Here in Pure Michigan, deer hunting is serious business. But, believe it or not, there are some who take opening day just as seriously as the hunters themselves. The brave. The many. The Deer Widows.
Don't quite know what a deer widow is? It's whoever is left behind when their partner goes out in pursuit of that first shot of the season. And unfortunately for hunters, the person they leave behind is armed with something even more dangerous than a firearm - a credit card and the will to shop longer than even the most dedicated hunter can sit in a tree stand.
Year after year, thousands of these lonely widows are more than happy to fill the void left by their loved one's hunting obsession with bags upon bags of finds from over 145 brand name stores, all at Birch Run Premium Outlets, and all at to-die-for deals.
In order to get you prepped to join this year's pack of the deer-ly departed at Birch Run Premium Outlets' 19th Annual Deer Widows Weekend (November 14-16), we've gone straight to the source - brave Outlet employees who show up to dole out great deals each year on opening weekend. Here are some of their best insider tips for a Widows Weekend adventure that's right on target:
Don't just save on style. Save on your stay.
- Book a hotel with continental breakfast. You'll shave off loads of time when getting geared up for the long day(s) of shopping ahead.
- Travel in a deer widow pack. Let's face it - safety in numbers. It's just more fun to shop (and save) with a group of your favorite friends, and many hotels offer group discounts when booking. Better yet, you can swap coupons (and help justify each other's impulse buys!)
Dress for function while you hunt for fashion.
- Dress in layers so you can shed or add items as the weather changes throughout the day, and as you work up a sweat from all that saving you'll be doing! (Hint: some deer widow packs even like to get shopping team shirts to commemorate the day and to make it easier to spot each other in stores... camouflage and hunter's orange encouraged!)
Don't underestimate the amount of ground to cover.
- If bringing little ones (or as we like to call them, deer widows in training) bring a stroller or rent one at the Outlets. They rent for the day at $5 for single strollers or $7 for double strollers, but keep in mind there are a limited quantity available for rent!
- Get the lay of the land. Study the Outlet Center Map well in advance of your opening weekend outing and choose your top picks from the complete store directory. Figure out which stores are a priority to hit first, and where all of your favorites are in proximity to one another so you can map out a plan of attack.
- Plan on taking advantage of the free trolley service to travel from section to section within the mall quickly and easily. Moving the car can be a drag (especially as the parking lots fill quickly and your bags of loot begin to multiply).
Take advantage of your Deer Widow status!
- Once you've picked your favorite stores, check out the list of In-Store Promotions so you know what kind of Deer Widows Deals you'll be bagging.
- Make your first stop of the day at the Information Center in Section F of the outlet mall. Here you can pick up a $5.00 coupon book (free for VIP members) which will get you savings... on top of savings... on top of (you guessed it), savings! You can also get your coupon book for free by purchasing American Express or Visa Gift Cards (though there's a $2.95 activation fee for each)
- Don't forget to snag your scratch-off ticket on Saturday morning of Deer Widows Weekend. They give you the chance to add even more to your savings, and they'll be handed out at 5 select stores. We recommend being in line by 6:00 AM for your chance at a scratch-off (locations will be announced online as Deer Widows Weekend approaches, so keep checking back at premiumoutlets.com/birchrun for details).
- What would a shopping spree be without a little swag? Stop by Section H of the mall on Sunday to scoop up your free Deer Widows goodie bag (more detailed pick-up information will be available online as Deer Widows Weekend draws nearer).
Deer Widows Weekend kicks off Friday, November 14th and runs through Sunday, November 16th with extended hours.
Deer Widows Weekend Extended Hours:
- Friday, November 14th 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Saturday, November 15th 8:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Sunday, November 16th 8:00 am to 7:00 pm