When it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in the Seattle, there’s no shortage of fun. From parades and festivals to lively fun runs, the Emerald City is literally bursting with Irish pride during the month of March. If you’re ready to get your green on, gather your little lads and lassies and read on for a list of kid-centric ways to celebrate the luck o’ the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day.

photo: City of Greeley via Flickr

Leprechaun Hunt – March 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 & 17
Put on your Irish duds and head over to Kruckeberg Botanic Garden to look for leprechauns. Will you be lucky enough to spot one? Find the four things that attract leprechauns (think: shamrocks, mischief, rainbows and gold) to win a prize, and possibly catch a glimpse of a leprechaun.

Cost: Free

Kruckeberg Botanic Garden
20312 15th Ave. N.W.
Shoreline, WA 98177
Online: kruckeberg.org

Leprechaun Trap Workshop – March 10
They’re secretive little tricksters and legend says you’ll get a pot-o-gold if you can catch one. At this special workshop, create a unique natural leprechaun trap container garden featuring plants from the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden. Plus, learn about leprechaun lore then decorate your container with whimsical gold and shiny items to lure in those sneaky little leprechauns. Psst…two workshop times are available; register online.


Cost: $25-$35 per trap

Kruckeberg Botanic Garden
20312 15th Ave. N.W.
Shoreline, WA 98177
Online: kruckeberg.org

Kells St. Patrick’s Festival: March 13-17 
Sometimes St. Patrick’s Day is not St. Patrick’s Day without a pub. And Kells, in Pike Place Market, serves up food, drink, dancing and live Irish music to a festive crowd. This is a marathon celebration that will last five days, with special hours for all ages and a festival tent starting on March 15 and going through St. Patrick’s Day.

Cost: Free

Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub
Pike Place Market
1916 Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101
Online: kellsirish.com/seattle

photo: Giuseppe Milo via Flickr

Blarney Bash – March 15
Let the luck of the Irish be with you during this amazing magic show with Louie Fox! Don’t forget to wear your green! Games and snacks start at 6:30 p.m.; show begins at 7 p.m.

Cost: $5/person

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center
6535 Ravenna Ave. N.E.
Seattle, WA 98115
Online: seattle.gov

Landing of St. Patrick: March 15
Did you know that St. Patrick was originally brought to Ireland by Irish pirates around 400 AD? Over 1600 years later, the Seafair Pirates will deliver St. Patrick back to the Emerald City, dropping him off at South Lake Union (near MOHAI) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 15. Come watch this momentous occasion and then get a ride back to Pioneer Square by 6:30 p.m. for the Green Stripe Laying.

Cost: Free

South Lake Union – Near MOHAI
860 Terry Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Online: irishclub.org

Green Stripe Laying Mini Parade: March 15
Meet in Pioneer Square, at the site of the old FX McRory’s, at 6:30 p.m., to secure a spot on the flat-bed truck that paints the green stripe along 4th Ave. in preparation for Saturday’s big parade. Then, watch as the Irish Heritage Club paints a large shamrock in the street and join the impromptu céili dance! Note: Stripe painting will begin at 4th Ave. & Jefferson St.

Cost: Free

419 Occidental Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98104
Online: irishclub.org

photo: Irish Heritage Club

2019 Irish Festival: March 16-17
Thousands of people are expected to attend this year’s Irish Festival at the Seattle Center, and there’s a good reason why. Kids can dance to traditional tunes while watching energetic Irish step dancers and explore the awesome Children’s Activities Center. Even better, wee lassies and lads can participate in good-natured contests for the “Most Irish-Looking Face” and “Smilingest Irish Eyes.” And everyone will love the cultural exhibits and vendor booths selling Irish and Celtic products and treats.

Cost: Free

Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
Online: irishclub.org/irish-festival-seattle

St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 16
It all starts with the Parade Grand Marshals and other dignitaries as they raise the Irish Tricolor in front of the King County Administration Building at 12:20 p.m., followed by the playing of the Irish and US National Anthems. Then, at 12:30 p.m. Parade Grand Marshalls and dignitaries will lead Seattle’s beloved St. Patrick’s Day Parade (now in its 48th year) north from James St. to the reviewing stand at Westlake Park. Expect clowns, bagpipe players and maybe even a gaggle of leprechauns to march down the streets, with the procession traveling past Westlake Center. From there, participants are invited to travel for free via the Monorail to the Seattle Center for closing ceremonies at 2:30 p.m. during the Irish Festival in the Armory. Parade sponsors and the Irish Heritage Club encourage onlookers to participate in the march, so feel free to join in on the fun and don’t forget to dress the family in green to avoid unexpected pinches!

Downtown Seattle
Starting at Fourth Ave. at James St.
Seattle, WA 98104
Online: irishclub.org/st-patricks-day-parade

photo: Irish Heritage Club

Kirkland Shamrock Run: March 16
The Kirkland Shamrock Run is a fun-filled 5K, 10K and Kid’s Race celebrating Kirkland, healthy living and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day! Lace up your tennies, put on your green garb and race to the pot o’ gold waiting for you at the finish line. Psst! All pint-sized racers who register for the Kid’s Race will receive a medal, bib and kid’s shirt with their $15 registration fee.

Cost: $15-$50

Marina Park
25 Lakeshore Plaza Dr.
Kirkland, WA 98033
Online: kirklandshamrockrun.com

Annual Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 16 
Want to get out of town for the day? Meet in the parking lot of Woodsmiths and the Habitat for Humanity Store, at the corner of Cornwall Ave. and Ohio St., and join traditional pipe and marching bands, dancers and floats as Bellingham launches its own “green” version of a St. Patrick’s Day parade by celebrating and inspiring sustainability in the hope of making its city a cleaner, greener, safer place to call homePsst..registration is required for cars, floats, musical groups and horses.

Cost: Free

Cornwall Ave. & Ohio St.
Bellingham, WA 98225
Online: stpatsbham.com

photo: Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day Parade

St. Patrick’s Day Dash & Leprechaun Lap: March 17 
Welcome spring and celebrate all-things-green at the city’s liveliest race. At this year’s 35th annual St. Patrick’s Day Dash, expect to find plenty of strollers in a sea of 15,000 runners and walkers participating in the race. Kids already itching to dress up for Halloween will love this run featuring racers in all sorts of Irish-themed costumes—from long and lean leprechauns to wobbly pots of gold. And just for kids 10 and under, the nearly 1K Leprechaun Lap will start bright and early, at 8 a.m. Awards are presented for “Best Decorated Stroller” and “Best Young Leprechaun” and fun leprechaun-themed activities will continue at the finish line and on the Fisher Pavilion lawn, so be sure to stick around for after-race festivities!

Cost: $15-$40

Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
Online registration: stpatsdash.com

photo: St. Patrick’s Day Dash

St. Patrick’s Day at the Zoo – March 17
Take your crew to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to see amazing animals of all kinds, talk to the zoo keepers who care for them and watch the animals enjoy “lucky” treats in honor of St. Patrick’s day!

Cost: Free with admission or membership

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
5400 N. Pearl St.
Tacoma, WA 98407
Online: pdza.org/event/st-patricks-day

—Kristina Moy


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