We went to the Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco this past weekend, and I wanted to make some notes for next year -- maybe they'll be helpful to other moms as well, since the sites who are supposed to have helpful tips were pretty lame.
- If you get there an hour or hour and a half early you can snag a spot at the curb. You should totally bring folding chairs, fleece blankets, and thermoses. There are porta potties. If you come with more than one adult, you can take turns taking the kids for walks up to Chinatown or down to Market for fun, food, trinkets.
- Download the map of the parade route from the official site and keep in mind where the Bart stations are. It's nearly impossible to cross the parade route once it has started. So if you stay on the Market side of the route, you'll have an easier escape. Your kids will probably not make it through the entire parade.
- That being said, as long as you map out your exit, the steps outside the bank on California and Kearny are basically the same as sitting on the bleachers, but free! They are a terrific spot to view the parade (unless you really want to be up close, in which case: curbside). We just went the wrong way when exiting so we got caught in madness, should have walked up to the Embarcadero rather than down to Powell.
- Don't be cranky. It's a freakin parade.