You’ll Wish You Did This Instead of Black Friday Shopping
Getting outside isn’t just an alternative to developing a serious case of buyer’s remorse—it's also a proven way to de-stress. In a study in Japan, researchers found that people’s stress levels dropped after walking through a wooded area. If you're still not convinced, consider this: in a British study, subjects reported higher self-esteem after walking through a park, while subjects that went to a mall actually felt worse about themselves.
Those interested in visiting California’s redwood parks can go the Save the Redwood League’s website to sign up for park passes. The League posted on their site that the response has been "overwhelming": 26 parks aren’t accepting any more sign-ups—though Mendocino Woodlands State Park, Humboldt Lagoons State Park and more have passes left.
Not in California? Not a problem: Visitors to Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks in Washington, all 42 of Colorado’s state parks and 76 of Minnesota’s state parks and recreation areas won’t have to pay a cent on Black Friday, either.
(Actually, Minnesota's announcement was the first Park, coming two weeks after REI released a commercial with its CEO at a desk on a mountaintop, saying he's closing its stores the day after Thanksgiving and paying his employees to go outside . And so far it’s our favorite, with this note: "Before you leave home, check which parks will have hunting next weekend so you can plan accordingly.")
You can expect to be awestruck gazing up at redwoods (Oprah once said that seeing the Giant Giant Grizzly sequoia tree in Yosemite National Park was "like getting a little taste of God”), but there’s a good chance you’ll see something that sparks your sense of wonder, no matter which park you choose. We’re reminded of Tunnel View in Yosemite, which made Oprah say, "It really was majestic, and it's one of those moments where you think, 'Boy, everyone should see this at least once in their life.'"
Just think — you could be looking at all of this the day after Thanksgiving...