Experiential holiday gifts

Media Credit: Camille DeSanto | Assistant Photo Editor

After a stressful semester filled with exams and papers, treat yourself to a spa day before heading home.

Before you flock to online stores to do your holiday shopping this season, consider giving your loved ones something they can experience.

Give the gift of a long-lasting memory for your friends and family, including concert tickets, subscription classes on their favorite hobby or an evening out at their favorite restaurant. We’ve rounded up 10 experiential gift ideas that will have your loved ones talking about them for years to come.

1. A spa day
A full day of pampering with relaxing treatments, including facials, massages and manicures would make anyone feel special. After a stressful week of finals, grab your friend and treat them to a spa day around the D.C. area before you head out of the city for winter break. A membership could go a long way for working friends and family who may not have the time to treat themselves often.

2. An amusement park trip
Encourage your friends and family to tune into their inner child with a ticket to an amusement park. Take your loved one to an attraction like Six Flags or Busch Gardens near the DMV and they’ll come home feeling satisfied after a day of excursions.

3. A ticket to the theater
Spend a night out attending a live musical, play, opera or dance as a way to enjoy the holiday season with your friends and family. Must-see musicals and shows like “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” playing at The National Theatre, and “The Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker,” being performed at Warner Theatre, are touring in D.C. this holiday.

4. A concert ticket
A night of singing and dancing to a favorite artist or band is hands-down one of the most unforgettable presents to give. Use your loved one’s Spotify Wrapped to find an artist like Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Bruno Mars, Playboi Carti or Madonna to go see in concert at venues around the DMV area this holiday season.

5. A plane ticket
Gifting a loved one plane tickets to an attractive destination is a classic but clever choice. You and your best friend can travel together and visit eye-catching destinations like NYC, Yosemite Park, Las Vegas, Nashville and San Francisco.

6. An evening of tastings
Whether you enjoy wine, beer, cheese or chocolate, give your the food and drink connoisseurs the gift of a tasting of their choice. The options to indulge are endless in D.C. – head to joints like Dacha Beer Garden for beer tasting or The Chocolate House in Dupont Circle for chocolate tasting.

7. A dinner at a fancy restaurant
A dinner will bring you and your loved ones closer together by sitting around a table and enjoying a meal together. Eating at their favorite restaurant or an eatery they have always wanted to try serves for a memorable bonding experience. Choose from a multitude of options within the district, like Ristorante Bonaroti, Mazi, The Capital Grille and Quadrant.

8. A music or TV subscription
Gift your friends a brand new subscription to streaming services they might not already have accounts for like Disney+, HBO Max or Apple TV. You could also take advantage of student discounts for services like Paramount+, YouTube Premium or Spotify Premium if you are gifting a fellow college student.

9. A surprise party
Celebrate the accomplishments of your loved one this year by organizing a get-together to honor them and their hard work. Set up party games like spin the bottle, charades and Cards Against Humanity, as well as drinks, food and cake to make their year and show them how much they mean to you.

10. A subscription to a hobby class
The gift of learning and applying something new is always a wonderful takeaway for anyone, especially if you and your loved one take part together. Opt for a subscription to a language, cooking or painting class in D.C.– anything specific that would pique the interest of your friends and family. Either way, picture the joy you will bring them when they realize you have been listening to their interests all along the way.

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