If your days of swilling green beer and doing shots of whiskey in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day are long gone, then you might be wondering how you can have a family-friendly celebration this year. In the Chicago area, you’re in luck, as there are many fun activities you can do with your kids. To get started, check out the following five family-friendly ways you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Just remember to keep it festive by wearing green.
Irish Sunday Funday
Edison Park Neighborhood
Chicago, IL 60631
Date: March 9, 2014 at 11 a.m.
Start your St. Patrick’s Day celebration early by heading to Irish Sunday Funday on March 9, 2014, in Chicago’s Edison Park neighborhood. Bars and restaurants in the area go all out for St. Patrick’s Day, complete with live music, Irish dancers and Irish fare. The family-friendly event starts at 11 a.m., and a photographer will be on hand to take pictures of participants. Local stores and the Edison Park Chamber of Commerce will also sell Irish-related gear and apparel. You can take public transportation, with the Metra train station just steps away from the festivities.
2014 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Balbo Ave. and Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
Date: March 15, 2014 at 12 p.m.
There’s nothing quite like the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which will take place downtown on March 15, 2014, at noon. Considered one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country, this annual celebration is not one to miss. The parade starts at Balbo Avenue and Columbus Drive, then proceeds north on Columbus to Monroe Drive. Festive floats, notable Chicagoans, pipe and drums bands, politicians and many more will be at the parade. While it’s a fun parade, it can get crowded. Keep the car at home and take public transportation. If you arrive early, make sure to see the dyeing of the Chicago River, which starts at 10 a.m. For directions, check out the website.
South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade
103rd St. and Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60643
Date: March 16, 2014 at 12 p.m.
If you want to extend the St. Patrick’s Day celebration one more day, then get ready to party with 150,000 of your closest friends at the South Side Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood. The parade route kicks off at noon on March 16, 2014, at 103rd Street and Western Avenue and proceeds south to 115th Street. What can you see at the parade? You can expect more than 90 parade entries, including the Fraternal Order of Police, students from local high schools, organizations from the area and community leaders. In addition, there is a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol along the parade route.
Related: Best Bars For Foodies In Chicago
St. Patrick’s Festival 2014
Irish American Heritage Center
4626 N. Knox Ave.
Chicago, IL 60630
Date: March 15, 2014 at 1 p.m.
After the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 15, head to the Irish American Heritage Center (IAHC) for the organization’s St. Patrick’s Festival. Held at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood, the festival includes all things Irish, including music, dance and food. Kid-friendly activities are also planned for the festival, which kicks off at 1 p.m. and goes until midnight. Children 12 and under are free, and admission is $12 for adults if tickets are purchased by March 13, and $15 if purchased after that date. The IAHC is also hosting an all-day event on St. Patrick’s Day. The mass starts at 11 a.m., and the celebration begins at noon with music, dance and face painting for children.
St. Patrick’s Weekend Events
The Irish Music School of Chicago
Chief O’Neill’s Restaurant and Pub
3471 N. Elston Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
Date: March 15-16, 2014
If you’re looking for some family-friendly events and don’t want to head to a parade, then consider checking out the events The Irish Music School of Chicago and Chief O’Neill’s Restaurant and Pub have planned. On Saturday, March 15, 2014, from 9 a.m. to noon, you can fill up at the breakfast buffet and listen to live Irish music, and your kids can take part in a free tin whistle listen and face painting. Starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 16, 2014, you can watch Irish dancing, live music and take part in the lunch or dinner buffet. Story-telling is also part of the events, and the Irish Hooley starts at 5 p.m. All events take place at Chief O’Neill’s in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, and it is advised that you make reservations in advance.
Related: St. Patrick’s Day In Chicago
Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.