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
- 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
- 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.