Though you can score some great deals on Black Friday, you’ll likely face long lines, crazy crowds, and hours spent in the cold. For some it may be worth it, but if it isn’t for you, there are plenty of other great things to do.
1. Enjoy the holiday light display at Turtle Back Zoo.
Located in West Orange, be sure to stop by on Black Friday for opening night of the holiday light extravaganza. There will be special raffles and the opportunity to win one-of-a-kind experiences with the animals.
2. Travel the holiday wine trail.
You survived Thanksgiving! To celebrate, stop in for a tasting at one of the many participating wineries throughout the state. Several are hosting special events. Terhune Orchards in Princeton will be offering wagon rides, Sharrott Winery in Hammonton will have live music and a heated patio, and Tomasello Winery, also in Hammonton, is breaking out the chocolate fountain. To learn more, visit
3. Stop by the holiday craft fair in Cape May.
Cape May is a wonderful place to spend time during the holiday season. It all starts the day after Thanksgiving with the holiday craft fair at the convention hall from 10-4. Enjoy dinner and then head to a show - The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by the East Lynne Theater Company at 8 pm.
4. Take a step back from Black Friday at the Ballantine House.
A step back in time, that is. Part of the Newark Museum, this historic home will offer visitors a taste of how Christmas was celebrated in late Victorian Newark. Historically accurate, visit during normal museum hours to immerse yourself in days past.
5. Burn calories for a good cause.
The "Friends of Colin" Turkey Trot begins at 10 a.m. on Black Friday in Unami Park, Cranford. 100% of the profits help to support Friends of Colin, a youth run 501(c)3 nonprofit in the fight against pediatric cancer.
6. Participate in a Black Friday blood drive.
The former Venture Crew 77 and Boy Scouts of America Patriots’ Path Council Youth Executive Committee will host their annual Black Friday blood drive from 10 am to 4 pm at three locations in Madison, Cedar Knolls and Cranford. For more information, click
7. Take a scenic tour of Atlantic City.
A1 tours offers a variety of tours suited to a wide range of interests including nature, attractions, history, wine, and the mob. Black Friday bookers will receive a $5 discount.
8. Throw a post-holiday potluck.
Thanksgiving is often spent with family, but Black Friday is the perfect opportunity for a Friendsgiving. It's a great way to get rid of those leftovers and share your favorite recipes.
What other Black Friday activities are you aware of? I’m sure there are plenty of local events that are less publicized but still just as incredible. Let me know in the comments, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.