Have you heard about REI’s campaign for folks to #OptOutside on Black Friday? REI is actually closing all of its’ 143 stores on Black Friday, November 27, as a means to encourage folks to GET OUTSIDE and enjoy life outdoors. REI’s CEO Jerry Stritzke says, “We’re a different kind of company—and while the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be spending our day a little differently. We’re choosing to opt outside, and want you to come with us.”
We love this idea, and are sure many of our readers will love it, too. So, we’ve gathered some of our best posts for things you might want to do on Black Friday OTHER than shopping with the masses.
In all likelihood, you’ll have to brave some wind and rain to attempt any of these adventures. But, we are sure you tough Northwest folk can do it! Bundle up, grab some hand warmers, pack some hot cocoa in a thermos, and head out for some adventure!
1. Visit an awesome Holiday Lights Display
2. Cut down your Christmas tree
You could go really, really outdoorsy and cut one down from the forest. If you want to do that, be sure to follow all the tips and instructions for how to make that happen in our post about cutting down your tree from the forest.
Or, you could hit up a nearby u-cut Christmas tree farm. Here’s our list of Best South Sound U-Cut Tree Farms for Families.
3. Go on a hike or nature walk
Because the week is supposed to be particularly dry, you might find this an awesome way to burn off that extra piece of pumpkin pie you had on Thanksgiving. These posts will help you find a good spot!
- Ten South Sound Nature Walks Perfect for Young Hikers
- Puyallup’s Riverwalk Trail
- Family Walk at Adriana Hess in University Place
4. Attend a Tree Lighting Ceremony
We’ve created a list of every tree lighting ceremony we could find in the South Sound. We were delightfully surprised to see that so many towns and neighborhoods are participating. Check out our list of South Sound Christmas Tree Lighting Events and find one near you!
5. Go for a swim
Okay, we don’t expect you to go swimming OUTSIDE. But, you can totally pretend you are outside at any of these South Sound Pools with Water Park Style Features. Be sure to call ahead to see if your local pool has special holiday hours on Black Friday.
6. Try Geocaching
Never been geocaching before? Your kids will LOVE IT! The only thing you need to get started is to download the app on your phone, or check out caches nearby at Geocaching.com. You can find all kinds of caches by Geocaching at Point Defiance!
7. Hit up a new park or playground
There are so many cool parks in the South Sound. One of my favorites is Playground by the Sound at Chambers’ Bay. Here’s our list of of Best South Sound Playgrounds.
8. Hop on a ferry
How about getting outside…on a boat! You could take a day trip to Bremerton where free fun abounds when you disembark. Or, for something with more South Sound flavor, take a ferry to Vashon from Pt. Defiance. Explore the island and be sure to check out the lighthouse on Maury Island or find the bike that’s growing out of a tree.
9. Go Ice Skating at Polar Plaza
This annual, temporary outdoor ice skating rink is becoming a Tacoma tradition! Admission to Polar Plaza is $8/adults, $7/military or seniors, $4/children 5 and under plus the $2 skate rental fee.
10. Visit Donner and Blitzen
Watson’s Nursery in Puyallup is hosting Donner and Blitzen for their holiday vacation until they’re called on for Christmas Eve delivery. Make a stop to wish them well!
11. Get half off admission to NW Trek
Visitors who bring 2 or more food items to NW Trek through November 29 will receive half off admission AND benefit the Emergency Food Network, a Pierce County-based nonprofit that serves more than 70 food banks, hot meal sites and shelters. For more details, see our post on Half Off At NW Trek with a Food Donation.
12. Get into a national park for FREE!
The Washington National Park Fund has offered to cover fees into national parks on Black Friday, meaning entrance into Mt Rainier National Park and Olympic National Parks are FREE as an effort to join in with #OptOutside and #GreenFriday. Be sure to check the sites for weather conditions and closings as it is wet and even snowy out there! Here are some great posts to help you decide what to do at Mt Rainier:
If some of these ideas are new to you, we highly recommend the book Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington and the Cascades. It would make a great Christmas gift for any active family!
13. Check out the Macy’s Seattle Parade
It is a really crazy day of the year to head to the city, but the energy is amazing. Go early to secure a spot at the Seattle Macy’s Holiday Parade, which starts at 9am. Floats rival that in the BIG Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Spend the rest of the day exploring the city with more free outdoor fun at places like Pike Place market and the Olympic Sculpture Park (you can even go geocaching there!). Or, rent one of many bikes through Pronto Cycle Share (adult sizes only) and take a ride through beautiful, waterside Myrtle Edwards Park.
Looking for more holiday fun? Be sure to check out our menu tab for South Sound Holiday Fun and explore our South Sound Holiday Fun Guide!
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