Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the whole family to enjoy

Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the whole family to enjoy
Bob Chaves as Scrooge, Miranda Lacy as Charity Lady, James Senavitus as Bob Cratchit and David McCarthy as Businessman in ‘A Christmas Carol.’ (Courtesy of The Little Theatre of Alexandria)

By Caitlyn Meisner |

Getting multiple gifts for each person in your family can be exhausting and time-consuming, not to mention very expensive. Why not give the gift of an experience everyone can enjoy together as a group? 

Gifting an experience has an everlasting quality that a toy, article of clothing or a mug just doesn’t: memories. Sure, a toy can bring a sense of nostalgia, but you’ll never forget the time you and your family went to the aquarium or local show over winter break. 

So, this season, think of gifts that are best for the entire family to enjoy and not just for specific family members. This way, you can make memories and bond with your family during this joyous time of year. 

Little Theatre of Alexandria 

The Little Theatre of Alexandria, a city staple, has rotating plays that everyone in the family can enjoy. For an early present, “A Christmas Carol” will be onstage until December 16. Tickets are on sale now for shows starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and shows at 3 and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Seats can be purchased online or through the box office and cost between $20 and $25. Phone orders can be made from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling 703-683-0496. 

But if you’re looking more into the future, “Annie: The Musical” will premiere on February 10 and remain on stage until March 2. Tickets will be available starting January 10. For families with children 13 and older, “Murder on the Orient Express” and Mark Twain’s “Is He Dead?” are also coming to LTA in 2024. 

Escape Room Live 

An immersive, historical experience in Alexandria is not something you can always find, but at Escape Room Live, this is their bread and butter. There are four different rooms to escape from, so pick your poison. 

Escape Room Live via their website states this activity is meant to promote team-building and bonding, as this situation can improve problem-solving skills and morale. This is a great activity for teenagers bored over winter or spring breaks. 

Each room has a different level of difficulty and is recommended for children 13 and older. The rooms are Sherlock Holmes: A Matter of Time, Edgar Allen Poe: Poe-Ranormal Activity, Sherlock Holmes: Bomb’s Away and The Wizard’s Apothecary. You’ll have an hour and a half to complete the mission of escaping and it costs $37 per person. 

For more information on how to book, visit escaperoom 

The Art League 

Everyone has a creative side, whether they like to admit it or not. This season, as we are all inevitably made to stay inside due to the cold temperatures, it’d be fun to trek out at least once with the family to an art class. 

The Art League provides a plethora of classes at any given time on every day of the week. There are a wide range of classes to fit any skill level, from beginner to advanced. Their website has a great way to filter the classes by picking your interests, preferred time of day, day of the week, season and either online or in-person. 

Tons of classes are running at the beginning of 2024 for children of all ages. Some to note are Drawing and Painting for Teens; Art Fun-damentals for children aged five to eight; Basic Drawing; Manga, Comics and Cartooning; Pottery Wheel Techniques for Youth; and Mixed Up Mediums. Costs for each workshop or class fluctuates along with the days and times available. 

Or, if you’d like to just take a class with a parent, significant other or whoever you deem as your family, there are plenty of adult-only classes available on a flexible schedule. 

All classes can be purchased online at theartleague. org/classes/. 


If your family is the active type, Sportrock, an indoor climbing gym, has plenty of classes and programs to satisfy the hankering for climbing – many of which are on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Sportrock runs a junior climbing class for eight weeks with open sessions starting February 3. The program costs $225 and the class runs for two hours from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. This class is meant for children aged four to eight. Sportrock also offers a teen climbing class, which allows children aged 12 to 17 to work with an instructor. This also runs for eight weeks starting February 3 and costs $240. 

There are also multiple sessions of open climbs, which are perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Children must be five or older to participate and sessions run for an hour and a half at $40 per person. 

For more information, visit ria-classes. 

Fiscus Glassworks 

This locally owned glassworks shop is a great place to branch out and experience something completely new with your family. As a family-owned business, Fiscus has many opportunities for families to bond – and not just the glass. 

Fiscus offers a parent-child special project class – meant for children aged 10 to 15 – where you can create stained glass art in two- to four-hour workshops. The class has three sessions and costs $40 per project. 

Fiscus also has a basic stained glass skills course for children 16 and older. This is a great opportunity to take your older teenager and step out of your comfort zone. This is an eight-hour experience: You can either work over four two-hour sessions or three three-hour sessions. This experience costs $175 per person. 

For more information on how to book a class, visit