By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: A group of friends have done a Christmas shopping girls getaway weekend over the years. Do you know of any that might be offering deals?

A: For most of us girls, shopping is a high priority, so much so that we enjoy scouring those malls for hours in search of the best bargain. Now I can’t predict what the prices will be once you hit the shops but I can tell you of some outlet malls that are nearby and worth the drive to the U.S.

For starters, did you know the day after the American Thanksgiving (this year’s falls on Thursday November 27, 2008), Americans declare this day “Black Friday?” Considered one of the busiest shopping days of the year, it is also the official kick-off for holiday shopping in the U.S. Malls will be crowded and parking will be at a premium, first-come first-serve.

On the bright side, stores open earlier. One outlet company that’ll be opening all of its outlets across the U.S. at the stroke of midnight on Thursday is the Chelsea Premium Outlets with its Midnight Madness sale. Company reps tell me that shoppers will enjoy exclusive sales all weekend. North of New York City in Central Valley, NY, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets has 220 outlet stores from the world’s leading designers.

The company reports savings of 25% to 65% every day. It’s located off the New York State Thruway (I-87) at Exit 16, Harriman. You can drive here or use a daily bus service departing from New York City at the Port Authority by 42nd St. and 8th Avenue. Buses are with Gray Line (phone 212-397-2600) or Shortline (phone 212-736-4700).

For bus ticket purchases, visit, the George Washington Bridge Bus Station or from the driver the day of the travel. For store listings and mall information on the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets visit

To find another factory outlet location visit During the time of Midnight Madness many hotels are offering Shop and Stay packages. Visit for their package information.

For girls who really want to save big, there is even a dedicated web site which will be posting a list of special offers at each center a few weeks before the sale. So be sure to bookmark


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