Tag Archives: Chanukah Present Ideas

The 2020 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide

The gift recs might change, but never this pic

 

The phrase “[insert any annual occurrence] is going to look a lot different this year” is becoming all too redundant.  But it’s fitting for so many situations, including this guide.  If you’ve been reading KFDC awhile, then you know my annual holiday gift recommendations usually are heavy on local experiences to reflect the spirit of adventure and exploring that (I hope) my blog captures.

However, like much of life these days, it’s going to look a lot different this year.  With the lack of live entertainment and in-person programs combined with a cautious view of what’s safe to do, major sections of the guide had to be scrapped.  But — and here’s another ubiquitous term of 2020 — we pivot.  Where there used to be listings for upcoming shows to snag tickets to gift, you’ll find ideas to elevate your at-home entertainment.  Instead of recs for indoor experiences that are now considered iffy, there are products to enhance your outdoor adventures.  And suggestions for awesome on-site classes are replaced with tips for online enrichment.

Some of these ideas will still look familiar because, as I’ve said in the past, I think they’re really good suggestions.😉 Plus, many of them give me the chance to highlight local businesses offering unique products and services as well as organizations that are doing great things.  I hope you’ll find all of these, old and new, helpful as you head into the holiday season. Happy gifting!

 

HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Since live theatre, concerts, or even movies at local venues aren’t really options right now, help bring the entertainment home instead. The right devices, accessories, and treats can create alternative environments to enjoy those experiences you miss and have socially distant hang outs with company.  Even better, they make great gifts! Here are some to check out, with something for everyone on your list:

* With a portable projector, kids (and adults) can have friends over for outdoor movie nights.
* A real projector screen completes the outdoor theatre set up.
* Put on your own concert with a karaoke machine or microphone.
* The perfect accessory for gamers.
* For staying warm during winter backyard hangs, the Solo Stove or a patio heater are worth the splurge.
*  Cozy blankets are great to gift. (Another style. Splurge option.)
* Kids can wrap up in fun ones, like this and this.
* Footwear for hang-at-home occasions. (Budget option.)
* Make it all sweeter with City Bonfires, created by two local dads.
* Or spice it up with a popcorn kit.

 

OPT OUTSIDE

Bikes & accessories are the 2020 gift (in KFDC’s opinion)

These days, our best bets for getting out of the house and social distancing safely are activities outdoors. So, make those al fresco adventures better for everyone on your gift list with gear that supports their favorite hobbies, encourages them to try new ones, and keeps them happy outside in all conditions.

* Everyone needs a bike these days. (More options.)
* Most important accessory for it: Bike helmet — for kids & adults.
* We have and love this bike bag.
* Make rides sparkle — and visible — with these lights.
* Sleds are a must-have for the snowy season
* As is the right apparel for kiddos.
* Good winter boots, too. (More options: These and these.)
* Grown-ups also need good winter wear: For moms & dads.
* Fuzzy pullover is on trend. (Splurge option.)
* Bombas are warm and fun for all aged tootsies
* Yeti drinkware…or go all out with a cooler.
* Winter hats: Littles, kids, mom, dad.
* For rainy days, a bubble umbrella is practical, and these are so pretty.
* Roller skates  are making a come back — for kids and adults.
* Take game playing outdoors with Spike Ball.
* It’s a good time to get into disc golf.
* Of course, all outdoor activities should include masks (as should any 2020 gift guide): For kids, for working out, for a pretty look, for fashion, for Christmas,  for Chanukah, for fun.

 

THE INSIDE STORY

Cheers to gifting fun drinkware!

Between closures due to Covid and cold months ahead, there will be more time spent indoors this winter. Gifts to make it cozy and fun for people you love are perfect to give. Here are some ideas, a mix of practical, indulgent, amusing, and unique items.

* Tea time, anyone?
* Or hot chocolate stocking stuffers?
* Enjoy it in these map mugs — fun and educational!
* Very handy instructional hot toddy mugs.
* And how cute are these personalized family mugs?
* Take advantage of soup and stew season.
The Always Pan is the cooking item of the season
* Shop for even more cookware locally at the wonderful Hill’s Kitchen.
* DIY food & drinks kits have something for everyone.
* Holiday PJ’s for the whole fam.
* A cozy essential: Slippers for kids, mom, & dad.
* A comfy robe to top it all: For kids, mom, dad.
* Can’t go wrong with a cute sweater from Anthro.
* Totally getting our kids cat pillows.
* Per Sasha, these LED lights complete any room.
* Some of our classic board game faves: Rummikub, Catan, Scrabble, Clue.
* New family game night recs: Kids Against Maturity, Just One, Fun Employed, Anomia.

 

GAME ON

A trove of games and puzzles at Labyrinth

Here’s where to go locally for those recommended games above.  DC’s best shop for board games and puzzles continues to offer so many fantastic options for holiday gifts, so plan on a visit to Labyrinth Game Shop on Capitol Hill — or to the website for socially distanced browsing. This is one of my go-tos for birthday party presents and always a stop for some shopping this time of year. Since I first wrote about the store when it opened 10 years ago, it’s gotten even better, so much that they expanded to a second space next door. They have something for everyone — all ages, every interest. Even better, there’s always a fun, friendly vibe in the store, plus the service is just as great as the inventory. All of the staff are very knowledgeable about what they sell — give them a few details about who you’re shopping for, and they’ll show you just the right game or puzzle to buy. (You can do this through their online Holiday Gift Assist, too!)

 

WORK IT

Wireless headphones and more ways  to upgrade their workspace

Almost everyone has made some kind of work transition to their house over the last year — from the office, school, or even the gym. And since it looks like it’ll be going on at least a little while longer, these gifts that improve those at-home set-ups will be much appreciated — for job work, class work, and working out.

* This stand up desk converter gets great reviews.
* A new desk chair for kids will make online school more comfy.
* Wireless headphones for work — and leisure. (Splurge option.)
* A map wall decal could come in handy for geography class.
* There are all kinds of blue light glasses available.
* The new Echo Dots are pretty cool (my kids love their older models).
* Any yogi can always use a new mat.
* Weight sets and exercise bands for at-home workouts.
Local shop Summit to Soul also has awesome workout wear.
* Lululemon has some great deals right now.

 

GOOD READS

The gift of a great read

* Black is a Rainbow Color: A timely children’s book
* Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice: Kids can learn about their VP
* All of the Andrea Beaty books
* Give a set of your childhood faves
* Stamped: By DC’s own Jason Reynolds, for tweens and up
* Humans: The perfect gift for any HONY fan
* A Promised Land: Sure to be a holiday bestseller
* Accidentally Wes Anderson: For fans of his films or the IG inspired by them
* What Kind of Woman: Poetry that will take her breath away
* Caste: One of the best reads this year
* That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life: And so will this book!
* Subscriptions keep the gifts coming: National Geographic, Washingtonian Magazine, The New Yorker, Bon Appetit

 

B(U)Y THE BOOK

Local stores like Kramers offer online & IRL shopping

Look for the above recs and more great reads for everyone at a local independent bookstore. You can shop just about all of them online, too.

* Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle is a DC institution and always a great place to browse and have a bite at Afterwards Cafe.
* Combine your shopping trip to Labyrinth with a stop next door at East City Book Shop.
* On H Street NE, Solid State Books  also has a nice selection.
* Find reads just for kids at Hurray for Books in Old Town Alexandria.
* Politics & Prose, one of the city’s most well known bookstores has locations at Union Market, The Wharf, and its original Connecticut Avenue shop.
* Go secondhand at Capitol Hill Books, a legendary used bookshop.

 

BOX IT UP

Little Loving Hands’ gift boxes give back

This category includes two kinds of gifts, but one theme: They come in a box. Subscription boxes that are delivered on a regular basis keep the surprises coming. And then there are gift boxes curated just for the holidays, including some really good ones from local businesses.

* Local retailer Steadfast Supply has a fantastic variety of gift boxes.
* Little Loving Hands, started local moms, lets kids can get creative & give back.
* Raddish Kids delivers monthly cooking inspo.
* Time 4 Mom is a subscription service especially for busy mamas.
* Kiwi Co. now has maker boxes for kids of all ages — and adults.
* Birchbox delivers beauty each month.
* There’s even one for pooches: Barkbox.

 

KEEP IT CLASSY

Get in the act with Adventure Theatre’s virtual classes

Has your child expressed interest in a particular activity? Give them a boost by getting them into a class! Many programs that used to be IRL have gone digital, so kids can enjoy them safely from the comfort of home. Here are some recommendations:

* Get kiddos cooking with Tiny Chefs.
* Budding actors can learn the performing arts ropes with Adventure Theatre.
* Young Playwrights Theater offers playwrighting programs
* All ages can twirl and groove with CityDance.
* Give the gift of music with lessons from the International School of Music.
* The Lane Social Club offers some class series littles.
* For adults: An online cooking class with the Hill Center or a wine tasting with District Winery.

 

PICTURE PERFECT PRESENTS

Capture them (and their hearts) with this gift

How about a gift that includes your whole gang? Present them (and yourself!) with a family portrait session. And like the last few years, I’m recommending just the right photographer for it. As mentioned in previous gift guides, I have adored Darcy Troutman’s photos forever, starting with her former blog, No Monsters in My Bed. But over the last few years, she launched her own photography business capturing families and weddings, helping people make and preserve memories. Her style is unique and the photos gorgeous, but her real-life, let-the-moment-seize-you approach to her work is what really makes it special. Also, she’s hilarious and sweet and really comfortable to be around, the ideal personality for the job. Plus, her photos will not only capture this time in your lives, they’ll make for great gifts for extended family throughout the year, too.

 

DESIGN TIME

Give design guidance from a guru

If there’s someone in your life who wants a facelift for their home, but needs some guidance going about it, gift them the help of an expert.  Margaret Carroll is an architect and design consultant extraordinaire and, full disclosure,  a really great friend of mine. But that just means I know first hand that she has a keen eye for style and the sharpest aesthetic of anyone I know, from the perfectly picked tile in her bathrooms to the amazing booties on her feet. She actually did a tear-down/rebuild of her own house, and you can take a virtual tour of it here.

 

ENTER THROUGH THE MUSEUM GIFT SHOP

The Spy Museum gift shop is full of intriguing inventory

We have some pretty amazing museums in our city, and many of their gift shops — that are also online — echo the impressive collections with items that are an extension of their programs. It’s not just prints of paintings you see; you can buy books, puzzles, accessories, gadgets, games, housewares, and lots of children’s items that are artistic, clever, and innovative. Just about all of the Smithsonian Museums and National Zoo have wonderful gift shops. And I highly recommend browsing the shops of some of the other museums in town: The International Spy Museum, National Building Museum, and Phillips Collection all have unique and interesting inventory.

 

GREAT TASTE

Delight with Provisions from Officina

You kind of can’t go wrong with the gift of food. I mean, everyone eats, and no matter how old, we all have our favorite bites and places for them. That’s why a gift card to a restaurant or treatery (hey, did I just make up a word?) or an edible product from a local establishment will satisfy many a giftee’s appetite or craving. Here are a few ideas to chew on:

* The Pretzel Bakery is our neighborhood fave for savory & sweet treats.
* Officina offers Provisions for a week of delicious eating.
* If someone on your gift list loves sushi, they need to try O-Ku.
* Give a gift card for Rose’s Luxury for Rose’s At Home Dinner Delivery.
* You can’t go wrong with goodies from Baked & Wired.
* Cider enthusiasts will love a gift card from ANXO.
* All Purpose Pizzeria is delish and offering holiday gift cards.
* Goldbelly is an online marketplace of well-known purveyors from all over.
* Trader Joes‘ giant chocolate bars, tins of peppermint bark, and other gifty items are easy last minute (or planned) treats.
* The above are just a few recs. You can give a gift card from any place you want to support — browse Open Table and Resy for more reminders of what’s out there.

 

GIVE… BACK

Give to a cause to gift a loved one

How about boxing up hope and happiness? Gifts That Give Hope, an online market this year, lets you support the community and find unique and meaningful gifts for loved ones as you make donations to local charities in their names.  You can also do this through the GIVE page here on the blog, which has suggestions on where to contribute, all of them shared by KFDC readers. You can give your time and plan a volunteering outing with your kids to show them the gift of giving back. While most of those opportunities are limited right now, you could do a trash pick-up or find ways for kids to volunteer from home.

 

GIVE FREELY

The gift of a local adventure — and it doesn’t cost a thing

Of course, not all gifts have to come with a hefty price tag. There are so many magical yet still inexpensive experiences to be had in the DC area, some without even spending a dime. You can creatively package them up — perhaps a big, fun card with a photo — and promise a visit. Some suggestions:

* A DIY scavenger hunt at the National Arboretum.
* A holiday lights tour — many continue into January.
* A visit to Planet Word, DC’s newest, coolest museum.
* Fossil hunting adventures at the Purse Area or Calvert Cliffs State Park.
* A bike ride bookended by fun explorations and play.
* A geogcaching adventure on an area hike.
* A day of play at Clemyjontri.
* An outing to Riverbend Park, where you can hike to Great Falls to enjoy some of the area’s best nature.
* A nature/photo walk at Huntley Meadows or Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.
* Find inspo for even more!

 

Call for more:  Are you (or is someone you know) a local businesses owner or maker offering products that would make great gifts?  Let us know by leaving a link in the comments, if so!

 

*Many of the newer recs are affiliate links (though I put a ton of thought into them), which means I could earn a small commission when you click on them and make a purchase. As a small business, especially during this challenging time, your support is very much appreciated!

 

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Filed under 2020, Annual, Chanukah, Christmas, Coronavirus, COVID-19, DC, Holidays, Maryland, Seasonal, Shop, Virginia

The 2019 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide

A holiday fave: Her first Christmas, his fourth (and obviously an unwrapping pro even then)


If you’ve been reading KFDC awhile, this gift guide may look familiar — and that’s intentional. In it’s fifth year, the general suggestions haven’t changed very much (nor has the above photo that I adore). The specifics have been updated, but the overall concepts remain consistent over the years. That’s because I want my recommendations to reflect the spirit of my blog — and these ideas do just that. (Plus, I think they’re really good suggestions! 😉 )

So just like the last several years, I’m sharing some things I’ve really enjoyed around DC and/or think would make fantastic presents for a variety of people. This also gives me a chance to highlight local businesses offering unique experiences and products as well as organizations that are doing great things. And then there are ideas that are simply fun and enriching and showcase the incredible city that is Washington, DC. None of these recommendations are sponsored; they’re just experiences, places, adventures, and products that I truly like and think you and yours might, too. Happy gifting!

Olney Theatre’s “Singin’ in the Rain”

Hot Tickets
There’s so much great live entertainment both currently running and coming to local stages soon, that would make fantastic presents for kids and adults. KFDC Tip: Before you buy, check for ticket deals here and here, as you may be able to get discounts to some productions. Here are some recommendations for shows running during the holiday season and coming up soon in 2020:
* Singin’ in the Rain at Olney Theatre
* The Velveteen Rabbit at Adventure Theatre
* Peter Pan and Wendy by Shakespeare Theatre Company
* Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (The Musical!) at the Kennedy Center
* Come From Away at the Kennedy Center
* Phantom of the Opera at Synetic Theater
* A Thousand Splendid Suns at Arena Stage (adult pick)
* Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at National Theatre
* The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at Imagination Stage
* Drumming with Dishes at the Atlas Perfroming Arts Center
* Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare Theatre Company
* Tiny Beautiful Things at the Kennedy Center (adult pick)
* Monster Jam at Capitol One Arena
* Ali Wong at Warner Theatre (adult pick)
* Baby Shark Live! at National Theatre
* The 9:30 Club is legendary and welcomes all ages to most shows
* The Anthem has a great line-up of concerts
* For more holiday season shows, look here
* You can also give a gift certificate to one of the venues mentioned above

Rendering of The Lane, opening in DC this winter

Members Only
Membership really does have its benefits! And it makes for a wonderful gift, too, for those who have favorite places they frequent often. One that is certain to be a huge hit, The Lane is a social club for families opening in Ivy City this winter. In Rockville, MD, Badlands Playspace has several membership options. The National Building Museum offers family memberships for $90/year, getting you all into exhibits free of charge (regularly $7-10/person). Port Discovery in Baltimore is another great one with loads of hands-on, curiosity-piquing, educational, fun exhibits that keep kids engaged for hours. Family memberships start at $140 for up to four people. And for adults who enjoy performing arts, membership to the Kennedy Center gets them special benefits, including the opportunity to purchase tickets before the general public.

A trove of games an puzzles at Labyrinth

Game On
DC’s best shop for board games and puzzles, hands down, continues to offer so many fantastic options for holiday gifts, so plan on a visit to Labyrinth Game Shop on Capitol Hill. This is one of my go-tos for birthday party presents and always a stop for some shopping this time of year. Since I first wrote about the store when it opened nine years ago, it’s gotten even better, so much that they expanded to a second space next door. They have something for everyone — all ages, every interest. Even better, there’s always a fun, friendly vibe in the store, plus the service is just as great as the inventory. All of the staff are very knowledgeable about what they sell — give them a few details about who you’re shopping for, and they’ll show you just the right game or puzzle to buy.

A robust selection of kids’ reads

Book It
Find presents for everyone at a local independent bookstore! Combine your shopping trip to Labyrinth with a stop next door at East City Book Shop. Solid State Books on H Street has a great selection of books, plus an adorable children’s section. Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle is a DC institution and always a great place to browse and have a bite at Afterwards Cafe. Politics & Prose, one of the city’s most well known bookstores has locations at Union Market, The Wharf, and its original Connecticut Avenue shop. You can go secondhand at Capitol Hill Books, a legendary used bookshop or Walls of Books in Petworth, where the inventory is 99% used. (And FYI: Just about all of the bookstores mentioned have programming for children, so be sure to check for that when you visit their websites or shops!)

A gift that cooks will savor

Nothing Fancy
Here’s something to look for when you shop at the above bookstores…. I’ve been obsessed with Alison Roman’s recipes for nearly a year now. She contributes to the New York Times Cooking section, and every single one of her dishes that I have made has been absolutely delectable, if I do say so myself. Levi and the kids agree on that, so they bought me her new cookbook, Nothing Fancy, for my birthday (a present they’ll get to enjoy in a way, too). If there’s someone in your life who loves to cook, isn’t terribly obsessed with calories, and really enjoys making food for others, this book is for them.


A Tinker Crate creation

Deliver Creativity
KiwiCo, the monthly activity box subscription service, was in our lives for many years, so I know firsthand that it makes for great presents for kids. Hence, I’m endorsing the products once again! They’ve become so popular, that many more kits are now available — the original Kiwi for ages 5-8 comes with all the supplies needed to make an adorable craft. The Panda will delight ages 0-2, Koala is for ages 2-4, Atlas for 6-11, Doodle and Tinker for 9-16+, and the Maker Crate and Eureka Crates are for everyone from 14-104. They’re great to have on hand for rainy days or anytime kids (or adults!) want a ready-to-go (ie, minimal work for you) project at home.


Nats fan gift? Done.

Winning Gifts
After the amazing World Series Championship win by the Nats, the gift of sports is a must for this guide (and, honestly, I should have included it years ago). It’s not just baseball that makes a great present, all of our local sports teams (pro and college) have experiences (ie, games) and merch that fans will cheer about when they receive them. Here are links for all of them, and note that some are offering special holiday packages, too!
* Washington Nationals
* DC United
* Washington Spirit
* Washington Capitals
* Washington Mystics
* Washington Wizards
* Washington Redskins
* Maryland Terrapins
* Georgetown Hoyas
* George Washington University Colonials
* Howard Bison
* American University Eagles
* George Mason Patriots

The Spy Museum gift shop is full of intriguing inventory

Enter Through the Museum Gift Shop
We have some pretty amazing museums in our city, and many of their gift shops echo the impressive collections with items that are an extension of their programs. It’s not just prints of paintings you see; you can buy books, puzzles, accessories, gadgets, games, housewares, and lots of children’s items that are artistic, clever, and innovative. Just about all of the Smithsonian Museums and National Zoo have wonderful gift shops. And I highly recommend browsing the shops at some of the other museums in town: The International Spy Museum, Phillips Collection, Newseum, and Textile Museum all have unique and interesting inventory.


Soar at iFly

Aaand…Action!
For the people, young and old, in your life who like active thrills and challenges, a gift certificate or season pass for one of these action-packed pursuits is strongly recommended.
* The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring, one of our favorite outdoor places to play, is an exciting aerial forest experience, where adventure-goers navigate ropes courses in the trees, with climbing for kids as young as 5 years old. Check out their gift options for the season, and read more about the adventure in this KFDC post.
* Trapeze School New York in DC has classes in flying trapeze, static trapeze, balancing and acrobatics, trampoline, and more. Both of my kids have tried — and loved — the circus-inspired adventure at The Yards in the Capitol Riverfront (and I want to give it a whirl myself)! Read more about it here.
* iFLY Loudoun offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience “flying” without stepping foot in (or out of) an airplane. Meant to simulate skydiving, flights take place in a vertical wind tunnel on a smooth cushion of air created by high-powered fans that enable people to float. It’s quite exhilarating, but also a splurge, making it a special and unique present. Read more about it here.
* Many local ice skating rinks have season passes available for peeps who want to practice their triple lutzes and spins — or just really like to glide around.
* Bad Axe Throwing offers opportunities to — you guessed it! — throw axes at targets. It’s a unique and fun activity that makes for a great tween outing or grown-up evening out. We’ve been for a birthday party, and a good time was had by kids and adults alike. Read more about that experience here.


American Ninja Warrior in training at The St. James

Insider Info
Along the same lines as the suggestion above, but on a slightly more mild scale in terms of thrill-factor and cost, you can gift those who like physical pursuits with passes to a place that offers opportunities to be active indoors. With winter weather ahead, it’s a present that’s both fun and sensible!
* The St. James has Super, Awesome, & Amazing fun at its activity center and indoor waterpark
* Flight Trampoline Park is full of bouncy fun
* Kids love scaling the colorful walls at ClimbZone
* ZavaZone has courses to challenge little ninjas
* SportRock Climbing Centers are located in Alexandria and Sterling
* SkyZone also brings the boing with trampoline filled spaces
* For more mellow adventures at museums, Family Trip Guides is offering a holiday museum kit with guides to several Smithonians, plus a few fun extras for kids


A couple of wizards at work on their clues

Clued In
Any sleuths on your gift list? If so, solve the mystery of what to get them with Watson Adventures. These scavenger hunts that take place at local museums are as well executed as they are fun and intriguing. There are hunts for adults as well as a Harry Potter themed Wizard School quest for younger ages, too, that has you searching the National Gallery of Art for works that echo the characters, places and enchanted objects in the famed books and movies. A gift certificate to one of these experiences is like a passport to adventure! Read more about it all in this KFDC post.


Capture them with this gift

Picture Perfect Presents
How about a gift that includes your whole gang? Present them (and yourself!) with a family portrait session. And like the last few years, I am recommending just the right photographer for it. As mentioned in previous gift guides, I have adored Darcy Troutman’s photos forever, mostly on her blog, No Monsters in My Bed. But over the last few years, she has started her own photography business capturing families and weddings, helping people make and preserve memories. Her style is unique and the photos gorgeous, but her real-life, let-the-moment-seize-you approach to her work is what really makes it special. Also, she’s hilarious and sweet and really comfortable to be around, the ideal personality for the job. Plus, her photos will not only capture this time in your lives, they’ll make for great gifts for extended family throughout the year, too.


Act up with Adventure Theatre

Class Acts
Has your kid expressed interest in a particular activity or sport? Give them a boost by getting them into a class! From soccer to STEM to dance to art to music to theatre, there are all kinds of sessions all around the area providing lessons and guidance that help turn curiosity into mastery and skill — and also offer a fun time. Here are some recommendations for places and programs:
* Girls who like STEM will enjoy a workshop with Boolean Girl
* Budding actors can learn the performing arts ropes with Adventure Theatre.
* DC Way has soccer and futsal for kids.
* All ages can groove and twirl with CityDance.
* Get kiddos moving with a few session at MOCO Movement Center
* Give the gift of music with lessons from Bach to Rock (get a deal, too!)
* City Sing and Play has Music Together classes for littles
* How about a class for adults? I recently joined and loved a cooking class at the Hill Center on Capitol Hill — and some are appropriate for older kids, too!


Sasha’s Pretzel Bakery birthday “cake”

Great Taste
You kind of can’t go wrong with the gift of food. I mean, everyone eats, and no matter how old, we all have our favorite bites and places for them. That’s why a gift certificate to a restaurant or treatery (hey, did I just make up a word?) or an edible product from a local establishment will satisfy many a giftee’s appetite or craving. Here are a few ideas to chew on:
* The Pretzel Bakery is our local go-to for savory and sweet treats
* If someone on your gift list loves sushi, they need to go to O-Ku
* There has been tons of buzz about the newly opened Emilies
* Who doesn’t like pizza? All Purpose Pizzeria is delish, very family-friendly, and offering holiday gift cards
* Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken has holiday-inspired doughnuts — for Hanukah and Christmas
* A reminder about Trader Joes giant chocolate bars, tins of peppermint bark, and other gifty items seems like a good idea


Time trip at Colonial Williamsburg

Great Escapes
Gift your whole fam with a getaway! There are some great not-too-far places to go for a weekend jaunt. Colonial Williamsburg makes for a fantastic family escape. Great Wolf Lodge caters to families with an indoor waterpark and tons of fun for kids. The Chesapeake Hyatt is popular for its indoor swimming and family-friendly amenities. With water, woods, and mountains, Deep Creek Lake has great outdoor recreation all year round. Wintergreen is a lovely all-seasons resort. You can also just find a great vacation rental and get out of town for a few days.


Give to a cause as a gift

Gifts That Give Hope
How about boxing up hope and happiness? At a Gifts That Give Hope event, you can support the community and find unique and meaningful gifts for loved ones, co-workers, teachers, and holiday hosts while you learn more about 16 locally based nonprofit organizations. Kids can shop at the Children’s Fair for $5 items from the nonprofits and decorate cards for loved ones to send along with their gifts of kindness. They can also enjoy snacks, coloring, music and activities during the fair while you shop, including interactive demos by Coder Kids and hands-on cooking provided by Tiny Chefs. The Arlington Fair will take place Saturday, December 7, at Arlington Science Focus School from 10am – 2pm.


Lending a hand at DC Diaper Bank

Give…Back
Along the same lines as the above event, you can give to a cause or charity in someone’s name through a donation — the GIVE Page has suggestions on where to contribute, all of them shared by KFDC readers. You can give your time and plan a volunteering outing with your kids and show them the gift of giving back. A bunch of organizations around the area have opportunities for children and parents to help out in a hands-on way together. DC Diaper Bank, Wreaths Across America, DC JCC, and Capital Area Food Bank are some places to check out, and you can find even more in this KFDC post.


Online wish lists help with meaningful gifting

Wishful Gifting
This suggestion is more on the receiving than the giving end of gifting, but a great idea to help family and friends give gifts that won’t go to waste. Fig & Wally is an online invitation and gift registry site that allows you to post your child’s Wish List, which can include toys, family experiences, classes, vacations, charities, even college savings. There’s no worry about duplicating gifts because your friends and family won’t buy them directly; they click to send you the amount for the gift to your PayPal account. Then, you can decide which items from the list to purchase. It’s a convenient way to streamline giving and, dare I say, make re-gifting unnecessary.

A visit to the Monument is special, free, and so very DC

Give Freely
Of course, not all gifts have to come with a hefty price tag. There are so many magical yet still inexpensive experiences to be had in the DC area, some without even spending a dime. You can creatively package them up — perhaps a big, fun card with a photo — and promise a visit. Some suggestions:
* Fossil hunting adventures at Purse State Park or Flag Ponds Nature Park
* A viewing session from the observation deck of the recently reopened Washington Monument
* Flight fascination at the Udvar-Hazy Center, the Chantilly arm of the Air & Space Museum
* An outing to Riverbend and/or Great Falls Park to enjoy some of the area’s best nature
* A tour of Ford’s Theatre to learn about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination through a museum and performance
* A geocaching adventure at Congressional Cemetery (yep, the cemetery!)
* A visit to the Wizard of Oz playground, Old Maryland Farm, and Nature Center at Watkins Regional Park
* The Fairy Lolly and art experiences at Annmarie Sculpture Gardens
* The Washington Youth Garden, Bonsai Museum, and old Capitol Columns at the National Arboretum
* A trip to the National Zoo to see the animals
* A day of play at Clemyjontri
* And there are many, many, many more right in our backyard.

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*Perhaps the best gift of all is quality time with the people in our lives, so be sure to take advantage of it during the season. The 2019 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season in DC is full of ideas for doing just that. Happy Holidays!


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