Family & Education

Saint Patrick’s Day Fun for the Family

BY Barbara Danza TIMEFebruary 28, 2023 PRINT

Traditions are an important part of family life. They help paint a picture of a family’s values, culture, and character. They make for memories that last a lifetime, and they can be passed on throughout the generations. Through traditions, children can enjoy predictable touchstones that instill a comforting sense of structure, stability, security, and joy.

Saint Patrick’s Day is one of those joyful occasions that calls for fun and celebrates tradition but doesn’t impose a ton of pressure to deliver an epically magical experience that takes weeks to prepare. With just a few simple touches, you can easily make Saint Patrick’s Day a special occasion for the whole family.

Morning Surprise

When the kids wake up and venture out into the house, what’s the first thing they’ll see?

If they happen to have set an elaborate leprechaun trap the night before, that’s likely where they’ll head first. They may find curious evidence of leprechauns, such as chocolate gold coins and a bit of a mess around the trap.

Hint: A few days before St. Patrick’s Day, lay out some empty cardboard boxes and craft supplies and encourage your kids to create their own leprechaun trap.

A table decorated in green with, perhaps, some simple gifts (green socks, a shamrock headband, etc.) can be a lot of fun too.

Cue the Ditties

The Saint Patrick’s Day playlist is one of the best parts of the holiday. Add classic Irish folk artists to get everybody’s hands clapping and feet tapping throughout the day. Some kid-friendly classics include: “The Unicorn” by the Irish Rovers, “Danny Boy” by Celtic Woman, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” by The Irish Tenors, “The Wild Rover” by The Dubliners, and “The Rocky Road to Dublin” by The High Kings.

Go Green

When it comes to food, tableware, and clothing, go green or go home. Of course, silly accessories like shamrock-shaped glasses and green sequined bow ties add that little something extra that holidays like this deserve.

Know Why

Don’t miss the opportunity to educate your children about the meaning of Saint Patrick’s Day. Who was Saint Patrick? What does the shamrock symbolize? Why do we celebrate with parades? offers a helpful rundown of how Saint Patrick’s Day came to be.

Eat Your Greens

When it comes to dinner on Saint Patrick’s Day, the obvious choice is some delicious corned beef and cabbage. If your kids aren’t into that, anything green will do. Did you know you can make a natural green food dye with spinach? Green pasta is always a hit!

For dessert, Irish soda bread is a classic. Shamrock-shaped cookies are always fun. Looking for something really easy? How about some green pistachio or mint chocolate chip ice cream?

Cap It Off with a Wee Story

There is no better way to end any day than with a bedtime story together. Check out “St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning” by Eve Bunting and Jan Brett or “Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk” by Gerald McDermott.

Barbara Danza is a mom of two, an MBA, a beach lover, and a kid at heart. Here, diving into the challenges and opportunities of parenting in the modern age. Particularly interested in the many educational options available to families today, the renewed appreciation of simplicity in kids’ lives, the benefits of family travel, and the importance of family life in today’s society.
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