Opt-Outside on Black Friday


Since 2014, popular outdoor retailer REI has pledged to close their retail stores on Black Friday. While it may seem counter-intuitive to close retail stores on the busiest retail shopping day of the year, the company has adopted the #OptOutside campaign to show the importance of spending time outside. REI encourages shoppers to skip the Black Friday stores and online engagement and to spend time outdoors with family and friends.

As advocates for wildlife, we believe that developing an appreciation for wildlife and the great outdoors is pivotal to educating our visitors to the challenges animals face in the wild. We are joining REI, and over 700 other organizations and encouraging everyone to spend some time outside on Black Friday. We will be open from 10am-4pm on Black Friday (November 29, 2019) and offer nearly 2 miles of outdoor, walkable paths and snowshoeing trails. Plus, we are open 363 days a year, so we encourage anyone who is looking for a way to get outside to visit us! (Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day)

Why get outside?

A 2017 study showed that more than half, 51% of Americans, did not participate in an outdoor activity at least once during the year. This shocking statistic is a stark reminder that our world is increasingly more digital and our bodies may be suffering from it.  There has been an increasing number of studies in the past several years that show how valuable spending time outside can be for your general health. From general physical health to managing stress, outdoor physical activity has a dramatic impact on the human body and mind.

How can I get outside?

Any sort of outdoor activity can prove to be beneficial. For example, A simple walk around the block has been proven to help reduce stress, burn calories, aid in digestion, and loosen sore muscles. Being located in Central New York, we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by countless options for outdoor activity. We are happy to offer several options for year-round outdoor activity right here at the Utica Zoo. Our walking paths equal nearly 2 miles and we also offer snowshoeing during the colder winter months. REI also has a great tool to help with ideas and new places to explore. Visit the #OptOutside website to learn more!

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