Thinking outside this Black Friday 

Looking for an "outside the big-box" option for the Thanksgiving weekend? We've got you covered.

  • Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

The holiday season is upon us and with it, comes a chance to spend quality time with family and friends. Traditionally held the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday marks the start of the holiday shopping spree, with sales taking place at many major retailers. However, for those on the lookout for other options to embark on during this timeframe, alternatives include shopping local and spending time outdoors.

Small Business Saturday, which falls on November 26, is picking up steam as a day where people can show their support to communities across the state by checking out their small shops and locally owned restaurants. Many main streets and downtowns will be decorated for the holiday season as well, adding a festive atmosphere for those who want to stroll the streets while they shop.

There are also many opportunities across the state to ‘opt outside’, which is centered on the concept of spending time outdoors on Black Friday. Across the state, picturesque lakes, rivers, forests, mountains, and state parks pay homage to the state’s natural beauty. Some of the many outdoor offerings you can do on this day include:

Visiting a state park: Arkansas’s 52 state parks are located in every area of the state and feature a complete range of scenic destinations. ‘Green Friday’ is set to take place November 25 at state parks across Arkansas. The events are a green alternative to Black Friday with special programs, hikes and other options available. Information about these events can be found at arkansasstateparks.com/events.

Giving back: On November 25, the Arkansas Canoe Club and Saline River Canoes are teaming up to host a Black Friday Clean Up on the Saline River. The event, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., is a project of ACC BOATR, an informal off-shoot from the Arkansas Canoe Club, whose acronym stands for Black Ops Advanced Trash Removal. Those interested can meet at Lyle Park in Benton at 26 River Crest Circle. Volunteers are encouraged to join this waterway cleanup event. You can bring a boat if you have one, but if you don’t, there may be a few loaner canoes available too and a ride to cleanup locations can be provided. Lunch will be provided for volunteers as well. For more information, contact Event Coordinator Cowper Chadbourn at cchadbourn@conwaycorp.net or visit their Facebook Event Page here.

Trekking a trail: Arkansas has a wealth of hiking trails to choose from that course through a variety of landscapes including mountain terrain, fragrant pine forests, alongside rivers and streams, and bottomlands perfect for birding and wildlife viewing. There are many standout routes in the state, including the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail, which has around 45 miles of trails along the southern shore of Lake Ouachita. The route was designed for all levels and attracts a wide range of users. Parts of the trail are handicapped accessible and groups ranging from hikers to mountain bikers make use of the varied terrain. There are a range of routes you can head to, be it at an urban trail, a city or national park, or one of the many trails found in the Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests. You can also check in with your local hiking club to see if they are leading an organized group venture on that day or weekend.

Hitting the water: Grab your rod and reel and head to a body of water to get outside and recharge.The Natural State is home to year-round fishing and there is a variety of fishable streams and rivers and numerous lakes, bayous and creeks to explore.

Going on a ride: Celebrate the day by riding at one of the many scenic cycling spots across the state. The Arkansas River Trail in Central Arkansas has bridges that link parks around Little Rock and North Little Rock, including the famous Big Dam Bridge. The 36-mile Razorback Regional Greenway in Northwest Arkansas takes you from the square in Bentonville to downtown Fayetteville. Or you can enjoy views of the Mississippi River from the newly opened Big River Crossing in West Memphis. At nearly a mile long, this is the country’s longest active bike-pedestrian rail bridge and serves as a corridor between West Memphis, Arkansas and downtown Memphis, Tennessee. Or you can ride one of the state’s five Epic Rides, as designated by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

Those who want to share photos of Black Friday outdoor adventures or Small Business Saturday shopping and dining can do so at facebook.com/ArkansasStateTourism, twitter.com/artourism and instagram.com/Arkansas and use #GreenFriday and #ShopSmall. For more outdoor ideas, check out Arkansas.com/outdoors or ArkansasStateParks.com. More information about shopping options across the state can be found at Arkansas.com/shopping-spas/shopping.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Zoie Clift

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Watch the trailer for 'Shelter,' the Renaud Bros. new doc on homeless kids in New Orleans

    Check out the trailer for "Shelter," the Renaud Bros. new feature-length documentary about homeless teens navigating life on the streets of New Orleans with the help of Covenant House, the longstanding French Quarter shelter for homeless kids.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Latest in Visit Arkansas

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »


1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation