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 lasses, put on your green duds and read on for a list of kid-centric ways to celebrate the luck o’ the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day.

Kids in St Patricks Day parade

photo: City of Greeley via flickr

Kells St. Patrick’s Irish Festival: March 8-18
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 for all ages and a festival tent on St. Patrick’s Day itself.

Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub
Pike Place Market
1916 Post Alley
Seattle, Wa 98101
206-728-1916
Online: kellsirish.com/seattle

Green Stripe Laying Mini-Parade: March 10
Meet at FX McRory’s at 6:30 p.m. to secure a spot on the flat-bed 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 the street and join the impromptu céili dance! Note: stripe painting will begin at 4th Ave. & Jefferson St.

FX McRory’s
419 Occidental Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98104
206-623-4800
Online: irishclub.org

St Patricks Day Parade Kids_via flickr creative commons jmpminmontreal

photo: jpmpinmontreal via flickr

2017 Irish Festival: March 11-12
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.

Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
206-684-7200
Online: irishclub.org/irish-festival-seattle

St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 11
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 from Jefferson St. 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) for the closing ceremonies at 2 p.m. 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!

Bonus: Seniors are invited to ride the parade for free in a Duck’s Boat – just be at 4th Ave. & Jefferson by noon to take your seat. All parade participants are invited to travel to the Seattle Center via the Monorail for free for the Irish Festival closing ceremonies in the Armory at 2 p.m.

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

irish parade seattle 2015

photo: Irish Heritage Club

Kirkland Shamrock Run: March 11
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 with their $15 registration fee.

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

Annual Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 11 
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. Patrick’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 & Leprechaun Lap: 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” and fun leprechaun-themed activities will continue inside the Seattle Children’s Museum and on the Fisher Pavilion lawn, 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
206-441-1768
Online: thechildrensmuseum.org

Lucky Leprechaun Hunt – March 17
Put on your green duds and head over to the Magnuson Community Center to hunt for special gold coins. Kids can win candy, treats and prizes for their hunting skills at this annual St. Patrick’s Day event.

Magnuson Community Center
7110 62nd Ave. N.E.
Seattle, Wa
206-684-7026
Online: seattle.gov/parks/find/centers/magnuson-community-center

Going Green at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium – March 18
Take your crew to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to see amazing animals of all kinds, talk to the keepers who care for them and watch the animals enjoy “lucky” treats in honor of St. Patrick’s day!

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
5400 N. Pearl St.
Tacoma, Wa 98407
Online: pdza.org/calendar?cid=787

Build a Leprechaun Trap Workshop – March 18
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.

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

Create a unique natural leprechaun trap container garden (round 8" x 3") featuring plants from the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden. Learn about leprechaun lore then decorate your container with various gold and other shiny items to lure in those sneaky leprechauns. Four times are available, 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm, and 2 pm. Cost is $5 for KBGF members, $20 for non-members.

photo: Kruckeberg Botanic Garden

Leprechaun Hunt: March 19
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

Alderbrook Resort & Spa’s 5th Annual St. Paddle’s Day: March 18
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 water sport activity on the beautiful lower Hood Canal, will include friendly competitions, kids’ games and activities along with demonstrations, vendor booths, a gear swap and delish 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, SUP boards or wherrys at special event prices.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa
7101 Washington 106
Union, Wa 98592
360-898-2200
Online: alderbrookresort.com and on Facebook

Did we miss your favorite St. Patrick’s Day event or activity? Tell us in the Comments below.

— Kristina Moy