Molly Hughes Wilmer of Annapolis never considered spending her Thanksgiving holiday inside, or even in a shopping mall.
“Thanksgiving has always been an outdoor holiday for my family,” Wilmer said. “Our traditions changed a bit last year, but we still wanted to find a way to stay clear from things that would take away from the spirit of the holiday.”
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 with over 154 locations.
In 2015 REI announced it would close its doors on Black Friday, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year. 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 six family-friendly activities and events near Annapolis to consider.
1. Explore Bacon Ridge Trail
Take in the 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
2. Ride at Beech Grove Farm
Experience sweeping views of open fields and catch a glimpse of wildlife while riding on horseback at Beech Grove Farm in Gambrills. While on the 1-hour guided horse ride, you will travel along the 4- to 6-mile scenic trail as it winds through the 114-acre farm. Riders must be at least 16 years old, but exceptions are made for those with riding experience. For safety and protection, all participants must wear shoes or boots with a small heel, pants and long-sleeved shirts.
Cost: $55 per person Hours: Daily by appointment, weather permitting
1575 Underwood Road, Gambrills
3. Skate outdoors at Glen Burnie Ice Rink
Glide along the ice under twinkling lights as music plays overhead at the outdoor Glen Burnie Ice Rink. Warm up afterward with a steaming cup of hot chocolate from Irina’s Crepes Café just a few steps away.
Free parking is available at the garage across the street from the rink.
Cost: $8 adults; $7 children 12 and under; $3 skate rentals Hours: Check website for hours; open November to March.
103 North Crain Hwy., Glen Burnie