Black Friday Alternatives

With all of the buzz about Black Friday and all of the shopping sales going on, I can’t help but think that family time gets ignored just to save a few dollars. So I’m sharing some of my family’s favorite ways to make awesome memories that don’t include waiting in long lines for big screen televisions or fighting the crowds to get a discounted toy. I’m sure you will absolutely love our Black Friday Alternatives and they will inspire you, too!

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Take a hike. Don’t have a national park near you?  Don’t worry.  You can do a neighborhood scavenger hunt instead.

Build a fort.

Put up Christmas/Hannukah decorations. After all, Thanksgiving is over! Here are some ideas for effortless holiday decor.

Make wrapping paper. It is so incredibly easy!  Simply get some craft paper or gift bags from the store (The Dollar Store has some great options) and choose what you want to paint with. My boys and I like to get really creative and paint with objects like acorns and snowflake ornaments…or even Legos!. Then paint to your heart’s content.

Check out local light displays. While some private homes might not be decked out yet, there are beautiful Holiday light displays at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Morton Arboretum, and of course Chicagoland’s two zoos.

Clean out the closets and make piles of things to donate this holiday season. Look for winter gear especially. Here are some great charities to donate your goods to.

Head to a local tree farm and cut down your family Christmas tree.

Have a board game tournament. It is a great way to get unplugged and learn how to have a bit of healthy competition.  Here are some of our favorite board games.

Go see a movie. Or if your little one isn’t ready for the theatre just yet, have a drive in movie at home!

Have a pajama day, complete with matching holiday pajamas, having a pillow fight, drinking hot cocoa and eating popcorn.

Start baking Christmas cookies and create a Christmas Charcuterie Board.

Create a scrapbook. I like to joke that Instagram is “The New Baby Book,” but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Instead use the time to write down some memories from the previous day’s feast and draw some pictures to always remember the fun day and what you were most thankful for. I love using Write to Me for their beautiful and unique journal options.

Have a read a thon. There are so many great books out there, especially ones written about Winter and Christmas. Need some book suggestions? Then be sure to check out my Ultimate Book list!

Make “comfort bags” for those in need in your community. Click here for directions.

Get messy! As long as you are prepared with ample paper towels and keep the mess contained, being messy is oh so fun! Check out my messy sensory play fun options here.

What Black Friday Alternative will YOU choose?

Happy Thanksgiving!
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  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    We never, ever go shopping on Black Friday. I much prefer your ideas. I think it is going to be a nice day for a hike weather wise here on Friday.

    • Amanda says

      We got hit with a ton of snow but it is still fun to play outside and explore even with snow and slush everywhere…at least that’s what my boys tell me.

  2. Alli says

    I had a horrible Black Friday experience so now I spend the day at home. These are all great ideas to spend time with family. I had rather be with family than fighting over something that probably won’t be remembered this time next year.

  3. Jeannette says

    These are some great alternatives! I love spending Black Friday with my family instead of out in the craziness so I’ll be taking your advice and taking a hike!

  4. Elizabeth O. says

    I say yes to taking a hike, watching a movie, having a pajama day, taking time to read books and all of the other activities! Why not? That’s a lot of quality time and the kids would love you more because you’re spending it with them instead of being cranky for lining up and fighting your way among other shoppers.

  5. Jessica Harlow says

    These are great ideas on how to have some quality family time in lieu of Black Friday craziness. I’m a big one for Cyber Monday (from my computer and in my pj’s) while the kids are back to school!

  6. NORAH says

    Love the array of options listed. Black Friday for us this year involves traveling home from vacation. I hope you and your family have a lovely/ chill Thanksgiving week.

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