It’s that time of year, the leaves have fallen and there’s a chill in the air. The holiday season is in full swing — but there’s still time to secure gifts for your loved ones! Whether for Christmas, Hanukkah, or a birthday… the Arena holiday gift guide has the present for you.

For the one who’s young at heart…

Soon enough it’ll be snowing, the kids in your life will be home from school, and you’ll be racking your brain to make plans for the day. Ice skating? Snowball fights? How about a Magical Musical Holiday Show?! 

Holiday Gift Guide - Step Afrika's Magical Musical Step Show

As the world’s first holiday show incorporating the African American tradition of stepping –  starring fabulous furry friends from the Arctic Kingdom, “Popper the Penguin” and “Polo the Polar Bear,” and let’s not forget “DJ Nutcracker” – Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show is a unique, music-filled holiday event for the entire family where – spoiler alert – kids might even get to dance on Arena’s iconic Fichandler Stage!

For the one who likes to do all their shopping at once…

Holiday Gift Guide - Shop Made in DC

Shop Made in DC is a retail initiative with a mission to grow DC’s makers and artists. Their four stores—in Georgetown, Union Market, Canopy Embassy Row, and The Wharf—are home to over 200 artisans and nearly 5,000 products, including apparel, art, furniture, jewelry, home decor, and stationery. There’s a little something for everyone at Shop Made in DC. It’s also a personal favorite of Arena staff since The Wharf location is right up the street from the Mead Center!

For the one who loves getting merch…

Holiday Gift Guide - Arena's gift bar

At Arena’s gift bar we have amazing posters, pins, books, hats…you name it! Last week, we explored the history of our famous show artwork – so why not snag a poster of their favorite Arena play? Or pick up a book that’s been carefully curated to complement the topics explored in our next show. (We even have show-specific rubber ducks. Trust us—they’re amazing). Our lobby is open Tuesday – Sunday 12-8pm, stop by anytime and pick up a present from Visitor Services!

For the one who loves volunteering…

Holiday Gift Guide - Marcella Kriebel art

Marcella Kriebel is a DC-based artist whose posters you might recognize from the Arena gift bar! Marcella works in a variety of mediums, although she is best known for her dynamic watercolors. While every one of her pieces is gorgeous, we specifically wanted to highlight her 2023 Calendar. Each year, Marcella creates a calendar to raise awareness and funds for a worthy non-profit organization committed to furthering the cause of social justice and addressing the needs of low-income members of our community. This year, she chose DC Central Kitchen. With the purchase of this calendar, you are helping DC Central Kitchen continue to educate and serve those in need through job training, job creation, and reliable access to healthy food.

For the one who lets you know they are from DC, DC…

Holiday Gift Guide - Torie Partridge illustrated maps from Terratorie

We’re sure you’ve seen these iconic maps from Terratorie, but did you know the artist and her store are in Brookland?! Torie Partridge is the founder and map illustrator behind these incredible designs. Meticulously researched and full of interesting detail, her map collection explores all different neighborhoods that make up the cities we call home. We at Arena especially love her SW DC prints. (Can you find us on the map?).

For the one who saw Hamilton at The Public…

They’re the ones ahead of the curve, who know when a musical is going to be a big deal. They’re the tastemaker of the family and getting them a gift is near impossible. But luckily for you, we have a musical that will satiate their appetite for all things new and exciting. 

Holiday Gift Guide - Ride the Cyclone

Ride the Cyclone is the next cult musical. The lives of six teenage chamber choir singers are cut short in a freak roller coaster accident. Stuck in the afterlife, a mechanical fortune teller gives them a chance to sing their way back to earth. Ride the Cyclone already has a huge social media following (people write fanfiction about the characters!) and there’s an amazing cast recording to enjoy. Just check TikTok, Ride the Cyclone is not to be missed.

For the one who saw The Great White Way at Arena before it went to Broadway…

They know all things new and exciting before it’s even on anyone else’s radar. They’re big thinkers who are always exploring new ideas and checking out new plays and new venues. Luckily for you Arena has two new Power Plays in our 2022/23 season. 

Holiday Gift Guide - The High Ground, and Exclusion

The High Ground tackles the destruction and desecration of Tulsa’s Greenwood District in Oklahoma’s 1921 race massacre. From the mind of award-winning playwright Nathan Alan Davis comes a Power Play that explores what it means to persevere beyond devastation. This is a world premiere drama. Be one of the first to see it!

Exclusion takes place in the larger-than-life locale of Hollywood. A historian is thrown out of her element when her book about the Chinese Exclusion Act is optioned to become a TV show. She wrestles with the weight of historical facts against her own awakening ambitions. In this workplace comedy, tensions rise and deals are made…and broken. If comedy is your friend’s thing, this is the premiere for them!

For the one who’s always reading non-fiction…

A Tour Of Her Own women's history tour in DC

A Tour Of Her Own is the first tourism company in DC to focus exclusively on women’s history. This enterprising group was founded in 2018 by licensed tour guide Kaitlin Calogera after years of seeing a lack of women’s representation in history and public spaces.We at Arena are obsessed with their tours—whether in-person or virtual. And did you know they have their own book? Gift your loved one a specialized tour or pick up a copy of 111 Places in Women’s History That You Must Not Miss in Washington, DC so they can be their own guide!

For the ones who love architecture…

Holiday Gift Guide - IconsDC capital style architecture poster

iconsDC holds a special place in our heart because of their “Capital Style” Architecture Poster, which highlights 25 favorite DC buildings —including the striking Mead Center!Their mission is a simple one: to create a sophisticated collection of products that is unique, design-forward, and crafted of the very finest materials, all of which capture Washington’s majesty and history as a global cultural capital in new and exciting ways.

For the one who already has an Arena subscription…

We’ve recommended a lot of show tickets. But what if your loved one is ahead of the curve and already has these?! Don’t worry—we thought of that. 

Holiday Gift Guide - Dobie Delight non-alcoholic cocktails from Sobar

There are so many ways to enhance the Arena experience! Gift your friend a drink voucher, so they can enjoy a Dobie Delight before their next show. Or, go the non-alcoholic route with our new partner Sobar. Sobar’s mission is to encourage choice in how we celebrate, by providing a variety of sophisticated non-alcoholic beverages to consumers. We can’t wait to taste their delicious offerings, and hope you’ll check them out!

There’s truly something for everyone. From the theater novices to the pros – everyone deserves a thoughtful gift this time of year. We hope you’ll take our advice and get them something extra special.