From the top o’ the morning to the top of the mountain, there’s more than one way to make this weekend the best one yet. Parades, parties, books and rummage sales are all on the list. Read on to learn more.

CRDT-kidsfestival-26, st. patrick's dayphoto: Kate Gardiner via flickr

San Francisco

History for Half Pints
Explore ideas of building, from historic Sea Ranch to how you’d build your own city and town. At noon there will be a dance workshop with The Anata Project. (Dance lesson is for ages 3-9, younger kids can attend with a parent’s help). Plus see the latest exhibit, play games and support California history! Sat., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. SOMA. $5/door; free for members, kids and anyone who registers in advance. All ages. Event details.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival
With more than 100 colorful floats, Irish dance troupes, and marching bands making their way from Second and Market to Civic Center Plaza, there’s lots of places to see and to celebrate the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in San Francisco. The after-parade-party at Civic Center Plaza/City Hall is almost as much fun as the parade, with live performances, lots of arts and crafts for kids food vendors, and cultural displays make this a celebration for all! Sat., 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Civic Center. Free. All ages. Event details.

CMC Sunday
Explore musical instruments and classes, or jam out with fellow musicians playing jazz, Latin or chamber music at Community Music Center’s CMC Sunday! Explore the instrument petting zoo, where all ages can explore and play instruments. There’s even a Music for Children class just for toddlers to 7-year-olds. Sun., 3-5 p.m. Mission. Free. All ages. Event details.

St. Patrick’s Day 5k
This race has a kid’s category, and kids 12 and under can race for free along the scenic waterfront starting (and ending) at Crissy Field East Beach, with views of the Golden Gate Bridge the whole time. No jogging strollers allowed, but lots of kids take part every year so get those green t-shirts on and enjoy a healthy St. Patrick’s event. Sun., 9 a.m. Crissy Field.  $5/adults; $3/children 13-17; children 12 and under are free. All ages. Event details.

East Bay

Toddler Ramble: Colorpalooza
Spring has arrived and nature has noticed: the birds are looking bright and pretty and the pickleweed has begun to green. This month, the Shoreline’s Toddler Ramble series focuses on color. Blend, sort and find all the colors in the marsh. Fri., 10:30-11:15 a.m. or 2:30-3:15 p.m. Hayward. $5/child. 1-3. Event details.

The World’s Smallest Parade
The TechHive teen interns are creating the World’s Smallest Parade and need your help! Learn about linkages, mechanics, and robotics as you decorate a miniature robotic float, then join in the parade. Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Berkeley. Free with admission to Lawrence Hall. All ages. Event details.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in Dublin
The city of Dublin does its Irish namesake proud with a weekend of celebration that rivals those anywhere in the Bay Area. This two day festival includes a pancake breakfast at the local firehouse (woo!) from 7–10 a.m. on Sat., Mar. 15, followed by the annual parade down Dublin Boulevard, beginning at 9:30 a.m. You can celebrate all day both days at the Civic Center Plaza, and on Sunday work off those pancakes and pints at the Shamrock 5k Fun Run & Walk, starting at 8:30 a.m. Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dublin. Free. All ages. Event details.

Little Green Men Weekend at Playland
Leprechauns and martians, the little green men are everywhere. You can dare to go a-hunting and win Playland prizes as this twist on St. Patrick’s day themed fun at Playland-Not-at-the-Beach. Plus all the carnival games, pinball, and other penny arcade games you can handle! Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. El Cerrito. $15/adult; $10/child. All ages. Event details.


PAMP Annual Rummage Sale
Expect to score on gently-used kid’s clothing, toys, equipment and maternity items. Join PAMP and get early admission at 8:30 a.m. Sun., 9:30 a.m.-noon. Palo Alto. Free. All ages. Event details.

Litquake Palo Alto
San Francisco’s legendary literary festival is returning to the Oshman Family JCC! Expect all the rollicking literary fun of great authors, ideas and conversation. There will be activities for kids and teens, too. Confirmed guest include Daniel (Lemony Snicket) Handler, Nancy Cohen, Bich Minh Nguyen and many more. Sun., 2-8 p.m. Palo Alto. Free. All ages. Event details.

South Bay

St. Paddy’s Day in the Village of Saratoga
The village of Saratoga will be celebrating Irish heritage all all things green with an afternoon of city-wide entertainment for families, including contests and prizes. Hunt for the hidden green rocks, enjoy green cotton candy, popcorn, balloons, face painting and lots of fun. Start at the Bank of America parking lot to pick up a program and bag for collecting pennies. Sat., 2-4 p.m. Saratoga. Free. All ages. Event details.

Songs of Youth
The Santa Clara Chorale presents a concert designed to appeal to both young and old alike, with choral music from the Renaissance to the present and from widely known composers such as Mozart, Shubert, and Brahms, as well as music written by young, contemporary composers such as Jocelyn Hagen. Fri., 8 p.m. & Sun., 2 p.m. San Jose. $5-$25. All ages. Event details.

Marin County

2nd Friday Art Walk<
Stroll along 4th Street in San Rafael and check out the open galleries between G Street and Lincoln, sip on wine and other refreshments, hear live music, purchase one-of-a-kind jewelry and crafts, and even find art and activities by and for local kids. Fri., 5-8 p.m. San Rafael. Free. All ages. Event details.

Los Little Chickies Book Launch
DIESEL, A Bookstore is proud to host the launch party for Susie Jaramillo and her new book Los Little Chickies/Los Pollotos,  an homage to the demanding nature of babies and the unconditional love, care and warmth given to them by their mommies. Celebrate with a reading, crafts, snacks and a bilingual sing-along. Sat. 11 a.m.-noon. Larkspur. Free. 0-5. Event details.  

White Hill & Porcupine Trail Restoration
Join Marin County Parks and other local families in helping to maintain the Porcupine and White Hill trails. Breakfast snacks, a hearty lunch, drinks, tools gloves and training are provided. Wear layers, sturdy boots, clothes for getting grubby and a small pack to hold water. Meet on the shoulder of Brown Bridge near the entrance to the White Hill trail. Sat., 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Fairfax. Free. All ages. Event details.

North Bay
Just Between Friends Consignment Sale
Don’t miss NorCal’s largest children’s & maternity consignment sale. Score on new and gently used toys, games, shoes, strollers, swings, gear, maternity items and more. 1st time parents and grandparents, teachers, childcare providers and military can register to shop the presale before it’s open to the public. Fri., 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. & Sun., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Santa Rosa. $0-$15. All ages. Event details.

What’s on your family’s weekend to-do list? Tell us your tips for family fun in the comments below! 

—Amber Guetebier