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Alternative Ways to Spend Black Friday

Black Friday.

Some people spend months planning for it. Some people spend months planning how to avoid it.

If you’re one of those who would rather skip the rush, the crowds, and the early wake-up times, here are a few low-key ways to spend the day after Thanksgiving.

Alternatives to Black Friday


In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, why not spend the day giving back in some way? Plan ahead by stocking up on non-perishable foods and toiletries while you do your Turkey Day shopping. Get your kids involved by having them clean out old toys and books to be donated as well. Then, as a family, deliver the items to a local food bank or shelter on “Giving Friday.”

There are lots of churches and charities accepting donations across the valley. These are just a few to get you started:

Food Bank of the RGV

724 N. Cage Blvd.
Pharr, TX 78577

Sacred Heart Catholic Church (click for list of items needed)

306 South 15th Street
McAllen, TX 78501

Salvation Army Food Bank

201 East Monroe Street
Harlingen, TX, 78550

(And here are additional places to donate in the lower valley.)



Head outdoors to hike off that huge Thanksgiving meal. Of course, you may work up a hunger again, so pack a picnic of leftovers to take with you. Check out Cinella’s post on reasons to go hiking, or head straight to the Hike it Baby website to find group hikes in Hidalgo county. We’re also surrounded by fun playgrounds  and gorgeous park lands like these:


Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

(Adults- $5; Kids under 12- Free)

Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge


South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center

(Adults- $6; Kids 13-18- $5; Kids 4-12- $3)



While everyone is stuck in long lines and parking lot traffic jams, knock out your holiday to-do list by wrapping any presents you’ve already purchased, hanging Christmas lights, putting together teacher/ staff appreciation gifts, and addressing holiday cards. (P.S. Here’s a printable gift list to help you stay organized and on budget!)



Some of the best deals are online these days. Instead of hopping in the car, check out your favorite stores’ websites to see what they’re offering over the holiday weekend or on Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving). Once you find the items and deals that are truly worth it, narrow down any options (color, size, make, model) so you’re ready to make your purchases first thing Monday morning.



Growing up, a good friend of mine always did this. She’d invite everyone to her parent’s house the day after Thanksgiving. The only requirement was to bring leftovers of some sort.

If on Black Friday you’re not totally exhausted from hosting, invite friends or neighbors to enjoy a post-holiday potluck at your place. Ask everyone to bring some leftovers to share, and enjoy the company while you watch a football game or two. Or three.



Spend your day hanging out as a family. Sleep in. Watch a movie. Get out. Go bowling. Or, just veg out on the couch and enjoy the leftovers. If you’ve got a day off, why spend it stressing out?


What else is happening Friday, Nov. 27th? Leave a note in the comments below!


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3 Responses to Alternative Ways to Spend Black Friday

  1. cinellareyes November 17, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

    Friday is all about spending quality time together! We will probably go on a hike also.
    McAllen Nature Center is having a event on Friday! Check out their Facebook page for more details:


  1. RGV Holiday Events 2015 | Rio Grande Valley Moms Blog - November 23, 2015

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