Whether she’s the friend who has everything or the strict minimalist who views all gifts as future clutter, there are some people out there that are just impossible to shop for. The good news is, these experience gifts will be something they actually appreciate–and something they probably would never have thought to purchase for themselves.
Overnight stay at C&O Canal Lockhouse 10
If his happy place is staring up at a canopy of leaves and city life has him stressed and bedraggled, a night at the best of the C&O lockhouses (with air conditioning or heat plus quaint 1930s decor) is as close as you can get to a cabin in the woods while still being within pizza pickup range. $150 at C&O Canal Trust.
Beginner’s Boxing Camp
Her girl crush is Ronda Rousey, and yoga and smoothies just aren’t badass enough for her kind of sweat session. Give her the gift of a killer workout, with a side of self-defense savvy, in this 12-session intro course. $250 at Donte’s Boxing Gym.
Because a subscription to Dollar Shave Club doesn’t come with a warm towel and professional hands. $50 at the Barber of Hell’s Bottom.
Afternoon Tea at the Park Hyatt Tea Cellar
There’s a Starbucks about every two blocks in downtown DC. High tea is a rarer treat. Here—with modern glass walls, creamy marble surfaces, and floral tea leaves blossoming in your pot—it’s an outing for anyone who appreciates understated glamour and soothing refinement on a saucer. Bonus: sweets and savories in abundance . $30 to $35 at the Park Hyatt.
Fighter Pilot for a Day
He may pass by the ads for fighter planes plastered all over Federal Center, but chances are he’s never been in one. This all-day program (the nearest location is Lancaster, Pennsylvania) moves beyond mere turns and rolls—guest pilots pull serious G’s and engage in fierce “combat” during a series of “dogfights.” $1,395 at Cloud9 Living.
Home Polish Sessions
She pores over design mags and saves up for custom pillows. Lend a professional hand with two hourlong sessions with a Home Polish interior decorator. She’ll learn how to work with what she already has—and the little aesthetic touches that will really elevate her home’s look. $150 at Home Polish.
Ticket to Spin
She sure loves the high that comes with the fast-paced cardio of indoor cycling, but the $22 a class price tag tends to cut into her budget. Pick up her bill with a ten-class pack that will get her through the next month at local indoor cycling chain, Zengo. $190 at Zengo Cycle.
Lobster Cooking Class
When it comes to cooking crustaceans, you’re both clueless, but it’s a shame because you’re both sea foodies. Learn how to cook lobster while enjoying a romantic night out. $200 per couple at CulinAerie (other couples classes available).
Kennedy Center Gift Card
They love a night out on the town, but they’re so busy that any tickets you buy will likely go unused. With a Kennedy Center gift card, they can select time and performance of their choice that fits their interest and their schedule. Price varies at The Kennedy Center.
Trip to Nicaragua with a Personal Photographer
Okay, so this may push the limits of what you’d normally give as a gift, but if you want to combine the holidays with an anniversary, this nine-day trip to Nicaragua is a pretty sweet deal. Not only will the recipient spend the vacation watching the sunset from a private pool, learning to surf, visiting hot springs, taking boat trips to a private island, and practicing your cigar rolling, they’ll also have a photographer by their side who will take photos of the trip for them, so they can spend the time focused on making memories, not capturing them. $2,050 from El Camino Travel.