8 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With Kids

March 12, 2020 Updated: March 12, 2020

You don’t need to be Irish to have some good Irish fun with your family on St. Patrick’s Day. From leprechauns to chocolate coins to green, well, everything—St. Patrick’s Day is full of fun and good luck!

Here are some simple and enjoyable ways to celebrate the day with your wee ones.

Learn How It All Began

Why are we celebrating in the first place? Answer your kids’ natural curiosity by explaining the origins of St. Patrick’s Day. Short documentaries or books on the subject are great resources. The life of the saint, the legends about the holiday, the origin of celebratory traditions, or even information about Ireland in general, different angles may spark an interest in your children. Don’t underestimate them, and follow their curiosity. Holidays are learning opportunities.

Catch a Leprechaun

A childhood favorite—let the kids work their creative muscles in making the perfect trap for the leprechaun that is sure to visit your home. In advance of the holiday, a shoebox and copious craft supplies with an emphasis on the green is all you need to make a simple or elaborate (if that’s your jam) leprechaun trap.

I’ve never actually seen a caught leprechaun, but I have seen the messy aftermath of one surely having navigated a trap, and the chocolate coins they left behind.

Lucky Surprises

When the kids wake up in the morning, they’ll head straight to their leprechaun traps, of course! We always surprise them with little gifts for the day—perhaps a fun St. Patrick’s Day T-shirt, shamrock socks, or a leprechaun hat. Other fun morning treats may include holiday pencils and erasers, a book, or simply something green.

Have Them Seeing Green

Speaking of green, we always decorate our dining room table for holidays big and small. A green table cloth, shamrock plates and napkins, and, if I’m really on top of things, some rainbow decor usually set the stage for a fun day ahead.

Stock up on some green food coloring, and add it to items such as baked goods, pasta, ice cream, or even milk! No time for that? Head to your local bagel shop for some green bagels!

Listen to Irish Music

My personal favorite part of St. Patrick’s Day is enjoying Irish music all day. Artists like The Irish Rovers, The Dubliners, or The High Kings will be sure to have your hands clapping and your feet tapping!

Head to the Parade

Many towns and cities will pull out all the stops for their Saint Patrick’s Day parade. Have the family don their Irish sweaters and head to the nearest one to you. The New York Saint Patrick’s Day parade is the oldest of its kind, dating back to 1762! Nothing beats the sound of the lovely bagpipes and the celebration of Irish culture and families.

Enjoy an Irish Feast

Head to the local pub or stay in and cook together. Bangers and mash, Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, or, of course, corned beef and cabbage would all make for a fitting Irish meal. Oh, and don’t forget the soda bread.

End the Day With Stories

What’s more Irish than a good yarn? Tell your own stories or enjoy reading aloud to your children or listening to audiobooks about St. Patrick’s Day. For my book recommendations, check out this article

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza