I know so many parents who have brought their kids to the Mermaid Parade once (and only once). See how Dawn recreated a kid-friendly version at home: We have always loved the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, but it's hot, insanely crowded, and totally not fun for toddlers. Because B's birthday was the first Saturday of summer (which is when the parade normally is), we thought we'd have our own Mermaid Parade.
We partied at our house with some sea themed food and games and then had a parade down to the local playground. The kids and I made a giant starfish piñata and stuffed it full of ocean toys, pirate eye patches, (from Oriental Trading), tattoos (Dover) etc. It was a pull piñata, so a three-year-old could open it.
After the piñata, we paraded. With the help of an artist friend, I painted a canvas sign. We had shell whistles also from Oriental Trading. Some adults grabbed additional noisemakers. The kids all wore costumes that paid tribute to the sea. There were mermaids, pirates, a walrus, an octopus, Nemo and Tinkerbell. And there was a float for the Queen Pirate/Mermaid and anyone else who wanted to ride also.
We sent everyone home with a bag full of their piñata loot, a cd of our favorite Mermaid/Coney Island/Sea Creature Songs (mostly culled from our favorite kid's radio show The Kids Are Alright -Sat at 9am, Sun at noon online at AM 1690) and a few sea themed crayons.
Thanks Dawn! Readers, see more of this fun party here.