For ‘Black Friday’ this year, some just say no

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BOSTON – “Black Friday,” the day that officially kicks off the season of holiday shopping madness, has gotten so insane that some retailers are just saying no and won’t even open their doors on what for many is the biggest day of the year, while plenty of consumers plan to follow their lead.

Recreational Equipment Inc., better known as REI, an outdoor sports and apparel chain based in Seattle, said in October that its stores would stay shut the day after Thanksgiving. The cooperative’s website indicates more than 900,000 people have joined its “Optoutside” campaign to shun shopping this year on what for many consumers has become a holiday in its own right, celebrating the art of the sale.

Some anxious customers line up hours before store openings to capture door-buster specials, and some chains open in the wee hours of the morning. Others take the wraps off their holiday specials on Thanksgiving Day, which has prompted some retailers, including Staples and GameStop, to declare they will stay shut that day to give workers a break. The frenzied rush for bargains has in the past led to deaths and serious injuries, as monitored by the BlackFridayDeathCount website.

So for those who plan to follow REI’s lead and take Black Friday “off,” here are some fun Boston activities that offer an alternative to battling to save a few bucks:

Sing-Along Mary Poppins movie and costume parade

Regent Theater – 7 Medford St., Arlington

The 1964 film classic has been updated with the addition of on-screen lyrics so audiences sing along with stars Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke as Mary and Bert along with the rest of the cast. Fans who dress up in their favorite costumes based on the Disney movie can participate in an on-stage parade led by a show host in the theater. Showings start Friday at 10:30 a.m. and go through Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

Preferred seat choice for those who get there 30 minutes early, at $17.50 per adult, $15 for children and seniors; regular admission is $15 or $12.50 for children and seniors.

For more information, visit the theater’s website.

Free Wine, Beer, and Spirits Tastings

The Urban Grape – 303 Columbus Ave., Boston

Every weekend beginning Thursdays, the Urban Grape wine shop holds complimentary tastings. The theme for Black Friday is digestifs, or spirits designed to help your holiday meal go down. The fun starts at 5 p.m. and wraps up at 8.

Admission: FREE!

Festival of Trees and Snow Village

Massachusetts Horticultural Society, 900 Washington St., Wellesley

Activities and displays feature trains coasting through decorated villages, Santa Claus visits, horse-drawn wagon rides, music and much more. Free parking is available. Doors open Friday at 10 a.m. For a detailed schedule, click here, and for more information about this or other events, courses and programs, contact Katie Folts, education coordinator, at 617-933-4973 .

Admission: $10 per guest; children under 12 are FREE!

Mike Epps performance

Wilbur Theatre, 246 Tremont St., Boston

Known for roles in hit movies such as “Next Friday,” sequel “Friday After Next” (Day-Day Jones in both), and “The Hangover” (Black Doug), actor, rapper and comedian Mike Epps will perform Friday at the Wilbur Theatre at 7:30 p.m. and a second show at 10 p.m. For more information, visit the Wilbur website.

Admission is $45.