Local Holiday Gems: Beyond The Black Friday Rush

If you’ve ever stood in line for Black Friday shopping deals, you know it’s not a relaxing experience. Lines often stretch around the store, with sales beginning before sunup. So, while searching for a great deal on a flat-screen television or the latest headphones may sound frustrating, we have compiled a list of alternate activities that don’t require battling crowds to get in the door. In fact, our curated list of activities and ideas will keep you close to the people you love y support the small businesses that are the heart of our community…that’s an absolute win!

Get creative with the family making ornaments:

Crafting family ornaments is a beautiful way to make something tangible and start a new tradition. One tried-and-true option is salt dough ornaments, which are simple enough for little ones to help with. They are also inexpensive and able to be painted when they’re complete. Older children can help with personalization, and you could continue this tradition to include grandkids and in-laws. We like this simple recipe from AllRecipes, which uses only three ingredients (and we promise these are pantry staples).

Put together care packages for the holidays: If you have elderly friends or neighbors, putting together a care package is a lovely way to make sure they are remembered during the holidays. Many older adults spend the holidays alone due to family distance or circumstances, and a care package can brighten their day. Here are some great things to include in a care package or basket: Favorite snacks (be sure to note ingredients in case of allergies)

    • Board game or movie on DVD
    • Cozy blanket, socks, or slippers
  • Homemade dog or cat treats for their furry friend
  • Handwritten note or photo card
  • Soy candle or essential oils

Local hikes or scavenger hunts:

Did you know that Medford offers a scavenger hunt that lets you unlock the rich history of our area? Let’s Roam offers a unique experience that’s perfect for families of older children or for visiting relatives. You’ll need to purchase tickets and put together a “team” on their informative website. If you’d rather experience the outdoors without the pressure of hunting down clues, the Prescott Park hike around Roxy Ann peak is easy enough for a stroller or two, and for all ages. The simple hike makes a loop, and the views are unmatched. Another great option for beginner hikers are the Britt Trails in Jacksonville, which are mostly flat (though narrow, so strollers would be difficult), and filled with lovely foliage. For your safety, remember to dress in layers and let someone know where you are going anytime you embark on a new hiking path.

Get up close and personal with the local wildlife:

The unique experience of Wildlife Safari is just about an hour-and-a-half away from Medford. Nestled in a scenic setting, the safari allows visitors to drive through lush landscapes, observing a range of species, from majestic lions to towering giraffes, all in a more natural and open environment. The family-friendly atmosphere makes it an ideal destination for a day out, with opportunities for captivating photography and educational encounters. Wildlife Safari’s dedication to conservation, including active participation in breeding programs for endangered species, adds a meaningful and impactful dimension to this exceptional wildlife adventure. You could also turn this into a yearly tradition where you explore a new restaurant after your animal encounters.

Explore the local culture and history:

The Schneider Museum of Art, with its captivating exhibits and innovative showcases, serves as a beacon for art enthusiasts eager to explore contemporary expressions and the cultural pulse of the region. From thought-provoking installations to evocative paintings, this museum is a testament to the dynamic creativity thriving in the local arts scene. On a different note, the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society Library invites you to delve into the rich historical roots of the area. With an extensive collection of records, documents, and resources, it becomes a portal through which individuals can trace their familial histories and uncover the stories of those who came before. Whether you are drawn to the visual storytelling of contemporary art or fascinated by the threads of history weaving through the generations, these museums promise a profound and enriching exploration of the cultural heritage nestled in the heart of the Rogue Valley.

Why support local businesses instead of big-box shopping?

Local businesses are the heart of our community. By choosing to shop and engage in activities locally, you contribute to the livelihood of your neighbors. As local service providers, our team here at Medical Eye Center strongly believes that supporting local businesses ensures that our community remains a vibrant and diverse place to live. Although many children will receive plenty of toys and electronics, the chance to make memories is what will last for years. After all, those Black Friday deals will come around again, we promise!