Tag Archives: Christmas Gift Ideas

The 2023 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide: Grown Ups

 

 

You’ve likely seen the gift guides with suggestions for DC experiences and the one especially for teens… and now here’s a round-up of gift ideas for the adults in your life.  (And maybe some inspiration for your wish list too.) Happy Gifting!

 

 

Softest Sweaters
Cashmere always makes a great gift — it’s luxurious and useful (so warm for winter) — and the kind of item some people may not splurge on for themselves. There are also so many amazing sales on sweaters to take advantage of right now!

Naked Cashmere – Great quality sweaters…love mine.  (For men, too.)

Jenni Kayne – Most splurgy, but supposedly amazing.

Naadam – Sooo many style options. (For men, too.)

Reformation – Soft and chic.

J. Crew  – Relatively lower price points. (For men, too)

Quince – Cashmere starting at just $50.

 

 

 

Accessories — Luxe and Fun
A perfect way to give them something really nice, without going full splurge on a large item. Or a great way to give them something practical and/or fun.

Scarf – Super soft cashmere or a really pretty color combo.

Winter Hat – Soft and splurgy or colorful and fun. And options for him.

Gorgeous Earrings – Colorful beaded dangles or  simple but statement-making.

Fun Socks – The best gift socks and currently on sale.

Sunglasses – Really good and reasonably priced.  This brand, too.

 

 

 

 

Boot Season
With the cold weather coming, help them keep their tooties warm and stylish.

Ugg Ultra Minis – Just received a pair for my birthday and love… like slippers that also make a cute outfit.

Blundstones – Great, cold weather boots for men and women.

Hunters – Classic rain boots for all.

Hiking Boots – For outdoorsy peops, upgrade their footwear,

 

 

 

Kitchen & Dining Delights
If they love to cook and entertain, here are a few things to up their enjoyment.

Vitamix Blender – Gifting this would be a smooth(ie) move

Ninja Portable Blender – For smoothies on the go — and if you don’t want to go all in on a Vitamix.

Dutch Oven – Le Crueset is the standard. (Or Amazon Basics is much less expensive and gets good reviews.)

Pasta Maker – Guaranteed to elicit grazies!

Pitcher – How beautiful is this?

 

 

Give a Game 
For family and friends who love to play, from board games to ball games.

Azul – I’ve recommended this a lot because it’s my favorite. (Another version.)

Parks – An indoorsy gift for outdoorsy peops.

Monikers – This party game gets great reviews.

Clue Conspiracy – An adult version of the classic.

Pickleball Set – Everybody’s doing it.

Bocce Set – If they like lawn games.

 

 

 

Creature Comforts
Gifts that keep them cozy at home.

Plush Robe – For him, too.

Slippers – Keep those tootsies toasty. (For her, too.)

Sweat Set – So soft and comfy. (For him, too)

Cozy Blanket – Snuggle up.

Good Books – A few recommendations:  Tom Lake, The Covenant of Water, I Have Some Questions for You, Trust.

 

 

 

Pampering Experiences
Make them feel coddled with some relaxation or sprucing up.

Balian Springs Day Spa – I recently spent a day at this spa with indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pools, saunas, an infrared area, and a great cafe — and it was wonderful. Kind of like a nicer Spa World (which I also like) but without the required nakedness.

Massage – Go for upscale at the Four Seasons in Georgetown. And here are some more to check out.

Mani-Pedi – Give a pampering sesh at nailsaloon — locations in Logan Circle and Capitol Hill.

Float Therapy – I haven’t tried it, but hear it’s very relaxing.

Dry Bar – For giftees who like regular blow-outs.

 

Great Getaways
Gift the whole fam or just the adults (or even just your partner) an escape to a driving-distance resort — or maybe even a destination further away.

Salamander Resort – A luxury spot in Middleburg, VA, with awesome amenities (for all ages) and a location near great wineries.

Tides Inn – A lovely, relaxing resort on Carter’s Creek, which leads to the Chesapeake.

Jim Thorpe – Plan a trip to this fun, quirky PA town that’s especially great for outdoorsy peops.

Greece – Go all out and gift your family an awesome vacation! (Portugal is pretty fantastic, too!)

Travel Gift Card – For American Airlines… or Delta or Southwest.

 

 

For Those with the Mostest
If you’re going to a gathering during the season, bring a little gift for the hosts.

Salt Pig – A friend gave me one last year, and I love it.

Cheese Knives – A simple, pretty set.

Candles – A colorful, twisted, tapered set.

Coffee – Infused with bourbon.

Traders Joe’s Goodies – In a pinch, pick up a few things like this, this, or this.

 

 

 

Just For Fun
Random suggestions for shits and giggles.

Best Coffee Mug – Repeat from last year, but so good.

Cocktail Recipe Book – With a literary twist.

Custom Photo Ornament – For the tree… or the rearview mirror.

Bubble Umbrella – Genius design, imo.

New York Times Games –  For those who  love word puzzles.

 

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The 2023 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide: Teen Scene

 

For the first time ever, I’m expanding on the tried-and-true, DC-inspired KFDC gift guide with collections of ideas curated for specific groups of giftees.  This one is for the teens, who can be kind of tough to shop for since they tend to be more selective about their stuff (mine are, anyway). But these ideas, hopefully, will be helpful as they come from both my experience with two teenage kids and actual input from the teens themselves. Happy Gifting!

 

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The 2023 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide: DC-Inspired

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

 

This gift guide probably looks familiar, and that’s because you’ve likely seen it before — a version of it, anyway. Over the nine years I’ve been sharing it, the general ideas haven’t changed very much (nor has the above photo that I adore or most of this intro, for that matter). While the specifics are always updated, the overall concepts have remained pretty consistent over the years.  That’s because these recommendations are meant to reflect the spirit of my blog — of adventure, discovery, local culture, and family time — and these ideas do just that. (Plus, I think they’re really good suggestions! 🙂 )

Something that will be different this year is the extension of this gift guide.  This list of all DC-inspired recommendations is the core of it, but I’ll be sharing a few separate curated guides for specific groups of giftees.  You’ve already seen Emily’s post with suggestions for the 8 & under crowd.  Look out for one just for the t(w)een scene along with gift round-ups for adults.

For now, just like the last many years, I’m sharing some things our family has really enjoyed around the area and think would make fantastic presents for a variety of people. This also gives me a chance to highlight local places and businesses offering unique experiences and products as well as people and organizations that are doing great things. And then there are ideas that are simply fun and enriching and showcase the incredible, dynamic 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!

 

Hot Tickets

Excellent Adventures

Elevated Experiences

Members Only

Keep It Classy

Fan Favorites

Museum Gift Shops

Indie Picks

Picture Perfect Presents

Design Time

Give Freely

 

 


HOT TICKETS

Live entertainment is a great gift for any age

There’s so much great live entertainment coming to local stages soon, that would make fantastic presents for kids and adults. KFDC Tip: Before you buy, check for ticket deals here as you may be able to get discounts to some productions. Here are recommendations for shows coming up soon and even a few running during the holiday season.

* Disney’s Frozen at the Kennedy Center (find discount)
* tick, tick…BOOM at the Kennedy Center
* Funny Girl at the Kennedy Center
* The Kite Runner at the Kennedy Center
* Back to the Future at the Kennedy Center (find discount)
* Junie B. Jones, The Musical at Adventure Theatre
* Cinderella: A Salsa Fairytale at Imagination Stage
* Paw Patrol at EagleBank Arena (find discount)
* Annie at National Theatre (find discount)
*
The Book of Mormon at National Theatre (find discount)
*
Peter Pan at National Theatre (find discount)
* Little Shop of Horrors at Ford’s Theatre (find discount)
* Swept Away at Arena Stage (find discount)
*
Romeo and Juliet at Synetic Theater (find discount)
* Taylor Swift
in Miami, New Orleans, or Indianapolis… or Europe!
* Olivia Rodrigo at Capital One Arena
* Batman Live in Concert
 at Warner Theatre
* Trevor Noah
at DAR Constitution Hall 
* HAIR
at Signature Theatre (find discount)
* Bad Bunny
at Capitol One Arena (find tickets)
* Bruce Springsteen
at Nationals Park (find discount)
* Macbeth
by Shakespeare Theatre Company
*
Tempestuous Elements at Arena Stage (find discount)
* L
ong Way Down at Olney Theatre
*
The 9:30 Club is legendary and welcomes all ages to most shows (think teen gift!)
* The Anthem
has a great line-up of concerts, too (again, teen gift!)
*
For holiday season shows, look here
*
You can also give a gift certificate or membership to one of the venues mentioned above!

 

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EXCELLENT ADVENTURES

The gift of adventure

For the people, young and old, in your life who like active thrills and challenges, a gift card or season pass for one of these action-packed pursuits is strongly recommended.

* Kraken, which opened this past spring, offers pickleball, roller skating, axe throwing, a rage room — and gift certificates!
* REI has all kinds of classes and events for those who like outdoor recreation.
* A season pass to a local ice skating rink will delight peeps who like to lace up and glide.
* For bigger winter fun, how about an Epic Pass? It grants access to ski resorts all around the country, including several within driving distance of DC.
* And for when it warms up, there are several great ropes courses in the area, with something suitable for every age. The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring is our favorite, and their annual Holiday Sale begins soon!
* A gift card for a paddling excursion is also good one for when it’s back in season.
* Capital City Circus School has classes in flying trapeze, static trapeze, silks, juggling trampoline, and more.  Read more about it here (from when it was Trapeze School NY).
* iFLY Loudoun offers a one-of-a-kind exhilarating opportunity to experience sky diving without stepping foot in (or out of) an airplane.  Read more about it here. (Post is about my experience, but my kids have done it, too!)
* The St. James has Super, Awesome, & Amazing fun at its activity center and indoor waterpark.
* Kids love scaling the colorful walls at ClimbZone.
*  TopGolf,  with area locations at National Harbor and Germantown, is a fun place to practice driving balls from their hitting bays.
* A sightseeing boat tour is a cool way to get a new view of DC — and have some fun on the water.

 

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ELEVATED EXPERIENCES

A peek at Encanto x CAMP that is sure to be a delight for kids

DC is known for its many free attractions, but there are some places and experiences that require admission. So, make a visit to one something special by giving it as a gift. Here are some to check out that are worth the splurgy entry fee.

* Enchant the kids with Disney Encanto x CAMP — part toy store/part interactive experience, and only here December and January.
* The Museum of Illusions will blow their minds.
* Clue them in with a Watson Adventures scavenger hunt – read more about it all in this KFDC post.
* An adventure at Escape the Room is a perfect present for puzzle solvers.
* Beat the Bomb is a new “real life video game” — and super fun, from what I hear.
* A Sleepover at the National Archives is like a real-life Night at the Museum.
* Give adults a day of relaxation at Balian Springs Spa.
* Cat people will love Crumbs and Whiskers, the cat cafe where they can cuddle with kitties and enjoy a coffee.
* Pinstripes takes bowling & bocce up a notch with good dining, to boot.
* The Mansion on O Street is easily one of the neatest places in DC…a self-guided tour and secret door hunt is practically guaranteed to delight any giftee.
* Exhibits at ARTECHOUSE are unique, immersive, and fun to experience.
* For cinema lovers, dinner (or lunch) and a movie at The Alamo would make their day (or night).
* There are many awesome attractions in Baltimore that would be great to gift.
* Several holiday light displays run into January.

 

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MEMBERS ONLY

Become an insider at the National Children’s Museum

Membership really does have its benefits!  You can get first dibs on tickets to events and shows, exclusive access to special offerings, and/or free admission to places, perfect for those who have favorite spots they frequent often. Here are some local attractions with membership options that would make for excellent gifts:

* At the National Children’s Museum, get a year of free admission, invites to special programs, members-only hours, & 10% off in the gift shop. (Starts at $225 for families.) Read more about the museum and get a glimpse here.
* National Building Museum memberships get you all into exhibits and some programs free of charge, members-only birthday parties, advanced camp registration, preview invites, and more.  (Starts at $90/year for families).
* Make someone a Smithsonian Associate to get them special benefits, access, and discounts for all kinds of Smithsonian programs. (Starts at $50.)
*  The Lane, a play and social space for families in Ivy City, offers unlimited visits and free coffee. (Starts at $125/month.)
* Sign kids up for their favorite sports team fan club that offers all kinds of fun benefits, for low cost or even free.  A few of our local pro sports team have them: Nats, Spirit, Caps.
* For adults who enjoy performing arts, the Kennedy Center  membership gets them ticket priority, special event invites, and discounts on parking, dining, and the gift shop. (Starts at $75.)
* Teen gift?  Gym membership!  They all seem to be joining these days (at my gym, anyway).  I highly recommend OneLife Fitness (formerly Sport & Health and Results before that). Of course, this is can be a gift for an adult, too.

 

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KEEP IT CLASSY

Give the gift of soccer this season

Has your child expressed interest in a particular activity? Give them a boost by getting them into a class! Here are some recommendations.

* Kids can kick it with DC Way‘s soccer offerings.
Give the gift of music with lessons from the International School of Music.
* Let them act up with performing arts classes from Adventure Theatre.
* Chess, anyone? Check (out) Magnus Chess Academy.

 

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FAN FAVORITES

Sports fan gift?  Done!

The gift of sports is no-brainer for those who love them. 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 (Holiday Packs | Merch)
* Washington Capitals (Tickets | Merch)
* Washington Mystics (Pandamonium Holiday Pack)
* Washington Wizards (Tickets | Merch)
* Washington Commanders (Tickets | Merch)
* DC United
* Washington Spirit
* University of Maryland Terrapins
* Georgetown Hoyas
* George Washington University Colonials
* Howard Bison
* American University Eagles
* George Mason Patriots
* Catholic University Cardinals

 

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ENTER THROUGH THE MUSEUM GIFT SHOP

So much to talk about in Planet Word’s gift shop

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 — I’ve purchased gifts over the years at every single one of these.
* Planet Word
* International Spy Museum
* National Gallery of Art
* National Building Museum
* Phillips Collection
* Library of Congress
* National Museum of Women in the Arts

 

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INDIE PICKS

Gifts galore to shop for at Steadfast Supply

* Steadfast Supply, located in the Navy Yard, is a great store to shop for maker-made and DC-inspired gifts.
* Book it to one of these local, independent shops to find good reads for your giftees: East City Book Shop on Capitol Hill,  Solid State Books  on H Street NE, Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle, Hurray for Books in Old Town Alexandria, Loyalty Bookstore in Petworth and Silver Spring, Politics & Prose at Union Market, The Wharf, and Northwest, and Capitol Hill Books, a legendary used books shop.
* Labyrinth Game Shop on Capitol Hill is the place to go for the best board games and puzzles. Period.
* The Pretzel Bakery is our hands down neighborhood fave for savory & sweet treats — locations on Capitol Hill & in Bethesda.
* But if it’s cupcakes you like, Sprinkles in Georgetown is our rec.
* Check the above bookstores for DC Scavenger and Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure by local author, JoAnn Hill — both are fantastic books, the former using clever clues to help you explore DC, and the latter filled with intriguing stories and interesting facts about the city.
* Give foodies a gift card for a local restaurant. Some faves: O-ku, La Collina, The Bazaar, Sushi Nakazawa, Albi, Jaleoor try the new Michellin-starred Causa and Rania.

 

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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 many 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 several years, she’s 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.

 

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DESIGN TIME

Give design guidance from a guru

If there’s someone in your life who wants an update to 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 (and in mine!) to the pretty booties on her feet. Her own home was even featured in Bethesda Magazine!

 

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GIVE FREELY

The gift of a local fossil hunting adventure — and it doesn’t cost anything

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 trip to the National Zoo.
* A visit to Planet Word, the fantastic, language-focused museum downtown.
* A fossil hunting adventure at the Purse Area in Nanjemoy, MD.
* A picnic and stroll at the lovely National Arboretum.
* A bird’s eye view of DC from the Observation Deck of the CEB Tower.
* A day at the Wizard of Oz playground, Old Maryland Farm, and Nature Center in Watkins Regional Park
* A hike through the woods to the waterfall at Scott’s Run Nature Preserve.
* A trip to the National Museum of Natural History to see the dinos (and more).
* A bike ride along the National Mall or another great area route.
* A geocaching excursion on an area hike.
* A family game of disc golf at a local course.
* A unique indoor/outdoor art adventure for ages 12 and up at Glenstone.
* Find inspo for even more here and here!

* 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 2023 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season Around DC is full of ideas for doing just that. Happy Holidays!

 

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Amazon Holiday Gift Picks for Ages 8 & Under

[Note:  This post was written by KFDC Contributor Emily Moise, a local writer and mom of three young children.   She always has excellent recommendations for kids’ items as well as local explorations with little ones. See more of them here, hereherehere, here, and here.]

 

It’s that time again to light up the lives of the little people who light up ours when we need it the most. My kids have already circled the catalogues and have compiled the lists — to which I do a heavy edit, because mama knows best. Here are my 2023 Amazon picks for little kid gifts, including many of our personal favorites and soon-to-be favorites, sent with best wishes for a happy and peaceful holiday season.

 

FOR THE ANIMAL LOVER
Guess Who Animals – A kid-friendlier update to the classic game.
Toniebox Audio Player – National Geographic story-tellers include a whale, dinosaur, & penguin.
Robo Alive Lurking Lizard – To get you through the wanting-a-pet-lizard phase.
Warmies (Alligator) – The newest craze: microwaveable, weighted animal stuffies.

 

 

FOR THE LITTLE ENGINEER
LEGO DUPLO Gingerbread House – A seasonal intro to the LEGO world.
LEGO Marvel Spider-Man Set – We’ve spent many hours scheming at this webquarters.
Alphabet Transformers – So much play-based learning in this set!
Diamond Magnetic Tiles – The best building toy ever, but prettier.

 

 

FOR THE 2023 MOVIE-GOER
Barbie Festival-Themed Doll – Not from the movie, but six-year-old me wants this one.
The Little Mermaid Doll – Almost as beautiful as Halle Bailey!
Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie Firetruck – Paw Patrol vehicles will earn their keep, trust me.
Ninja Turtle Hoodie – Put your little heroes in a half-shell zip-up hoodie

 

 

FOR THE SWIFTIE
Karaoke Machine – With Bluetooth to sync Taylor’s version.
Unicorn Fleece Jacket – Sequins and lavender…IYKYK.
Friendship Bracelets Kit – Includes a variety of letters and easy to DIY elastic string.
Taylor Swift: A Little Golden Book Biography – A story so good it seems like folklore.

 

 

FOR THEIR LITTLE PIGGIES
Fuzzy Lined Crocs – Your best bet transitioning to “winter” footwear.
Tiger Paw Slipper Socks – My son would roar for these!
Bunny Slippers – Is there anything cuter?
Glitter Boots – All sparkly, everything.

 

 

FOR THE SENSORY LOVER
Cosmic Shimmer Unicorn Slime Kit – I give up, slime wins!
Plush Diary and Squishy Pens for all the feels.
Play Doh Pizza Oven – Just be prepared to pretend-pizza-eat for hours.
Bluey Slimy Sand – A Bluey kinetic sand set—for real life!

 

 

FOR THE LOVE OF ICE CREAM
Little Tikes Ice Cream Truck – The coolest cozy coupe in town.
LeapFrog Ice Cream Cart – My kids gravitate to this as much as real ice cream.
Play Doh Ice Cream Truck Playset – Take the Doh to the next level.
Magnetic Ice Cream Sorter Board – Hello, uninterrupted time!

 

 

 

FOR THE BABY
Treetop Adventure Activity Center – With sectioned off parts for focused or parallel play.
Baby Einstein Around We Grow Walker & Activity Center – Hands-down my #1 baby item.
Baby Tissue Box Toy – Round of applause for the creator!
Indestructibles: Jingle Baby – Babies devour these rip-proof, waterproof books.

 

 

FOR-EVER ON OUR LIST
Dino Egg Bath Bombs – Never not needing a bath time bribe.
Crayola Coloring Set – Replenish the dried out supplies and add these Mini Sketch Pads.
Squishmallow (16”) – Can someone just invent a Squishmallow bed?
Shearling-Lined Puffer Coat – This 3-in-1 dinosaur coat looks like a winner too.

 

 

JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT
Disco Light – Add an Echo Dot (Kids) and the dance party will commence.
Sushi Bar Train – Influenced by an Instagram reel!
Claw Machine – I can see so many bribes uses for this.
Gumball Machine – Fulfilling FAO Schwarz kinda kid dreams.

 

What’s on your kid’s wish list this year?  Tell us in the comments!

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one and make a purchase, I may get a small commission.  This helps me continue to produce KFDC, all completely free to readers.  Thank you so much for the support!

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The 2022 KFDC Holiday Gift Guide

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

 

If this gift guide looks familiar, that’s because you’ve likely seen it before — a version of it, anyway. Over the eight years I’ve been sharing it, the general ideas haven’t changed very much (nor has the above photo that I adore). While the specifics are always updated, the overall concepts have remained pretty consistent year after year, as I want my recommendations to reflect the spirit of my blog — of adventure, discovery, local culture, and family time — and these ideas do just that. (Plus, I think they’re really good suggestions! 😉 )

So just like the last many years, I’m sharing some things our family has 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 places and businesses offering unique experiences and products as well as people and organizations that are doing great things. And then there are ideas that are simply fun and enriching and showcase the incredible, dynamic 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!

 

HOT TICKETS

Concert tickets would make a perfect teen (or adult) gift

 

There’s so much great live entertainment coming to local stages soon, that would make fantastic presents for kids and adults. KFDC Tip: Before you buy, check for ticket deals here as you may be able to get discounts to some productions. Here are recommendations for shows coming up soon and even a few running during the holiday season.

* Aquarium at Imagination Stage
* The Hula Hoopin’ Queen at Imagination Stage
* Into the Woods at Signature Theatre
* Wicked at the Kennedy Center
* Cenicienta: A Bilingual Cinderella Story at the Kennedy Center
* Les Misérables at the Kennedy Center
* Cats at National Theatre
*
Jagged Little Pill at National Theatre
* Jerry Seinfeld at The Anthem
* Trevor Noah at the Hippodrome in Baltimore
* Taylor Swift in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh
* Golden Girls: The Laughs Continue at Warner Theatre
* Bruce Springsteen at Capitol One Arena
* King Lear by Shakespeare Theatre Company
* The Jungle by Shakespeare Theatre Company
* Kinky Boots at Olney Theatre
* Ride the Cyclone at Arena Stage
* War of the Worlds at Synetic Theater
* The 9:30 Club is legendary and welcomes all ages to most shows (think teen gift!)
* The Anthem has a great line-up of concerts, too (again, teen gift!)
* For holiday season shows, look here
* You can also give a gift certificate or membership to one of the venues mentioned above!

 

EXCELLENT ADVENTURES

Give them a flying adventure

For the people, young and old, in your life who like active thrills and challenges, a gift card or season pass for one of these action-packed pursuits is strongly recommended.

* iFLY Loudoun offers a one-of-a-kind exhilarating opportunity to experience sky diving without stepping foot in (or out of) an airplane.  Read more about it here. (Post is about my experience, but my kids have done it, too!)
* 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 annual Holiday Sale! In the meantime, read more about the adventure in this KFDC post.
* Many local ice skating rinks have season passes available for peeps who want to practice their triple lutzes and spins — or just like to glide around.
* Ski season is starting, and White Tail is an easy-from-DC place to go for downhill fun.  Read more about it and find links for other regional ski resorts here.
* Trapeze School New York in DC has classes in flying trapeze, static trapeze, balancing and acrobatics, trampoline, and more.  Read more about it here.
* Give a gift card for a paddling excursion (for when it’s back in season).
* The St. James has Super, Awesome, & Amazing fun at its activity center and indoor waterpark.
* Kids love scaling the colorful walls at ClimbZone.
*  TopGolf,  with area locations at National Harbor and Germantown, is a fun place to practice driving balls from their hitting bays.
* A sightseeing boat tour is a cool way to get a new view of DC — and have some fun on the water.

 

Hang out in Dunder Mifflin at The Office Experience

ELEVATED EXPERIENCES

DC is known for its many free attractions, but there are some places and experiences that require admission. So, make a visit to one something special by giving it as a gift. Here are some to check out that are worth the splurgy entry fee.

* The Office Experience offers a tour of Dunder Mifflin…a simulated version of it, anyway. Explore re-created sets loaded with authentic, fun details and recall many funny moments from the show.  It’s in town through January 16.
* The Mansion on O Street is easily one of the neatest places in DC…a self-guided tour and secret door hunt is practically guaranteed to delight giftees of all ages.
* Exhibits at ARTECHOUSE are unique, immersive, and fun to experience.
* For movie lovers, dinner (or lunch) and a flick at The Alamo is a perfect present.
* Thrill them with a visit to the International Spy Museum.
* History buffs will enjoy exploring Mount Vernon, George Washington’s former digs.
* There are many awesome attractions in Baltimore that would be great to gift.
* The Calvert Marine Museum is a super interesting non-DC museum, too.
* Several holiday light displays run into January.

 

Gift the whole fam membership to t he National Building Museum

MEMBERS ONLY

Membership really does have its benefits!  You can get first dibs on tickets to events and shows, exclusive access to special offerings, and/or free admission to places, perfect for those who have favorite spots they frequent often. Here are some local attractions with membership options that would make for excellent gifts:

* National Building Museum memberships get you all into exhibits and some programs free of charge, members-only birthday parties, advanced camp registration, preview invites, and more.  (Starts at $90/year for families).
* At the National Children’s Museum, get a year of free admission, invites to special programs, members-only hours, & 10% off in the gift shop. (Starts at $190) Read more about the museum and get a glimpse here.
* Sign kids up for their favorite sports team fan club that offers all kinds of fun benefits, for low cost or even free.  A few of our local pro sports team have them: Nats, Spirit, Wizards, Caps
* For adults who enjoy performing arts, the Kennedy Center  membership gets them ticket priority, special event invites, and discounts on parking, dining, and the gift shop.
* Teen gift?  Gym membership!  They all seem to be joining these days (at my gym, anyway).  I highly recommend OneLife Fitness (formerly Sport & Health and Results before that). Of course, this is can be a gift for an adult, too.

CLASS IT UP

The gift of music lessons

Has your child expressed interest in a particular activity? Give them a boost by getting them into a class! Here are some recommendations.

Give the gift of music with lessons from the International School of Music.
* Let them act up with Imagination Stage theatre classes.
* And Synetic Theatre offers performing arts classes in Northern Virginia.
* Kids can kick it with DC Way‘s soccer offerings.
* Chess, anyone? Check (out) Magnus Chess Academy.

 

FAN FAVORITES

Sports fan gift?  Done!

The gift of sports is no-brainer for those who love them. 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 (Holiday Packs | Merch)
* Washington Capitals (Tickets | Merch)
* Washington Mystics (Pandamonium Holiday Pack)
* Washington Wizards (Tickets | Merch)
* DC United
* Washington Spirit
* Washington Commanders
* University of Maryland Terrapins
* Georgetown Hoyas
* George Washington University Colonials
* Howard Bison
* American University Eagles
* George Mason Patriots
* Catholic University Cardinals

 

ENTER THROUGH THE MUSEUM GIFT SHOP

The Spy Museum 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 — I’ve purchased gifts over the years at every single one of these.
* International Spy Museum
* National Gallery of Art
* National Building Museum
* Planet Word
* Phillips Collection
* Library of Congress

 

INDIE PICKS

A trove of games and puzzles at Labyrinth

Shop for unique gifts and support independent businesses around the city. Here are some of our go-tos for gift shopping close to home.

* Book it to one of these local, independent shops to find good reads for your giftees: East City Book Shop on Capitol Hill,  Solid State Books  on H Street NE, Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle, Hurray for Books in Old Town Alexandria, Loyalty Bookstore in Petworth and Silver Spring, Politics & Prose at Union Market, The Wharf, and Northwest, and Capitol Hill Books, a legendary used books shop.
* Labyrinth Game Shop on Capitol Hill is the place to go for the best board games and puzzles. Period.
* The Pretzel Bakery is our hands down neighborhood fave for savory & sweet treats — locations on Capitol Hill & in Bethesda.
* But if it’s cupcakes you like, Sprinkles in Georgetown is our rec.
* Check the above bookstores for DC Scavenger and Secret Washington, DC: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure by local author, JoAnn Hill — both are fantastic books, the former using clever clues to help you explore DC, and the latter filled with intriguing stories and interesting facts about the city.
* Give foodies a gift card for a local restaurant. Some faves: O-ku, La Collina, Maketto, Izakaya Seki, Albi, The Dabney
* Steadfast Supply is a great store to shop for maker-made and DC-inspired gifts.

 

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 several years, she’s 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 an update to 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 (and in mine!) to the pretty booties on her feet. Her own home was even just featured in Bethesda Magazine!

 

LIFE-n-STYLE

The best fire pit, cozy blankets, and more lifestyle enhancing things

These ideas are a divergence from the rest, as they began in 2020 when Covid prompted a pivot from my usual experience gift theme. But while not necessarily DC-centric, many of these will help with the enjoyment of area adventures — and a few others will enhance time at home.

* I’ve recommended a Solo Stove in previous years, but this one is going on my list this year!
* Cozy blankets are perfect for outdoor fire pit hangs…and snuggling up indoors, too.  (A fun one for kids.)
* These bike lights are always a hit.
* But, first, get the bike!
* Ice skates are an ideal winter gift.
* Roller skates are great for any time of year.
* For those who love to hike, a good (and cute) daypack.
* A nice fleece for cool weather recreation: For her, for him, for kids.
For someone who digs on-the-water adventures, how about an SUP?
* Lawn games let you bring outdoor amusement anywhere (find recs for all ages via the link)
* Bubble umbrellas for rainy days are genius, and these are so pretty, your peops will want to stand under them when the sun’s out, too.
* Winter gear for kids from reliable brands: Snow bibs, boots, jackets, hats.
* Cute, comfy slips:  For her, for him, for kids.
* And Crocs are making a comeback with all the t(w)eens.
* Plus, Jibbitz to go with them, of course.
* The best PJ’s for kids (on super sale).
* A plush robe: For her, for him, for kids.
* Cashmere that’s nice and reasonably priced. (Splurge option.)
* Cookbooks…I have this one and want to get this new one.
* Other great gift books: This new this collection of poetry, an icon’s memoir, this beautiful book by one of the best writers, a funny read, this fun one I’m getting for Sasha, and this one I’m getting for Owen (that Sash will dig, too).
* Subscriptions keep the gifts coming: MasterClass, Washingtonian Magazine, National Geographic, The New YorkerBon Appetit, New York Times (just the Cooking and Games sections are great, too)
* Random fun stuff: A kids ukelele, a dreamy coloring project, an awesome mug (and more good ones), a family board game.
* Find more gift ideas for little kids here.

 

GIVE FREELY

Glenstone Museum is a true, free treat!

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 day at the recently reopened Air & Space Museum.
* A trip to the National Zoo.
* A unique indoor/outdoor art adventure for ages 12 and up at Glenstone.
* A fossil hunting adventure at the Purse Area in Nanjemoy, MD.
* A visit to the Wizard of Oz playground, Old Maryland Farm, and Nature Center at Watkins Regional Park
* A bike ride on the Anacostia River Trail or another great area route.
* A polka-dotted experience at Yayoi Kusama’s One with Enternity at the Hirshhorn.
* A visit to Planet Word, the fantastic, language-focused museum downtown.
* A geocaching excursion on an area hike.
* A family game of disc golf at a local course.
* A photo walk at Dumbarton Oaks in winter (when admission is free).
* A day of play at Beauvoir Playground.
* Find inspo for even more here and here!

* 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 2022 KFDC Guide to the Holiday Season Around DC is full of ideas for doing just that. Happy Holidays!

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