25+ Christmas Gift Exchange Ideas for Adventurous Friends & Family

Looking for fun, unique, surprising and smile-creating Christmas gift exchange ideas? We’ve got a slew of selections that we think your adventurous friends and family will love. Who knows, you might find a thing or two for yourself, also!


Gift Exchange Ideas From Georgia Companies

Friends of Georgia State Parks Park Pass. It’s more than a regular park pass, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving all year long. Follow the link to a discount code for 365AF friends. If they already have a park pass, then offer a GSP Gift Card. Use promo code $5GIFTCERTPROMO16 to earn a $5 card for yourself every time you buy $50 in GSP cards. Offer good through rest of 2016.

Culinary Atlanta. This book is written by a fellow blogging friend, Malika Bowling. It takes Atlantans on a culinary tour through Atlanta and unwraps the best places to find, enjoy and celebrate local food offerings. A bounty of mouthwatering delights awaits you in this engagingly written guide as well as a rich array of other, indispensable food-related information. As a special feature, she’s offering the first chapter on Buckhead restaurants at no charge to anyone who signs up for her email list, beginning on November 30th. The link is to the Kindle version; print versions will be available at the end of the month.

Okabashi Sandals. I bought my first pair in Whole Foods, and I was instantly in love. Comfortable as anything…and made from recycled products, too. These sandals are amazing – and guess what? They started in Buford over 30 years ago – and they are still there today!

Georgia Crafted Subscription. Choose one of the cleverly crafted theme boxes or build your own from over 100 Georgia products. Subscriptions include 1, 3 or 6-month options. A great gift for any Georgia-lover (but especially sweet for a friend who may have just moved and misses our awesome Peach State, or someone new to the area.)

Fifth Group Restaurant Cards. This is a great way to encourage a monthly date night in 2018. For every $100 Fifth Group Restaurants gift card and e-gift card purchased, you receive a $20 gift card (maybe for the sitter, the mail carrier – or yourself.) Offer good until Jan 1, 2018. Fifth Group Restaurants include South City Kitchen, Lure, Ecco and more.

LEGO City People Pack. Even when it’s too cold to play outside, you can still spend a great day in the park with the LEGO® City residents! The complete set includes playground equipment, a picnic table, park bench, hot dog cart and 14 minifigures, as well as baby and dog figures. This LEGO® CITY Fun in the Park City People Pack premieres the first baby minifigure, along with the first wheelchair. Pick it up at Legoland Discovery Center or pair it discounted tickets for a super-fun gift. ADD LINK

Xocolatl’s Gift Sets. How does chocolate translate into a gift for adventurous people? Inspiration. The folks at Xocolatl are small-batch bean-to-bar makers that studied from the jungles of Costa Rica with their two kids – learning everything there is to know about chocolate making…and bringing it back to our part of the world.

Available for the first time ever, Xocolatl’s gift sets will be sold online for nationwide shipping and inside Xocolatl’s shop at Krog Street Market. Each set includes small-batch chocolates and other special items made in-house at Xocolatl’s micro-factory!

Children’s Museum of Atlanta Family Membership. Share the gift of imagination, discovery and learning with a family membership to the Children’s Museum of Atlanta! Perfect for grandparents, parents and teachers to spend quality time with families, this package includes a membership for two adults and four children.  The package grants free general admission access to the museum and discounts on birthday parties and store purchases.

Locally Made Tomato Jam. Executive Chef Thomas McKeown of Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s southern influenced restaurant, Sway, in collaboration with Doux South, has created an incredible, savory tomato jam for diners to enjoy – both at Sway and in their own homes! In addition to being served at the restaurant, the tomato jam is available for purchase in Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s 24/7 Market and is sure to make a wonderful additional to meals during this holiday season. What a great hostess gift this season!

Broadway in Atlanta Show Package. Another great idea for encouraging Date Night in 2018. Atlanta audiences have the opportunity to experience four Broadway sensations with its package featuring The Bodyguard, Matilda The Musical, Finding Neverland and An American in Paris.

Insider’s Tip: Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta recently announced the highly anticipated Atlanta debut of Hamilton as part of its 2017/2018 season. While the engagement details are still pending, the best way to guarantee tickets to Hamilton is to purchase a season subscription for the Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta 2016/2017 season. Subscribers who renew their subscription for the 2017/2018 season will be able to guarantee their seats for the premiere Atlanta engagement of Hamilton before tickets become available to the general public. Or you can purchase single tickets from Ticketmaster.

Gift Exchange Ideas for Family Travel & Outdoor Fun

Aventura For Women or Ecōths For Men. Aventura fits perfectly into my lifestyle. The clothes are comfortable, relaxing and easy to wear. They work for me in every facet of my life as mom, hiker, adventure-seeker and lover of Mother Earth. The Aventura aim is to create clothes with a low environmental impact, utilize sustainable fabrics and offer organics when they can. PLUS, their men’s eco-friendly clothing line, Ecōths, is fantastic, also. Email me for a 60% coupon to save on Aventura – I know you’ll love it too!

Shacke Pak Travel Cubes. I must be the last one on the planet to get on the travel cube bandwagon, but I learned this year why they are so popular – they make travel easy. This set even includes a laundry bag.

Mosquito Bracelets. When I can, avoid spray the kids or rubbing them down in mosquito poison. This is a great alternative, and it’s all natural. They kids think they’re “cool,” and I feel good about protecting them. It’s a great stocking stuffer.

Matador Pocket Blanket. This is the bomb! Throw it in your purse or backback and go. It’s a great blanket for the trail, the beach, the park…and it stuffs inside a bag so small it fits in your pocket. It’s water resistant and nylon, which means sand, leaves and dirt fall right off. It’s a great size but not huge..maybe good for 2 adults or 4 kids. You might need more than one!

ENO Hammock. Nothing on the planet beats an ENO DoubleNest hammock. I know our boys are small, but we can all four fit in this…and oh what fun memories we’ve made! Don’t forget to get some suspension straps, too!

Slackline Kit. Santa’s bringing a kit like this for the boys this year. I like this one because it has everything you need to get started including protection for the trees. Set up is only about 10 minutes.

Orvis Encounter Rod. Remember when I took a fly fishing class this year? I fell in love. If you want to try (or get the kids involved) then I HIGHLY recommend starting with the Orvis Encounter Rod kit. For only $170 you get a 4-piece rod, a reel, floating line, backing and a leader. All you need to get out on the water is a fly (which can run from $1 on up.)

National Parks Travel Quest Poster. This large laminated poster of the US National Parks is a great way to track all of your park adventures. (Wouldn’t this be AWESOME to have for the GSPs? WOW!)

Lighted Bocce Ball Set. This is awesome for camping, playing in the back yard and taking to the beach. It’s Bocce Ball with “glow in the dark” balls!!

Ukulele Starter Set. My parents wouldn’t let me join band, and now I can’t find time to learn an instrument. But you know what I love? When we have campfires with our friends who bring their guitars and drums and other instruments. This is a great way to get your kiddos started early…and when your old and sitting around the campfire together, they can play you a song.

Trampoline.  This is a big ticket item, I’m aware of that. We saved by getting our first one on Craigslist, but then upgraded to the Springfree and love it even more. Also, this isn’t supposed to be “11 reasons to buy a trampoline,” but I could not live without ours.  We jump on it in the morning, after lunch, before bed…We jump in the dead on summer (with the sprinkler shooting up from the bottom,) we jump in winter with all our cold-weather gear on.  We picnic here, watch the stars, camp on it, draw on it with chalk….When we’re having a great day, we celebrate here. When we’re having a crabby day, we head outside and jump the grumps away.  I could not “stay at home” without it.  And for those with younger kids….I still recommend it.  As soon as little-bit could walk we put him on it.  I’m convinced it helped his “toddling.”

Kid’s DaypackI learned my lesson while hiking to Len Foote: Regularly offer opportunities for the kids to hike with a pack.  If I had started them earlier with empty packs, slowly building up their strength and comfort level, that hike would have been easier on me.  We’re doing it now – every hike with empty packs for the rest of the year.  I invested in Deuter packs for them.  They offer multiple sizes – the smallest is great for my 2 yr old, the next size up works for my small frame 6 yo.  Padded straps, a chest strap, and more.

Telescope. It costs a little more, but I never regret purchasing quality equipment for the kids (as opposed to the cheaper, plastic versions.)  Big guy is asking questions about planets, stars, and space.  It’s time to explore that part of nature.  We might pack it with a fun book too, like this intro to the night sky for kids.

Nature Journal. If you have the time, I think a lovely thing to do is make a nature journal for your kiddos.  Here is a nice round up of ideas. If you are out of time, then consider this one called My Nature Journal.  I purchased this one for us to begin in January.  It’s great for pre/early writers because there are “fill in the blank” pages, rather than lots of empty white space.  As an aside, we also love Handbook of Nature Study. It’s easy for kids of all ages, and has become part of our homeschool curriculum.

Tiny Person Outdoor Package. Some people think that it’s difficult to get our littlest kiddos outside, but I want to challenge that.  How about a small treasure chest of goodies for them to explore with?  A kite, colored chalk, a small frisbee, and bubbles. Head to GoodWill and pick up several old plastic bowls, colanders, measuring cups, etc and “wrap” them in a large tub…you have the makings of a new Mud Pie Kitchen for the back yard.

Bird Watchers Basket. Build a bird-watchers basket…you can market it as a gift for your “detective!” Include a pocket guide for the Southeast (or Georgia, specifically,) a nice pair of Bushnell binoculars and a blank journal with some colored pencils, for documenting finds. You might even want to include a new feeder and seed to set up by the window.

Build-a-Fort Kit. I’ve seen a few pre-packaged options for this, but they seemed too expensive for my taste…we’re making our own.  It includes a ground-liner, and a camo tarp.  Add a long rope to tie between the trees, which the tarp can be thrown over.  You might include metal tent clips to hold the tarp to the ground, and a solar-powered lantern for reading inside!

Memberships. Some of our favorite places to explore in Georgia include Georgia Aquarium, the gardens of Atlanta History Center, or all around Atlanta Botanical Gardens. We have each of these, but we’re thinking of adding Gibbs Gardens this year.

Travel Tech Gift Exchange Ideas

Monster ClarityHD High Performance Earbuds. When everyone has their own music preferences on a road trip, earbuds are the answer. These were designed to give a better experience for those people who use the out-of-the-box ones that come with your phone.  They offer premium sound quality at an incredible value, and they are ergonomically designed, with multiple ear tips for a better fit. Available at Walmart.

Panasonic Lumix FZ300. Looking for a new way to photograph and video the memories you make in 2017?  Capture moments with superb 4K imaging performance in both video and exclusive 4K PHOTO. The Lumix comes with a 24X (25-600mm) full-range F2.8 aperture Leica Len, and a worry-free splashproof / dustproof body (perfect for adventuring photogs!) This lens is unbelievable! It makes it possible to clearly capture moving subjects at a high shutter speed even at a great distance—something that has not been achieved by any digital compact camera except for the LUMIX FZ200, its predecessor.  It’s another item I have on my Santa Wishlist!

Monster SuperStar HotShot. We love to listen to music when we’re camping! The SuperStar HotShot is a small speaker with a big attitude. The ultra-portable wireless speaker comes with a carabiner hook to it can easily attach to any bag, belt loop, etc. and can be enjoyed anywhere. Connect via Bluetooth or NFC. Available at Walmart.

Griffin iTrip Clip. iTrip Clip cuts the cable between your smartphone and headphones Wirelessly connect your headphones, car stereo, or home audio system to any smartphone. Converts any earbuds or headphones to wireless Bluetooth Headphones. Perfect add-on for iPhone 7/7+, Moto Z, and future devices without a headphone jack.

Honeywell Lyric Round Thermostat. This, people! If you are overnight one or multiple nights when you’re traveling, camping, adventuring…then this cool device will automatically notice that and adjust the house temps to an “away” mode. It saves you money!! Honeywell was kind enough to send us one and I can’t wait to get it installed. Money saved is money in the bank for more adventures.

Alarm.com. Another example of smart home technology that makes your home safer, smarter and more efficient. For the price of your typical alarm company service you can easily access and control your home security system and automation devices like smart thermostats, HD video, locks and lights through a single screen on Alarm.com’s family of mobile apps.  Designed for the busy family, Alarm.com reminds you to keep the home secure when you leave, alerts you about activity when you’re gone and responds automatically to protect your family when there’s an emergency at home.  Alarm.com is exclusively available through a nationwide network of service providers that will handle installation, provide ongoing support and monitor for emergencies.

Hum by Verizon. It’s the ultimate gift for the 21st century driver: an app-controlled device that works whether you’re driving to work, or on a cross-country road trip with your family. This is the perfect tech gift that aims to make cars smarter and keep adults (and teens!) safer on the road, year-round. Hum works through a dongle that is plugged into your vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port and a Bluetooth-enabled visor clip. Some of Hum’s key features that help drivers travel safely and efficiently all year are Emergency Assistance, Speed and Boundary Alerts, Vehicle Location Assistance, Mechanics Hotline and Maintenance Reminders.

Here’s a video Sue shot from a travel ‘n tech conference we attended, where we learned about these goodies:

Our friends at Travel Mamas has even more fabulous travel related gift ideas.

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Looking for fun, unique, surprising and smile-creating Christmas gift exchange ideas? We've got a slew of selections that we think your adventurous friends and family will love. Who knows, you might find a thing or two for yourself, also! This holiday season, give the gift of adventure and experience. #Christmas #giftideas #giftexhange #winter #Atlanta #Georgia #Kids #holidays #family

The links above may be affiliate links. These do not affect the pricing of any products you buy when following the links, but can help us earn some cash to keep the lights on. Other links may include products which we received as gifts. We have ONLY included items that we love and really believe in, use personally or recommend. The ideas, opinions, experiences and product selections are all, as always, our own.

Lesli Peterson

Lesli Peterson

Lesli made her way to Atlanta over 20 years ago, after living in Germany, Japan and six U.S. states. She relishes the discovery of obscure, offbeat and unwonted places, and she will chat up any willing stranger to uncover a new secret locale.

After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.

Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.
Lesli Peterson

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