The best Black Friday deal? It's Minnesota State Parks again

For the fourth year in a row, state parks will be free on Black Friday.
Publish date:

While the likes of Target, Best Buy and Amazon dominate the conversation over Black Friday weekend, the best deal in Minnesota on the busiest shopping weekend of the year won't be found at the store.

For the fourth year in a row, admission to all state parks will be free on the day after Thanksgiving, according to an announcement from the Minnesota DNR. 

Admission is normally $7 for a one-day vehicle permit.

The DNR says the goal of the so-called Free Park Friday "is to encourage families to extend their holiday by spending time together with a walk outdoors," as research show "multiple benefits" of walking.

And one of those benefits, apparently, is getting some social media love; the DNR is also encouraging people to share photos of their "Black Friday free park adventure" with the hashtags  #FreeParkFriday and #OnlyinMN.

Stuff to know

With 75 state parks and recreation areas in Minnesota, there are plenty of Free Park Friday destinations to choose from. You can find one that works for you with the DNR's ParkFinder site.

Each park's entry will have hours of operation and other important details.

Some of the parks will have "special programs" happening on Black Friday; you can find a list of those parks and the programs right here

Those include a "Snowshoe Lacing Workshop," "Bison Tales" and a "Turkey Hike," among others.

The DNR is reminding visitors that some parks will have special hunts taking place, so be sure to "plan accordingly."

Additionally, while the parks will be open, many of the state park offices will be closed or have minimal staff that day; however, "visitors can stop at the orientation stations near the park entrance for trail maps and tips on what to see and do at the park."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.


When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.


This Black Friday deal is a breath of fresh air – literally

Ditch the shopping frenzy and go to any state park for free.

Screen Shot 2019-11-07 at 7.25.57 AM

Best Buy has dropped its Black Friday ad, with deals starting now

The Richfield retailer is the latest to announce its Black Friday plans.

Screen Shot 2020-10-19 at 1.45.43 PM

Walmart gives first glimpse of its Black Friday deals

The retail giant is holding three separate Black Friday sales events in November.

Mall of America reveals its plans for Black Friday

It's closed for Thanksgiving, but is making a huge deal of Black Friday.

Costco reveals Black Friday deals that include 4K TVs, Apple products

It's one of the first major retailers to release their Black Friday plans.

Best Buy reveals its Black Friday deals, and some are available now

The retailer has launched a series of deals available until Sunday.