only builds strength, but also confidence and can be a great indoor activity to keep your family moving over the winter.
When is the last time you did some old fashioned roller skating? Introduce the kids to the fun you had back in the 80s and get your disco on at a local roller rink. You just might have more fun than the kids!
Who needs to jump from a plane when you can get the same high from indoor sky diving simulators also called wind tunnels. While these high flying experiences are not cheap, they are a real hair raiser and an adventure the kids will certainly remember.
Snow on the ground? Find an indoor golf simulator and teach the kids how to swing so they are all ready for a family day on the links come Spring.
Take it outside on the coldest of winter days. Some local hotels offer indoor/outdoor pools, water parks have outdoor hot tubs or try Plunge in Collingwood for hours of swimming in the snow . . .even if one of the kids has a broken arm!
Not a ski family? Not sure the kids will like it? No problem. Check out indoor skiing to give the feeling of skiing before you go skiing!
Everyone loves bouncing on a trampoline and what better way to burn some energy. Indoor trampoline parks let you literally ‘bounce off the walls’ and have trampoline basketball and trampoline runways for the gymnasts in the family.
You can skate at the local indoor rink anytime. Strap on skates, take lessons if you need a refresher and then head to the outdoor skating rinks. Go local to a downtown outdoor rink or take the family for an adventure at Arrowheads 1.3km Ice Trail through the woods or the Rideau Canals 7.8km Skateway in Ottawa.
Get your snow pants and helmet on and join the kids on the toboggan hill. Enjoy natures playground in the winter WITH the kids and create memories they will never forget.
Easy on the budget is winter hiking. Look for hidden trails nearby and download a geocaching app to get outside for a little treasure hunting with the kids.
No snow? Then gets those bikes out of storage, dress for the colder temperatures and ride your bikes to a local shop for hot chocolate.
Start planning for the holidays now and include a ton of active time with the kids both over the school break and as holidays gifts that will inspire active fun in the months ahead. The best gift for your kids is creating family adventures and giving them the gift of your time.