The Game Plan

Nov. 23 Doesn’t Have to Be Black Friday

Posted by Jasmine Lee / Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Don't let the signs fool you; you don't have to do Black Friday! / Kenishirotie/shutterstock.coc

Seriously. There is no mandate that says we have to get out of bed at the crack of dawn, rummage through the closet for our “shopping clothes,” dodge the deer casually crossing the dark streets near our house, fight for a parking space that is still far from the door and then struggle with three people who are after that discounted television or mini fridge even though we “saw it first.”  All of this merely hours after putting ourselves into a delightful food-induced coma.

Nov. 23 can be just another Friday off from work. Another day to spend with family. Why not stay home and brainstorm ways to cleverly slip your electronic holiday wishlist into the hands (and inboxes) of your loved ones? Eat some leftover sweet potato pie for breakfast… in bed. Save the shopping for Cyber Monday, which you can do from the comfort of your bed and the privacy of your laptop, or maybe at your desk at the office, if you’re feeling a bit rebellious.

But if you’re dying to get out, here are six ways to enjoy your holiday, without the stress of Black Friday.


9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Escape to Black Friday at the Workhouse

Say goodbye to the typical Black Friday experience and say hello to local art. At the Workhouse Arts Center, you can find one-of-a-kind gifts and NoVA artists at the same time. The event will feature 100 artists and 70 studios spread out among 10 buildings. Food (including the Workhouse Farmers Market from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.), workshops and crafts await you.

Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton

703-584-2900 /


10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Adoption Special

Adopting a homeless animal—okay, at least considering it—will be rewarding and fun At a minimum of $10, the standard $150 adoption fee is being waived so families can name their own prices. Adopters are also welcome to make a tax-deductible donation to the AWLA.

Vola Animal Shelter, 4101 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria

703-746-4774 /


Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in style this Friday. / Courtesy of Reston Town Center


11 a.m.
Reston Holiday Parade

Though you may be tempted to drift on over to the shops, the celebrations at Reston Town Center are enough to keep you thoroughly occupied and entertained. The 22nd annual Reston Holiday Parade will march along Market Street, welcoming Santa, Mrs. Claus and the holiday season. Look out for Macy’s Day-style balloons, dancers, music, antique cars and floats. Come early and stay late for the other RTC festivities.

Reston Town Center, 11900 Market St., Reston

703-689-46999 /


5:30-10 p.m.
Bull Run Festival of Lights

The Bull Run Festival of Lights is a NoVA favorite, and this weekend marks its 2012 debut. Hop in your car and enjoy a very merry light and music show. Be advised: Fridays are one of the festival’s busiest days, so be prepared. Still, it’s one of the best days to go, as the carnival will be open until late! Check the website for the cost per vehicle.

Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville

703-359-4633 /


7-9 p.m.
Alexandria City Tree Lighting Ceremony

Join the City of Alexandria for the annual tree lighting and community sing-along. Santa will be there too! Kids can visit Old Saint Nick and receive candy canes after their visit.

Market Square, 301 King St., Alexandria

703-746-5592 /


8 p.m.
Doc Scantlin and His Imperial Orchestra Holiday Show

In the DMV, Doc Scantlin and crew regularly point the spotlight on the music of the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s. For $35, Their big band show will give you the swinging holiday spirit.

The Carlyle Club, 411 John Carlyle St., Alexandria

703-548-8899 /


This could've been you. Good thing you followed NoVA Mag's guide to the day after Thanksgiving. / K2 Images/

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