Best Alternatives To Shopping On Black Friday In Washington DC

November 11, 2013 7:00 AM

The day after Thanksgiving should be as stress free as possible. Black Friday is the opposite of stress free due to mobs of people screaming, pushing and fighting. If you don’t want to spend the Friday after Thanksgiving eating leftovers and watching holiday classics, here are a few options that are far more entertaining than standing in line for a flat screen television.

Washington Humane Society
1201 New York Ave. N.E.
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 576-6664

Traditionally on Thanksgiving, you go around and say what you are thankful for, and for many, four-legged family members make the list. So instead of shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving, consider donating your time to helping animals. You can barely consider snuggling with cats as work, but someone has to do it. Of course, there are other tasks like walking dogs, cleaning, administrative work and help with adoption and outreach events. Give back while helping the creatures you love.

The 80th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art In Miniature
The Mansion at Strathmore
10701 Rockville Pike
North Bethesda, MD 20852
(301) 581-5100

Date: Nov. 23, 2013 – Jan. 4, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Tuesdays through Sundays)

A beautiful work of fine art can take weeks, months or even years to produce. Whether it is a landscape oil painting, a sculpture of the human form or numerous other works, fine art can be an arduous task. Now add on top of that making these pieces of art the size of a penny. It takes miniature artists so much time, effort and skill to produce expertly crafted works of art at such a small scale. The 80th Annual Exhibition of Fine Art In Miniature celebrates and rewards these artists for the often breathtaking art they are able to create. Take a step back from the big things you want to buy and marvel at how beautiful small things can be.

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
Arena Stage
1101 6th St. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 488-3300

Date: Nov. 29, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014

Sydney Poitier broke down barriers at a time when most people thought those barriers were unbreakable. One of his most memorable movie roles was Dr. John Prentice in “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner,” a story about the reveal of an interracial relationship. The comedy struck a chord with people all over the world. And now Malcolm-Jamal Warner, famous for playing Theo Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” is taking on the iconic role in Arena Stage’s adaptation of the movie. Sitting down and laughing sounds much better than standing in line and stressing.

Related: Best Places To See Autumn Leaves In The DC Area

Season’s Greenings
United States Botanic Garden
100 Maryland Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 225-8333

Date: Nov. 28, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014

The day after Thanksgiving is the unofficially accepted day that you are allowed to put up winter holiday decorations and play holiday music. The United States Botanical Gardens is a great place to kick off your holiday season, with beautiful greenery and scenes. Including the beloved fantasy train that has become a must see for those in the holiday spirit, the exhibit also includes a poinsettia showcase, an indoor decorated tree and more. Surround yourself with beautiful conifer trees instead of angry bargain shoppers.

The National Theatre
1321 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 628-6161

Date: Nov. 5 – Dec. 8, 2013

Idina Menzel is synonymous with Broadway after her iconic roles in “Wicked” and “Rent,” and she will possibly add a third iconic role with the new musical “If/Then.- From Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, the team behind the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Next To Normal,” “If/Then” is about the choices you make and how they effect your life. The Broadway-bound musical will be doing a short premiere run in the newly beautified National Theatre. Don’t miss your opportunity to catch the new musical before it leaves town.

Related: Best Tips For Thanksgving Leftovers From DC Chefs

Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on

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