Fun Alternatives to Black Friday Madness – updated for 2012

by Gina Martin on November 21, 2011

in Arts and Culture

I’m not a big fan of recreational shopping, especially in brick and mortar stores where you get to hassle with parking, traffic, and ill temper. Both your own and everyone else’s. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, and with that in mind, here are a few things that are going on in my neck of the woods, south of Albany, that are worth checking out.

Black Friday – November 23rd

Catskill Holiday of Lights Parade, 11/23, starts at 7pm. Main Street, Catskill. The parade looks fun, and very small-town cool – nope, it’s nothing like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and in my book, that’s a huge plus. Check out the YouTube videos from past parades here. And here.

Across the river, the Ghent Playhouse Holiday Pantomime Robin Hood: 50 Shades of Green opens 11/23, runs through 12/9. After a friend shared a childhood memory about going to his first-ever live performance of a pantomime, aka “panto”, where he was so enthralled with the whole thing he reached over and grabbed a lady’s hat and threw it toward the stage in a sort of trance of exultation as the audience applauded the performance, I knew I had to check it out. Hat snatching and throwing not recommended, but hey, if the spirit moves you, who am I to judge?

While you’re out in Columbia County, check out the Hudson-Chatham Winery, and their Black Friday Sip-n-Shop event.

Saturday November 24th

Tannersville will be hosting The Spirit of the Holidays along with their annual craft fair and Christmas tree lighting at 5pm. It’s a cute small town, in a gorgeous mountain setting, and a much nicer way to get into the holiday spirit than battling traffic at the mall.

After Tannersville’s events, head over to Hunter and catch a movie in the Mountain Cinema. It’s a great little theater, and my guess is it won’t be nearly as hectic as trying to get in to a megaplex. Be sure to bring cash, as they don’t accept credit cards, and do try out the delicious ice cream from the snack bar. We always thoroughly enjoy our visits to this movie theater, it’s fun, low-key and very well done.

Sick of the schlocky “Xmas” music that’s been playing in every store since before Halloween? If you aren’t heading to Mountain Cinema, the antidote can be found in nearby Windham NY, at the Doctorow Center for the Arts’ annual Thanksgiving concert presented by the Windham Festival Chamber Orchestra.

| lives in Coxsackie NY with her husband, their two children, and an assortment of Rottweilers and cats. Gina has been a homeschooling parent since 2003, and is also proud parent of a Tech Valley High School student. Gina is the creator of ModSchooler, her blog about 21st -century learning and fun, and is a contributor to From Scratch Club writing on food and food policy. As lifelong learners, Gina and her tween and teen kids like to go off the beaten path to explore quirky travel destinations, unusual cuisine, and all things geeky. Email:, twitter: @GinaMartinBlogs

LORETTA MC CULLOUGH November 24, 2011 at 9:25 am

very interesting, but unfortunately too far away for my husband and me to attent the events.

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