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When I was little, I used to LOVE heading to the mall at o’dark hundred on Black Friday. I wasn’t a bargain shopper, I was a champion people watcher. I found my seasonal spirit by being around lots of people.
As an adult, and particularly as a parent, I take a different approach to Black Friday these days;
I avoid it like the plague.
I don’t want my kids anywhere near the crush of people, frantically looking for the best deal. I don’t find anything spirited or even joyful about it. It fills me with an anxiety that feels a lot like panic.
I’ve rebranded the day after Thanksgiving “Family Friday.” The goal? Spend as little money as possible while spending time together.
This year, we were in DC so on Family Friday we woke up and headed out to the National Mall.
If you’ve never been, the National Mall is a huge corridor of our capital’s finest museums and galleries. You can tour countless monuments and landmarks AND tour the Smithsonian Institution, “the world’s largest museum and research complex.” (Source)
The freedom to meander through a sculpture garden while on our way to the Air and Space museum, after touring the Museum of Natural History is what inspired this Facebook post:
One of the things I enjoyed most about our Family Friday was watching Peanut enjoy the day. As I’ve described before, everything seems to be more enthralling to this 5 year old when seen through the lens of a camera.
Peanut loved taking pictures of ancient sea life….
… exploring the many species of butterflies….
…and cataloging their unique flight patterns. Ahem.
She explored ancient bones…
… captured her companions…
… and even marveled at some national monuments.
The cost of our full day outing?
The museums and parking: $0.
Hot dogs and drinks for the family: $12.
Plague Friday? Priceless.
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