Family-Friendly Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the most popular holiday on the calendar, but it’s still one everybody knows about and most everyone celebrates.
Despite being so widely celebrated, it seems like the only way many people know how to partake is by consuming adult beverages.
But that doesn’t have to be the only way. Non-drinkers and families with children still have plenty of options for festivities.
Embrace the Day
Children might ask what’s so special about St. Patrick’s Day, and many adults might have the same question. It’s never a bad time to learn about the origins of the story of St. Patrick’s Day, or to learn about Irish culture as a whole.
This can mean getting together to explore the Internet to uncover knowledge or finding a local museum or community center with an exhibit on Irish and Irish-American history.
Feast Like the Irish
In doing your research, you’ll surely find Irish cuisine consists of more than just adult beverages. For St. Patrick’s Day dinner, consider traditional Irish beef stew or the classic combination of corned beef and cabbage, with a side of Irish soda bread (with or without raisins).
We’re all busy, and maybe researching a new recipe from scratch would take time. But to go the faster and more aesthetic route, add green food coloring to lightly-colored food and drink (green ginger ale is a favorite amongst families). This way you can get into the spirit with some unique food and not go too far out of your way.
If you have the time and interest to cook something new but you don’t want to experiment with an entire meal, there are plenty of St. Patrick’s day treats you can whip up. These can be anything from green cupcakes, to cookies made with Lucky Charms, to elaborate pretzel shamrocks: three mini twists for the leaves and a pretzel stick for the stem, all held together with green-dyed white chocolate.
Parents know their children will want some incentive to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. Kids live for fun, first and foremost. So, show them how fun the holiday can be.
Younger children might enjoy a treasure hunt, looking for a leprechaun’s treasure. Much like an Easter Egg Hunt, this involves a series of simple clues leading them to a small hidden gift, like candy, a small toy, or some coins.
For kids who might want something more advanced, you can help them construct a “leprechaun trap.” This is a spring-trap box at the end of a paper rainbow covered in something shiny, like pennies. What will your child find in the box after they hear it snap shut (right as soon as they stop looking at it)? That’s entirely up to you.
A Lasting Impression
You can do something for St. Patrick’s Day that will last a lot longer than 24 hours. Plant some shamrocks in your garden or planter and keep the spirit of the holiday with you through the months ahead. Not only is it also a good idea for springtime, but for all we know, one of those shamrocks might bloom into a four-leaf clover for some luck when you least expect it.
Paint the Town Green
As St. Patrick’s Day celebrates an entire community, don’t hesitate to spend your day with your community. Many municipalities hold parades, festivals and celebrations for the holiday, especially in areas with high populations of Irish descendants. These are often family-friendly affairs open to everybody, and they would love to have you come join in on the festivities. After all, everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.