Hawaii holidays will give you the full package – complete with caroling, Christmas decorations, craft fairs, made-in-Hawaii gifts and of course, parades. Mind you, parades aren’t for everyone. But if you’ve got little ones with you, then I’m pretty sure you’ll be willing to make the sacrifice.

And lucky for you! Hawaii never falls short in that department. Even before the holiday season, you’re bound to encounter a parade or two. December, though, is the month for holiday parades.

We’ve already gave you holiday craft fair tips, now here’s a list of tips on how to make the most out of your Hawaii parade-watching experiences. We’d love to hear if you have any more to share.

  • Arrive early: As with any parade or big event, expect large crowds. You can avoid this by getting there at least 45 minutes ahead of time to find a spot on the sidewalk or under a tree. If you have little kids, I wouldn’t suggest showing up any earlier because, as we all know, they may get restless.
  • Avoid driving: If possible, walk to the parade or take a bus. Parking will be limited and so will access to nearby streets. Find out if the parade offers free shuttle rides; that way, you can avoid getting into a traffic funk.
  • Get the scoops beforehand: Because most of us have smartphones or access to the internet, it might be best to do research beforehand. Find out the exact parade route, which roads will be closed, where to park and if any refreshments will be sold. Or, you could do it the old-fashioned way and ask someone who is familiar with the parade for additional tips. The hotel concierge or even a fellow spectator may be good people to start with.
  • Wear the right stuff: Like most outdoor events, make sure to wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Bring an umbrella for shade or to protect you from the rain. It’s also likely you will be doing a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes.
  • Pack snacks: Parades go on for hours at a time. And in Hawaii, it gets hot, so pack lots of water to avoid dehydration and bring light snacks to tied you over. If it’s a smaller community parade, then there probably won’t be any food or drinks for sale.
  • Bring something comfy to sit on: You could bring a beach chair, but I recommend something less bulky. A hotel or beach towel will do. Just be prepared to sit on the ground.
  • Camera in hand: There will be cool Hawaiian floats, live music and dancing, so make sure to pack a camera and extra batteries (fully-charged) There’s nothing more disappointing than getting set up to watch the parade and realizing you don’t have your camera!

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