Opt Outside! Holiday Countdown Day 1


The idea to spend time outside during the holiday weekend, especially on the Friday after Thanksgiving, gained national attention a few years ago thanks to REI, an outdoor clothing and equipment retailer.

In 2015 REI announced it would close its doors on Black Friday and will continue this tradition in 2021. The retailer encouraged the nation to #OptOutside, foregoing shopping for spending time outdoors. During the month of November, your family also can join the movement and #OptOutside. Here are some family-friendly activities and events near Annapolis to consider.

Hike Around Spa Creek
Opt Outside with Spa Creek Conservancy and hike to the headwaters of Spa Creek. This approximately 2.5 mile walk on pavement will take you around the headwaters portion of Spa Creek. You will be able to see portions of the headwaters and the marshy woods surrounding the streams that eventually flow into Spa Creek as we know it. The walk begins and ends at the parking lot beside the running track behind Bates, off of Spa Road, Annapolis. Look for Weems Whalen Field in your GPS. 

opt outside

Family-Friendly Hike to Calvert Cliffs
Hike and picnic at Calvert Cliffs. Walk an easy pace to the beach and back for lunch, a total of 4 miles. Calvert Cliffs State Park is a day-use park featuring a sandy beach, unique fossils, an accessible recycled tire playground, fishing, a freshwater and tidal marshland. 
Cost: Park entry is $5/vehicle for MD residents, $7/vehicle for everyone else, or FREE with your MD State Park Pass.

Explore Bacon Ridge Trail
Take in the colorful fall leaves as you bike the newly constructed Bacon Ridge Trail. The single-track loop is perfect for most ages and skill levels with only a few rocks, roots and trees along the trail. Although the track relatively is clear, you can still enjoy a bit of challenge with twists, turns, moderate hills and a few steep grades along the way.
Free parking is located near the trailhead on Hawkins Road. Please refrain from using the trail when wet.
Cost: Free
Hours: Dawn to dusk
1801 Hawkins Road, Crownsville

*Please note that another popular spot to hike and explore – Beverly Triton Beach Park – is under construction and currently closed. There is no parking or access to the beach or trails.

More ways to find #optoutside activities:

For Birders—audubon.org/app

Hikes a’ plenty; put in your zip code and find great spots near you—rei.com

Chesapeake Bay activities—cbf.org

Plus—6 Winter Walks with Hot Chocolate along the Way!

and 9 Nature Play Spaces in the area!

Follow along with our Holiday Countdown for daily holiday activities between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day!