If you're planning to spend an afternoon at the Mal's St. Paddy's parade with small children, you probably want to do some planning. Here are some suggestions of the things you might need to keep the whole family happy.
Prepare for the Weather
Check the weather forecast. If the weather is going to be cold or wet, pack jackets or umbrellas. Even if the sun isn't shining, be certain to pack sunscreen or lather up ahead of time. Don't forget that it isn't too early for mosquitoes, so if anyone in your family is sensitive to bug bites, pack the insect repellent, too.
Bring Your Own Seats
Bring folding camp chairs, and get there early to stake out a prime seating area along the parade route. Young children might appreciate a stroller or wagon to sit in during the parade as well as to give them a ride back to the car afterward. A wagon may be useful if you're planning to bring folding chairs and a cooler.
Pack a Picnic
Whether you want a whole meal or just some snacks, pack a healthy selection of snacks such as granola bars, dried fruit or trail mix. Bring a cooler filled with ice, reusable water bottles, juice boxes, soda or beer. You may also wish to bring some cash to purchase snacks or drinks from the many vendors along the parade route, or tell your kids what to expect ahead of time so that they don't get upset when you refuse to buy them a funnel cake.
Prepare to Clean
Pack baby wipes or hand sanitizer to clean your family's hands before they eat. Baby wipes can also double as napkins after eating a snack. If you have a baby, be certain to bring extra diapers and a change of clothes. Bring a grocery bag to collect all of your family's trash to throw away appropriately after the parade.
Keep them Entertained
Young children may have moments of boredom while watching the parade, so consider packing books, small toys or easily portable art supplies to keep your kids busy. Bringing a friend is one way to keep kids busy, if you don't mind supervising another child in the crowd. Avoid toys such as balls that would be easy for kids to toss into the middle of the parade by accident.
Capture the Day
Of course, don't forget to bring a camera to catch the exciting moments as your family enjoys the parade.