Skip to content

15 Outdoor Gifts For Your Local Socially Distant Family Trip

A family of four huddles together, smiling, at the nose of a raft within a river, while a forest of evergreen trees sits on the shore.
Photo Courtesy: Diane Oliveira

Buy these outdoor gifts for your next socially distant family vacation! Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many families are staying local, exploring nearby attractions or state and national parks. Sure, indoor activities like video games are beneficial sometimes, but they don’t allow children to get much-needed fresh air or exercise. Stepping outside to hike, bike, or take an outdoor adventure allows families to bond during these uncertain times, so let’s make the best of our situation! If you’re planning a family road trip or an RV vacation in the future, you’ll want to check out these outdoor gifts for families, ideal for taking a socially distant family trip. Between family-favorite camping gear or kid-friendly backpacks, we’ve rounded up our list using suggestions from our Facebook community. Many popular choices were sold out last summer, so this is an excellent time to buy them for your loved ones during the holidays! 

Outdoor Gifts for Families to Enjoy on the Water

A young girl wearing a life jacket, hat, and sunglasses, holds two paddles on a raft, with a beautiful landscape of forested mountains behind her.
Photo Courtesy: Diane Oliveira

If you’re looking for the perfect outdoor gifts for families to use on the water, look no further than these parent-recommended options! Whether you are headed to the lake or the ocean, you are sure to find a fantastic family-friendly outdoor adventure gift for the holidays.

Inflatable Kayak

Kayakers embark on a lake journey, with mountains in the background.
Photo Courtesy: Lynette Johnson

Why We Love It

Inflatable kayaks are a trendy travel must-have among outdoorsy families! As many parents ventured out to explore neighboring lakes, ponds, or rivers this past summer, kayaks have become a staple for enjoying kid-friendly fun on the water. Inflatable kayaks provide the same reliability as hard-shell models, but with added convenience! Families who need an easy-to-store item will love how simple they are to transport, whether you’re camping, RVing, or just packing light. In fact, it’s an excellent gift for the holidays, birthdays, or special occasions! Children will easily get the hang of kid-favorite models like the two-seat Intex Challenger Kayak, designed for easy paddling and portability. Ideal for all water types, this bright green kayak provides visibility to ensure a safe experience. Intex also sells the K2 Kayak, a larger version designed for smaller bodies of water like lakes and mid-rivers.

Our Recommendations 

Inflatable Paddle Board

A woman wearing a bikini leans on a paddleboard in the river, nearby a young boy stands on his own paddleboard, one of the best outdoor gifts for families.
Photo Courtesy: Dixie Ross

Why We Love It

An inflatable paddleboard is another amazing gift for adventurous families! Similar to kayaks, inflatable paddle boards are durable and portable, ideal for reducing travel stress or overall baggage you’ll have to pack. And, it’s a particularly great gift idea for parents, older kids, or teens who love extreme water sports! Not only does paddleboarding help families exercise in a fun and engaging way, but it also provides a chance to explore your natural surroundings via water. SereneLife sells one of the best family-friendly inflatable paddle boards available on Amazon, featuring a no-slip top-deck so beginners can practice without fear of falling. Outfitted with triple bottom panel fins, steering is made easy thanks to a simple user design, alongside an accessories kit and instruction manual. Though slightly pricier, Tower Inflatable offers a similar model made from thicker, military-grade material. You never know where this wonderful outdoor gift will bring your family! 

Our Parent-Recommendations 

Surfboards & Bodyboards

Why We Love It

Enjoy endless fun in the sun atop a surfboard or bodyboard! If you’re planning a trip to your local beach or an extended seaside getaway, don’t forget one of these fantastic gifts! Kids will love riding the waves and getting more comfortable in the water! Little ones who are just finding their footing may benefit from starting with a lightweight bodyboard instead, like the compact one by Bo-Toys. When your child is ready to level up, introduce them to the Giantex 6” Surfboard, long, wide, and perfect for floating. Its versatile size also means kids of various ages can take a spin on it – and maybe even amateur adults! Older children or taller teens may need a longer, more buoyant model, however, which is why we recommend the Wavestorm 8” Surfboard. Finally, those searching for a pricier board to use for the long-haul will love the Thurso Surf Aero 7! 

Our Recommendations 

Fishing Pole

A young boy of color holds a fishing poll, one of the best outdoor gifts for families. The fishing line rests in the water, he's standing on a grassy shore with evergreen trees in the background.
Photo Courtesy: Lynette Johnson

Why We Love It

A fishing pole is another great gift for kids (or dad!) to use on a socially distant vacation! Find a local pond, bay, or lake to take your child fishing and it could be a beautiful bonding experience for your entire family. Firstly, get children interested by buying a kid-friendly book on fishing to help them recognize different species. Kids fishing for the first time will love the tangle-free rod from Zebco made from durable fiberglass. PLUSINNO also sells more comprehensive fishing kits, like this one that includes a weightless, telescopic fishing rod, a spinning reel, line, and fishing tackle. Lanaak also sells a larger, 32-piece fishing set with a fishing rod, spinning reel, tackle box stocked with gear, a carry case, and even a beginner’s guide. Finally, if your children are more advanced, Ugly Stik’s GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel is ideal for intermediate fishing.

Our Recommendations 

Outdoor Gifts for Families to Go Hiking & Camping

A young girl sits on top of her mom, both are smiling, on a desert landscape.
Photo Courtesy: Christina Macmillan

Camping can be an exhilarating family experience! Not to mention, hiking can be an ideal socially distant option for a family trip. For the upcoming holiday season, make sure your family is up to date with their hiking and camping gear. These parent-recommended outdoor gifts for families are perfect for the whole family!

Camping Gear

Family eating a meal on a bench outside of their RV pop-up trailer
Photo Courtesy: Noelle MacGregor

Why We Love It

Camping gear is a popular gift for families this year! Since COVID-19 has convinced many to stay close to home, socially distant camping vacations are the next best thing! Whether you’re heading to a state park, national park, or a local campground, you’ll want to bring along basic gear such as tents, stoves, or sleeping bags. Available in four and six-person options, the Marmot Limestone Camping Tent is a favorite among families due to its waterproof material and color-coded, easy-pitch poles. Parents who crave an instant set-up will love this 6-Person Cabin Tent from Coleman, offering advanced ventilation and weatherproof material. Coleman also offers a budget-friendly Sundome Tent, available for up to six sleepers. In terms of portable stoves, Coleman also sells a fantastic, two-burner classic propane stove, ideal for cooking on-the-go. The Solo Stove has a more compact design, great for backpackers. Finally, don’t forget your sleeping bag!

Our Recommendations 


Boy looking at the stars with the telescope
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Why We Love It

Stargaze among stunning nature with a family-friendly telescope! While not strictly stocking stuffers, telescopes are a fantastic way to get children interested in the world around them. Plus, they can improve their observational skills. Looking at the clear night sky will be an inspiring experience for the entire family! Educational Insights sells a great GeoSafari Jr. Tabletop Telescope, providing tiny stargazes with interactive activities. Younger children who are more advanced may benefit from the tabletop Celestron 21024, featuring a portable and lightweight design. Or, buy the LabZZ MTB3 Starter Kit For Kids by Levenhuk, a 3-in-1 kit that includes a telescope, microscope, and binoculars. Older teens serious about astronomy may treasure the Celestron Astro Fi 90, which can connect to your device via WiFi. Make sure someone in your family has a base knowledge on how to use a telescope – it may be difficult without any background information!

Our Recommendations

Hiking Backpack

A young boy wearing an Osprey Pack, one of the best outdoor gifts for families, leads the trail with a walking stick in his hand, two other hikers follow him.
Photo Courtesy: Osprey Packs

Why We Love It

Hiking is a wonderful way to get your family’s blood pumping! Immerse yourself in the great outdoors by taking a socially distant hike. Of course, hiking without a proper backpack can be even more strenuous, which is why we recommend these best outdoor gifts for families. Deuter’s Kikki Kid’s Pack is both adorable and extremely lightweight, ideal for little ones who want to bring a fuzzy friend along on their next adventure. Then, for a more affordable option, Bseash sells a smaller, waterproof backpack that’s under $20 and designed for kids. ZOMAKE also offers a weightless and budget-friendly travel hiking daypack for older kids traveling light. Teens or more advanced trekkers could opt for the professional-grade Osprey Talon 22, a long-lasting backpack with a trekking pole attachment. In need of a toddler or baby backpack carrier for your next family hike? Finally, we love this Luvdbaby Premium Backpack Carrier! 

Our Recommendations 


Why We Love It

Kids can explore the outdoors with a pair of binoculars! Whether you’re planning to spot specific wildlife locally, go camping, or just want to take a hike, buying little ones a pair of their very own kid-friendly binoculars is sure to pique their interest in the natural world. Plus, they’ll probably learn a few things too! Toddlers will appreciate a pair of GeoSafari Jr. Kidnoculars from Educational Insights, which aren’t technically real binoculars but still come with cool graphics and fun facts to introduce them to the concept. Younger kids who require something a bit more advanced but are still learning will love a pair of Dreamingbox Compact Binoculars for children, which come in a variety of colors and feature a soft rubber lens to avoid any accidents. Have a more advanced nature lover in your family? Invest in a high-grade pair of Nikon Trailblazer 8×25 Binoculars!

Our Recommendations

Outdoor Gifts for Families to Capture Those Special Moments

A black mom holds out her hand with an iPhone to take a selfie of her family.

Capturing those special moments when traveling with kids is so important! Pictures and videos from world adventures are a great way to remember our travels, spark conversations at home, and prepare for future adventures. With new technology, capturing these moments has never been easier! Gift your kids their own gear this year so they can begin capturing family moments through their own lens.


Young girl in dress taking a picture with a professional camera, one of the best outdoor gifts for families.

Why We Love It

Document your family’s most picturesque vacation moments with a travel-friendly camera! Little ones will love taking control of their very own camera, allowing them to document your travels through their own eyes. Buying children their own kid-friendly camera is also an effective way to excite them about an upcoming trip! Some are expensive and hard to use, though, which is why we recommend a polaroid. Polaroid cameras a blast from the past for parents and an easy-to-use travel accessory for little ones, as they’re both lightweight and portable. Fujifilm sells two versions of its famous Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera on Amazon, available in light pink, blue, and other appealing colors. A reboot of the classic, vintage-style polaroid, these compact cameras have a built-in macro mode, automatic shutter speed, and selfie mirror for close-ups. They also come with a bundle that includes batteries, film, a carrying case, and cute stickers! 

Our Parent-Recommendations


An arm wearing a red jacket reaches out wiht a GoPro on the wrist, filming a nature scene.
Photo Courtesy: Fabrizio Verrecchia

Why We Love It

What teen wouldn’t appreciate getting a GoPro as a gift? Effective at capturing high-quality images and videos, these portable cameras are perfect for hiking, biking, or any other adventurous sports! Remember all your favorite vacation moments thanks to various models, each offering its own pros and cons. The newer Hero9 and Hero8 feature a sleek, compact design and self-proclaimed “bombproof” materials, designed to withstand even the toughest terrain. Then, the Hero9 even has a front preview screen to see what you’re capturing! Both are fairly expensive and a bit more advanced in comparison to older models, however, which is why we recommend the Hero7 if you’re just starting out. Waterproof with GPS capabilities, it has live streaming functions and is essentially a more no-frills version of the Hero 8. With all these amazing qualities, no wonder GoPros are rated some of the best gifts for children who have it all!

Our Recommendations


A young girl looks at the screen of her drone, one of the best outdoor gifts for families, in a grassy field.
Photo Courtesy: Ashley Howard

Why We Love It

Explore your surroundings from new heights thanks to a drone! This tiny, flying toy (sometimes with a camera) has risen in popularity among photographers and videographers in recent years, mainly for its overall uniqueness. Similar to flying a model airplane, kids will love watching their drone soar above the landscape, capturing an aerial view of everything beneath. Of course, heavyweight drones aren’t appropriate for all ages, so we suggest a kid-friendly alternative or purchasing a drone for older children or teens. This RED5 Motion-Controlled Drone is better for flying indoors, plus it’s both affordable and battery-operated. The Potensic A20 Mini Drone is a similar concept with a remote control! For aspiring photographers a little older in age, though, The Snaptain SP500 Foldable GPS Drone comes with a 1080P camera, real-time image, and an automatic return-to-home feature. Need something cheaper? The Ryze Tech Tello Mini Drone is a decent dupe! 

Our Recommendations  

Outdoor Gifts for Families to Ride

Eleven family members embark on a local adventure on bikes, one of the best outdoor gifts for families.
Photo Courtesy: Dixie Ross

Are you planning to hit the slopes or the trails? There’s a gift for that! Consider getting sleds or bikes for the whole family this year. This way, you can embark on local adventures with new gear the whole family will enjoy. In addition, these outdoor gifts for families are sure to spark many new family memories!


A young boy wearing a blue helmet and a blue coat sits on a red sled airborne, as it goes over a small snow mound. Sleds are some of the best outdoor gifts for families.
Photo Courtesy: Anonymous

Why We Love It

Every child should have a sled to get them through the snowy winter! If you need a Christmas gift for the whole family, look no further than an item ideal for local tubing parks, ski resorts, or just a nearby hill. Amazon even sells options babies or toddlers can use, like this Premium Baby Sleigh from Flexible Flyer. Then, this more affordable plastic version from Best Choice, features easy-to-grip handles for toddlers. Older children will love a classic-style toboggan, like the wooden one from Flexible Flyer. Lucky Bums also sells a plastic sled designed to be durable, which may be a better option for traveling families. To save space, you can even purchase some inflatable snow tubes, such as this plaid model by FUNBOY or this adorable, dinosaur-themed version by FindUWill! Lastly, older kids or teens with a need for speed will adore this Downhill Snow Sled by Slippery Racer.

Our Recommendations  


A young boy wearing a helmet bikes along a path with trees and mountains in the background. Bikes are some of the best outdoor gifts for families.
Photo Courtesy: Anonymous

Why We Love It

Biking is another fantastic family activity for your next socially distant vacation with kids! See the world from a new perspective while enjoying quality time together, whether at a local park or hiking trail. Of course, deciding which bike would make the best gift for your kid depends on what type of terrain you’ll be tackling. Children who are just starting off often prefer to begin with a balance bike to help them get a hang of the process, before transitioning to a standard pedal option. Early Rider and Strider both sell wonderful, lightweight choices for children under five years old, equipped with an adjustable seat to accommodate their growth. Older kids who are confident enough to pedal will appreciate this BMX Kids 20” Bicycle by Brave by Reverie, available in both pink and blue.  Or, gift this Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike to teens looking for a challenge!

Our Recommendations  

Outdoor Gifts for Stocking Stuffers

A man holds the hand of his young daughter, who is holding her sister's hand, during a hike in the desert.
Photo Courtesy: Tara Beheler Stefanik

Travel gifts make the best stocking stuffers! From compasses to personalized swiss army knives, there are a number of great travel-inspired outdoor gifts for families.


A hand reaches out holding a compass with vast wilderness behind it.
Photo Courtesy: Jamie Street

Why We Love It

A compass is a great gift idea for kids of all ages! Exploring nature as a family is even more exciting with a trusty guide. Plus, kids will love taking control of which direction you’re headed! Luckily, Amazon sells a variety of compasses suitable to be a Christmas gift for dad, kids, or other occasions. Aspiring boy or girl scouts will love this waterproof Orienteering Compass from TurnOnSport, small enough to fit in any backpack. It even has a magnetic needle and attached magnifying glass for reading maps on-the-go. Or, kids can wear their compass with this stylish Kakuru Pocket Compass! Made from copper, it uses special encapsulation technology to ensure little explorers never get lost. Another versatile option is an Xplore Gear Paracord Bracelet: a four-in-one compass, whistle, rope, and flint fire starter. For a more durable, professional-grade compass, consider buying this Military Lensatic Sighting Compass from Sportneer.

Our Recommendations

Swiss Army Knife

Engraved Swiss Army Knife, one of the best outdoor gifts for families.
Photo Courtesy: Victorinox

Why We Love It

A Swiss Army Knife is another travel tool to take on your next family adventure! With a range of models for every budget, Swiss Army Knives are versatile, reliable, and portable, offering a multi-purpose function for traveling families. Plus, they make a great Christmas, birthday, or Father’s Day gift for dads! This Victorinox Classic Swiss Army Knife comes in a variety of colors, equipped with a standard stainless steel blade, a nail filer, and pliers. Families who plan on going camping may prefer this Victorinox Swiss Army Camper Knife, complete with two blades, a can opener, a screwdriver, and a corkscrew. Or, if you’re planning on going hiking anytime soon, opt for this Mountaineer Version that comes with scissors too. If you still want to cover all your bases, the comprehensive Swiss Army Multi-Tool comes with pretty much anything you could need during your family vacation: wirecutters, rulers, and more! 

Our Parent-Recommendations

GPS Watch

An arm reaches out wearing a GPS watch.
Photo Courtesy: Tim Foster

Why We Love It

Get active with a kid-friendly GPS Watch! Parents who need a gift for a child who has everything don’t need to worry this year. Though smartwatches may be the trendiest technological gadgets for kids right now, they’re also a great incentive for motivating children to go outside. Besides, what kid wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to discover what adventures await them in the wild? Little ones love the VTech KidiZoom SmartWatch, including built-in games to keep them entertained and full parental controls. As a plus, its adjustable wristband is waterproof! Basic options like the LETSCOM Smart Watch are a bit more technical, but still easy for kids to use, with limited features like music control, alarm clocks, etc. Older kids or teens may better appreciate the sleek Huami Amazfit Bip, which comes with GPS, access to social media, and 30-day battery life. This great gift is amazing for adults too!

Our Parent-Recommendations  

Thank You To Our Community!

Eight people, including some young kids, hold several colorful inflatable tubes, surrounded by a turqoius river.
Photo Courtesy: Dixie Ross

A special thank you to the Families Who Love to Travel Facebook community who generously shared their travel advice and top picks for this list of 15 Outdoor Gifts For Your Socially Distant Family Vacation. We could not have compiled such a thoughtful and robust list of outdoor gifts for families without their dedication to our community. Families Who Love To Travel is a group of amazing families who also love adventure and exploring through travel. Join the Facebook community and also the Instagram community ( to connect with other families who also love the unique experiences travel has to offer.

Please note: We use some affiliate links so we may receive a small percentage of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. All prices listed are accurate at the time of publication.


Travel Gifts For Kids To Get Them Excited For Your Next Family Vacation!

Best Travel Luggage, Carry-Ons, and Backpacks for Kids and Families

Travel Accessories Families Can’t Live Without

12 Best Travel Gifts For Dad

Popular Reads
Your Shopping List for the Best Kids Snorkel Gear!

What’s the best snorkeling gear for kids? From masks to snorkels, vests, and fins, there are a variety of kid-friendly Read more

Child on airplane seat with blue blanket, stuffed animal and iPad in pink case with green headphones
The Best Headphones for Kids of All Ages

Packed for your next family adventure? Many kids love using iPads while traveling. With so many choices to consider, check Read more

Little ouse on the Prairie book set for teens
Top Travel Books for Tweens and Teens

Teenagers are just as important when it comes to traveling. In fact, their interest can make or break a trip, Read more

Baby girl with floral headband chewing on string of wooden cheese toy
6 Best Travel Toys for Toddlers on a Road Trip

What are the best travel toys for toddlers? With help from our Facebook community, Families Love Travel shares our recommendations Read more

Latest Articles

Child hiking trail through Yellowstone National park.

How to Plan a Yellowstone National Park Family Vacation

Everyone knows that Yellowstone National Park makes for a classic family vacation. Strolling the boardwalks...


Beaches Turks & Caicos Review by UK Family

My family and I (husband, two girls ages 8 & 11) have now traveled to...

Family with daughter playing in waves on beach

Best Blogs for Visiting the Cayman Islands with Kids

The Cayman Islands/Grand Cayman is a beautiful and vibrant vacation spot in the Caribbean. Below,...


Travel Gift Ideas

National Park With Kids

Family Travel Tips

Use These 10 Tips For Your Baby’s First Flight

Families Who Love To Travel contributor Meghan Oaks provides her 10 best tips for your...

Boy wearing bowtie playing with magna tiles at New York toy store

10 of the Best Toys for Travel with Little Kids

In our group, we often get questions about keeping little ones occupied in transit, especially...

crusing with baby

Tips for Cruising with a Baby

Cruising is a great option for families with babies who want to relax and not...


Families Love Travel Team

The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.
Scroll To Top