Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend! Dive in to Irish culture, and perhaps even find a pot of gold, at family-friendly festivals and a parade you won’t want to miss. Also on tap: the Lantern Street Festival, a Leprechaun Run and so much more. Read on for where to paint the town green.

photo: Nathan Rupert via Flickr


Patterns in Music
In honor of Women’s History Month, join the Classics Philharmonic, Conductor Dana Zimbric, and the Hutchins Consort, an ensemble of eight string players who perform on a set of instruments created by American Luthier Carleen Hutchins, in a concert all about patterns. With music from a variety of genres: classical, latin, ragtime, and jazz, students will learn about patterns in beat, rhythm, and form; learn about the unique instruments of the Hutchins Consort; and see how patterns play a role in many other subjects like mathematics, language arts, and science! Fri. Event details.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
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! Sat. Event details.

Balboa Park

Youth Fitness Expo & Family Fun Day
California Fitness Fun And Heartlight San Diego Dance are holding their 24th Annual Youth Fitness Expo and Family Fun Day: fitness activities, carnival games, educational exhibits, raffles and performances by the children in their classes, held in about 100 San Diego elementary schools. All proceeds benefit their program for the next school year. Sat. Event details.

Pacific Beach

Leprechaun Run
The team that brings you San Diego Santa Run is excited to bring the 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 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! Sat. Event details.


Saturday Morning Hike
On this guided tour through the preserve, a ranger will discuss the fascinating history of the area. Places of historic significance include a grinding stone used by Native Americans and one of the first grist mills in Southern California. Learn about the land, its wildlife and why it was such a lucrative location for early settlers. This 1.5-mile walk is easy and family friendly. After the guided portion, stick around to extend your hike or enjoy a picnic in the beautiful Pauma Valley, at the County’s very first open space preserve. Bring water and snacks. Day-use parking is $3. All ages are welcome! For more information, call the park at 760-742-1631. Sat. Event details.


Got Green?
Interested in learning more about how to live a plant-based lifestyle? Have you ever wondered how to reduce your carbon footprint, but don’t know where to start? Need tips on planting, growing and harvesting vegetables in your own yard, garden or patio? Learn the answers to these questions and more at San Diego Botanic Garden’s brand new ‘Got Green?’ event. Join this fun-filled day of educational workshops, how-to demos, vegan food trucks, live entertainment and more! Come shop or just learn more at their green marketplace featuring natural products and services to help yourself and your family lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Educational demonstrations include: vegan cooking demos, fermenting demos, organic gardening demo, aquaponics demo by Ecolife Conservation, composting demo by Solana Center for Environmental Innovation and an Herb Garden Tour. Sat. Event details.

Liberty Station

Lantern Street Festival
Join in the fun of this amazing lantern festival where you can spend the night with friends listening to great music and food. You’ll also decorate your own eco-friendly LED lantern and hang it with thousands of others during the lantern ceremony. When the festival is all done, you can take your lantern home! Sat. Event details.


St. Patrick’s Family Festival
Bring the crew and get your green on at the Welk Resorts San Diego. From an infinite obstacle course, two leprechaun wipeout challenges to a flying trapeze, you’ll find something for everyone. Even more, little ones can search for (and find!) the pot of gold at the fun scavenger hunt. You’ll find Irish-themed food and green beer too! Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Storybook Princesses Sing-A-Long
This fun, one-hour, sing-a-long performance will feature your favorite storybook characters. Travel under the sea with the Little Mermaid, sing about chasing your dream with Rapunzel, venture into the woods with Snow White, brave the cold weather with the Ice Sisters, learn how hard work can get you far with the Frog Princess, learn to fly with everyone’s favorite fairy, Tink, and discover what’s beyond the reef with the Islander Princess. Performance followed by a meet-and-greet with photo opportunities, included with performance ticket! There will also be a Princess Breakfast for just $35 per person, where you will be able to build your own waffles, eat French toast sticks, assorted Danishes and an array of fresh fruit. Sat. Event details.

––Beth Shea