GW Today’s 2023 Last-Minute Gift Guide

From GW holiday ornaments to handmade luxuries, we offer a few last-minute shopping options in Foggy Bottom and its environs.

December 13, 2023

The Artisans Gallery at the GW Museum and The Textile Museum has a rich assortment of gift options to bring home. (Ruth Steinhardt/GW Today)

The holidays are approaching fast. Fortunately, if you’re still looking for the best present for a hard-to-please loved one, there are plenty of last-minute options around Foggy Bottom for everyone on your list.

GW Bookstore
801 21st Ave. NW, lower level  2125 I St., NW
$5 and up

Ornament and mug from the GW Store

For GW swag of all varieties, head to the lower level of the University Student Center, where you’ll find cozy GW bathrobes and pajamas for snuggly friends, sparkling GW ornaments for proud grandparents, Lululemon-collaboration gear for siblings with high standards, and much more. A limited amount of Revolutionaries merch is also available before new shipments arrive in the spring. We like this playful mug illustrated with GW and D.C. landmarks by artist Julia Gash. 

UPDATE: As of February 2024, visit the state-of-the-art new campus store location on I Street. 

Artisans Gallery at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
701 21st St., NW
$10 and up

The Artisans Gallery is more than your basic gift shop. It’s an educational gallery featuring handmade textiles from traditions around the world, including Indonesian batik, Japanese shibori and bogolanfini, geometric “mud-cloth” woven by artisans in Mali. The gallery’s gorgeous home goods, clothing and other gifts are fair trade, sustainable, handmade and culturally authentic.

At the higher end of the price range, moms and mentors will be stunned by luxurious alpaca accessories from Peru, hand-printed Indian shawls and vibrant fabric necklaces designed in partnership with museum Director of Retail Operations Chabrina Williams. There are also options for sophisticated givers on a lower budget, including art books and versatile cloth pouches that can serve as clutches, makeup bags or travel organizers. GWorld cardholders get 15 percent off all items.

Western Market
2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
$5 and up

Western Market

You know what everyone likes? Food. If your giftee lives on campus, they can probably find a cuisine to suit them at Western Market. Many of the food hall’s dozens of vendors offer gift cards, including Arepa ZoneDuke's GroceryMason’s Famous Lobster Rolls and Roaming Rooster.

White House History Shop
1610 H St., NW
Open Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$5 and up

The White House Historical Association’s official retail outlet is just a few blocks from campus and is a one-stop shop for history buffs and political junkies. Of particular interest to collectors are the annual ornaments, which each year are designed to honor either an individual president or a significant White House anniversary.


This might be cheating, since it’s a 10-minute bus ride from both Foggy Bottom and the Vern. But window-shopping in D.C.’s toniest neighborhood is practically a holiday must. Reliable chains offer plenty of options for a last-minute Secret Santa or White Elephant, including Paper Source (3019 M St., NW), Nike (3040 M St., NW) and Anthropologie (3222 M St., NW). For big-ticket items that won’t look last-minute, wow your special someone with a soft and sustainable cashmere piece from NAADAM (3003 M St., NW) or high-end skincare from Aesop (3275 M St., NW).

For seriously special gifts at a range of price points, though, it’s hard to beat Made In D.C. (1304 Wisconsin Ave., NW), which features work by local jewelers, ceramicists, beauty gurus, painters, candlemakers and chefs. Options range from stylish homeware to eye-catching jewelry, adorable baby gifts, DIY kits for curious makers and much, much more. You can even learn from them: A gift certificate for one of Made in D.C.’s many classes is a great gift for artsy locals.