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Buy Them Time

Whether for an hourlong twerking class or a year’s worth of facials.

Relax Their Ears
15 minutes
Big in Japan but harder to come by in the U.S., ear acupressure (which targets the outer-ear’s minefield of pressure points) is a signature service at midtown’s iDo Holistic Center ($35). Each aurally oriented session sends the entire body into Gumby mode—promoting balance, circulation, and reduced tension to boot—all well within the span of a lunch break. (

Commission a Portrait of Their Aura
20 minutes
At the unassuming Chinatown healing shop Magic Jewelry, giftees can get in touch with their aura—the electromagnetic field that supposedly surrounds every living being—by having it photographed ($20). An energy reader will snap them with an AuraCam: The resulting picture shows a range of colors, revealing the person’s emotional state and what the near future holds. (212-343-0663)

Pimp Their Wheels
30 minutes
A new shop inside FAO Schwarz called Ridemakerz allows kids (or gearheads) to build their own one-of-a-kind toy cars (from $50 each). About the size of a football, styles like Vipers and Corvettes can be tricked out with all sorts of choices for rims, wheels, decals, and exhaust pipes. The store’s “pit crew” can help anyone facing create-a-car block, and for an extra $25, they can upgrade their ride to be motorized and remote-controlled. (

Unleash Their Inner Vin Diesel
45 minutes
For those who fantasize about cruising in a Ferrari through the hills of Tuscany or in a Porsche 365 down Fifth Avenue—if only they knew stick—a private lesson at Image Driving School in Canarsie ($45) is in order. Instructors teach all the basic upshifting, downshifting, and clutch-releasing, plus how to park on hills and deal with sudden stops and starts. (

Send Them Twerking
1 hour
The brainchild of a former Miami Heat dancer and led by her midtown-based “twerk team,” this 60-minute, women-only cardio dance session ($15) schools those of all skill levels in the art of booty-shaking, burning hundreds of calories in the process.* Mileys-in-training are encouraged to come wearing sneaker-wedges or heels as well as their “favorite lipstick.” (

Refine Their Olive-Oil Palate
90 minutes
Olive-oil tastings are the new wine tastings. The Olive Oil 101 class at O Live Brooklyn in Williamsburg ($20) involves samplings from the shop’s containers of artisanal extra-virgin olive oils (some infused with blood orange or mushroom-sage) and balsamic vinegars (varieties include jalapeño and dark chocolate). After students have had their fill, they can bottle their favorite to go. (

Get Them a Recording Deal
3 hours
Even the tone-deaf deserve their Mary J. Blige moment: Thanks to Pop Star Parties studio, they can lay down a custom track in the same Union Square studio where Blige records ($5,000). The singer specifies his or her desired genre and style, and a team of lyricists come back seven to ten days later with the jam. The final step is the studio session, which includes a vocal coach—and Auto-Tune. (

Give Them a Fitness-and-Relaxation Pass
An afternoon
At the new Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa, a 2,000-square-foot sanctuary inside the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers, any treatment that costs $75 or more—like a hydrating collagen mask ($75) or a one-hour aromatherapy massage ($140)—comes with a complimentary day pass to the gym, including access to the indoor pool and, for warmer weather, lounging rights on the sundeck. (

Grant Them VIP Access
1 night
The Host Committee’s club-entrée services ($40) let nightlife-lovers bypass the usual three-bottle minimum, not to mention finicky doormen, at hoity-toity clubs around town like Marquee Mr. H., the Darby, 1Oak, and 55. Your giftee can request pickup and drop-offs, which the service arranges through Uber. (

Send Them to DIY Camp
1 day
Brooklyn Craft Company, which started as a onetime event, now has a permanent home in Greenpoint. DIYers can spend a full day getting their Etsy on, trying classes including sewing, knitting, terrarium-building, glass etching, cookie decorating, jewelry-making, or printmaking (from $195). Materials, instruction, and fuel (in the form of breakfast doughnuts, afternoon bento boxes, and seventies and eighties tunes) are all included. (

Hop It to Them
2 days
Would-be home-brewers hampered by small kitchens can find release (with up to five of their friends) at DIY beer lab Bitter & Esters in Prospect Heights ($350), where a master brewer oversees two phases: one three-and-a-half-hour session for brewing (from picking and grinding hops to mixing in yeast and syrups) and, after three weeks of fermentation, two hours for bottling. The result is six take-home cases of artisanal suds. (

Ply Them With Facials
1 year
Turn what used to be once-or-twice-a-year pampering into a regular event with a membership (which includes unlimited facials) at the Erno Laszlo Institute ($3,000). The opulent Soho spa is based on the philosophy of Dr. Laszlo, a Hollywood dermatologist who was beloved by Marilyn Monroe and Jackie O.: There’s no treatment menu; aestheticians customize facials based on whatever the skin may need at that moment. (212-300-4111)

*This article has been corrected to show that the Vixen Workout class is $15 per session, not $12.