Opt for outdoor fun on Black Friday at Creve Coeur Park, or one of the region's many other parks or conservation areas.Photo courtesy St. Louis County Parks.
You could spend another Black Friday standing in line in hopes of scoring a great deal on a new vacuum or staring at a computer screen trying to find the best price on the latest video game console, but why not start a new family tradition and #OptOutside instead?
According to outdoor retailer REI, since 2015, more than 15 million people have chosen to participate in #OptOutside, a national initiative designed to encourage individuals to skip the Black Friday sales and spend the day after Thanksgiving exploring outdoors. The retailer, which will be keeping its own doors closed on Black Friday, hopes the initiative will spur participants to spend more time outdoors year-round.
From sunrise to sunset, families looking for ways to #OptOutside this Black Friday will find plenty of organized events designed to lure them outdoors in the St. Louis region. St. Louis County Parks will offer a ranger-led sunrise hike at Lone Elk Park from 7-8 a.m. and a ranger-led bike ride at Creve Coeur Park from 9-10 a.m. St. Louis County Parks will also offer a K9 Dog Hike from 9-10 a.m. at Simpson Park. For more information about #OptOutside events in St. Louis County Parks, visit stlouis.co.com. Finish your day by watching the moon rise on a guided Black Friday Hike from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Missouri Department of Conservation's Columbia Bottom Conservation Area.
St. Charles County Parks will be open from 7 a.m. to 30 minutes past sunset on Black Friday. Take a hike at Klondike Park, explore the destination playground at the new Veterans Tribute Park, or drop by the Astronomy Viewing Area at Broemmelsiek Park for the free Friday Night Stargazing program with the Astronomical Society of Eastern Missouri (weather permitting).
“Being outside in nature has such positive benefits for both kids and families, including increasing physical activity and lowering stress levels,” says Missouri Department of Conservation Director Sara Parker Pauley. “Missouri has so many incredible places to discover nature, including walking trails, fishing spots, and wildlife-watching areas, that are all free, so we hope families will #OptOutside the day after Thanksgiving to spend time together out in nature making memories.”