Crowds skip stores for Black Friday alternatives

November 24, 2017 05:38 PM

ALBANY - If Thursday was a day for delicious smells and amazing tastes then, for many, Friday was all about the sights and sounds of nature.

"I wanted to share this with these kids, it's beautiful up here," explained Bernie Lenau who was visiting Thacher Park Friday from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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On a day that's best known for spending money, New York State waived fees at the parks that are still charging admission this time of year in honor of Black Friday. The same was true for many national sites. By November, Thacher Park is already free, but still, scores of families skipped the mall to take advantage of a priceless panorama.

"For us, it's time to be together not a time to shop," said George Richardson of Delmar who was walking at Thacher with his family.

While there wasn't a line outside before it opened like at the mall, there was definitely a healthy crowd at the Albany Institute of History and Art this Black Friday.  It was free to visit the museum - one of the oldest in the country - on Friday, so visitors there didn't empty their wallets but did fill their minds.

"We wanted to do something fun and out of the house but didn't really want to go to the malls or anything like that," said Megan Simon of North Greenbush who was at the museum with her 6-year-old son.

The Albany Institute of History and Art is also waiving entrance fees Saturday and Sunday.

"We probably have another month to go shopping, so take a day to relax before you have to get into all that," added Simon.


Abigail Bleck

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