On the Monday before Thanksgiving, I woke up to countless emails in my inbox about Black Friday deals. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good deal. And now that we have so many options to shop Black Friday from the comfort of our bed, still full from the previous nights Thanksgiving dinner, it’s even easier to take advantage of these deals. And we’re not telling you not to (I know I’m investing in an Instant Pot myself), but after you have made a few online purchases, we hope you will join us and REI to #OptOutside.

Just like many businesses are now doing, thanks to our friends over at REI, we will be closing our doors and allowing our employees to spend the day where they would love to be – outdoors, surrounded by the people they love.

So what will we be doing? We asked a few of our staff to share their plans:

“I am looking forward to taking my nephew (8 years old) to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco for his first time. Alcatraz is managed by the National Park service and includes a beautiful ferry ride across the Bay, tour of the old federal prison and allows time to explore the island. I personally have been more times than I can count, but I always love going back!”– Brooke

“Typically the day after Thanksgiving calls for a leisurely hike in the canyons with friends, followed by taking the old pups around the block for a walk. This year, I hope to start a new tradition and get my 5 year old granddaughter interested in hiking! Can’t wait to show her all the neat places to explore.  :)” – Lisa

“We will definitely be getting outside! We will either go for a long trail run at our local trail system or try to find a hike that we’ve never done before so we can explore something new.” – Crystal

“This is my son’s first Thanksgiving so, as all first-time parents do, we’re going big! We have invited lots of family over and we will be going for hikes in our regional park, playing soccer in the front yard with all of the other little ones, and making snow angels in the first snow fall of the season in Lake Tahoe!”  – Ashleigh

“I will be hiking with my family to Devil’s Kitchen in the Colorado National Monument.” – Dan


We hope you will join us and the many other businesses in opting outside for Black Friday this year. Need some help finding something to do? REI has got you covered! Check out the details of #OptOutside, why it is important, and how to find a park or activity in your area.

And, of course, Happy Thanksgiving!