Things To Do

15 Easy Ideas for Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day With Your Family 🍀

written by BRIDGET BAUM

The Everymom’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

celebrate st patricks day"
celebrate st patricks day
Source: @occasions.byshakira
Source: @occasions.byshakira

Growing up in an Irish-American family, I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a few tried-and-true traditions. This meant wearing a green shirt, enjoying my mom’s corned beef for dinner, and, most importantly, receiving green carnations from my dad (he still sends green flowers every year). But as with most things in the ’90s, it was a lot less commercial than what we see today, and we didn’t go crazy with coordinated St. Patrick’s Day outfits or extensive decorations.

Now as a mom, I’m trying to establish similar traditions that my girls will always have to look forward to as they get older without losing sight of what I’ve always loved about St. Patrick’s Day. Leprechaun traps, Lucky Charms treats, and lots of traditional Irish music are just a few ways to get us excited for the holiday as a family without going overboard.

Here’s how to celebrate St. Patrick’s day as a family in 15 simple but fun ways.

The History of St. Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, credited with bringing Christianity to the country. It’s believed that he died on March 17, 461 A.D., and St. Patrick’s Day began to be celebrated on this day in the 9th or 10th century. The holiday originated as a religious feast day during the season of Lent, but it’s since become a secular holiday celebrating Irish culture as a whole and is embraced around the world.

One of the most prevalent legends about Saint Patrick is that he explained the Holy Trinity using a native Irish clover, or a shamrock, now a widely-recognized symbol for the holiday. While a parade has always been a staple of many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the first one actually occurred in America, not in Ireland.

how to celebrate st patrick's day as a family
Source: @jessicagrant14

How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a Family

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Home

Holiday fun doesn’t have to be elaborate to be memorable. Here are a few no-fuss ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your kids. 

1. Set Leprechaun Traps

A great way to channel the spirit of the leprechaun as well as your child’s creativity is to build a leprechaun trap. Based on the idea that a leprechaun visits the house the night before St. Patrick’s Day, the trap can be made of any supplies your child finds around the house! Shoe boxes, construction paper, popsicle sticks, and plastic straws may all come in handy here. Tempting the leprechaun with gold is key to this imaginative activity, which, of course, always ends with the tricky leprechaun eluding the trap! (But kids will still get a thrill from a note the leprechaun leaves behind).

2. Make Shamrock Decorations

These paper shamrocks are a fun and easy way to decorate for the holiday while encouraging your child to work on their fine motor skills. Hang them in the window or use them as table decor! Find more St. Patrick’s Day crafts here.

3. Use Green Food Dye Anywhere and Everywhere

Looking for an easy way to infuse the day with the some more… green? Let’s just say anything that can be dyed, should be!

  • Put 8-10 drops of food coloring directly into the toilet bowl to make it look like a sneaky leprechaun left his mark.
  • Add a few drops to scrambled eggs for an easy on-theme breakfast.
  • Dye some milk for morning cereal or a bedtime treat.

4. Have a Movie Night

With so many movies available on streaming, having a family movie night is always a good idea. Put on your coziest themed pajamas, have some green milk and cookies, and watch an Irish-themed movie (a movie filmed in Ireland counts, too!). Here are a few of our favorite family-friendly options:

st patricks day
Source: @mrscofieldandco

Make St. Patrick’s Day Food and Drinks 

From the traditional to the not-so-traditional, you and your family will love these St. Patrick’s Day meals and treats!

5. Corned Beef with Bourbon-Molasses Glaze

Here’s my hot take: While corned beef is undeniably a very traditional Irish food, it’s pretty unremarkable on its own. That’s why I was super excited when my mom introduced me to this corned beef recipe. The bourbon-molasses glaze is exactly what the corned beef skeptic needs to add flavor and texture to this traditional dish. The best part is it’s extremely easy to make. Get some ready-made corned beef from the grocery store (which is prevalent this time of year) and cook according to the instructions on the package, then broil it with the glaze before serving. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser regardless of your heritage.

6. Shamrock Shakes

While McDonald’s certainly has a leg up on the shamrock shake game, you can choose to make a mint-flavored milkshake or you can simply add some green food dye to a vanilla shake. For my picky kids, this would be the perfect workaround.

7. Lucky Charms Treats

Make these exactly the same way you’d make regular Rice Krispies Treats except—you guessed it—using Lucky Charms cereal.

Want More St. Patrick's Day Treat Ideas?
Click for Recipes

Enjoy Irish Music and Dance

I was raised on traditional Irish music like The Chieftains and will take any opportunity I can get to see a live Irish band. This time of year it’s likely you’ll be able to find any number of traditional music and dance events happening near you. Many cities large and small have Irish-American clubs that organize regular events, especially around St. Patrick’s Day.

Here are some family-friendly ideas to be on the lookout for:

8. St. Patrick’s Day Parade

One of the most quintessential ways to celebrate the holiday, check your neighborhood calendar for a nearby St. Patrick’s Day parade.

9. Traditional Irish Music Brunch

Local Irish restaurants frequently host musical brunches and other daytime events to appeal to families.

10. Irish Dance Performances

Irish dance schools often plan shows during March and April. Grab a spot for a one-of-a-kind celebratory experience!

11. See Riverdance

Catch a showing of the iconic musical at a venue near you—or watch the animated movie Riverdance on Netflix.

12. Search Events at a Local Irish-American Club

Depending on where you live, there are bound to be a few!

13. At Home Musical Celebration

If you prefer to stay in on St. Patrick’s Day, check out these playlists to bring the spirit of the Irish to your home:

No matter what you choose to do, St. Patrick’s Day can be a holiday for the whole family to enjoy together while celebrating Irish culture, food, and music.

celebrate st patricks day
Source: @raven.vasquez

Get Outside

Since St. Patrick’s Day falls in the springtime, hopefully that means nice weather for most of us who want to celebrate. In this case, it’s only right to get outside and feel extra lucky for the sunshine.

14. Hunt for Four Leaf Clovers

We all know that four leaf clovers are hard to come back—that’s what makes them so lucky! If it’s nice out in your area this St. Patty’s Day, get the kids outside to hunt for these elusive clovers. Chances are they’ll be occupied for awhile, and they’ll feel all sorts of joy if they happen to come across one!

15. Gold Coins Hunt

If your littles can’t get enough of an Easter egg hunt, make their day by replicating the experience for the other spring holiday. Make them feel like lucky little leprechauns by hiding gold coins throughout your yard and letting them loose to search and fill their pot of gold.

It’s Your Lucky Day: 40+ Festive Items to Show Your St. Patrick’s Day Spirit
Click to Shop!