Mike Whetstone of Richmond, Va., kayaks through marsh on Taskinas Creek at York River State Park in James City County, Va., on Nov. 18, 2018. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Cattails grow at Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in State College, Pa., on April 11, 2018. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Ryan Davis of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay watches for birds in Loudoun County, Va., on May 3, 2018. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Amy Clements, president of Spa Creek Conservancy, leads a volunteer tree planting in Annapolis, Md., on March 31, 2018. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Lauren Cook zips up the tent she set up with her partner during a Camping 101 lesson at Killens Pond State Park in Felton, Del., on Oct. 6, 2017. (Photo by Joan Smedinghoff/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Mebaa Braha, left, and Yeab Lemma play cornhole during Old Bay Day at The Sandlot in Baltimore, Md., on June 21, 2018. (Photo by Kaitlyn Dolan/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Maddie Koenig of Anacostia Watershed Society demonstrates how to identify sassafras trees from their leaves while guiding a hike in Silver Spring, Md., on May 26, 2018. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Goodyear Lake in Milford, N.Y., on July 6, 2018. (Photo by Rebecca Chillrud/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Dustin Wichterman of Trout Unlimited holds a young brook trout caught in a tributary of Seneca Creek in Pendleton County, W.Va., on April 21, 2018. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
Cyclists visit Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park in Williamsport, Md., on April 20, 2018. Some visitors bike the full 184 miles of the C&O Canal’s towpath, from Georgetown to Cumberland, Md. (Photo by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program)
by Rebecca Chillrud
November 21, 2018
It’s not just the food that’s plentiful around Thanksgiving: between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, there’s also a bounty of shopping opportunities. Now, there’s a growing movement to opt outside after the holiday, trading shopping for exploration.
What began as a campaign from outdoor retailer REI, which decided to close on Black Friday and provide employees paid time off to spend the day outdoors, quickly caught on and gained national attention. Millions of people have chosen to forego the holiday shopping chaos and instead use the weekend for some much-needed nature time.
Here are some ways you can get outside and enjoy all the Chesapeake has to offer.
- Hike: Take a hike or try geocaching, which combines hiking with treasure hunting.
- Paddle: Go for a paddle on one of the many rivers and streams throughout the Chesapeake region.
- Ice skate: There are plenty of outdoor rinks where you can fully embrace the cold weather by falling with style.
- Explore: Visit a nearby park. Many state parks have embraced the opt outside movement and offer free admission on Black Friday.
- Birdwatch: Even though it’s cold outside, winter is one of the best times to begin birding.
- Run: Keep the turkey trot energy going with an outdoor run. You can make your run extra Bay-friendly by “plogging”: bring a trash bag and pick up any litter you come across while you’re out.
- Play games: Get some family members or friends together for some backyard football.
- Walk: Take a walk with your favorite four-legged friend.
How will you be opting outside this holiday season? Let us know in the comments!
About Rebecca Chillrud - Rebecca is the Communications Staffer at the Chesapeake Bay Program. She has a Master's in Climate Science and Policy from Bard College and a Bachelor's in Geological Sciences from SUNY Geneseo. Originally from upstate New York, she currently resides in Washington, D.C.