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DNREC’s annual free state park admission returns on Black Friday

Daniel Larlham Jr.Culture, Headlines

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Instead of hitting a mall or other shopping trip, DNREC wants you to get out in nature at a state park.


DNREC this week  will continue its tradition of waiving all entry fees at Delaware State Parks and Brandywine Zoo on Black Friday.

The move is part of the #OptOutside movement. 

All Delaware State Parks except for Fort Delaware State Park will open at 8am on Friday, Nov. 26 and all entrance fees will be waived. 

The Brandywine Zoo will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with no admission charges.

All state park offices, though,  will be closed during black Friday.

Face coverings will be required in all indoor state park facilities, regardless of vaccination status, a press release said.. 

The #OptOutside movement was started in 2015 by outdoor brand REI to get people to avoid crowded shopping sites on Black Friday and instead reconnect to nature, and maybe work off a little of Thanksgiving dinner.

DNREC is one of more than 7,000 organizations participating each year, inspiring an estimated 7 million people to hit the trails.

DNREC can’t collect data on Black Friday attendance at state parks since no one is paying for it, said DNREC spokesperson Shauna McVey. They do see an increase in visitors over other days, she said.

“Offering free entry inspires more people to visit Delaware State Parks and Brandywine Zoo,” she said.

Those not able to partake in the #OptOutside event can still visit the Delaware State Parks for free after the fee season ends Nov. 30 and before it begins on Feb. 28.

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