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55 Holiday Gifts for Everyone on Your List

DC-area experiences to gift, plus gifts to go with them

Large Away suitcase in green; C by Bloomingdale's cashmere wrap

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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. 

 

Away suitcase in green; C by Bloomingdale’s cashmere wrap

 

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.

 

 

Belt bags by Longchamp (left), YSL (top right), and Maggie O’Neill (bottom right)

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.

 

House of Hackney dishes

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Headphones by Sony (left) and Anker (right)

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.

 

 

 

GE Profile nugget ice machine; Parachute waffle throw

For the Binge-Watcher

The experience: A subscription to a streaming service. Virtually all the major streaming networks (Netflix, Hulu, Paramount Plus, etc.) offer gift cards these days. 

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.

 

 

Floral arrangement from She Loves Me

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.

 

 

Sweaters by Perfect Moment (left) and MC 2 Saint Barth

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.

To open: His ($189) and/or hers ($320) apres-ski sweater, of course.

 

Waffle robes by Brooklinen (left) and Coyuchi (right)

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.

To open: Let the spa-like-times continue to roll at home with a classic waffle robe, like this one from Brooklinen ($99) or this one from Coyuchi ($128-$148).

 

 

Nightscape photograph by Angela B. Pan

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. 

To open: A DC nightscape print–an 8-by-10 of this one by Angela B. Pan starts at $27. 

 

 

An acrylic paint set; a sculpting wheel

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. 

To open: Art supplies, like an acrylic paint set or a sculpting wheel. Also worth noting: Art League has its own art supply store.

 

 

Create-your-own-tea-time box from The Spice Suite

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

To open: A create-your-own-tea-time box ($85) from locally owned The Spice Suite.

 

 

BenQ projector; Yeti “Roadie” cooler

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Bar carts by West Elm (left) and Ballard Designs (right)

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

To open: An awesome bar cart. This compact version from West Elm ($225) is perfect for smaller apartments, while this black-and-gold one from Ballard Designs ($1,199) expands and has storage. 

 

 

 

 

Bose audio sunglasses and SoulCycle candle

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. 

 

Amy Moeller
Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.