I live just a few miles from the bustling Edinburgh Premium Outlets, just off I-65 in southern Indiana. And while I might not be much of a shopper, my young boys are growing at warp speed and need new clothes and shoes more often than I’d like. So I find myself at this 80+ store facility a lot, scouring the sale racks.
And so begins the time of year when every time I drive past the outlets†just north of Columbus, I see full parking lots and swarms of shoppers drifting from store to store. If you’ve got plans to head that way, particularly for their Midnight Madness Black Friday event, here are a few tips to save you time and money:
- Stop by the office. It’s right next to the Gap Outlet on the south side of the facility. Here you can get lots of coupons and a map to help you better navigate and plan your outing.
- Eat local. The restaurants adjacent to the outlets are all chain restaurants. If, like me, you enjoy seeking out local dining establishments, you won’t have to venture far. My family loves El Toreo, which is right on 31 but toward Columbus in Taylorsville. Their salsa is awesome. Or you could head north into downtown Edinburgh, which has several locally-owned restaurants. One of my favorites is the Pepper Mill Cafe at 124 East Main Cross Street.
- On truly busy shopping days, traffic can get backed up on the streets that lead in and out of the outlets. My advice is to go as far northeast as you can (both when arriving and leaving). You’ll avoid some of the intersections that get backed up.
- Ask about return policies. Don’t assume that you can return items purchased at an outlet at a regular store. Sometimes you can, but some store policies designate that the outlets are separate entities from the regular stores. (Vice versa, if you have a gift from a regular store you may not be able to return it at the outlet version.)
- If you’re over the age of 50, go on Tuesdays. You’ll save 10% at many stores. You can read about other savings and promotions by following the Edinburgh Premium Outlets on Twitter.
- If you’re bringing the kids, bring quarters. Let’s face it, kids hate shopping, but at least at the Edinburgh Premium Outlets, there are a plethora of mechanical rides they can enjoy in between stores. I may or may not use this as a bribe for good behavior when my 3-year-old needs to be measured for new shoes.