When it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the Emerald City, there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities. From parades to festivals to fun runs, Seattle is bursting with Irish pride during the month of March. So gather your lil’ lads and lassies, put on your green duds and read on for a list of kid-centric ways to celebrate the luck o’ the Irish this St. Paddy’s Day.

Girl Smiling on St. Patricks Day

photo: Jeffrey via flickr 

Kells Irish Festival: March 9-19
Sometimes St. Patrick’s Day is not St. Patrick’s Day without a pub. Kells, in the Pike Place Market, serves up food, drink, dancing, and live Irish music to a festive crowd. This is a marathon celebration that will last over a week, with special hours and a festival tent on St. Patrick’s Day itself.

Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub
Pike Place Market
1916 Post Alley
Seattle, Wa 98101
Online: kellsirish.com/seattle

Green Stripe Laying Mini-Parade: March 11
Meet at FX McRory’s at 6:30 p.m. to secure a spot on the flatbed truck that paints the green stripe along 4th Ave. in preparation for Saturday’s big parade. Then, watch as the Irish Heritage Club paints a large shamrock in Westlake plaza and join the impromptu céili dance! 

FX McRory’s
419 Occidental Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98104
Online: irishclub.org

St Patricks Day Parade Kids_via flickr creative commons jmpminmontreal

photo: jpmpinmontreal via flickr

2016 Irish Festival: March 12-13
Thousands of people are expected to attend this year’s annual Irish Festival at the Seattle Center. Kids can dance to traditional tunes while watching energetic Irish step dancers and explore the awesome Children’s Activities Center. Even better, wee lassies and lads can participate in good-natured contests for the “Most Irish-Looking Face” and “Smilingest Irish Eyes.” And everyone will love the cultural exhibits and vendor booths selling Irish and Celtic products and treats.

Bonus: The Monorail will be free from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. for travel from Westlake Park to the Seattle Center to participate in the 2016 Irish Festival.

Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Online: irishclub.org/center.htm

St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 12
It all starts with the Parade Grand Marshals and other dignitaries as they raise the Irish Tricolor in front of the King County Administration Building, followed by the playing of the Irish and US National Anthems. Then, at 12:30 p.m. Parade Grand Marshalls and dignitaries will lead Seattle’s beloved St. Patrick’s Day Parade down Fourth Ave. Expect clowns, bagpipe players and maybe even a gaggle of leprechauns to march down the streets, with the procession traveling past Westlake Center and to the Seattle Center via the monorail. Parade sponsors, Irish Heritage Club, encourage onlookers to participate in the march, so feel free to join in on the fun and don’t forget to dress the family in green to avoid unexpected pinches! Psst! All participants are invited to travel for free on the Monorail to the Seattle Center for closing ceremonies at the Irish Festival.

Downtown Seattle
Starting at Fourth Ave. at James St.
Seattle, Wa 98104
Online: irishclub.org/st-patricks-day-parade

irish parade seattle 2015

photo: Irish Heritage Club

Kirkland Shamrock Run: March 12
The Kirkland Shamrock Run is a fun-filled 5k celebrating Kirkland, healthy living and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day! Lace up your tennies, put on your green garb and race to the pot o’ gold waiting for you at the finish line. Psst! This year, all pint-sized racers will receive a medal, bib and kid’s shirt.

Marina Park
25 Lakeshore Plaza Dr.
Kirkland, Wa 98033
Online: kirklandshamrockrun.com

Leprechaun Hunt: March 12 & 13
The leprechauns are back! Join the folks at Kruckeberg Botanic Garden for a self-guided exploration looking for signs of these sneaky little troublemakers. This is a great time of year to look closely in the Garden, signs of spring are everywhere. Note: Pick up instructions at the Garden when you arrive. There is no fee for this event, but your donations help the Garden continue to offer fun free, family programs like this.

Kruckeberg Botanic Garden
20312 15th Ave. N.W.
Shoreline, Wa 98177
Online: kruckeberg.org

Create a unique natural leprechaun trap container garden (round 8 inches x 3 inches) featuring plants from the Garden. Learn about leprechaun lore then decorate your container with leprechaun gold and other shiny items to lure in those sneaky leprechauns. You will also have time to go on our Leprechaun Hunt looking for signs of leprechauns in the Garden! $15/ trap, $10 for KBGF members (ages 3+ w/adult) Times available: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm

photo: Kruckeberg Botanic Garden

Build a Leprechaun Trap Workshop
Create a unique natural leprechaun trap container garden (round 8″x3″) featuring plants from the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden. Plus, learn about leprechaun lore then decorate your container with various gold and other shiny items to lure in those sneaky little leprechauns. Four times are available at: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. $5/KBGF Members; $20/Non-members.

Kruckeberg Botanic Garden
20312 15th Ave. N.W.
Shoreline, Wa 98177
Online: kruckeberg.org

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Springfree Trampoline: March 12
Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the folks at Springfree Trampoline in Issaquah. Enjoy art projects, an Irish dance performance, light snacks and, of course, plenty of free jumping on the World’s Safest Trampoline!

Springfree Trampoline Issaquah
1875 N.W. Poplar Way
Issaquah , Wa 98027
Online: springfreetrampoline.com/store/issaquah-seattle-washington

Annual Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 12 
Want to get out of town for the day? Meet in the parking lot of Woodsmiths and Habitat for Humanity, at the corner of Cornwall Ave. and Ohio St., and join traditional pipe and marching bands, dancers and floats as Bellingham launches its own “green” version of a St. Paddy’s Day parade and celebrates all the great businesses, groups, schools and nonprofits that make the community what it is.

Cornwall Ave. & Ohio St.
Bellingham, Wa 98225
Online: stpatsbham.com

Bellingham St. Patrick's Day Parade

photo: Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade Facebook page

St. Patrick’s Day Dash: March 13 
Welcome spring and celebrate all-things-green at the city’s liveliest race. At this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Dash, expect to find plenty of strollers in a sea of 15,000 runners and walkers participating in the annual race. Kids already itching to dress up for Halloween will love this run featuring racers in all sorts of Irish-themed costumes—from long and lean leprechauns to wobbly pots of gold. And just for kids ten and under, the nearly 1K Leprechaun Lap will start bright and early, at 8 a.m. Awards are presented for “Best Decorated Stroller” and “Best Young Leprechaun” at 9:30 a.m., so be sure to stick around for after-race festivities!

Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Online registration: stpatsdash.com

St Patrick's Day Dash.2

photo: St. Patrick’s Day Dash

St. Patrick’s Day at the Museum: March 17
Put on your green clothes (to avoid unnecessary pinches) and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the folks at the Seattle Children’s Museum. Learn about the Celtic Harp, enjoy a special St. Patrick’s Day story time, make your own harp and leprechaun house to take home and play leprechaun-inspired math games.

Seattle Children’s Museum
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Online: thechildrensmuseum.org

Alderbrook Resort & Spa’s 4th Annual St. Paddle’s Day: March 19-20
If you’re feeling a bit competitive this St. Paddy’s Day, put your racing skills to the test at this annual maritime celebration. The racing event, which celebrates watersport activity on the beautiful lower Hood Canal, will include friendly competitions, kids’ games and activities along with demonstrations, vendor booths, a gear swap and food and beverages on the waterfront lawn. Competitors of all ages and skill levels are invited to bring and show off their own watercraft or rent one of Alderbrook’s kayaks, stand up paddle boards or wherrys at special event prices.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa
7101 Washington 106
Union, Wa 98592
Online: alderbrookresort.com and on Facebook

If the fam is hoping for Irish cuisine on March 17, local meal delivery service, Kitchen Door Meals, is making it possible to enjoy a delicious St. Patrick’s Day-inspired meal with two different dinner options: Irish Beef Stew with Braised Kale and Roasted Buttered Potatoes and Chicken Pot Pie. Place your order by Sat., March 12 to have it delivered in time for St. Patrick’s Day! 

Did we miss your favorite St. Paddy’s Day event or activity? Let us know in the Comments below.

— Kristina Moy