It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend but never mind the hunt for the four-leafed shamrock. Instead, throw on your very best green and join a parade, watch for a flying leprechaun or watch a musical about gold. Now that’s lucky!

photo: Ryan Johnson via flickr

San Francisco

Get Your Green On for This St. Patrick’s Day Parade
This festival is one of the biggest in the country, with live performances and entertainment celebrating Irish culture throughout the day. At 11:30 a.m., more than 5,000 revelers will march in the parade, from Second and Market Streets to City Hall. Before, during and after the parade, kids and parents can hang out on Grove Street for a petting zoo, rides and arts and crafts booths or head out to the Civic Center Plaza Stage to groove to live musical performances.  Sat. Event details.

Celebrate Authors Big and Small at Family ArtBash
Celebrate books and reading at this annual family book day. Create pop-up books with C.K. Itamura from the Book Arts Roadshow Project; listen to stories alongside real dogs with the San Francisco SPCA’s Puppy Dog Tales; visit the Library’s Green Bookmobile, check out books made by SFUSD students as part of the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition; get grooving in a movement workshop with Antoine Hunter’s Urban Jazz Dance Company; and take in a marionette performance of the story of Aladdin with Fratello Marionettes. Sun. Event details.

East Bay

Sheep Shearing Day
Spring has sprung and it is time for the sheep’s annual “haircut.” Watch as the farm’s sheep get sheared; then, try your hand at wool carding and see the transformation from fiber to yarn at the spinning wheel. You can even make your own woolly lamb to take home. Sat. Event details

Gold—the Midas Musical
Motherless Princess Lydia yearns for her father’s love, but King Midas grows meaner, more distant, and greedier by the day. A modern musical re-telling of the Greek legend of King Midas who learns a valuable lesson about family when the gods grant him the power to turn everything into gold. This show is perfect for families. Sat.-Sun. Event details

South Bay

Rainforest Weekends at Roaring Camp
Learn about California’s own Coastal Redwood Forest aboard a 100 year old steam train. Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains just a few miles from the ocean, the forest flourishes in moderate temperatures and a year-round water supply provided by the Pacific systems and dense fog. Along the journey, hear fascinating information about the coastal redwoods and their ecosystems from docent specialists. Sat.-Sun. Event details

When Species Collide Hike
How did Rancho del Oso become the park it is today? Join Rancho del Oso docent Ken Koll for a hike on the beautiful Skyline to Sea Bypass Trail. Along the way, pass through the varied habitats of the Waddell Valley and explore topics like natives vs. non-native, invasives and adaptations. The hike will begin at 12 noon and will be approximately 4 miles. Sun. Event details


Look Up for the Leaping Leprechaun
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s leaping leprechaun! The Luck o’ the Irish meets the Hiller Aviation Museum for a special aerial celebration in honor of St. Patrick himself! Join the morning festivities, including free face painting and a jump house. Scour the Museum’s Gallery for hidden Leprechauns and earn a treat from his pot o’ gold! Sat. Event details.

CuriOdyssey’s Science in Action
Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. through May, see a science experiment presented by a CuriOdyssey educator. Explore STEM with demonstrations that may involve physical science, chemistry, physics, earth science and engineering. Inspire and ignite your child’s curiosity. Sat. Event details

North Bay

Ocean Exploration Family Farm Day
Discover the wonder of the tidepools as you hike Slide Ranch’s magnificent coastal trail to the beach. Mussels, sea stars, anemones, crabs, fish, algae, marine mammals and marine birds are some of the organisms that are part of this amazing ecosystem to explore. Sat. Event details

Purim Palooza
Celebrate Purim at this family carnival! Live music, face painting, balloon animals, bounce house and more. Wear your best costume. Sun. Event details

—Kate Loweth