Most Americans Plan to Buy Holiday Gifts Associated with Outdoor Activities, Survey Finds

(November 21, 2016)

Gifts associated with outdoor activities inspire adults and children to spend more time outdoors exploring nature

Ashburn, Va. (November 21, 2016) — The holiday season is upon us and many anxious shoppers are flocking online and in stores to buy gifts for family and friends. A recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), a network of more than 52,000 park and recreation professionals and advocates, found that most Americans are planning to purchase gifts that can be used to explore nature and the great outdoors i.e. athletic shoes/clothing, sports/exercise equipment, exercise classes/lessons, camping/outdoor gear and bikes.  

Three-quarters (74%) of Americans aged 18+ polled are planning to spend money on holiday gifts associated with outdoor activities. Further, more than half (58 percent) of these gift givers expect to spend $100 or more on gifts that can be used outdoors. Parents are particularly attuned to giving gifts that promote greater outdoor physical activity. The poll found that 9 in 10 people with children intend to spend money on gifts associated with outdoor activities.   

“Investing in gifts associated with outdoor activities is a great way to inspire adults and children to spend more time outdoors exploring nature,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA President and CEO. “These types of gifts also encourage people to become more active which leads to healthier lifestyles.”

NRPA encourages everyone to spend more time outdoors at their local parks and recreation centers. Many park and recreation centers offer affordable programming that is available year round. These programs include a variety of activities for children, seniors and people with disabilities. To explore these options, contact your local park and recreation agency.    

Items that encourage outdoor physical activity are great gift ideas, but why not wait until after Black Friday to purchase them? NRPA encourages everyone to #OptOutside this Friday, alongside REI and others, and explore their local parks instead.      

This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit


About The National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 52,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit