PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – For those who dislike crowds and mayhem, or shopping, or work in retail themselves, there’s nothing worse than Black Friday. Of course, there is much that can be said about the value of consumerism for the economy, but that doesn’t mean you have to provide your contribution on one of the craziest (and most controversial) shopping days of the year. Here are some alternatives for how to spend your Black Friday in the Philadelphia area.
Do Something for the Less Fortunate
Good Will Donation Center
Front & Oregon Streets
“Less fortunate” is a broad term that can apply to anyone, from the homeless to those with low incomes (combined or otherwise) or even those who have to care for sick or disabled adults and children. Spend some time offering your help. The day after Thanksgiving can also be your day to clean out the garage and take some donations to a local donation center such as Good Will, The Salvation Army or to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for its annual toy drive.
Visit Longwood Gardens
1001 Longwood Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348
Longwood Gardens is a beautiful place all year, but if you are looking for some holiday fun, you should consider visiting in the fall/early winter. Being out in the fresh air is much better than climbing over people trying to get the last of a new gadget. Instead of elbowing your way down the aisle to buy some tangible item for your family, you can walk through aisles of flowers and plants and gaze at lighted fountains with your family. Or stop and enjoy the Garden Railway as G-scale model trains travel through tunnels and over bridges and water features. A Longwood Christmas begins on November 28, as do the open-air fountain shows.
Christmas Village in Love Park
1500 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA. 19102
Date: Nov. 28, 2013 to Jan. 1, 2014
If you like to kick off your holiday season immediately after Thanksgiving, Philadelphia’s Christmas Village opens the day after on November 28, 2013. During this special event, Love Park transforms into a German market with all of the holiday flair for the season. Of course, you can visit Christmas Village and not do any shopping and just enjoy the atmosphere or foods from the numerous vendors. But if desired, you can also purchase some gifts with no guilt, as the park doesn’t open until 11 a.m. In fact, you are doing twice the good since you’re also supporting small businesses.
Rent Movies from the Library
Philadelphia Free Library
1901 Vine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Staying in has its charms on a day when the roads will be jammed with shoppers and employees heading to work at retail establishments. Why not consider renting some fun holiday movies from the library? The films are free and you can get comfortable in your PJs, pop some popcorn and just relax. Enjoy classic holiday films like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Home Alone” and start your own Black Friday traditions.
Go to the Movies
Rave University 6
230 S. 40th St.
Philadelphia, PA. 19104
If you want to leave the nest but don’t want to go shopping, consider taking advantage of one of the best movie times of the year. Production companies release some of their best films in the summer and around the holidays, when more people have downtime. Disney will release a musical animed film entitled “Frozen,” which is loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson story “The Snow Queen.” “Frozen” will be available in 3D, too. If you are looking for something a little more action packed, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” will be out in theaters on November 22 and picks up the story from when Katniss Everdeen comes home from winning of the 74th hunger games.
Related: Top Movie Theaters In Philadelphia
Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here Examiner.com.