23 Ideas for #OptOutside

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating today!  Many Americans will continue spending time with family the day after Thanksgiving with this phenomenon called Black Friday.  They will shop the day after Thanksgiving for Christmas gifts, and many stores open extremely early and promise deep discounts.

With the decline of shopping malls, I think this is waning a bit, although many people are shopping on-line on Friday as well and on “Cyber-Monday”.  However, some Americans are taking a different tack to the day after Thanksgiving and opting to get outside.

Ironically, #optoutside was started by a retailer (REI, an outdoor outfitter company) in 2015 as a paid day off for their employees (with no on-line sales being processed either).  Don’t you just love this?  From there, #optoutside expanded to over 200 organizations in 2016 and now is up to partnering with something like 700 organizations. I love this so much, because it shows how the market can drive change that is better and healthier for all of us.

So, in honor of #optoutside, here are some ideas for getting outside on Friday, the day after American Thanksgiving.  You can hashtag your pictures on Instagram if you are on there and join thousands of others getting outside!

  1. Ice skating.  Even here in the Deep South, there are outdoor ice skating rinks that open on Thanksgiving Day.
  2. Skiing
  3. Winter Camping
  4. Fishing or ice fishing
  5. Hiking or snowshoeing
  6. Bird Watching
  7. Go sledding if you have snow.  We have fake snow down here, not the same, but if you have a child dying to sled….
  8. Walk your dog
  9. Have a fire outside and toast s’mores
  10. Make snow paint or drizzle maple syrup into snow to make a snow candy
  11. Teens who are into photography might enjoy taking pictures of winter trees
  12. Winter picnic
  13. Build snow forts or regular forts if there is no snow
  14. Explore the holiday lights in your area on foot
  15. Make snow angels, catch snowflakes on your tongue or if there is no snow just lay on your back and look up at the tree canopy for a few minutes.
  16. If you are somewhere warm, you can probably still swim and surf and do all the fun things you normally do outside!
  17. Stand and watch the snow fall or just go outside and breathe the crisper air.  Be in compassion for those affected by the wildfires in California and other places where the air quality is poor right now.
  18. Listen to the wind.  Let your hair fly around in the breeze
  19. If you still have fall leaves on the ground and no snow, listen to them crunch under your feet.
  20. Run or walk!  Teens may enjoy running in weather that is colder – it is invigorating.
  21. Have a star gazing night.
  22. Play hockey outside on a pond (we generally can’t do this in the Deep South, but I know you can in other places!)
  23. Set up an outside hot chocolate bar with all the fixings!

I can’t wait to hear how you will spend your #optoutside day!

Blessings and love,
Carrie

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