Wondering where to strike gold with your little leprechauns this St. Patrick’s Day? Lucky for you, we’ve rounded-up festive activities and celebrations where you can revel in Irish culture. From a fabulous parade and festival to toe-tapping Celtic music, amazing Irish dancing, fun runs and yummy traditional foods, put on your green duds and read on for the scoop.

photo: contactkim via pixabay

St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Irish Festival
You and your crew can get dressed up and enjoy this St. Patrick’s Day Parade which is the largest Parade west of the Mississippi! You’ll see over 120 parade entries including colorful floats, dance troupes and high school marching bands beginning at Fifth Ave. at Laurel St. After the Parade, head over to the Irish Festival in Balboa Park for more live entertainment on three stages, Irish Step dancers and Irish folk singers, craft booths, a Celtic Food Village, a Beer Garden and a Kids Zone. What a fun-filled cultural experience for your whole clan!

When: March 17th, Parade starts at 10:30 a.m.; Irish Festival 1-6 p.m.

Balboa Park
Fifth Avenue at Laurel St.
San Diego, Ca
Online: stpatsparade.org

St. Patrick’s Day at Pretend City
It’s the luck of the Irish! Make your way to Pretend City for super festive ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with story time, art and fun activities! Wear your greenest outfit for their Irish heading home parade at the end of the day. Themed activities include the End of the Rainbow Treasure Hunt to find a pot of gold and The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day storybook reading followed by tracking and finding leprechauns.

When: March 17th, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Pretend City
29 Hubble
Irvine, Ca
Online: pretendcity.org/event/celebrate-st-patricks-day

photo: Kate Gardiner via flickr

Leprechaun Run
The team that brings you San Diego Santa Run is excited to bring the Inaugural Leprechaun Run this St. Patrick’s Day to Pacific Beach! Get ready to wear your green and take over Garnet Ave. and Cass St.! The Kids 1K Fun Run will take place after the Leprechaun Run 5K. The run will start at 10:30 a.m. and will run on Garnet Ave. Parents are welcome to run alongside their kids during the run. All Kids 1K Fun Run participants will receive sunglasses and a finisher prize!

When: March 17th 7 a.m.-noon

912 Garnet Ave.
San Diego, Ca
Online: sandiegorunningco.com/leprechaunrun


House of Ireland
Grab the fam and immerse yourselves in Irish culture. Dine on traditional Irish food, non-alcoholic Irish Coffee and delectable baked good. Once you’ve had your fill, sit back and enjoy live music and traditional Irish dancing performances.  All that’s missing is the pot of gold!

When: March 18th, 11 a.m.
-4 p.m. (Dancing and music start at 2 p.m.)

Balboa Park
House of Pacific Relations
House of Ireland
Online: houseofireland.org

2018 St. Patrick’s Day 10K / 2 & 4 Mile Fun Run
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. All finishers will receive a medal and a dri-release shirt. After the race, nosh on Domino’s pizza and those 21 and older can enjoy a beer garden sponsored by Stone Brewery, Ballast Point and Coronado Brewery.

When: March 17th, 4 & 2 Mile starts at 7:45 a.m.; 10K starts at 7:55 a.m.

Mission Bay Park
2688 E. Mission Bay Dr.
San Diego, Ca
Online: stpatrick10K.com

Where are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with your lads and lasses? Tell us in the comments!

––Nikki Walsh and Beth Shea


Cheers! 12 Family-Friendly Craft Breweries

8 Super Family Date Spots in San Diego

Family-Friendly Wineries With Kid Perks: We’ll Toast to That!