Round up the Neighbors and
Have a Bike Parade!

It's things like this, folks, that makes childhood really special. Every year Jo-Ann organizes a bike parade for her children, their friends and neighbors. It's become a neighborhood tradition and one we hope inspires you.

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Jo-Ann plans her bike parade around the Fourth of July, but you don't need to wait for a holiday because a bike parade is an event all itself! She sends out invitations (it's always exciting for kids to receive real mail, isn't it?) and supplies streamers, balloons and other crafty materials which the kids use to embellish their bikes and adorn their helmets. To fuel them for the physical rigors of the parade, the kids are treated to a picnic lunch and then...they're off!

As if this parade wasn't fun enough already, Jo-Ann plays bagpipe music over speakers while "the children ride in formation up and down the street, neighbors on their doorsteps clapping and cheering as the procession passes ."

I grew up in a tight-knit neighborhood and reading about Jo-Ann's bike parade brought back many wonderful memories of similar traditions I grew up with. Every neighborhood should have a Jo-Ann or two to get the ball rolling with simple activities that kids will remember forever.

For more about her bike parade (including more photos) and loads of other ideas stop in and visit Jo-Ann at Pumpkin Petunia.

(Images: Pumpkin Petunia)

[Editor's note: This post was originally published June 17, 2009. We re-run it every year because it's such a fun idea!]

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Family, Outdoor, 4th of July, Outdoor Space

As Apartment Therapy's Family Editor, Carrie covers design and modern homelife with children. A lapsed librarian, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two kids and is in contention to break the record for most hours spent at the playground.