7 Free Activities for the Day After Thanksgiving

 “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” — George Carlin

My mom attributes this quote to George Carlin so I’m going with it — do correct me if you know who originally said it. But it’s very true. Some people are freezing outside in lines to buy products that are still overpriced. While others are calling today “Buy Nothing Day.” I think there is a place in the middle for all of us. My mom just bought gloves online and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. If anything, I think we should put our dollars into the local economy instead of with the mega-corporations. But in general I think finding fun, free family activities is great. Here are a few of my ideas for the day:

1) Got leftovers? – I find that some foods taste better the day after I prepare them. It’s time to relive the flavors and memories of the holiday all over again. Pack picnic lunches and take them with you when you… Cost: $0

2) Go to museums or the zoo – Many museums, parks, zoos, gardens and conservatories offer special free or reduced rates the day after Thanksgiving. Did you buy a museum membership this year and you didn’t get as much use out of it as you would have liked? Many attractions will see smaller crowds because many regular visitors are at home, shopping, or are out of town. Check out the museum’s websites for details. Cost: $0 (optimistically)

3) Skype – Charlie idolizes the older son of my husband’s cousin. We Skyped them and Charlie was in heaven seeing his friend. Cost: $0

4) Play board games – My husband is an evil genius at Scrabble and I don’t allow him to opportunity to beat me very often. I think tonight is my chance for a rematch. Cost: $0

5) Put up the tree – We’ve already unpacked the tree and strung lights this morning. My son was thrilled. Cost: $0

6) Watch movies – My husband planned ahead and rented five movies from the library. He chose mostly documentaries, which are free (non-documentaries cost a $1 and you have them for a week). Or you could raid your stash of favorite movies purchased over the years. Cost: $0

7) Clean out your closet – A few weeks ago my mom said, “Let’s clean out your closet.” I thought cleaning out my closet with my mom would be painful, but I agreed because I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. Well, having a functional closet has de-stressed me in more ways than I would have thought. We ended up tackling everything on hangers, the shelves above, AND my dresser. It took less time than I expected and now I can find what I need in no time. Cost: $0

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6 Responses to 7 Free Activities for the Day After Thanksgiving

  1. Donna November 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    I’m grading a big stack of student work that has been piling up. Cost: free!

  2. Martin November 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    I went out and played three rounds of disc (Frisbee) golf today. It’s good exercise and didn’t cost anything to play. I saw several families out playing today. Geocaching, another hobby of mine, is a family-friendly activity that is free if you already have a handheld GPS receiver. Automotive unit not recommended. The bike trails in my area were seeing as much use as they do on the weekend, so people were definitely getting out and enjoying what may be the last day of decent weather before winter really hits.

    • Nicole November 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

      I love disc golf! I live in Oregon though, so rainy weather sort of put an end to that around the beginning of October. 🙁

  3. Cortney November 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Reading a good old book from my closet and spending gift card money. Cost: free!

  4. MemeGRL November 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

    This was by no means free but was also priceless: my son, age 8, has 9 first cousins, ages 25 to 1. Last week he asked, “Mom, can I go bowling with all my cousins?” So I sent the email, collected the work/football/shopping/band schedules, and set the time. At 10am, the bleary-eyed teens and the wired littles all gathered for bowling. We got one gutter-guard lane for the littles (and the patient and/or autistic bigs) and one regular lane next to it for the big kids (high school sophomore through one-year-out-of-college). Some second cousins even showed up. It was a really fun morning and a thrill for my son, who really was the one who made it happen. The one year old pushed the ball down the kiddie ramp and clapped for himself. The big kids had so much fun teasing each other and cheering each other on. Truly a day I will treasure, free or not! And I was so proud of my son, for figuring out a way that all the cousins could do something together–tough with a two and a half decade age spread!

  5. JoAnn November 29, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    We went ice-skating! Not free, but priceless. How exciting it was to see my kids (and myself) tackle something so physically demanding, overcome initial fear and frustration and then succeed!

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