Black Friday Deals, Sales, and Shopping Tips for Families

Whether you're a compulsive shopper or a conscientious objector, it's hard to ignore the fact that Black Friday, the day formerly known as the day after Thanksgiving, is packed with major deals. While the idea of starting holiday shopping in a throbbing mob at midnight (or right after Thanksgiving dinner at some locations) sends some people off in search of anything else that's open on Thanksgiving, those who can't resist the deals might be interested in these kid-centric highlights. And if your family is divided right down the middle, why not divide the day between shopping and volunteering?

Whether you shop Friday or another day this holiday season, you may want to check out these national retailers who give a percentage to charity with every purchase, too.

If your child's school participates in the School Cents program at Westside Pavilion, Westfield Topanga, Sherman Oaks Fashion Square, South Bay GalleriaSanta Monica Place, or one of several other local malls, midnight shopping can result in cash for your kid's classroom. Check for the mall's name the School Cents website before heading out, and select "Click here to see your school’s points status" to see a list of participating schools at that mall. If your school isn't on the mall's participant list, why not combine shopping with good deeds and pick someone else's local school to benefit from your Black Friday spree? Just bring your shopping receipts to the mall's concierge desk (on Black Friday or any other day), and mention the name of a school on the list. It's such an easy way to help our struggling schools!

​One shop worth visiting for the holiday deals is definitely The Children's Place, which last year offered a Black Friday special of 30% off the entire store before 2:00pm. This year's deep discount - which won't be revealed until Black Friday - is rumored to go as high as 50%, and even at regular, non-Black Friday prices, it's absolutely amazing how many outfits a person can buy in there for under $100. You could cover several kids' holiday needs without breaking a sweat (or a $50).

Another Black Friday stop for families is the Disney Store, with discounts of up to 40% and prices starting at $5. Brave souls who shop Disney between midnight Thursday night and 10:00am on Friday can find extra deep discounts, and some of the "Magical Friday" discounts start early online.

Stymied by how to do all this shopping without blowing the cover on Santa Claus? Little ones with prying eyes can enjoy a few hours (or even an entire Black Friday) of fun and childcare at Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena.

And finally, as the holiday shopping rush begins, don't forget the small, local businesses we all need to support if we want them to remain in our neighborhoods. The third annual Small Business Saturday - the day after the day after Thanksgiving - is a day set aside for patronizing these Mom and Pop businesses by "shopping small." Local holiday shopping walks - from Santa Monica's Montana Walk and Main Street, to Eagle Rock's Block Party - make shopping local a real treat.

Know of more great deals? Please share below in the comments section!


Originally published November 23, 2011

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