Family / Kids

7 Tips for Taking Your Kids to PRIDE

IMG_6575-764x1024Another Pride season is upon us. Over the years, the way I’ve experienced Pride month has taken on different incarnations. The current season of my life – two kids under five – has given Pride fests a whole new flavor. Rather than hitting the late-night parties and concerts, we stick to the daytime activities. Glitter has been replaced with sunscreen, sleeping in after a long night has been replaced with nap time after an early morning, and beer has been replaced by plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Still, the major themes translate well. Who doesn’t love rainbows, sunshine, and parades? An outdoor festival that celebrates living authentically and loving yourself? Those are my kind of family values.

It can be a bit more challenging to navigate the festivities with little kids in tow, but we still manage to have a great time. We get to witness diversity in action as well as interact with other families like ours. Pride is an opportunity to celebrate who we are – from each of us as individuals, to our family as a whole, to our larger LGBT community and allies. Are you planning on tackling a Pride festival with young kids?

Here are a few tips to keep the day running smoothly:

  1. Sun Protection: Most Pride festivals happen in the month of June which means lots of sun! Be sure to wear sunscreen and come equipped with hats and/or sunglasses. Scope out shady areas and take lots of rests.
  2. H2O and Fuel: Related to the above point, it’s easy to get dehydrated so be sure to bring water and make sure everyone is drinking often. There is usually food available, but there usually aren’t many healthy choices, so be sure to pack a couple wholesome snacks to tide you over.
  3. Getting Around: There can be a lot of walking involved (which can be too much, especially in the heat of the day, for kids) and strollers can be hard to navigate in the crowds. If your kids are too small to walk long distances consider bringing a baby carrier – some can accommodate kids up to five years old. Parking can also be challenging to find near the festival or along the parade route. We usually opt take public transportation to the festival itself and proceed on foot.
  4. Anticipate Questions: Think ahead about the answers to questions that might come up. Tables may be giving out condoms and some people may be scantily clad – make sure you are armed with age-appropriate responses to curious queries.
  5. Connect: Hook up with your local family group. They are likely to have kid oriented activities planned and there will likely be other kids there. If there isn’t a family group in your area – Start one! It can be as simple as hosting a potluck and could be a way to extend Pride season all year long.
  6. Make a Schedule: Read up about the different events happening and pick a few you’d like to hit. You might also want to prioritize a concert by the LGBT chorus but avoid a burlesque perfomance. Plan your day out, but don’t get overly ambitious – long days in the sun plus skipping nap time don’t usually mix.
  7. Have fun! After all that preparation, be sure to enjoy and go with the flow of the day. The first time we took our son to Pride we didn’t expect to watch the marching band for an hour but that’s what we ended up doing and our son LOVED it. You can’t plan everything – and that’s when some of the best moments happen.

FEATURE PHOTO CREDIT: SANDRA TELEP VIA WEST PHILLY MAMA

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