At the Institute we take advantage of every opportunity to spend time outside, which is why we are fans of the new Opt Outside movement that encourages people to spend Black Friday outdoors instead of shopping. California state parks are joining in on the fun as well and offering free admission passes for "Green Friday." In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we are showing our gratitude for parks and open spaces by sharing our plans to spend Black Friday outdoors. Hopefully it will encourage others to opt outside with us!
This Friday, I will be hanging out in Golden Gate Park with my friends. Each year we try to spend Black Friday outside and with one another because not only are we reminded of the beauty of nature, but also reminded of how thankful we are for one another.
I’ll be running around the lakes in Marin. While I have not always appreciated running as much as I do now, it was something I started doing during my summers home from college to spend time outside with my dad. Before work, we would drive out to one of the lakes in the Mt. Tam watershed and he would keep pace with me and I ran/walked, encouraging me as I slowly gained stamina throughout the summer. A love of trail running is one of the many lasting impressions that my dad has made on me and, while I’m home with my family over the holidays, it’s a tradition I look forward to keeping alive.
This Friday, I'll be taking a nature walk with my family on Mt. Tam or at a local beach. Although the kids are too young for a long hike, they enjoy being out in nature looking at the plants and keeping an eye out for squirrels, deer, and other animals. I feel so grateful that we have access to nature here in the Bay Area so my kids can grow up having this type of outdoor experience.
I’ve been rethinking the meaning of Thanksgiving especially after participating in the Indigenous People's Sunrise Ceremony last year on Alcatraz. This year, I plan to take refuge in nature for the entire holiday in Joshua Tree National Park.
On Friday, I will be down in Los Angeles and will be taking a long walk on the beach boardwalk near my parents’ house. Even when it is the end of November, the surfers will still be out in wetsuits waiting it out for the big wave.
This Black Friday, I’ll be spending time outside with family. I’m thankful for all my loved-ones. I’m thankful for the delicious meals I get to share with my family. Lastly, I’m grateful for parks where I can burn off second-helpings of pie!
I’ll be ice skating this Black Friday. I’m thankful for ice skating because it’s a fun way to get exercise and it takes me back to my figure skating days at Cornell!
On Friday you can find me walking in the hills behind my parents' house with my entire family. I am grateful to have grown up in the Bay Area with so many beautiful trails at my doorstep, and I'm especially grateful during the holidays because I'm able to spend time in nature with the people I love.
This Black Friday, I’ll be outside. I’m thankful that there are so many parks with beautiful views to choose from in San Francisco.
This Friday, I’ll be laying out and intentionally doing nothing in my backyard and garden. I’m thankful to have a green space so near me and for the brief reprieve from the pressure of always doing something or being productive. Even when I’m home, I oftentimes feel like I should be doing something with my time. Being outside is a good reminder that it’s okay to just be present and enjoy your surroundings.