8 Family Friendly St. Patrick's Day Activities
Can you believe it? St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. Chances are it’s a holiday you’ve celebrated for years with your peers, but now that you have a family, something about evening pub crawls seems a bit off. Never fear! We’ve got you covered with eight (affordable) ways to celebrate St. Patty’s Day with the whole family.
Plenty of major cities and smaller communities offer parades on this spring holiday. In Chicago, they even turn an entire river green. While all parades are thrilling for kids, these can be especially fun since most people will come decked in green wigs, face paint, and green-tinted sunglasses. Have a little extra fun and let your kids “green” themselves up for the day’s festivities.
2. Plan a Treasure Hunt
Did you know that leprechauns love glitter? Well, they do. For a little at home celebrating, use green and gold glitter or confetti to leave a trail through the backyard and around your house. Around the trail, place hidden bits of gold covered chocolate or other golden treats. (Hint: a can of gold spray paint turns everything into treasure) At the end of the trail, leave all the supplies your child would need to create their own treasure chest for their finds.
3. ShamROCK Party
Have some little ones who love to dance? Hit Pandora for a playlist of traditional Irish music. Once you’re set, have a dance party with the kids. Once the wiggles wear down, consider using YouTube to turn on a video of traditional Irish River Dance. The dance sessions are sure to get the whole family laughing and is a great pre-bedtime activity to get the kids a little tuckered out and ready to sleep.
4. Make a Traditional Irish Meal
If your kids are a bit older, invite them into the kitchen with you to make a traditional Irish meal. Traditional foods include potatoes, sausages, cabbage, and soda bread. Make the meal more immersive by inviting your child to help you plan the menu.
5. Three Words: Green Food Coloring
On everything. Just because you aren’t having a green beer (or heck, maybe YOU are) doesn’t mean that the green beverages have to end. Start with green milk, maybe get brave and whip it into some scrambled eggs at breakfast. Moving through your day, Sprite turns beautifully emerald, and you can even make most yogurts green. Let your creativity lead the way and give your kids a little color in their daily snacks.
6. Trap a Leprechaun
Building a leprechaun trap the night before St. Patrick’s Day is an annual tradition for plenty of families. Encourage your kids to use markers or paint to turn an old shoebox (or old Amazon delivery box) into a leprechaun trap. They should use bits of gold to lure the little guy in, but let them use their own imagination to dream up how he’ll be trapped inside. In the morning, who knows what that trickster will have left in the trap for the kiddos when he gets away.
7. Embrace Irish History
Check out your local community to see if there are any Irish heritage groups or museums nearby. If so, make a plan to attend one! If not, grab an age-appropriate book from your local library and host story time. If your kids are too old to enjoy story time, snag a documentary from Netflix. Right now you can choose between “The Irish Pub” and “Secrets of Great British Castles.” The latter features a few fortresses from the Emerald Isle.
8. Irish Arts and Crafts
Get creative. Use lucky charms or fruit loops (green only, of course) to make cereal necklaces, or head to your local craft store to pick up some shamrock cutouts. You can use these to do a variety of crafts. Don’t forget to create some St. Patty’s Carnations! Buy white carnations and leave them overnight in green food colored water. In the morning, the petals will have stripes of green.