16 Gift Ideas for Weekenders

This holiday season, give the gift of going out.


The Donkey Show at A.R.T. / Courtesy Photo

— Shows —

Performance lineups for 2015 are already filling up, and there’s already an abundance of live entertainment to look forward to. Here are a few to get the party started:

Broadway in Boston

For the musical lover on your list, check out Broadway in Boston shows coming up in the new year. Treat them to a showing of Motown: The Musical, Dirty Dancing, Newsies, or Kinky Boots. Want to be a badass? Buy them a membership for the best seats at all four.

See what else is coming up at the Boston Opera House.

“Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host” with Ira Glass, Monica Bill Barnes, and Anna Bass

Glass himself admits that no one listens to This American Life and thinks, “You know what this show needs? Dancers.” And yet this particular show, where he tells stories and Barnes and Bass dance them out, combines the two talents into one mood-lifting day at the theater.

See what else is coming up from Celebrity Series of Boston.

The Donkey Show at American Repertory Theater

This perennial favorite is part show, part dance party. If you and your friends haven’t been, make a date in 2015 to experience the Midsummer Night’s Dream-inspired disco extravaganza.

See what else is coming up from the A.R.T.

— Classes —

Too cool for school? Never—especially when your classes involve a lot of food, a lot of booze, and belly-aching laughter.

Celebrity Culinary Classes at the BCAE

Warm up your winter with another series of celebrity cooking classes at the BCAE. Chefs hosting sessions in January and February include Jared Forman, Todd Winer from Pastoral, Tiffani Faison of Sweet Cheeks Q, Peter Hansen from The Cottage, Sarah Wade from Lulu’s Allston, and chefs from Stacked Donuts and Urban Grape.

Another awesome cooking class: Artepicure in Somerville.

Eliot School

Handy classes for all ages are available at Eliot School, where you can learn everything from drawing and painting, to woodworking, to books, soaps, and other crafts. Maybe your friend will make you a nice thank-you token.

Paint Nite

Paint Nite is a classic “I’ve always wanted to do that” activity. Come for the company, stay for the booze, and leave with your very own piece of artwork—that kind of looks like everyone else’s, but that’s OK. Gift tickets are currently 40 percent off through New Year’s.

Cocktail Classes at the Boston Shaker

For those who saw “Culinary Class” above and thought, “Why eat when you can drink?” Adam Lantheaume’s class at Boston Shaker was our Best of Boston pick for Best Friend Date this year.

Get Fit with Classes We Love

Yoga and Zumba are just the tip of the iceberg. Aerial silks, anyone? For your active friend, consider an invite to one of these fun and active afternoons.

— Museums —

Give the gift of exclusivity. For the art-lovers on your list, buy them a membership and they’ll be grateful all year round.

Museum of Fine Arts

Entry-level memberships—yes, of course there are levels, folks—gives members free and speedy admission for them and their kids, plus discounts on dining, shopping, parking, and special events.

Institute of Contemporary Art

Individual membership gets you free admission all year, invites to openings and member viewing hours, discounts at ICA events and the ICA Store, and discounts and perks from a few of the museum’s neighbors.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Similar to the memberships at the MFA and ICA, an Individual membership at the Gardner comes with free admission, discounts to previews, concerts, lectures, and other special events.

— Film —

Whether it’s the Coolidge’s After Midnight series or the Brattle’s obsession with Bill Murray, a trip to the movies is the ultimate “What now?” option.

Coolidge Corner Theatre and Brattle Theatre

Both of these indie favorites offer memberships and gift cards—it’s up to you to decide which deal works best. Regular membership to the Brattle, for example, gives you 12 free passes for $80.


Maybe you haven’t heard, but AMC wants to be the Netflix of movie theaters. Starting in January, MoviePass will launch in Boston and Denver AMCs and allow subscribers to watch a movie a day for $45.

— R&R —

Real talk? 2014 was rough. Go ahead—treat yourself and your friends to some much-deserved pampering.

Massage at Exhale Battery Wharf

Bid 2014 adieu with a trip to Exhale. You could “earn” your massage with a barre, cardio, or yoga class, but isn’t surviving 2014 already penance enough?

Mani-Pedis at Miniluxe

A trip to Miniluxe can tackle four key “New Year, New You” details—fingers, feet, brows, and waxing. The only thing left to do is get a haircut.

Anything from Mandarin Oriental

It’s the only Forbes five-star awarded spa in the state. ’Nuff said.