5 Ways to Enjoy the Macy’s Parade with Your Child

Marching band at Macys day parade
Image via Mustache Agency

Ever since I can remember, my family has always gathered around the television on Thanksgiving morning to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade together.  From the spectacular floats to the sounds of the marching bands, I still am excited each year to watch the event.  In fact, one of the items on my personal bucket list is to visit NYC and attend the parade with my family.  

The Macy's Day parade started in 1924, as a way for the first generation immigrants who worked at Macy's to celebrate their new American heritage. 

This year marks the 87th year of the Macy's parade, which kicks off the holiday season.  For the very first parade, employees of Macy's and professional entertainers marched through the streets of Harlem to the Macy's flagship store on 24th street.  Additionally, professional bands, floats, and live animals from the Central Park Zoo marched down the streets for over a quarter of a million people.  Since the parade was so popular, Macy's decided it would be an annual event.   Today over 3.5 million spectators participate in the annual event and 50 million people watch it from home.  

Since I will not be crossing off the event from my bucket list this year, I will be watching it from home with my four- and two-year-old children.  I am excited to carry on this tradition with them for years to come.  Here are some interactive ways you can get your child excited about the long-standing tradition of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

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Image via Flickr/Hans J E

1.  Prior to the parade, download and print the parade route. Teach your child about how to read a simple map and have then color along the parade route.  You could even have your child create a parade route map of their own.  

5-ways-to-enjoy-the-macys-parade-with-your-child-2
Image via Flickr/terry ballard

2.  A few days before the parade watch parade highlight videos with your child.  After watching, have a conversation about what balloons he or she hopes to see in this year's parade.  Encourage your child to draw a picture of one of the balloons and hang it in the dining room on Thanksgiving day. 

MORE:  4 Fun Thanksgiving Rituals for the Family }

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Image via Flickr/ariel design

3.  Look at pictures of past balloons with your child and talk about which ones were your favorites when you were younger.  Then explore which new balloons will be in the parade this year. 

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Image via Flickr/smartdonnie25

 4 .  Teach your child about all the different floats in the parade and then create your own  small scale family float, using Craftiments Float From a Shoebox tutorial.  You could even set up a craft table on Thanksgiving day and have other family members decorate a showbox float.    

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Image via Flickr/DrivingtheNortheast

5.   Teach your child about all the different musical instruments in a marching band and make homemade musical instruments.  

Be sure to follow the Macy's parade on Twitter #MacysParade on Thanksgiving day!  

What's your favorite part about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?  Have you ever been to the event?  

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5 Ways to Enjoy the Macy’s Parade with Your Child

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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1 comment

  1. Paula says:

    My daughter is only 22 months old there for I think it is too early for her, but I will def keep these tips in mind for when she is old enough

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