But others pushed through the trees towards a scenic view, or went outside to scout a new trail.
It’s all part of #OptOutside, an idea to make Black Friday about having experiences, rather than getting things. The idea started five years ago, with the outdoor-gear retailer and co-op REI, when they decided to close their stores on the biggest retail day of the year.
CEO Eric Artz said wrote in a company blog this year that “#OptOutside has always brought out the best in this community. For five years in a row, we have closed our stores on the biggest shopping day of the year, processed no online sales and paid employees to spend the day outside with friends and family.”
The idea has inspired many others who don’t work or perhaps even shop at REI to do the same. Groups like the Sierra Club, The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and Latino Outdoors to organize events or otherwise support “opting outside”.
The Cheshire Land Trust holds an annual “Opt Outside” hike. This year the land trust partnered with the Southington Land Conservation Trust to host a 90-minute educational hike that drew about 35 people to the Cheshire Land Trust’s Ives Farm. From there they hiked Cheshire Street Cemetery to learn a little history, and then continued on a 1-mile hike.