There’s a movement sweeping the states this year – which I personally think is pretty amazing. It’s called #OptOutside – have you heard of it? A company called REI recently started the campaign by making the decision to close their stores on Black Friday and pay their employees to instead go outside and play. Kinda cool right? Not only that but they also created a website that is solely dedicated to helping other people find places to go outside – such as parks and hiking spots. Just type in your city, state or zip and the website will curate for you locations to explore near you. This movement has also caught on with many parks and events who have decided to offer free access to everyone on Black Friday! Check with your local parks to find out. I’ve heard that Arizona and Tennessee state parks have joined with REI to offer free passes or hikes on Friday.
Don’t you just love it?
While I have never been big on Black Friday shopping anyways – this website did make me think more about what the kids and I could do to make the most of our day off together – we might as well have fun! Here is what we came up with – of course we can’t do it all in one day but this gives us some good ideas for the better part of the winter. What would you add?
Fun Ways to Get Outside with Kids
- Go for a walk. This isn’t something we normally do in the winter – but I am not sure why. Winter time in the Midwest is usually a pretty peaceful time – there is a distinct smell of “winter” in the air and the sound of the snow crunching under your feet is mesmerizing. Not only that – but because all of the tree’s have lost their leaves, the normal view seems so much different and new!
- Play at the Playground. Yet another thing we tend to forget about during the winter months – however with the extra layer of comfy snow, the playground is actually even more fun than normal. Try it out.
- Visit a park. We went ahead and typed in our location into the REI website and wrote down the several parks near us – some of which I didn’t even know existed! Might be fun to pack a “winter picnic” with hot chocolate and cookies and head out there.
- Hit the sledding hill. This happens to be one of our FAVORITE things to do in the winter – so it was no surprise to me that the kids wanted to add it to our list. The best part of going sledding is that mom and dad usually forget the pain that it brought them last year and will “give it a try” again year after year. Last time, dad actually caught air and couldn’t walk for a week – good times.
- Give skiing a try – again. We actually like skiing. It’s skiing that doesn’t like us.
- Roast Smore’s – Who says that’s just a summer thing?
- Check for participating attractions and events that offer free admission. Like this one that popped into my mailbox this week because of our previous trip to Crossroads Village in Flint.
Join us at Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad on the day after Thanksgiving for the opening ceremonies of Holiday Magic Christmas at Crossroads – BONUS all Genesee County residents get into the village for FREE that night.
- Build a snowman or snow fort. So – this one we already did, but because it was so much fun it made our list again. You can watch our silly little outdoor fun video below.
What are your plans for Black Friday? Are you a shopper or are you planning to do something a little bit different this year?