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Family-friendly Black Friday activities that do not involve shopping

Posted by Jen Clark Estes  November 22, 2013 09:35 AM

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Photo by Christins Demetrio

Skip the mall on Black Friday and spend family time enjoying nature hikes, half-priced admission to local zoos, and more.


If battling through crowded stores on Black Friday isn't your thing, there are plenty of alternate activities that will give you the opportunity to extend your Thanksgiving family time. Digest your feast (and maybe burn off those extra calories) while enjoying half-price zoo admissions, exploring nature, fighting goblins, or singing along to a classic movie.

Half-price admission to Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd., Dorchester. Fri., Nov. 28, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Adults, $8.50; seniors, $7; ages 2-12, $5.50. All ages. Burn off your turkey dinner while visiting with the many animals throughout the zoo. www.zoonewengland.org

Half-price admission to Stone Zoo (does not include evening ZooLights), 149 Pond St., Stoneham. Fri., Nov. 28, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Adults, $7; seniors, $6; ages 2-12, $5. All ages. Continue to celebrate the holiday by bringing the whole gang to the zoo for a day of fun. Note that the discount does not apply to the evening ZooLights. www.zoonewengland.org

"Black Friday Full Day Adventure: Party Crashing," Guard Up!, 103 Terrance Hall Ave., Burlington. Fri., Nov 28, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (extended day option available). Call for pricing and options. Ages 6+. Goblins, ogres, and orcs have been raiding nearby villages all month. They have stolen gifts and food from the citizens of these towns. Recently, we have found out where the creatures have been gathering. Help us track down these thieves and crash their party. Bring your friends and your swords! (Foam swords provided.) Pre-registration required. Bring a nut-free lunch. www.guardup.com

"Day After Thanksgiving: Audubon Environmental Ed. Center," Audubon Society of Rhode Island, 1401 Hope St., Bristol, RI. Fri., Nov. 28, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free with admission: adults, $6; ages 4-12, $4; under 4 and members, free. All ages. Nature crafts and stories, science activities, and an afternoon nature walk (weather permitting) well help you digest that turkey. No pre-registration required. www.asri.org

"Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins," Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St., Arlington. Fri., Nov. 29 - Sun., Dec. 1., hours vary. Adults, $15; children and seniors, $12.50. All ages. Join the singing and fun of this classic movie, which is shown with on-screen lyrics. A movie host will introduce the film and lead the crowd through audience participation activities and demonstrate the use of the complimentary bag of interactive props. Costumes encouraged. www.regenttheatre.com

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Welcome to Parent Buzz, where you can read about and discuss the hot parenting issues of the day, find family-friendly events in Boston and beyond, and get parenting tidbits and tips.

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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.
Jennifer Clark Estes is a teacher, writer, blogger, and the mother of four young children. In her free time, she blogs at A Mom's World, plays with the kids (or chauffeurs them around), and is desperately seeking a quiet spot so she can read a book. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferCEstes.
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