Things To Do On Black Friday If You Don’t Want To Shop

Christmas is approximately two months away. Nonetheless, as per usual, small and big retailers all over Utah and the rest of the country have started their big holiday season hype. Door-busting Black Friday ads for 2021 are already splashing and popping up everywhere you may look. In preparation, millions of Americans and plenty of Salt Lakers will rise and shine at dawn on the 26th of November. Their main goal? To hit the stores early and spend the entire day going on the craziest shopping spree of the year. Many will get an early start and use Thanksgiving to put up their tents to be the first in line.

If you couldn’t care less about Black Friday, you simply don’t have any money to spare on discount items this year, or you want to avoid big crowds for safety concerns, read on. We have prepared a few cool alternatives to BF shopping that we think you may enjoy.

Is Skipping Black Friday Really A Good Idea?

What about all the excellent deals and discounts you would be missing? The utter chaos that this holiday creates with the frantic search for the best deals has become a tradition in the US. However, BF is not only popular in the US. In Australia, Black Friday is competing against Boxing Day for the title of the nation’s biggest shopping event. European countries also spend a lot of money on the holiday event that has spread like wildfire across the planet.

Nonetheless, in recent years, there has been a gradual change, with many regular shoppers skipping the weekend madness. Instead, many travel, go out, or spend some quality time with their loved ones. In 2020, 53 percent of consumers were planning on skipping the in-person BF shopping spree because of the pandemic. This year, the same will happen in many parts of the world. This is mainly due to the permanent changes in the economies of world countries and the dynamics of societies as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

People have started to look for more meaningful things to do instead of shopping endlessly. Some of the early signs of this change were noticeable in 2015, with a camping retailer closing their doors on BF for the first time. Employees were given a paid day off and they were encouraged to go spend some time in the great outoors. Their disarmed customers were warmly encouraged to do the same. Even more, the same retailed shut down their payment processor online so customers would not be able to do any online shopping. They continued to do the same thing each following year. Their policy is to close their doors and “#OptOutside because that’s where we feel awesome”.

The name of this company is REI and they have set a strong example concerning the shift away from in-person BF shopping. Other big retailers such as like Home Depot, Walmart, and Costco have also made their Black Friday and Thanksgiving plans clear. They will be shutting down their activity on Thanksgiving Day as a means of giving their employees a day off they can spend with the family. Target is encouraging shoppers to do their purchases online for safety reasons.

However, the question remains: will you be missing out on one or two excellent deals on Black Friday if you decide to skip it? Probably. However…

  • you are also less likely to buy something you do not actually need for the sole purpose of getting a “good deal”
  • you will avoid cluttering your home with items you have no room for storing
  • you will prevent your credit card bill from going through the roof in December
  • you will save money you can use to go on a fun vacation
  • you will save money on gas

What To Do On The Buy-Nothing Weekend?


Take the time to get some much-needed rest. Restore your body, take back some of your lost energy and enjoy the peace and quiet. While not exactly a fun alternative activity to BF shopping, it should definitely make you feel better.

Spend quality time with your loved ones

Sleep in, have breakfast in bed with the kids or your significant other, plan a fun movie night, eat all your Thanksgiving leftovers, play family games, or go on a hike. Do whatever has been on your mind lately, but you never found the time for it.

Play fun games on your phone

Research what are the best games to play on a smartphone or tablet, charge your battery and have some good old gaming fun. Engage in a fun game of slots, practice our poker skills, or place your bets during a live dealer game of roulette from the comfort of your home. Who knows, you may end up with some extra money in your bank account this Black Friday!

You could also play some fresh video game or classic holiday bingo game with your family for a more interactive experience.

Put up your Xmas tree

Use Black Friday to bring some early holiday spirit into your home by putting up your Christmas tree and using some DIY decorations.

You could also watch Netflix and just chill with some leftover Halloween candy to your side, visit a National Historic Site, go camping, volunteer, or go to a family entertainment center and engage in even more fun activities with the whole family. Make this year’s Buy Nothing weekend an unforgettable one – there are tons of ways to do it!

Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh is Salt Lake magazine's Editor. He covers culture, history, the outdoors and whatever needs a look. Jeremy is also the author of the book "100 Things to Do in Salt Lake City Before You Die" and the co-author of the history, culture and urban legend guidebook "Secret Salt Lake."

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