I’m so excited to be able to host a guest post today by Arianna from Arianna Knows Best (be sure to check out her wonderful blog)!
She’s put together a fantastic list of dos and don’ts to ensure we all enjoy Saint Patrick’s Day to the fullest. So, don a little green (after all, we don’t want to get pinched) and help me welcome her!
You Don’t Need the Luck of the Irish to Survive St Patrick’s Day!
My family might not be even a little bit Irish, but that doesn’t stop us from having a great time on St. Patrick’s Day!My kids are old enough now to allow for a full family outing to the St. Patrick’s Day parade, so we want to make sure that it’s a fun, family-friendly day. Last year was our first outing all together to the parade in Philadelphia, and we certainly learned a few tips that I’m happy to pass along to you so you don’t have the same trial-and-error we had!
There are a number of things that you absolutely must bring with you, or fear the wrath of the parade! Bring an itinerary of the parade with you – know when it starts, and get there early! Especially with kids, you want to stand near the front so they can see everything (or else Dad’s going to get some sore shoulders from lifting the kids onto them all day). Wear very, very comfortable shoes – last year I was proud of my Lady Leprechaun, and I had adorable pumps to match, but I nearly broke my ankle chasing after my kids. This year, I’m going with my gym shoes! This next tip may be a little grisly, but I would highly recommend bringing your own toilet, or at least extra tissues: the port-a-potties tend to get a little foul after first hour or so, and you don’t want your kids coming in contact with that. Stock your purse with tissues and hand sanitizer for the family. This Lysol hand spray is a favorite – small but effective!
2. Take Care of Your Loved Ones – Not Just the People!
I can’t stress this enough: make sure you have a plan to look after each other! The parade is a hectic place and losing a child can be one of the scariest things imaginable. Have a plan to meet up, such as “if we get separated, we’ll meet at the McDonald’s over there!” We’re going this year with our next-door neighbors, so we have meeting points and a plan to split the parking fee, since we’re all going in my SUV. And this tip applies to our furry friends, too: our golden lab becomes distressed by loud noises and antics, so we hired a dogsitter from DogVacay for the day to make sure he’s well taken care of.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Even though St Patrick’s Day does not fall during an especially warm time of the year, make sure to brings lots of fluids! When you can find them, the stands at the parade are unbelievably expensive; I recommend bringing a small wagon or a rolling cooler stocked with lots of water, juice boxes, and soda for people to pull at throughout the parade. And this way, when the kids get tired and want to sit, they can just sit in the wagon – and what a cute picture to have a few tiny leprechauns napping in a wagon!
4. Take Care of Your Own Food – or Bring Cash!
Last year, I did not think to bring snacks for the kids, or us and after a few hours of watching a parade, everyone gets a little edgy from low blood sugar. And, as bad luck would have it, we didn’t have any cash on use, without an ATM in sight, with a couple of hungry, grumpy, wailing kids. We are not going to make that mistake again this year! In our little wagon, we’re also going to have a snack bag full of carrots and celery sticks, and Brenda, our next-door neighbor, and I are going to make about a dozen sandwiches to make sure none of us goes hungry. Also, I came across a handy ATM locator app to ensure we will be able to find one if need be!
5. Be Festive!
Now above all, have fun! Let’s break out the green, or people will pinch you. Get the kids excited by getting little leprechaun hats or four-leafed clover pins, and give them little bags of chocolate gold coins to snack on throughout the parade. Finally, our neighbors are going to come to our place after the parade, where we’re going to have a nice traditional Irish meal: Brenda and I are going to make a big Irish stew, a bowl of steaming cabbage, and my husband makes a mean corned-beef hash. I also love to bake, so I’m going to make a big batch of cupcakes for us to wind down with after a day of parading. They’ll be chocolate-and-mint cupcakes – got to keep up with the green! – With bourbon mixed into the icing for the adult batch and extra chocolate for the kids.
With some planning, a splash of green, and a little luck of the Irish, you and your family can have a great time on St Patrick’s Day!
Arianna is a full-time mom and a fashion-lover, world traveler, animal lover, and family woman extraordinaire. She loves to cook and bake, travel to new places, share great fashion finds, and spend time doing crafts and projects at home with her kids. She’s got a crazy busy life, but she wouldn’t have it any other way! Follow her blog at http://ariannaknowsbest.blogspot.com/!