This weekend we were invited to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival as special guests of Chevy. We were super excited to head downtown to be front row in the Radio Disney and Megan Nicole concerts and be part of the grand tree-lighting parade down Michigan Avenue marshaled by Mickey and Minnie Mouse! That is right, this was a first for our entire family – actually being IN a parade. And this just wasn’t any parade, this was the BIG Chicago Lights Festival Parade!
We were looking forward to the festival all week, but when we heard that Saturday was going to be Chicago’s coldest day of the year so far with temperatures in the teens, I got very nervous! The plan was to park the car and be on foot outside all day until 8pm. With temps that could potentially dip into the single digits and a lake wind that was sure to pierce right through our clothes, we had to prepare.
I went out and bought thermal underwear for everyone to wear under their clothes and new heavy-duty winter coats for the boys. I also found some great knit scarves, gloves and hats at the Gap for the kids. I can’t tell you how hard it is to find scarves for little guys but after searching about 5-8 stores, I finally found a great selection at Gap Kids.
Stopping just short of wearing full ski pants and jackets, I thought we were sufficiently ready for the cold on Saturday morning when we headed downtown. When we parked south of the river and started walking toward Michigan Ave, the reality of how cold it actually was literally hit us right in the face. After about 10 minutes my 4-year-old wasn’t happy. Luckily, instead of crying and whining like normal 4-year-olds would do, he just starts to shut down. He stops talking, puts on his angry face and just wants to be carried. We adjusted his scarf, my husband picked him up and we all kept walking.
He still wasn’t happy. Immediately, I figured out that he was still freezing, because when my husband was holding him, his pants shifted up and exposed the skin between the socks and pants/long underwear. The Chicago wind was just blowing right up his pants.
We still had about 8 hours outside so I had to fix that. I put on my crafty mom hat and started thinking. My daughter was warm because she had tights on under her jeans and then leg warmers over her jeans. That’s it! We needed boy leg warmers! My husband just suggested thicker socks pulled up but thicker socks would make his shoes too tight and would cause another whole set of problems.
As if it were fate, we were just passing a TJ Maxx. That gave me my Ah-ha moment for the day!
Here’s what I did:
1. I bought a package of men’s thermal ski socks in black for $7.99 (4 pairs). I figured my older son might need a pair and we’d just save the other two.
2. At the checkout, I borrowed a pair of scissors and cut off the toes of the socks.
3. I put them on my son with the socks pulled up to his knees over his jeans and down over the top of the shoes.
4. Voila! Manly Leg Warmers!
The leg warmers for the boys were perfect! It was exactly what we needed to keep the boys warm the rest of the day!
Seriously, that is all it took for my 4-year-old to perk back up and have a fabulous day!
We has a great time as the special guests of Chevy riding in the Festival of Lights parade. We rode in a Chevy Impala right after the pace car and right in front of the float with Mickey and Minnie Mouse. It was seriously so ridiculous to be IN the parade! Who gets to be in a parade, right?!? We are very thankful to Chevy for making it all happen for us!