attending a parade
Most people like parades, be it monumental parades such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, the Rose Parade, or smaller parades. Parades are hosted for big and small events throughout the year, and I find that kids in particular love to see the floats, dancers, or odd little fire trucks that make an appearance. And if you happen to be in any of the Disney resorts, then you know that they are the masters of parades!
If you do plan to follow the parade in person, rather than watching it from the comfort of your own couch, there are a couple of things to keep in mind that could make your parade day—especially with kids—more pleasant.
- Study the route ahead of time and figure out what part of the route makes most sense for you to watch the parade from. Do you want to watch the start of the parade so you can run once the floats pass—or do you prefer to be in the middle of the route?
- Get there early and claim your spot. You don’t have to have the whole family wait there for an hour before the first float comes by—maybe you dedicate one person and meet up closer to the start time.
- For easier access, less stress and a better time leaving, make sure to park far from the parade route or use public transportation.
- Make sure to watch the weather. In winter you’ll probably know to wear a coat, hat, and gloves. Often in summer people forget that the sun can really get to you—make sure you bring a hat, cover yourself in suntan lotion, and protect yourself from rays. Pack a raincoat (much better than an umbrella in crowds) just in case.
- Bring snacks and drinks to keep you fed and hydrated. You don’t want to give up your spot because you are thirsty or your kids are screaming for food.
- I find using a wagon very helpful with smaller kids that are out of strollers but still take their time to walk places. It keeps them safe from being shoved by crowds, you are quicker getting to where you want to go, and you have an immediate “seat” to watch the parade.
- You might be tempted to sit on that raised garbage receptacle or parking meter, but most likely you’ll be asked to leave by police officers, because they don’t want you to be hurt.
- Bring fold-up chairs if you can and know of a spot where you are allowed to sit in the front row. You’ll have to check your local regulations on having a chair in crowds, but generally if you can sit, waiting will be much easier.
- Have a plan to get out of the crowds, a predetermined meeting spot, and a phone to ensure you don’t lose each other.
- Make sure your kids stay with you. Dress your kids in something you’ll remember and make sure they have identification and your phone number with them. If your kids do get lost, have them only address a police officer to get help.
Most importantly though—enjoy the show and have fun. If you feel like you’ll be too stressed out about all the people, stay home and get the best view on TV. No pushing and shoving happening there.