READY, SET, SHOP: A Destin, Walton attack plan for Black Friday

Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 03:24 PM.

For many shoppers and bargain hunters out there, Black Friday is like the Olympics of the retail world. And like any good athlete, you can't brave the sport without a little training and preparation. To help make your Black Friday a little brighter, The Sun has your shopping day planned according to store openings.

Whether you’re heading to Destin or staying in Walton County, we've got you covered. Stay safe in the crowds and remember to be nice out there. If you see someone fall trying to grab a $25 DVD player, extend a hand and help them up — 'tis the season to be kind after all.

4 p.m., Thursday — Our shopping journey begins in Destin hours after the Thanksgiving table is cleared. The award for earliest opening goes to Michael's craft store in Destin. Get a head-start on the holidays and maybe make it home before the madness begins. If the non-shopping guests you left at home have finished off the wine, you can grab a couple bottles from Wine World, which is open till 6 p.m. in Destin and Grand Boulevard. Head back out at 5:30 p.m.

6 p.m. — Even though it's not Friday yet, let the games begin! Brave the crowds at Best Buy, where folks have probably been in line since that afternoon. Or maybe think bigger and head to Wal-Mart in Destin or South Walton. An associate reports the store will be open all day Thanksgiving Day in case you forgot anything for the big meal. Then, the first rush of bargains begins at 6 p.m. and wrist bands will be handed out. If you want to stay home snuggled up with your third plate of food, there's no shame in that either.

7 p.m. — Old Navy in Destin at Paradise Key is open, but you might want to plan to get in line earlier. The first 500 in line in stores nationwide will get a chance to win $1 million. Second prize is 50 percent off everything in store.

8 p.m. — After you stock up on scarves and gloves, go next door to Destin Commons. While the Commons does not open until 7 a.m. Friday, a few stores are open at 8 p.m. Thursday including Victoria's Secret and Belk. Then hop across Highway 98 to Ulta for all-day deals on makeup and hair products. Walk a few steps over to Office Depot for tablets and 15 percent off iTunes giftcards — basically free money. At Bealls Department Store, you can enter to win $10,000 for your favorite local school. The first 500 in line get to vote. Then, make your way to Target where you can grab a cub of coffee at the Starbucks counter — sleep is for the weak. Alternately, you could head on down to Silver Sands Premium Outlet’s, which begins to open at this hour. But we are waiting till midnight when the real madness begins. At home, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" is on television followed by "Lady Gaga and the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular."

11 p.m.: Get into position for Midnight Madness. Grab a bite at Waffle House on the way if you need a carb boost.

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