If the thought of kicking off Black Friday with a frenzied shopping spree makes you want to head for the hills, you’re actually in luck. On Nov. 24, many national and state parks across the country will be offering free or discounted admission into their outdoor preserves.
According to Travel + Leisure, on the day after Thanksgiving, state parks across Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York and Washington will waive admission fees. Likewise, parks in Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia are hosting various celebratory events.
California residents can also score free admission to 40 state parks, and South Carolinians can save on campsites and cabins, too.
As the National Park Service partners with REI for their third annual #OptOutside campaign, the sporting-goods retailer hopes to inspire Americans to take their post-Turkey Day gratitude to their great outdoors instead of the mall.
Shuttering the doors of their 143 locations on Black Friday and giving their employees a paid day off, company CEO Jerry Stritzke told Business Insider the decision is a moral one. As today’s consumers are now "looking for something more,” Stritzke says that their business is about “more than selling stuff.”
"You don't win in the long-term by pushing ... what I call rampant consumerism," Stritzke said.
From guided hikes to fishing clinics and more, the National Park Service’s back-to-nature Black Friday invitations just may tempt us away from that door-buster special.
Perhaps that trip to the mall isn’t so urgent after all.