The Gray Months....

Actually, the exchange will sell the USMA merchandise without an ID, but the other stuff you need one. A Cadet can buy anything.

The store in the mall is strictly Nike merchandise, and is fairly expensive.
Good to know. I just assumed you needed an ID for everything at the exchange.
When we landed @ EWR the day before his overnight, my DS had a message on his phone from admissions alerting him that he would need a blazer or something similar, to wear to the special dinner during his overnight. Yikes! We had not packed anything so after a quick google search I found the Palisades Mall, about 30 miles south of West Point where we found a Macy's to get him outfitted for the dinner. *** Call Admissions and verify if his overnight will coincide with any special events that he should be prepared for! Or perhaps, just pack a navy blazer and be prepared, just in case!

Be sure and download the shuttle app map onto your phone! You can find info on this app if you visit the Admissions Page: Visit West Point... I think the first shuttle leaves the stop closest to The Thayer @ 7:02? You might want to be there a little before 7:00am? It's a walkable distance from The Thayer to Admissions, but it is probably a mile and if you are carrying a bag, that won't be easy. This app was really helpful because it shows you in real time where the shuttle is on campus and what time it is next scheduled to be at your stop.

Due to the blizzard, I did not want to get in my car and risk an accident so I just hung out at the hotel. Later that night I met up with some of the other parents that I met during the briefing that morning. It was so fun getting to meet these families! Make a point to connect with the other families and see if they are available for dinner that night.

I drove over to Cold Spring the next day and the beautiful Garrison neighborhoods before I visited the Visitor's Center's Gift Shop. The VC Gift Shop had very limited merchandise and sizes and they told me they were due to receive their spring merchandise next month. But, if you can drive over to the Alumni Center, they have a gorgeous gift shop in their building. It's a beautiful building anyway, and the gift shop had really nice merchandise! My son and his friends all use a protein supplements and my son found some West Point plastic shakers in the cadet store for about $6/each. They made good presents to bring back home to his friends!

I picked up my son around 12:30 after his lunch with his Cadet host. My son loved the whole experience and was 100% certain convinced West Point was the right school for him after his overnight. He did mention that he barely slept because the cot is pretty uncomfortable and he was not given sheets, pillow or blanket! The other boys in his room lent him their own personal items to make him as warm and comfortable as possible, which was really nice. If you have a camping pillow and thin blanket you could throw into your suitcase that might be a good idea! Also, if your student has already accepted their appointment, then they should get their fingerprinting done on-site as well as go to the cadet store and get their boots and low-quarters, assuming those have been selected and stocked for the class of 2021.

Thanks to this website, I had seen that visiting students sometimes brought their hosts cookies or something small as a token of thanks. I baked some cookies and bought some protein bars to send with my son. When my son filled out his overnight request, he requested a certain cadet that he had gone to high school with, and WP was kind enough to put them together for the visit. That was a very nice touch as we think very highly of this young man and knew we could trust his experiences and opinions on West Point.

So, in summary:
1. either call admissions and verify that no "special visitors or special dinners" are being held the night of the scheduled visit or just pack a blue blazer/dress shirt/shoes (or girl equivalent) just in case!
2. The hosts were very grateful for the cookies and power bars, something i never would have thought of without Service Academy Forum's help
3. Pack a camping pillow/thin blanket for your child's overnight cot
4. Alumni Center Gift Shop was very nice!
5. Leave time to get your child fingerprinted and possibly shop for boots/shoes at cadet store
6. If it's cold outside you could go shopping at outlet mall in Newburg but if it's nice, you might enjoy some time in Cold Spring
Hope this helps and I hope you have a great visit!

Thank you so much for your wonderful reply!! I will be sure to play accordingly.
I would add there are about four gift stores and they don't necessarily have the same things.
Athletic gift store by the PX.
Alumni gift store by Mitchie.
Visitors gift store outside Thayer gate.
Museum gift store inside the museum.
Is the cadet store where we would buy boots, etc different from one of these?
Is the cadet store where we would buy boots, etc different from one of these?

Sorry, not sure if you can get them there.
There is a clothing sales within the PX that may have good boots, but not 100% sure. I'm retired so I don't look at these things. I know my wife got her boots on line. Most in line stores will let you return boots if they are sized wrong, or they may have you trace the foot and ship boots based upon that.

I would say a good pair of boots goes far.
@Mcjlt - your cadet can buy the boots and low quarters (black dress shoes) at the Cadet store at WP. Your cadet should bring the acceptance letter as only cadets can go to the Cadet store. You will be allowed in only with your cadet. This is where my cadet got his boots/low quarters before CBT. We drove up a few months early so he could begin breaking them in.

If you don't live near by, then you can get them from other stores/online.
Is the cadet store where we would buy boots, etc different from one of these?
You will get a list of acceptable boots, and can purchase them wherever you want. Same with the low quarters. My son got his from the Cadet Store. The low quarters were much less expensive there than online, so we bought them, along with the boots which were about the same price as online. My son much preferes the boots he was issued on R-day, over those he bought and brought with him.
@brovol - my cadet also preferred the issued boots to the pair he bought at the cadet store.
Until you spend a lot of time walking in the boots, it's almost impossible to know what pair will be your favorite.
All the pictures of snow storms at USNA are Mids having snowball fights.... Just saying ;)
I live near a NAS, would I be able to go to the PX there to get fitted for boots, etc, and, if so, what would I need to bring as far as identification?
I live near a NAS, would I be able to go to the PX there to get fitted for boots, etc, and, if so, what would I need to bring as far as identification?

Unless it's a joint base with a sizable Army contingent, a Naval Air Station NEX Uniform Store would likely not have Army spec boots. You need a military ID to shop there, unless you have a special authorization document of some kind.

I am sure experienced posters here can help advise. As noted above, boot info will be provided. If you haven't already, search and read past boot threads, understanding boot guidance can change on a yearly basis.