Thanksgiving weekend is usually marked with copious amounts of food and shopping. The tradition of filling your bellies then lining up in the early morning hours to snagging a large screen TV at a low price is the reason #OptOutside was created. Outdoor retail company, REI, started the Opt Outside movement to entice people to forgo the plight of a normal Black Friday and, instead, enjoy the outdoors.
Luckily for us Arizonians, this time of year is the perfect time to enjoy the boundless beauty of our state. If you’re looking for things to do outside in Phoenix on Thanksgiving weekend, you’ve come to the right place.
Go on a Full Moon Hike
Lost Dutchman State Park will have a guided full moon hike in the Superstition Mountains on Black Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24. After hiking the 2.5-mile Jacob’s Crosscut Trail, the group will gather around a campfire to roast marshmallows. Reservations are required to save your spot.
Shop for Christmas Gifts Outside
Thanksgiving weekend in Phoenix offers multiple opportunities to start crossing names off your list, all while enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
The Alternative Black Friday Vintage Market will have close to 20 vintage vendors and 13 vendors selling handcrafted items like jewelry, skincare products, and even furniture. The event takes place Friday, Nov. 23, from noon-7 p.m.
The 6th Street Market takes place on Sundays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Expect to find around 30 vendors selling handcrafted goods, live music, and food at the Nov. 25 market.
Head to a Farmers Market
While many of the farmers’ markets in the Phoenix Valley close during this holiday weekend, Uptown Farmers Market in Phoenix will be open. Visit the market on Saturday, Nov. 24, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. to shop local bread, fresh produce, handcrafted products, and delicious offerings.
Enjoy a Picnic
After snagging some locally made bread from the farmers market, head home to make some sandwiches with your leftover turkey and cranberry sauce. Pack up your sandwiches to enjoy them outside to your favorite local park.
Living in Phoenix, there is no shortage of mountain biking trails to enjoy. If you enjoy hitting the trails on two wheels, Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to do so. Work off some of that overindulgence and enjoy the outdoors.
Touch Football Game
In between watching the games on television, grab a group of friends and head to the nearest plot of grass for a game of touch football.
Get on the Water
This time of year, the skies tend to be azure and cloudless and the temperatures tend to sit in the 70s; in other words, the makings of a great lake day.
Lake Pleasant is just an hour’s drive away from Phoenix and offers activities like boat rentals, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking.
Visit an Electric Cacti Garden
For a one-of-a-kind experience, head to the Desert Botanical Garden to see the Electric Desert exhibit. This outdoor art show includes music and projections of dancing light imagery on the surrounding flora and fauna. Tickets are required, but you can also look into checking out a Cultural Pass at participating library.
If you enjoy lacing up your running shoes and going for a run, treat yourself to one of the best running trails in the area on Black Friday.
Once Thanksgiving passes, you’re officially allowed to get into the winter holiday spirit. The outdoor ice-skating rink at the Westgate shopping center will be open Thanksgiving weekend.
With all of these options for things to do outside in Phoenix this 2018 Thanksgiving weekend, it’s hard to pick just one. Make it a full weekend of the outdoors and cross multiple off the list.
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