Tackle the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade

Whether you watch it from the warmth of your home or the streets of Chicago, the Thanksgiving Parade is a spectacular event. But tackling the downtown crowds is easier with a little planning before you venture out. Here are a few tips from parade organizers:

  • This is a hugely popular, incredibly crowded parade. Try to arrive by 7 a.m. to get a good spot on the parade route so children will have an opportunity to see the parade from the ground.
  • Definitely dress for the weather. Last year it rained during the parade, so be fully prepared for all kinds of weather conditions. Even with rain, it’s worth the trip since the floats and giant balloons will still appear in the parade.
  • Two great locations to watch the parade are the intersection of State and Van Buren, because it’s fun to watch the giant balloons duck under the L tracks, and State and Washington to get in the action of the TV crews filming there.
  • Consider watching from the warmth of a hotel room and make a night of it. Some parade spectators prefer to enjoy the parade from a room in The Palmer House or Hotel Burnham, which overlook State Street and the parade route. Make reservations early if you plan to stay overnight.
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