The parade was a fun, but immensely crowded event. To really be able to see, one would need to get to the parade route a couple of hours ahead of time so our biggest piece of advice is to arrive early.
Our other advice includes;
*Use public transportation! We parked at a park and ride at the edge of Chicago and rode the L all the way in. It was much less stressful and our kids were thrilled with the chance to ride on a train. We were super tired from carrying them on our backs all day by the time we got back to the car - but some breaks for food/coffee and the train ride made it doable.
*Be prepared for waiting. Have water, snacks, ideas for games to play while you wait.
*Make sure everyone is freshly changed and well fed. Wear weather appropriate gear. March in Illinois is highly unpredictable. The first year we went it was 80s and sunny, the second we needed winter coats. Look at the forecast and plan accordingly so you are comfortable.
*If you want to watch the Chicago River get dyed green - this is a different event. See the website for details. If you decide not to watch the actual dyeing, we recommend at least stopping by on the way to or from the parade. It is not every day you get to see a bright green river!
*Here is a great list of books about St Patrick's Day to read before you go!
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