Nine Things to do on St. Patrick's Day for Kids

Get in the Irish spirit with these family-friendly St. Paddy's activities

If your days of drinking green beer are long gone but you still want to celebrate St. Paddy's Day, take a look at these family-friendly things to do on St. Patricks Day for kids.

  • 01 of 09

    Attend a St. Patrick's Day Parade

    USA, New York State, New York City, Manhattan, girls in green, St Patricks Day celebrations, 5th Avenue
    Christian Kober/AWL Images/Getty Images

    Check out your city's site or browse your community calendar for upcoming St. Patrick's Day parades. Wear green - green wigs, green pants, green shoes, green everything--and paint shamrocks and rainbows on your kids' faces. (No need to buy special face paint. Just use washable markers.)

    Mid-March can be quite cold in many parts of the country, so bundle up and bring blankets under which to sit. It doesn't hurt to bring a Thermos of hot cocoa, either (consider flavoring it with a...MORE minty syrup).

  • 02 of 09

    Drink Green Ginger Ale

    Green drink

    Skip the green beer and go straight for the kid-friendly alternative: green ginger ale. Or mix up some yummy root beer floats with green ice cream! The little ones will love the sweet, sudsy treat. Serve in clear, plastic mugs so they can show off the green appearance. 

    Shamrock shakes and green smoothies are more options for green, kid-friendly beverages to enjoy!

  • 03 of 09
    Shamrock craft

    From cereal rainbows (great for building fine motor skills in young children!) to folded four-leaf clovers (appropriate for older kids), these St, Patrick's Day craft ideas from Sherri Osborn are sure to get everyone in the Irish spirit. 

  • 04 of 09
    Leprechaun Traps, Leprechaun Trap, how to catch a leprechaun, St. Patricks Day kids
    Building leprechaun traps is a great St. Patrick's Day tradition and a fun way to keep the magical story of leprechauns and their hidden treasures alive in your child. Megan Cooley

    Legend has it that if you catch a leprechaun, he must take you to his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Keep the magical story alive in your child by building a leprechaun trap together. (Bonus: your child learns a bit about engineering along the way!)

    Encourage your child to entice the leprechaun with gold (rocks painted yellow?) and leave a trail of glitter or shamrocks to prove that the magical little man came by.

    For more details, check out these instructions for building leprechaun traps....MORE

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Corned beef and cabbage

    Have the kids help prepare a pot of corned beef and cabbage that has become a hearty, traditional St. Patrick's day meal.

    10 recipes for St. Patrick's Day, including an Irish stew and a potato and cabbage dish called colcannon.

    Set the mood by playing some kid-friendly Irish music in the background.

  • 06 of 09

    Bake Some Green Goodies

    Green cupcakes

    What holiday is complete without a sweet treat to end the day? 

    You could make green cake pops or white ones that you pipe black and orange frosting onto to turn them into leprechaun faces.

    Since rainbows play a role in St. Patrick's Day, how about baking a rainbow cake?

    Other green desserts to consider: sweet green popcorn, pistachio cake, mint-fudge brownies and green cupcakes.

    And just so you know ... authentic Irish desserts aren't nearly as sweet--or as green--as the treats we tend to...MORE indulge in in America.



  • 07 of 09

    Learn About St. Patrick and Ireland

    Irish castle

    Teach your children about the culture of Ireland, Irish castles or St. Patrick's Day history, then take this St. Patrick's Day quiz to test your family's knowledge.


  • 08 of 09

    Read Irish Stories

    Girl reading outside.

    Cozy up with a good book about Ireland and St. Patrick's Day, like these Irish folktales and fairy tales suggested by Elizabeth Kennedy.

    Another suggestion is A Fine St. Patrick's Day by Susan Wojciechowski. It's a charming tale with a 6-year-old heroine, and it teaches a good lesson in the end.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Start an annual St. Patrick's Day tradition of giving a shamrock plant as a gift. Not only are shamrocks longer lasting than a sack of green candy, but caring for a plant can build self-confidence and responsibility in children.