It’s a new Black Friday tradition, head outdoors!


Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park (Photo from Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas State Parks will once again waive entrance fees as part of a nationwide Black Friday #OptOutside initiative.

In 2015 retailer REI, a camping and hiking co-op, closed all 150 stores and encouraged their 13,000 employees to to head outdoors.

Now that we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic heading outdoors might be the best social distancing exercise available.

“In the middle of everything, we have watched as people all over the world, some for the first time, looked to time outdoors to reflect, restore and connect with one another,” said Eric Artz, REI president and CEO. “We are focusing on what matters most.” 

Governor Laura Kelly has encouraged Kansans to head out to state parks and they have listened.

Kansas State Parks director Linda Lanterman said attendance has been exceptionally high.

“We’re really proud that people could turn to Kansas state parks for hiking, cycling, camping, fishing and safely relaxing with loved ones out-of-doors,” said Lanterman. “Hopefully, #OptOutside will be a continuation of all of that with thousands taking advantage of what we have to offer, and at no cost.” 

On Friday, Nov. 27, state park visitors will have a chance to win a free night’s stay in a Kansas state park cabin of their choice.

To enter, visitors must simply take a selfie within the park and share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the tags #OptOutside and #MyKsStatePark. 

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