Best Boys Outfits for a Thanksgiving Parade

Best Boys Outfits for a Thanksgiving Parade

Parades have been a staple of the American Thanksgiving celebration since 1920 when the first parade was held in Philadelphia. New York and Detroit soon followed with their own parades in 1924. These events were intended to kick off the Christmas holiday season and were sponsored by local department stores in the hopes that spectators would enter the premises after and shop. With their floats, large character balloons, and marching bands galore, the parades have grown into elaborate spectacles, and many families begin their Thanksgiving Day by attending a parade. Whether you and your family have been attending a Thanksgiving Day parade for years or you’re planning to go to your first one, here are some suggestions for the best boys’ outfits for a Thanksgiving parade.

Dress in Layers

The best boy’s outfits allow for temperature fluctuations. No matter what city you’ll be in, you’re going to be outdoors—and odds are you’ll be there early in the morning to nab a prime viewing spot. Even the more southern cities can be nippy, if not downright cold, at the crack of dawn. And given that nothing puts a damper on fun times like having your children whine that they’re too cold—or, once it warms up, too hot—the best way to keep your boys comfortable is to dress them in layers. Start with a set of boys’ long johns or thermal underwear. These fit closely to trap warm air against the skin and are a good idea not only at parades but for any late fall or winter activity.

Pick Pants and Tops

Parade watching is a casual activity, so leave the dress pants at home and let your child wear his favorite pair of jeans. The rugged denim material will hold up even if your little man gets tired of standing and decides to sit on the ground for a bit. If you expect a lot of ground sitting, bring a small fleece blanket or an easily portable camping chair (or both) for extra protection from the cold and/or damp surface.

Pair the jeans with a boy’s flannel shirt. Like the material in long johns, the flannel fabric helps trap air, thereby providing some extra warmth. If you find yourself in need of additional layers, add a Henley top under the flannel.

Keep Feet Warm and Comfy

You’re going to be standing for a while, so make sure your child is in comfortable footwear. Sneakers are always a good choice because there’s cushioning built into them. However, it’s easy for cold to penetrate them, so make sure you add a pair of warm thermal socks to keep your kid's toes warm. You may even want to add a pair of sock liners, which are essentially long johns for feet. If it’s super cold or very wet, sneakers may not cut it; in that case, opt for snow or rain boots.

Choose Outerwear Carefully

Finally, you’ll need some sort of jacket or vest. Here’s where your actual location matters. If you’re in the cooler north, you’ll likely need something heavier, such as a winter coat. If you're in a locale with warmer November weather, you'll still need some sort of jacket for your son until the day warms up. Try something lighter weight, such as a boy’s fleece jacket. You can choose a style he’s comfortable with, such as a hoodie or quarter-zip and hip or waist-length. If your child prefers that his arms feel less restricted, another option is a boy’s puffer vest. If the temperature is expected to be warm even in the early morning, a simple windbreaker will suffice.

If you’re expecting wet weather but are still determined to attend the parade, opt for a packable boy’s rain jacket. If you have to layer rain gear over other winter outerwear, a rain poncho may be a better option. And don’t forget accessories, such as a hat, scarf, or even an umbrella, if necessary. Mittens will keep small hands warmer than gloves, but if it’s truly chilly, consider adding hand and toe warmers. You can buy these in bulk and have them available when they are needed.

Pack It All Up

You’ll want to add one final item to your child’s parade wardrobe: a drawstring backpack, or cinch bag, to hold those discarded layers. Unlike a standard backpack, a cinch bag is unstructured and lightweight, making it easier for small shoulders to wear longer. Not only are cinch bags good for holding clothing, but they're easy to throw in a small water bottle, a few snacks, and a pack of tissues.

If your family’s idea of watching a Thanksgiving parade involves sitting in front of the television while sipping a hot beverage, break out matching pajamas. Regardless, no matter where you view the parade, you know that your child will be warm and comfy in the outfit that suits him best.


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