Many Minnesotans enjoy the overwhelming nature of Black Friday. Getting up before the sun and heading out to brave the bargain hunters and Christmas shoppers is delightful to some. However, for those who prefer to hide at home during Black Friday, there are alternatives. Minnesota offers a wide range of adventures and activities to do on your day off that do not include heading to the malls. For a fun-filled day, check out these options.
Colorado Avalanche Vs. Minnesota Wild
Xcel Energy Center
199 Kellogg Blvd. W.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Probably the best alternative to shopping on Black Friday is attending a hockey game. The Minnesota Wild was founded in the Twin Cities and began playing in 2000. Hockey is an important part of being a Minnesotan and supporting our NHL team is a fantastic and exciting way to celebrate Black Friday. Having picked up some great talent in the off-season, the Wild is destined for a successful season again this year. Root for the home team when it plays the Colorado Avalanche on Black Friday. Game time is 5 p.m. so you can sleep in or tailgate before the game.
Aitkin Fish House Parade
Minnesota Ave-Highway 169
Aitkin, MN 56431
Every Black Friday, the small town of Aitkin blocks off its one main road with its one stoplight and has a parade, this year starting at 1 p.m. The Fish House Parade features floats decked out with the latest and most creative of ice fishing houses. Ice fishing is a popular and traditional pastime during the long winters of Minnesota and people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy this frozen activity. The Fish House Parade started in 1991 with the observance of small fishing shanties being pulled down main street and has blossomed into a much-anticipated event among the locals. Santa and Mrs. Claus have also been known to show up at this event.
Cut Your Own Tree Farms
Many farms throughout Minnesota
Minnesota Christmas Tree Association
12519 35th St. S.E.
Clear Lake, MN 55319
Christmas season has officially begun on Black Friday and picking out a tree before they all disappear can be an adventure. While crowds are fighting for the newest game system, you will have your pick of the lot by buying your tree early. Minnesota has about 50 tree farms throughout the state that allow you to browse the selection and chop down your own prize. Avoid getting stuck with a pathetic twig this holiday season and spend the day hunting for the perfect tree.
Join the YMCA
Many locations throughout Minnesota
The Twin Cities YMCA, along with other community YMCAs across all of Minnesota, help to support communities by giving back to those that do not have the option to shop on Black Friday. Aside from getting in shape after the Thanksgiving feast and before the holiday season of high-fat meals arrive, the YMCA offers programs and activities for the entire family. Black Friday specials are popular at the 12 Twin Cities locations that include no enrollment fees, personal training packages and swimming lessons. Call ahead or just drop in.
Zuhrah Shrine Circus
600 1st Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Avoid the circus at the mall and go to a real circus. The Zuhrah Shriners are performing over the weekend at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. The circus starts on Black Friday with two performance times to choose from. In keeping with tradition, the Shriner Circus has elephants, acrobatics, aerialists, clowns and a lion tamer performing in three rings. Check out the circus and enjoy a show full of talented performers rather than being herded through the malls by amateur shoppers.
Related: Family Holiday Activities
Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on Examiner.com.