Delaware joins #OptOutside Black Friday movement

File photo: Lums Pond State Park in Delaware. (Photo courtesy DE State Parks)

File photo: Lums Pond State Park in Delaware. (Photo courtesy DE State Parks)

The home of tax-free shopping is encouraging residents to get out this Black Friday and enjoy a great deal, not at stores, but at state parks.

Earlier this year, outdoor sporting goods store REI opened its first Delaware location adjacent to the Christiana Mall. Unlike the rest of the hundreds of stores at the Christiana complex, REI will not be open on Black Friday. They’re giving their workers a paid day off to encourage them to go and enjoy the outdoors. The company is also encouraging workers to share photos via social media on Friday with the #OptOutside hashtag.

Piggybacking off that idea, the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced earlier this month that all state parks in Delaware will waive their entrance fees.

“Those willing to forego marathon shopping madness and opt instead for a day of hiking, biking, and enjoying nature and the outdoors, will find more than 100 miles of trails to explore in state parks throughout Delaware,” said DNREC officials in their announcement.

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All Delaware parks will open at 8 a.m. on Friday, although park offices will be closed. The Go Ape Treetop Adventure at Lums Pond State Park in New Castle County will go one step further. The zip-line course will offer free admission to children under 15 who are accompanied by an adult.

The weather looks like it will cooperate with the effort to get more people outside of stores and shopping malls and into a more natural area. The National Weather Service forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 63 degrees on Friday.

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