The day after Thanksgiving has become known to most of us as Black Friday.  This is when lots of people descend on stores, push through crowds, and shop.  I am here to offer you some ideas to change it up this year.  Most of us have the day after Thanksgiving off, so why not make the most of it with alternatives to shopping in crowded malls and fighting over parking spots?  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are 10 Alternatives to Black Friday:

  1. Host a Craft Party. Instead of buying gifts, why not make some? Invite some friends over to get in the holiday spirit and make some ornaments, candles, mason jar recipes, and anything else your heart desires!
  2. Visit a “You Pick” Farm. Around Thanksgiving is a great time to harvest Walnuts. Many areas have farms available that you can visit and pick what is in season.  Get the family out of the house for the day and go play on a farm!  Side note:  Walnuts wrapped up in a cute bag with a nutcracker make a great gift!  Depending on where you live you could have other crops available to you too, like citrus.
  3. Go For a Bike Ride. My favorite part about a family bike ride is that even if the weather is damp it is still fun. There is something about bundling up and bike riding that can feel exhilarating!  Play outside and enjoy the fresh air after spending most of the previous one in the kitchen.
  4. Visit a Museum. Looking for an indoor activity that doesn’t involve shopping? A museum is fun for all ages.  Explore and learn something new.
  5. Find an Indoor Sports Facility. Want to do something active, but the weather is not great where you live? There are lots of alternatives to be active indoors instead of outside.  Near me we have an indoor rock climbing facility that is great for all ages.  Also consider something different, like bocce ball!  This has become a growing trend with indoor bocce ball facilities popping up around the country.  Some other ideas are an indoor trampoline warehouse, laser tag, ice-skating, or even your local indoor pool!
  6. Volunteer. Many food banks, shelters, soup kitchens, and lots of other non-profit organizations can always use extra volunteers, especially during the holiday season. What a great way to spend the day after Thanksgiving by giving back!
  7. Make a Picnic and Head to the Park. Make some turkey sandwiches, pack up the rest of the relish tray, add this great Stonyfield Organic yogurt dip and your have a delicious picnic to enjoy with the family. Just blend 2 cups Stonyfield Organic Grass Feed Plain Yogurt with cucumber, dill, a little lemon juice, and garlic.  It is delectable on top of food as a sauce or as a dip.
  8. Make Your Holiday Cards. I hear a lot of my friends talk and it seems like holiday cards have become more of a chore than something fun for many people. Make it fun again by getting the whole family involved!  I personally love getting homemade cards in the mail.  How awesome would it be to make, address, stamp, and mail out the cards all in one day AND it be a fun family project?
  9. Clean Out Your Closet. Instead of shopping for more things to buy on Black Friday, why not clean out your closet and donate to those in need? The holidays are a hard time for many, so this is a perfect time to donate all your gently worn items, toys, and blankets.
  10. Try a New Class. Have you always want to try the new barre class or cycle house near you, but haven’t had a chance? Carpe diem!  Head to that yoga studio, dance class, Zumba, or boot camp and give it a try!  Your body will thank you and you might just fall in love with a new workout.

No matter how you choose to spend the time, enjoy the season! Happy holidays everyone, from my family to yours!