You have a number of options on Black Friday: You can fight tooth and nail for deals at your local store, or you can enjoy all of Colorado's state parks for free.

Personally, I would rather go to the dentist than shop on Black Friday. The deals typically aren't that good, and a dentist visit is certainly better than doing your Joe Palooka impersonation at your local Wally World.

Holiday Shopping Season Gets Underway On "Black Friday"
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Do you know what would really hit this spot on Black Friday? How about a free visit to any of Colorado's state parks? Colorado Parks and Wildlife invite Colorado residents to skip the shopping nightmare and enjoy the state's beautiful scenery and fresh air. Enjoy free entry into any of the 41 Colorado state parks on Friday, November 29, 2019.

The annual Fresh Air Friday tradition is a partnership with Great Outdoors Colorado that encourages residents to get outside and give thanks. Fresh Air Friday is now in its fourth year.

“Studies have shown that spending time outside, no matter the activity, is great for your health. We’re actively encouraging folks to enjoy their natural surroundings with family and friends rather than participate in the usual shopping frenzy. After all, the Colorado outdoors are the best deal out there.” - Dan Prenzlow, Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife courtesy of

Several state parks, Ridgway for example, are offering special events. Ridgway offers and exciting all-ages hike. According to :

Two hikes will be offered to get outside for Fresh Air Friday at Ridgway State Park: Dallas Creek Nature Trail at 11am- Meet at Confluence Parking Lot in Dallas Creek for a 1 mile hike in a great riparian ecosystem. Enchanted Mesa Hike at 1pm- meet at Enchanted Mesa Trail Head in Pa Co Chu Puk. It will be a 2 mile hike, but you are free to go further on your own. There are great views in all directions from the top of Enchanted Mesa.

Hiking Dallas Creek Nature Trail certainly sounds more fascinating that hiking aisle #8 at the local box store. Of course, if your heart is set on shopping, please keep in mind you can go to Wally World bright and early, get the good deals, and then go hiking for Fresh Air Friday.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, and be sure to make the most of our incredible state on Black Friday. There are 41 state parks in Colorado to choose from, so make your plans now.

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