The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is offering an opportunity for Delawareans to escape the clamor of Black Friday shopping.
The state is lifting the cost of admission for Delaware state parks and the Brandywine Zoo on Black Friday.
Delaware is continuing its participation in the #optoutside initiative started by REI in 2015 when the retailer shut its doors during the nation’s biggest shopping day. Delaware State Parks operations manager Matt Ritter says the event is meant to encourage people to spend time outdoors rather than in department stores.
“It’s a great opportunity to just enjoy the outdoors,” said Ritter. “Instead of diving into the hectic malls and shopping centers, you can actually just hit a trail and just enjoy all that parks have to offer.”
Delaware is one of the more than 700 organizations participating in #optoutside. Ritter says the event usually has a good turnout.
“The day after Thanksgiving, especially if the weather is nice, we see large crowds just come to the park to use the trail,” said Ritter. “Just coming out and working through the food they took the day before and just taking the outdoors in one more time.”
State parks open at 8 a.m on Black Friday, with the exception of Fort Delaware State Park, which is closed for the season. The Brandywine Zoo is open from 10 to 4. The fee season for state parks runs through November.
DNREC recently announced the designation of the Auburn Heights Preserve in Yorklyn as the state’s 17th state park.