R E I free classes and events poster on July 30th and 31st 2016.

REI Invites America to Get Outside with Over 400 Free Outdoor Events across the Nation in One Weekend

REI Outdoor School programs, classes and events will take place July 30-31

Jul 14, 2016

SEATTLE – As summer heats up everywhere, REI is holding is first-ever national free weekend of Outdoor School on July 30-31 to bring people together outside. Beginner to seasoned adventurers can rekindle their connections to nature by choosing from over 400 classes and events nationwide at no cost.

Many of Outdoor School's most popular paid classes will be free for the weekend, including How to Ride a Bike, Learn to Stand-Up Paddleboard and Introduction to Outdoor Rock Climbing. The co-op's most iconic guided hikes at local destinations will also be free.

During July 30 and 31, REI Outdoor School will host more than 400 classes and events—from urban locations such as the HighLine in Manhattan to Devil's Kitchen Trail at the Colorado National Monument—where thousands are expected to participate by brushing up on their skills, munching on free snacks, and playing outside for the weekend.

"At REI we believe in the transformative power of spending time outdoors with others, and we're excited to offer a free national weekend of classes. REI Outdoor School makes it easy for people to get outside and have a fun, immersive experience on the water, in the forest, in the mountains or in their favorite park. I look forward to seeing our members and their friends outside this weekend," said Tim Spangler, REI's senior vice president of Retail.

REI Outdoor School is the co-op's signature outdoor education programming available in the company's 145 stores in 35 states. Last year, more than 254,000 people learned a new activity or advanced their skills through free and low-cost in-store classes, field programs and day outings for cycling, paddling, fitness, hiking, camping, climbing, snow sports, photography and wilderness medicine.

The national REI Outdoor School free weekend builds on a campaign REI launched earlier this summer called "United Outside," which focuses on getting people together in the outdoors in Washington, D.C. Throughout summer and into fall, REI is holding 100 days of outdoor events across the nation's capital. United Outside precedes the opening of REI's fifth flagship store in the NoMa neighborhood of Washington, D.C. this fall.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 184 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.