This holiday season, give the gift of experiences in Alexandria, VA. Choose from memory-making experiences ranging from historical walking tours to soothing spa moments (including gift cards for later use) to creative kits and more. Keep reading to get inspired.
Look for more ideas for shopping small with the Guide to Alexandria Holiday Shopping.
For indoor experiences, visit each business’s website to learn about safety precautions, as studies show that indoor activities can pose more risk of contracting COVID-19 than outdoor activities. Or, purchase a gift card to share an experience for later use.
Make Your History Buff’s Dreams Come True
Key to the City: Unlock Alexandria’s history with Alexandria’s Key to the City attractions pass—a $60 value for just $20—offering access to nine historic sites, from Carlyle House to the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum and more, plus museum store discounts and additional perks.
Alexandria Colonial Tours: Treat someone to a spooky experience on an outdoor walking ghost tour with Alexandria Colonial Tours to discover the haunting secrets hidden in Old Town Alexandria’s centuries-old streets.
Discover Alexandria: Book a private or public historical walking tour centered on themes ranging from the general “Discover Alexandria” tour to “Women of Civil War Alexandria” to seasonal routes and more.
Manumission Tour Company: Purchase a gift card for a tour (or Black history-themed merch) from Alexandria City Councilman John T. Chapman’s guided walking tour company, exploring the experiences of African Americans in early Alexandria, from the Underground Railroad to the successes of free Black individuals in antebellum Alexandria.
Mount Vernon membership: A year-long membership at George Washington’s Mount Vernon is the gift that keeps on giving, with free, unlimited daytime admission, discounted tickets for programming and much more.
Tall ship Providence: Military buffs and the nautically-inclined will be thrilled to climb aboard for a docked tour of the tall ship Providence, a reproduction of the first ship authorized to serve in the Continental Navy and John Paul Jones’ first American command, complete with historic characters and interpretation.
Offer a Boost of Creativity
The Art League: Let a loved one unleash their inner creative genius with online classes from The Art League, ranging from “Dynamic Fashion Illustration” to “Jumpstart in Mosaics.”
Kidcreate Studio: Kidcreate Studio is an art studio uniquely designed for children. Give your favorite kiddo a gift to educate and entertain for every comfort level, from in-person classes with safety measures in place to kits for curbside pickup to gift card options.
AR Workshop: Treat someone you love to one of AR Workshop’s DIY To-Go kits (plus pop-up creative sessions) for crafting mood-boosting home décor like evergreen garlands and painted wood planks.
Wear Ever Jewelry: In addition to stunning American-made pieces, Wear Ever Jewelry hosts in-person workshops (with safety precautions), including romantic experiences like couples ring-making classes.
fibre space: Help a loved one pick up a new hobby with “Learn to Knit” kits from fibre space, Old Town’s boutique “yarn universe.”
Spoil Someone with a Salon Experience
Grab a gift card from the salons below to give a loved one a style refresh at a later date.
Cualtzin Salon: Named after the Aztec word for “gorgeous,” Cualtzin Salon is a sustainable beauty destination on King Street with an eco-friendly approach to helping you and your loved ones look their best. A gift card will also cover the salon’s low carbon footprint products.
Hazel O. Salon: Help a friend start the new year with a new style from Hazel O. Salon, a beauty oasis with a sleek, sophisticated interior and staff experienced in styling diverse hair types and textures.
Inq Tattoos: Got a friend who’s itching to get inked? This woman and veteran-owned boutique offers a modern take on the tattooing experience with a focus on clean design, customer service, and transparency.
Salon deZEN: Named a Best Salon in Northern Virginia, Salon deZEN’s artsy, inclusive atmosphere puts everyone at ease as their skilled stylists help their clients’ identities shine through, offering classic cuts as well as unique application services like fluid hair painting.
Salon Monte: For your reality TV-loving friend, Salon Monte is a must. Monte Durham has dished out advice and dolled up brides as fashion director on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta since 2010. Now, Monte has set up shop with a brand-new waterfront salon. You can also share Monte hair products for an at-home salon-style treatment.
Give Ways to Get Active
Get Fit Studio: For the friend with fitness goals, try a membership at Get Fit Studio, a boutique gym in Old Town specializing in HIIT and strength training, currently offering outdoor and virtual streaming options.
Pedego Electric Bikes: Share a gift card to get your loved one rolling on a Pedego Electric Bike, available for rental or purchase.
PIES Fitness Yoga Studio: Give the gift of self-care from PIES Fitness Yoga Studio, which offers a range of inclusive, welcoming virtual classes from Zumba to “My Body Don’t Bend Like That” yoga.
Unlimited Biking: This holiday season, Unlimited Biking is offering 30% discount online for bike rentals and tours. Use the code “30OFF” when you shop gifts from bikes to apparel to accessories at Unlimited Biking’s online store.
Provide a Pampering Session
Grab a gift card from the spas below to let a loved one say “ahhh” at a later date.
Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa: Know someone in need of a spa moment? Voted one of Northern Virginia’s Best Spas in 2019, Alexandria’s only hotel spa is an urban retreat that soothes away stress with treatments like the “Swedish Aroma Massage” and “Rose Quartz Massage,” quick pick-me-ups like the “Sweet Slumber Scalp Massage” and perk-filled monthly memberships.
Fountains Day Spa: Also a top regional spa, Fountains Day Spa, set in a sunny, centuries-old townhouse, offers the best in skin and body therapies. Surprise your significant other with Fountains’ soothing couples massage.
Izalia Laser Hair Removal and Rejuvenation Spa: Izalia specializes in aesthetic energy devices, offering broad menu of cosmetic treatments.
Sugar House Day Spa and Salon: Set in a 19th-century sugar refinery, Sugar House Day Spa and Salon offers an opulent selection of treatments, from organic facials to aromatherapy massages to extra-sweet packages like the “Slice of Heaven” that will make someone’s day.
Give an At-Home Restaurant Experience
Help your foodie friend or family member savor their favorites in the comfort and safety of their own home. Share Alexandria restaurant gift cards as palate-pleasing presents for loved ones, at the same time giving these small businesses a boost when they need it most. Explore you favorite restaurants and find special gift card deals for tasty takeout here.
Here’s where to shop online for more perfect gifts for everyone on your list this holiday season.
Header Image Credits, left to right: AR Workshop Instagram account; Kristian Summerer for Visit Alexandria; Cameron Davidson for Visit Alexandria