Top 5 Ways to Avoid the Mall on Black Friday

Need to get the kids out of house? There are plenty of options around the Queen City that don’t include holiday smack-downs over 25% off electronics.
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  1. Channel your inner Clark Griswold and visit the John T. Nieman Nursery to hunt and chop your own Christmas tree. Warm up with complimentary hot chocolate and a cookie while browsing the charming gift shop (25,000 Christmas lights not included). John T. Nieman Nursery, Hamilton, (513) 738-1012, johnniemannursery.com
  2. Burn off that Thanksgiving feast with the third-annual Plaid Friday Urban Hike, organized by the folks at Imago. Bring friends, family, and fido on this five-mile trek through Mt. Storm, Burnet Woods, and Rawson Woods. November 24, 2017, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Starting from Lydia’s on Ludlow, imagoearth.com
  3. Bypass the ever-popular mall Santa, and let the kids meet his tropical brother. Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa at Newport Aquarium is happening through New Year’s Eve, but get in early, because pictures with this non-traditional Santa make the perfect Christmas gifts for grandma. Newport Aquarium, 1(800) 406-3474, newportaquarium.com
  4. Does it count as Black Friday shopping if fine art and crafts are involved? Visit Winterfair at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center for unique, handmade wares from vendors near and far. November 24–26, 2017, Northern Kentucky Convention Center, ohiocraft.org
  5. Feeling inspired after your traditional viewing of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles? Visit Holiday Junction featuring Brickopolis at the Cincinnati Museum Center for a more-whimsical-less-stressful exploration of travel with train exhibits, LEGO creations, and of course— Santa. Now through January 3, 2018, Cincinnati Museum Center, (513) 287-7000, cincymuseum.org

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