Shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, just doesn't work for everyone. Stores can be mobbed with shoppers and malls can be too crowded for moms with young children and babies.

Locally, the Mother Connection is beating those Black Friday blues. The well-known group of mothers with young children is hosting an in-town shopping night set for Tuesday, Nov. 30, at South Church in Andover. Twenty-one vendors will sell their wares, including six from Andover.

"Black Friday at the malls just doesn't work for all shoppers," said Meg Bennett of the Mother Connection. "This holiday shopping night makes shopping so much easier."

Admission is free and open to the public. "You can enjoy complimentary refreshments and get your holiday shopping done early, in one place," she said.

Later that week, the Andover Business Center Association will offer another chance to shop locally at its annual Holiday Happenings event on Friday, Dec. 3, from 5 to 9 p.m. Main Street will be closed to cars, allowing people to stroll from store to store and enjoy hayrides, music, hot chocolate, doughnuts, cider and a 6:30 tree lighting in front of TD Bank.

For the Mother Connection event on Nov. 30, vendors include jewelry, food, cosmetics, clothing, home accessories and kitchen essentials businesses.

They are:

Pampered Chef, Outwrap, Arbonne, Tastefully Simple, Quilts and Mary Kay, all of Andover

Sew Appealing, Groveland

Avon, Merrimack Diapers, and Fashion Coach, all of Methuen

Blankets and Saks, Haverhill

Oh Sew Kids, MLA Design, and Paper Perfect, all of North Andover

Ma's Biscotti, Londonderry, N.H.

Discovery Toys, Reading

J Hilburn, Hollis, N.H.

PenneSports, Tewksbury

Charm Crazy, Chester, N.H.

USborne Books, North Reading

Shopping is from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Bennett said The Mother Connection hosted this type of event in the past. "Now, it's back," Bennett said.

For more information, contact

Black Friday alternative

The Mother Connection's Holiday Shopping Event

Tuesday, Nov. 30

6-9:30 p.m.

21 vendors

South Church, 41 Central St., Andover

Free admission, complimentary refreshments

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