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Call it minimalism, call it stay-at-home fatigue, call it old news or long-time-coming—some people these days are all about “experience” gifts. Other people: They still want the things. So whether you want to gift an experience, gift an experience with something tangible to wrap along with it, or gift something tangible to someone already partaking in all the experiences, we’ve got you covered. From a floral bouquet to a trip for two, here is our ultimate gift guide for 2022.
For the Jet-Setter
The experience: A trip for two (or more!). Asheville, Nantucket, Key West, Bozeman, Savannah, Costa Rica, and Cape Town all got new direct flights from the DMV this year. Take your pick, and plan a trip.
To open: These Away brand suitcases (starting at $275) are topping a lot of “best luggage” lists this year. Another option? A cashmere wrap (like this one from Bloomingdale’s, $198) for keeping warm on the plane.
For the Music Lover
The experience: DC has no shortage of good music venues attracting all genres of performers–the Anthem, 9:30 Club, Capital One Arena, to name a few. Check the upcoming schedules and grab a couple of tickets.
To open: A “belt bag,” ideal for keeping your hands free and your concert-going essentials close. This one from Lululemon has apparently been such a sensation on TikTok that the brand can’t keep them in stock. If you can snag one, it’s the fanny pack of the year. If not, we like this Energy Belt Bag from Longchamp ($210) for a classic option, this one from YSL for a more refined look ($1,150); and for something a little more colorful, this bingo-themed version ($45) from DC artist Maggie O’Neill.
For the Foodie
The experience: A dinner subscription from Table 22, which offers “memberships” to a small selection of restaurants, including some local favorites such as Anju, Chiko, Gravitas, Iron Gate, and more that make dining at home all the more delicious. The dinner-club inspired memberships vary based on the restaurant, and include things like a chef’s choice take-out tasting menu for two ($110 at Rose’s Luxury, before wine pairings and other add-ons); and a rotating pasta kit ($85 at La Collina, before add-ons). Wine-club subscriptions are also available, like the monthly delivery of two bottles of wine for $60 from Maxwell Park.
To open: Fancy up the at-home dining experience with cool new dishes, like these mix-and-match-able ones by House of Hackney (starting at $18) at Anthropologie.
For the Theater Fan
The experience: Tickets to a musical. The National has Jagged Little Pill: The Musical coming in March; the Kennedy Center is featuring Wicked; Ford’s Theater has Shout, Sister, Shout—plus so many more.
To open: Headphones, for listening to the soundtrack on repeat later. This latest pair from Sony ($398) rank high on tech blogs; for a cheaper option, these Anker Soundcore headphones have a 4.5-star rating on Amazon ($60), with more than 42,000 reviews.
For the Binge-Watcher
To open: Make hanging out at home even more of an experience with a nugget ice machine ($575). Having Sonic-slash-Chick-fil-A ice at the ready > movie theater popcorn. IYKYK. Prefer something a little more practical? Try a cozy throw ($149) for peak binge-watching comfort.
For the Lover of Fresh Flowers
The experience: A flower-arranging workshop at She Loves Me, starting at $95.
To open: A floral arrangement to preview the experience, starting at $62.
For the Skier
The experience: An Epic Pass offers unlimited skiing at nearby resorts including Liberty, Whitetail, and Round Top, as well as resorts in the Rockies, and–depending on the pass–international ski destinations as well. Starting at $655.
For Someone Who Wants to Feel Pampered
The experience: A spa day. There are so many good ones in the DMV, but right now we’ve got our eye on Salamander DC, formerly the Mandarin Oriental. One of the things Salamander founder Sheila Johnson says will be getting an update is the already-renowned spa, including additional treatment rooms, and street access. The nearly two-hour seasonal “revitalization treatment,” which includes a gold-infused scrub and a warm-stone massage sounds delightful. $355.
For the History Buff
The experience: Private monument tour for up to four guests. This “Perfect Private Night Tour of Washington DC” has 45 five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, and includes a three-to-four-hour tour with 10 stops. From $385.
For the Creative
The experience: A class–such as a darkroom seminar for photography buffs ($75), an acrylic painting class ($262), or a beginner’s pottery class ($365)—at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. Eastern Market Pottery and the Art League in Alexandria also offers classes.
The Tea Drinker
The experience: Afternoon tea at the St. Regis. A presidential-inspired menu is the hotel’s newest take on it longstanding tea tradition. It’s offered in the over-the-top lobby Thursdays through Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m., starting at $65 a person.
The Sports Fan
The experience: Tickets to a Caps, Wizards, or Mystics game.
To open: A projector for watching sports at home. The BenQ brand ranks high on many lists of best at-home projectors, and this one ($750) has great reviews. Another idea? A wheel-able cooler, like Yeti’s new “Roadie” ($450) for “all day” (hint: it’s huge) tailgating.
The Cocktail Connoisseur
The experience: Make reservations for a cocktail flight at Jose Andres’ Barmini (starting at $95 a person); or check out the Gibson for one of Chantal Tseng’s libation-themed events and private cocktail classes.
The Fitness Enthusiast
The experience: See just how in shape you are with a two-hour session at DC’s Trapeze School (starting at $55 a person).
To open: Bose audio sunglasses are made for people who like to listen to music on the go without earbuds–the Tempo version ($249) was specifically designed to wear hiking, running, and biking. SoulCycle fan? Gift a candle with the glorious grapefruit scent that the posh gym with the cult-like following is known for.