For many people, Black Friday means hitting the stores as early as possible for shopping or going online to look for the best deals. While shopping is the main tradition associated with Black Friday, there are many other activities that you can enjoy with your family.
Volunteers are often eager to pitch in at soup kitchens and local nonprofits during Thanksgiving and subsequent holidays that there are too many helpers - while other days go ignored. A great way to spend Black Friday is by volunteering with your family. Getting your kids involved in volunteering helps them build trust, develop empathy, and have a stronger sense of community. It can positively impact their lives for years to come. Here are some great ways you can volunteer on this unofficial shopping holiday with your kids:
- Participate in cleaning up your local beach or park
- Visit your local animal shelter and offer some help
- Volunteer for a local environmental/conservation organization
- Serve at a local soup kitchen
- Donate clothes and shoes to Goodwill
Going on a camping trip on Thanksgiving gives you a great opportunity to create fun memories with your little one. In addition to the enjoyable experience of sleeping outdoors, you can also roast s’mores over a campfire, gaze at stars, and bond as a family.
If you don’t want to travel too far for camping, find a state park near you - there are over 8,000 state parks in the United States, so there’s a good chance that you live near one of them. Be sure to check your local state park’s website to see if there are any special events or free admission offers for Black Friday. You’ll also want to call or email the park before making a reservation to confirm that it’s open and if there are any safety protocols you’re required to observe.
3. Find a family entertainment center
Shopping on Black Friday can be an exhilarating experience (especially when you find great deals), but bouncing away on an indoor trampoline park with your kids gives a different kind of thrill. Family entertainment centers, sometimes known as family fun centers, provide all sorts of activities and play opportunities that you can enjoy with your little ones.
Depending on your local area, there are a wide variety of activities offered - bowling, batting cages, indoor trampolines and bounce houses, traditional playgrounds, indoor zip lines and swings, and indoor climbing. Most of them also offer training courses for different activities. Just remember to call ahead to confirm availability as these centers tend to get quite busy.
4. Visit a zoo or museum
With most people flocking to shopping centers or opting to unwind in the comfort of their homes, local zoos and museums are generally less crowded on Black Friday. Visiting these spots on this day gives you a great opportunity to have a great time outside your home without dense crowds shuffling you along.
Most cities typically have a good number of museums of all types, including history and cultural museums, art museums, science museums, and archaeology museums. Your kids will also love visiting the local zoo or aquarium on Black Friday.
5. Create homemade presents
The costs of shopping for Christmas gifts can quickly add up, which is why many people opt to start buying presents for their loved ones as early as possible. Black Friday is a great day to shop for Christmas gifts, but while you’re at it, you can also encourage your little ones to make meaningful and personal gifts with you. Here are some DIY gift ideas to try with your kids on Black Friday:
- Santa Advent calendar
The kids will enjoy making a calendar counting down the days to Christmas with little details and surprises added. Some of the items you’ll need for this craft project include white craft paper, glue, colored pencils, construction paper, and cotton balls.
- Christmas character treat bags
If your little ones have a Christmas party at school or you plan to host one of your own, consider making embellished Christmas treat bags that their friends can use as carriers for taking home goodies.
- Pinecone tree craft
If you don’t want to head to the craft store for supplies, this is the DIY project for you. Simply venture out to your backyard or neighborhood pine cones. Let your little ones paint the collected pine cones (they can paint them green to make tiny “Christmas trees”!) to make them a bit more festive.
- Paper plate Santa Claus
Take DIY crafts a step further by helping your little ones make adorable googly-eyed Santas using paper plates, complete with a white mustache and a cute pom pom nose.
6. Host a potluck
You’re likely not the only family in the neighborhood who will probably have to deal with weeks’ worth of leftovers that you’ll have a hard time finishing. Gather a couple of friends and neighbors you didn’t get to spend time with on Thanksgiving for a potluck of all your best leftovers on Black Friday. It’s a unique chance to enjoy great company and make sure food doesn’t go to waste.
7. Relax at home
By staying home on Black Friday, you’ll not only get to spend quality time with your family but also get to save money and avoid post-Thanksgiving traffic. If you don’t plan on going out, there are plenty of fun activities to do at home with your little ones:
- Make DIY holiday decorations and ornaments
- Get ahead of your Christmas preparations by putting up festive decorations
- Read a book to your kids
- Bake cookies and biscuits
- Decorate a gingerbread house
- Mark fun art with slime, paint, crayons, or clay
- Play your favorite board games
- Snuggle on the couch and watch family-friendly movies and TV shows
- Interview family members (including the kids) using conversation cards
Once you’ve slept off the Thanksgiving food, everyone will probably be looking forward to burning off some of that turkey and mashed potatoes. Take a long walk to a local hill or nearby woods to take in the crisp fall air and simply bond with your family - a pretty tempting alternative to crowded Black Friday shopping malls.
The chaos of Black Friday has long been part of Western culture. However, it can be just as fun (or even more so) to spend time with your family and hang out with your kids