Happy holidays! This year, make holiday shopping an outing. You could stay in at your computer choosing between tiny photos and worrying about whether your packages will be stolen or arrive on time. Or you could stroll the red-bricked streets of Capitol Hill under the glow of the lampposts and shop the many small businesses ready to help you find the perfect gift. You can complete all your holiday shopping right here on the Hill and support your community at the same time.
It’s no wonder they’re celebrating 16 years in business. Groovy DC Cards & Gifts (321 7th Street SE, groovydc.com) has it all: home accessories, cards, balloons and gifts from delicate silver candle holders to wipes that eliminate red wine from your smile. They also carry all the tissue, wrap and bows needed to dress the holiday up right! Over at The Wharf, Diament Jewelery (51 District Sq. SW, www.diamentjewelry.com) sells rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces. But they also have a wide collection of other gifts, from candles and candy to mugs, clothing, games and puzzles, ornaments, cards, wrap and bows. On H Street, Maketto (1351 H St. NE, maketto1351.com) is a communal marketplace that mixes retail, restaurant and cafe experiences. The retail section is a precisely curated mix of international footwear, clothing, accessories, books, and magazines.
Home goods at Sanabria & Co The Shop (409 E. Capitol St. NE, sanabriaandco.com) are chosen to celebrate small and ethically-minded businesses —and all the items match. Gift a Jungle and Loom plant with a Jaipur Living pot and the Wild at Home coffee table book, or get advice from design staff. Patrick’s Linen (771 Wharf St. SW, shoppatricks.com) offers everything for the home, from unique, upscale home decor including furniture, fine linens and table top wares to fragrances, shaving products and jewelry. It is a lifestyle store that offers design services for home and business.
With six locations throughout the District, including Union Market (325 Morse St. NE), The Wharf (10 District Sq. SW) and The Roost (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, www.shopmadeindc.com), Shop Made in DC has products from more than 200 makers including apothecary, apparel, art, furniture, jewelry, home decor and stationery. In Navy Yard, Steadfast Supply (301 Tingey St. SE, steadfastsupplydc.com) provides a retail platform for independent brands and designers from around the globe. You can shop it all, from accessories, art and apparel to face masks, jewelry, pet gifts and scarves. Order online and include a complimentary personalized note with your order.
Want to get great gifts that are environmentally conscious? In addition to bulk groceries and deli items, sustainability store Mason and Greens (400 Eighth St. SE) has great gift items that are plastic-free and locally-sourced. You’ll find cosmetics and bath items, wooden ornaments, eco-friendly Christmas crackers, advent calendars and needful things like a plastic-free coffee cup.
The Hill is rich in gift shops —but don’t sleep on the hardware stores. Frager’s (1115 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, acehardware.com) carries a wide variety of sweets, toys, decor items, decoration, culinary tools and gardening tools —check out the holiday cards by Erin Thompson and the treats by Capitol Candy Jar. Jenk’s Hardware (910 Bladensburg Rd. NE, wsjenks.com) also carries holiday decor, household items and big gifts like the Green Egg. Check out Little Wild Things Farm upstairs at 906 Bladensburg Rd. NE (littlewildthingsfarm.com), where you can gift a salad share membership or flavored vinegars.
For the Kids
Labyrinth (645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, labyrinthdc.com) is a family-friendly, community-focused store featuring a wide selection of non-electronic, specialty games, puzzles, and mazes. Or go online to get personal recommendations from the Labyrinth Personal Shopper, or to see lists of top-sellers, stocking stuffers or local designers. For more than 35 years, Roberta and Jack Blanchard at Fairy Godmother Books and Toys (319 Seventh St. SE) have offered a choice selection of books, toys, clothes, costuming and stuffed friends. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Honey Made (727 Eighth St. SE, honeymadedc.com) is anchored by Viboonrattana Honey’s unique baby, children clothes and accessories brand, Li’l Fishy. It is cheerfully stocked with RBG and DC tee shirts, as well as a selection of women’s and children’s dresses, jewelry, notecards, zippered pouches, wallets, and lotions.
The Union Market shop Three Littles (1260 Fourth St. NE, threelittles.co) carries sustainable, thoughtfully-designed children’s goods designed to stand the test of kids and time. The shop offers a selection of necessities and gifts, making an effort not to overwhelm shoppers. Or choose from several thousand figures displayed in antique showcases at The Toy Soldier Shop (503 11th St. SE, toysoldiershop.com). Toy soldier books, wooden castles and a remarkable selection of original WWI posters round out the offerings. Open Saturdays.
Help artists beginning and seasoned build on their talents with a class from Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW, 545 Seventh St. SE, chaw.org). Classes are available in arts, ceramics, photography and dance. Or do you have a budding dancer? Studio One Dance (511 11th St. SE, studioone-dance.com) offers creative ballet to kids from two to eight years. Joy of Motion Dance (1333 H St. NE; joyofmotion.org) offers hip hop, jazz, modern and tap dance students starting at 2 years old.
For the Bibiliophile
Is there a book lover on your list? Capitol Hill is rich in book shops. East City Bookshop (645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is an independent, woman-owned and community-focused bookstore for children and adults. In addition to books, they also carry a selection of toys, gifts, art supplies and literary-inspired items. eastcitybookshop.com
On C Street SE, Capitol Hill Books (657 C St. SE, capitolhillbooks-dc.com) serves up everything from well-loved pocket books to first editions. The store has three floors of quality used books along with a selection of new titles, first editions, and rare and collectable books. You can shop online, but there are way more books in the store than could possibly be listed on the website; they also offer a surprise book box. On Barracks Row, Little District Books (737 Eighth St. SE, littledistrictbooks.com) sells books that represent the spectrum of LGBTQIA+ identities and independent publishers. They offer a monthly subscription box as well as a curated gift box —you give them a theme, and they fill it up.
Over on H Street, Black-owned Solid State Books (600F H St. NE, solidstatebooksdc.com) has a deep and diverse selection with a café for a pit stop. Solid State Books has an extensive children’s book and young adult section to fully serve the smallest readers. Head further north to Union Market to check out Politics and Prose (1270 Fifth St. NE) or visit them at The Wharf (70 District Sq. SW, www.politics-prose.com). The DC-based business carries an extensive selection of books for adults and children, games, apparel, gifts and stationary. Staff are known for their knowledge of literature. P&P offers a subscription service that will send customers a book every month.
Health and Fitness
Strength and flexibility are gifts of health. Sport & Health has been renamed OneLife Fitness (315 G St. SE, onelifefitness.com) and offers gift memberships, personal training packages and spa services. Boutique fitness studio Jade Fitness (1310 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; jadefitnessdc.com) offers small group and one-on-one training and studio fitness and yoga classes.
Want a flexible gift? Hot Yoga Capitol Hill (410 H St. NE, hotyogacapitolhill.com) offers an all-inclusive new student special to local residents, from pilates and yoga to fusion for kids and adults. District Flow Yoga (410 Eighth St. SE, districtflowyoga.com) offers outdoor classes on District Pier at The Wharf in addition to in-studio, with unlimited memberships, single classes and intro specials.
#BikeDC! To truly impress a cyclist, put your gift where their heart is: the bike. At Daily Rider (600 H St. NE, thedailyriderdc.com) get gift certificates for a tune-up or find the perfect accessory or clothing item. Conte’s Bike Shop (contesbikes.com) in Navy Yard (1331 Fourth St. SE) offers bikes, racks, baskets and everything from helmets to socks.
Get the holidays done DC-style with a stop at Capital Candy Jar (201 15 St. NE, capitalcandyjar.com). Jane Thomas, aka J. Chocolatier, will pop up in front of Groovy DC (321 Seventh St. SE), offering artisan hand-made chocolate in classic brown wrap with red ribbon—the figs are amazing and the fleur de sel caramels a stocking staple. jchocolatier.com
If your sweets are best baked, check out the decadent and beautiful cupcakes by Cake Theory (325 Seventh St. SE) which can be stuffed, topped and loaded in multiple flavors. Or opt for croissants, madeleines, shortbread, macarons and cookies from Souk (705 Eighth St. SE, dcsouk.com). Gluten not your thing? Sweet Crimes Bakery (1238 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) does it with their pies, cakes, cookies and pastries. Pre-order at sweetcrimes.com
But a treat is as a treat does, so don’t forget the adult beverages. Check out Classy Corks (801 Virginia Ave. SE) for a wide selection of wine, beer and spirits from Absinthe to Zinfandel. The consultants at Schneiders of Capitol Hill (300 Massachusetts Ave. NE) —eight in the wine department alone—can draw on 60 years of experience to help you find the perfect bottle for meal, stocking or under the tree. cellar.com
The holidays are a time for foliage, so check out the new florists on the Hill. H Street’s Seven Petals (408 H St. NE, sevenpetals.co) offers flowers done differently — the infinite rose collection is a boxed bouquet of specially preserved roses dyed all the colors of the rainbow that can last up to three months. Or preorder the Champagne Christmas Tree, a real tree that opens to reveal a champagne bottle. She Loves Me (721 Eighth St. SE, shelovesme.com) offers holiday wreath and centerpiece workshops, unique bouquets and a full selection of gifts such as puzzles, confetti cannons, candles and the “surprise orange.” Or check out Volanni (218 Ninth St. SE, volanni.com) where you can order your holiday bouquets, each one with a name like a story—and holiday wreaths in a variety of trims and sizes. They also offer gift baskets.
The Flea Market at Eastern Market (200 & 300 blocks Seventh St. SE; 700 block C Street SE, https://easternmarket-dc.org/our-outdoor-vendor) has something for everyone. Kids will see themselves in Jacq’s doll’s; grown-ups will love how they look in jewelry by vendors like Enise or a t-shirt from Hero Heads. Art, finely-crafted furniture, imported crafts and vintage and antique furniture, art, records and clothing —you can find something for everyone every Saturday and Sunday at the flea market.
This year’s DC Holiday Market operates from Nov. 18 to Dec. 23 on two entire blocks of F Street NW, from Seventh to Ninth Streets NW. With its main grand entrance located on the sidewalk in front of the National Portrait Gallery, more than 70 exhibitors including Black-owned and minority-owned businesses and six food vendors will provide tasty treats and hot beverages. There’s also a live stage! downtownholidaymarket.com
Unique Markets will again open the Holiday Market at Dock 5 at Union Market, featuring local designers and small business owners. But it’s not just a market, it’s a festival—with free drinks, projects, photo moments and more. Tickets are required. Check it out at eventbrite.com/e/unique-markets-dc. The Pennsylvania Avenue East Main Street will host their 2nd annual holiday market on Saturday, Dec. 17 from noon to 5 p.m. at the DC Dream Center (2826 Q St SE, mhcdo.org). In addition to the opportunity to shop from local and small business there will be photos with Santa, a DJ and dancing, contests and more.
But don’t forget the fuzziest members of the family! Howl to the Chief (719 Eighth St. SE, howltothechief.com) offers a full selection of treats and toys for pets, in addition to natural food and supplies. Shop online for delivery and pickup. Are you going out of town for the holiday? Give your dog a holiday, too, at Dogtopia Navy Yard (900 M St. SE, dogtopia.com), where they offer doggy spa services.
Pets, like kids, tend to get into things over the holidays, so put the vet in your contacts. District Vet has a location in Navy Yard (801 Second St. SE) and Eastern Market (240 Seventh St. SE, districtveteasternmarket.com) and a way of treating pets like your family. Veterinarian Emergency Group (VEG, 925 H St. NE, veterinaryemergencygroup.com) promises short waits, no paperwork until your pet has gone into treatment, and no separation—you’ll be able to stay near your pet during their treatment.
This year shop local. After checking off everyone on your list, stop with friends to share a glass, then head home to do some wrapping with your packages safely under your arm and your heart warmed with the joy of the multiple ways you can give —and give back to your community.