It’s almost Thanksgiving break, which means time for a little taste of fun. For some of you that may mean getting ready for Black Friday, while for others it’s a moment to get some much needed R and R — rest and relaxation — before finals approach.

Those of you ready to fill your shopping carts at Black Friday sales, here are a few tips to help you prepare so you know where you want to spend your time for the best discount. Here are a few popular Back Friday stores to keep in mind when looking at online ads of in-store discounted prices.

If you’re not one who finds it worth it to shop with crowds of people just for a discount you might be able to find any other time of the year in clearance, read on. Included are a few activity ideas you can do during your Thanksgiving break instead.

Black Friday Shopping

Just to name a few of the well-known stores: Target, Walmart, Kohl’s and Sephora usually have awesome discounts for Black Friday.

Target, for one, has a 10-day sale that has already started, where a different sale is featured each day before Black Friday begins. Once Black Friday approaches, you’ll find loads of electronics, home items, movies and Christmas decorations on sale. That’s just to name a few.

For truly steep Black Friday discounts, don’t miss out on Walmart. You can always check out their catalog ads to find what you want too, so you are able to make a plan before heading to the store. Walmart will open their doors for Black Friday discounts on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m.

Remember to check out Kohl’s website, where they have a play-by-play of how to get the best discounts at the store by adding another coupon on top of your final purchase, downloading their app or other steps in making Black Friday shopping most effective. You can also browse through their catalog ads.

For the makeup lovers out there, Sephora provides a little sneak peek into what items will be on sale by downloading their app. This gives you a way to check for discounts on your favorite makeup product brands.

Bonus Tip: If all else fails, you can always skip Black Friday shopping and instead wait for Cyber Monday. Allowing you to shop online before or after your classes on Monday at your favorite stores without the in-person hassle, this option is definitely a nice one.

Family Fun

If you’re seeing your family during the break, why not actually spend time with them, right? Of course, figuring out exactly how to spend that time is not always easy. Plan a fun round of family football with all your relatives. Or, find a game that most enjoy playing such as Monopoly or Scrabble, or even a video game like Mario Cart.

Start Decorating

Decorate for Christmas and start playing Christmas music if you’re feeling festive. That’s if you like bringing out the Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving, of course. If you don’t have decorations, look up online DIY videos that’ll inspire you to create something unique, while also saving money.

Find a Charity

Another activity idea is to find a volunteer opportunity for the holidays or search for a charity to donate to. Multiple options are available on the web; here are a few suggestions for each.

The Road Home is always in need of helpful people willing to volunteer anytime. You’ve probably heard of the Soup Kitchen, where lunch and dinner is served to the homeless everyday. Look on their website for more details.

The Road Home, YWCA Utah and Volunteers of America, Utah also hold an annual event called Candy Cane Corner. This provides an opportunity for low-income families to buy their loved ones holiday gifts. Candy Cane Corner will be open Dec. 1-23 this year and is always in need of volunteers and donations. Check out this great charity and sign up here.

Gather a group with your family or friends and sign up to help at the Utah Food Bank warehouse. This way you can contribute in providing food for those in need. Go here for more information:

The University of Utah Alumni Association is helping the Utah Food Bank by having a Food Drive until Nov. 26. Find out more about donating items or money here:

Being realistic, as a college student it may seem difficult to justify donating money when you don’t always have money to buy yourself the things you need, but it is possible. Try to avoid eating out or buying unneccesary items for a month and donate the money you would have spent to the charity of your choice. Find one that fits your interests or passions.

One charity you may want to donate to specifically is St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Learn more about the hospital and how to donate on their website.

Alternatively, if none of those options appeal to you, feel free to relax by watching a holiday film or eating leftover pie.

To sum things up, there are many fun activities to do over your Thanksgiving break. Find something that is going to build up your motivation to finish the semester off strong.



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