Your little leprechauns are always chasing rainbows, so dress-up in your favorite emerald hue and get ready to go play. From bagpipes and parades to Celtic fests and bangers and mash, the following celebrations will have your Irish eyes smiling. Scroll down for our top picks.

paul_via_ccPhoto: Paul via Flickr

37th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival
You and your crew can get dressed up and enjoy this St. Patrick’s Day parade featuring colorful floats, Irish dance troupes, and bagpipe marching bands beginning at Sixth and Laurel and winding through parts of Balboa Park. Head over to the festival after the parade for more performances, kids rides and crafts, food trucks and music. What a fun-filled cultural experience for the whole crew!

When: March 11th, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., (Parade starts at 10:30 a.m.)

Balboa Park
Sixth and Laurel Street
San Diego, Ca

North County St. Patrick’s Day Festival
Go green and join the Celtic Queen as she parades around historic downtown Vista in this cultural celebration your whole family will love. Eat Irish food, listen to authentic Irish pipes and see Celtic dancers. Kids can join an archery contest or play miniature golf. Stay for the Irish pooch parade, and petting zoo.

When: March 12th, Noon-6 p.m. (Parade starts at 2:15 p.m.)

Downtown Vista
Main St.
Vista, Ca

peterm_via_ccPhoto: Peter Mooney

St. Patrick’s 10K Run/Walk
Every year San Diegans gather for the fast and flat run (or walk) around Mission Bay. If you’re running with the littles in tow, you can choose between a 2 mile, 4 mile, or 10K course. Every participant gets a medal and t-shirt. Go green and support Rady Children’s Hospital.

When: March 11th, 7:45 a.m.

Mission Bay Park
2688 E. Mission Bay Dr.
San Diego, Ca


1st Annual Campland on the Bay St. Patrick’s Day Festival
This inaugural festival sounds like our kind of party! Live music, Irish food, a best dressed leprechaun contest and festive activities including a potato toss, fairy face painting, a leprechaun scavenger hunt and Irish dancing. So much fun they spread the festivities out over two days!

When: March 17th & 18th

2211 Pacific Beach Dr.
San Diego, Ca

House of Ireland
Grab the fam and immerse yourselves in Irish culture. Dine on bangers and mash and traditional Irish baked goods. Explore informational booths, listen to Irish music and watch Irish dancing. All that’s missing is the pot of gold!

When: March 12th, 11 a.m.
-5 p.m. (Dancing and music from 2-3:30 p.m.)

Balboa Park
House of Pacific Relations
House of Ireland

Girl Smiling on St. Patricks DayPhoto: Jeffrey via Flickr

Irish Dance Performance
You’ll put a spring in your kid’s step when you take them to watch dancers ages 4-14 from Rose-Ritchie Academy of Irish Dance perform traditional Irish dances in full costume.

When: March 15th, 4-4:30 p.m.

Carmel Mountain Ranch Library
12095 World Trade Dr.
San Diego, Ca

Pretend City
Don your best Irish green and let your littles experience this cultural holiday through an Irish storytime, a golden treasure hunt, leaping leprechaun games, and green science. Your wee one can go on a treasure hunt throughout the city and win a pot of gold!

When: March 17th, 10 a.m.
-3 p.m.

Pretend City
29 Hubble
Irvine, Ca

Do you know of a family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day event? Tell us in the comments below.

— Nikki Walsh