Are you feeling lucky? St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and this weekend you can take your green threads for a test run during San Francisco’s iconic parade and festival. Can’t make it? Don’t worry because there are plenty of other ways to spend the weekend that will make you feel lucky you get to call the Bay Area home.

St Patricks Day Parade Kids_via flickr creative commons jmpminmontreal Flickr via jpmpinmontreal

San Francisco

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and 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! s make this a celebration for all! Sat. Event details.

Spread Your Wings at this Butterfly Exhibit
The latest addition to the California Academy of Science’s four-story rainforest exhibit will make your heart flutter. From inside the rainforest canopy, visitors can now watch the life cycle of tropical butterflies unfold before their eyes through an all-new viewing chamber, including several colorful butterfly species new to the Academy’s rain forest exhibit. There are also newly-added terrariums featuring colorful snakes, beetles, and insects. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

East Bay

Chill All Weekend at this Kid Spectacular Film Festival
If the idea of taking your kiddos to the movies makes you a little nervous (think: snack bar demands, whisper-talking, and multiple toilet trips)—we’ve got the perfect solution. This March, the 9th annual Bay Area International Children’s Film Festival once again joins forces with Oakland’s Chabot Space Center to showcase 41 family films from all around the globe. With movies ranging from animated to live action and shorts to features, plus plenty of kid-friendly extras, this is the perfect setting for your mini movie buffs.

You’ll Dye for this Family Fiber Event
Make the weekend bright by exploring the world of plant-based fibers and dyes. Kids and parents can watch weaving demos by the Golden Gate Weaving Guild, paper-making activities and natural dye sampling. View the exhibit and take part in free, hands-on crafts. Sat. Event details.


Take An Ocean Adjacent Wild Flower Hike
All of those winter showers are beginning to bring spic flowers and a profusion of those beauties are popping up around the Waddell Valley in Santa Cruz County. Join a docent for a leisurely four hour hike where families can learn to distinguish between the valley’s habitats, as well as flowers, plants, birds and insects. Hikes begin at the Rancho Del Oso Nature Center. Bring lunch, SPF and dress in layers. Fri. Event details.

Meow! This Play Has Nine Lives
You love cat, they purr, they play with yarn. But what do cats do after dark? Find out when the Jellicle Cats come out at midnight for their annual ball, where they vie to be chosen for rebirth into a new life. Innovative, evocative and packed with exuberant choreography, this international award-winning Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is truly the cat’s meow! Sat. Event details. Sat. Event details.

Don’t Sheep In Today
Ever wonder what chickens eat for breakfast and lunch? Kids can taste a root, come face to snout with a pig and discover the connections between sweaters and sheep during morning or afternoon guided tours of Hidden Villas Farm and educational garden. Sat. Event details.

South Bay

You’ll Quack For This Classic Duckling Story
Introduce your little one to a classic story that’s both heartwarming and seriously memorable. An ugly duckling may seems like a misfit until one day he discovers he’s grown into a handsome swan. This story about love and acceptance can be appreciated by kids and parents of all ages. Sat. Event details.

Visit The Tech During Sensory Friendly Hours
Sensory Friendly Hours at The Tech in San Jose are a time for families to enjoy a quieter, less-crowded visit at a discounted rate. This opportunity may be appealing to parents of children who have mobility challenges, struggle to communicate or become easily overwhelmed by stimuli. During these hours, The Tech will offer a smaller crowd capacity, lower audio volume on exhibits, well-lit areas in all galleries, quiet rooms with calm-down kits and MAX film “Flight of the Butterflies” played at lower volume. 11 a.m. showtime; first come, first served. Welcoming and well-trained staff members will be on hand to help. Sun. Event details.

North Bay

Let The Moon Guide Your Night Hike
When Saturday night rolls around don’t put your pjs on, put on your hiking boots and head on out for a moonlight hike at Ring Mountain. A park ranger will guide hikers through the preserve, all the while discussing nocturnal animals. The hike is easy and good for all ages. Wear comfy shoe and bring water, snacks and a flashlight. Rain will cancel. Sat. Event details. Sat. Event details.

Surprise! It’s a Hidden Lake
Did you know that Mount Burdell is home to a hidden lake? The lake, or pond, is considered hidden because it dries up in the summer and appears in the rainy season. Now that it’s appeared again, kids can come to see newts, tree frogs and all kinds of insects hang out in the water. Wear comfy shoes, bring water and lunch. Sun. Event details.

Are you lucky? Tell us why in the comments below!

–Chantal Lamers