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Capital Wishlist: Special Gifts With a Washington Flavor

Bourbon Barrel Chair

Where: Homebody (715 Eighth St. SE)
Price: $795

Furniture-maker Kurt Massé builds chairs made with bourbon barrel staves, retaining the charcoal stains that blackened the wood during the barrel-making process. Bonus: A hidden drawer beneath the seat provides storage.

Party Animal Dog Treats

Where: Chateau-Animaux (733 Eighth St. SE)
Price: $2.99 each
The peanut butter donkey and cheese elephant are just some of the treats made in Maryland by pet goods store Chateau-Animaux. It also produces its own line of dog biscuits, made without wheat, corn or soy.

Wire Jewelry

Where: Drabo Gallery table at Eastern Market’s Weekend Outdoor Market (Seventh Street Southeast, between Pennsylvania and North Carolina avenues)
Price: $90

Jewelry-maker Eleanor Drabo has been selling pieces at Eastern Market for 20 years. Select from earrings made of sterling silver wire or 14-karat yellow or rose gold wire, or slip on a cocktail ring cast from stainless steel ($20-$90).

Streets of Washington


Price: $19.99
“Lost Washington, D.C.” chronicles 22 painstakingly researched stories about the people and places from the District’s past. Local blogger John DeFerrari’s book debuted in October, making it a timely holiday gift.

Early Edition Books

Where: Capitol Hill Books (657 C St. SE) and Riverby Books (417 East Capitol St.)
Price: Varies
The District’s big-box bookstores have taken a hit, but these two shops soldier on. Both offer rare items as well as first editions.

Antique Stereoview

Where: Tom Rall’s table at the Flea Market at Eastern Market (Hine School Yard at Seventh and C streets Southeast)
Price: $9

Tom Rall’s collection of antique photos, maps, stereoviews, lantern slides and postcards offer a glimpse of bygone days in the nation’s capital. His wares also will be on display at the Downtown Holiday Market (F Street between Seventh and Ninth streets Northwest), which starts Dec. 2.

Games of Washington Life

Where: Labyrinth Games and Puzzles (645 Pennsylvania Ave. SE)
Price: $60 (“Labyrinth”), $29.99 (“Campaign Manager”)

These strategic board games make intel analysis and campaign drudgery look fun. “Labyrinth: The War on Terror, 2001-?” offers a two-player version pitting jihadists against the United States, as well as a single-player option for taking on al-Qaida. Jason Matthews, a former staffer for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), co-designed the two-person “Campaign Manager 2008,” in which players seek to guide their respective presidential campaigns to victory. Both games scored above a seven out of 10 on

For the Kids

Where: Be With Me Playseum (545 Eighth St. SE)
Price: $6 per person

Kids and parents can hang out, imagine and create in the D.C.-themed rooms at the Playseum. At its core, the Playseum is a children’s used bookstore, but at its heart, it’s an opportunity to bond. Families spend time making crafts, playing dress-up and creating their own worlds at one price for the entire day.

For the High Flyer

Where: Trapeze School of New York, Washington, D.C. (Fourth and Tingey streets Southeast)
Price: $45 and up

Put your courage and agility to the test with flying trapeze lessons on the indoor or outdoor rig set up alongside the Anacostia River. New flyers are taught to hang from the bar by their knees and can attempt a catch in their first class. Other circus arts are also well-represented at the school, with classes available for the aerial hoop, aerial silks and trampoline.

For the Weary Commuter


Give the gift of freedom from Metro and K Street gridlock with a Capital Bikeshare membership. With more than 1,000 bikes available around the clock at more than 100 stations in Washington and Arlington, Va., the program gives riders the convenience of a bike without the responsibility for maintaining it.

For the Mariner

Where: USS Sequoia (Gangplank Marina, Sixth Street and Maine Avenue Southwest)
Price: By request

Rent this restored presidential yacht for exclusive charters for up to four hours. The yacht served nine presidents from 1931 to 1977 and has been designated as a national historic landmark. Cruise the Potomac River and dine aboard the yacht with up to 50 of your closest friends.

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