ST. PAUL, Minn. - Thousands of people opted for a shopping-free Black Friday this year, choosing instead a visit to a museum, park or library.
"I've got the kids. We're not going shopping," said Julie Wang from the Minnesota History Center, where she brought her four children for the opening of the "Then Now Wow" exhibit.
The Wang family was far from alone. More than 1,700 people lined up in the dark to see the exhibit that opened at 6 a.m.
"Our Black Friday promotion was inspired by those people who maybe feel left out because everyone else is going shopping and they don't really like to shop," said Wendy Jones, Director of Museum Education for the Minnesota Historical Society.
And true to form, the museum's Black Friday event even included free stuff.
"The first 50 families got free memberships. The first 200 kids got knit 'Then Now Wow' hats, 25 percent off coupons in stores, free parking, all before 9 a.m.," Jones said.
The History Center proved not to be the only Minnesota mecca for non-shoppers.
"We're supposed to be thankful, than we go on this mad rush to the stores, like we forgot what we're really supposed to be thankful for, the important things," said Darrell Coles about his trip to the Minneapolis Central Library on Friday.
But minutes later, Coles also shared a shopping admission.
"I just figure I can get a better deal if I wait, anyway," he said.
For Marilyn Doyle and Mary Walters, Friday was a day to walk -- not shop. Or, truth be told, both.
"We're going for a 90-minute walk, uphill and down," Walters said. "Don't tell anybody, but I was over at Kohl's at 5 o'clock this morning."
For more information about the Minnesota History Center's "Then Now Wow" exhibit, just go to www.mnhs.org/wowmedia.
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