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Best Family-Friendly Activities In New York For St. Patrick’s Day 2014

March 5, 2014 6:00 AM

While many would be hard-pressed to recite the accurate, historical story of Ireland’s patron saint, most would be able to tell you that St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are usually earmarked by beer, revelry and more beer. There are, however, kid-friendly, interactive celebrations and events geared toward education as well as fun, music and culture for families looking to don the green. You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy what the city has to offer for St. Patrick’s Day, but you do have to get ready to have a great time with your kids.
Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Annual St. Patrick’s Open Day
Irish Arts Center
552 W.51 St.
New York, NY  10019
(212) 757-3318
Date: Sunday, March 9

The Irish Arts Center, in collaboration with the PAL William J. Duncan Center, observe St. Patrick’s Day with this free event, dedicated to the celebration of Irish art and culture. Geared toward children and their families, how-to activities include building an interactive map of Ireland, playing the tin whistle and speaking Irish phrases.

(credit: Jane Tillman Irving, WCBS 880)

(credit: Jane Tillman Irving, WCBS 880)

Irish Festival
Children’s Museum of the Arts
103 Charlton St.
New York, NY  10014
(212) 274-0986
Cmany.orgDate: Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30

A variety of workshops and performances make this festival a music-filled, two-day event. On Saturday, Irish songwriter Niall Connolly sings family-friendly favorites from amongst both Irish and American folk classics, followed by a demonstration of step dancing by Darrah Carr Dance. Some lucky kids in the audience will get a chance to join the dancers on stage, but for those who didn’t get enough, the Irish Dance is Fun Workshop and Performance will pick up the pace once again on Sunday. Also on Sunday, kids will get a chance to build boats and ships, plus learn about the history of sea travel that connected Ireland to the rest of Europe and the Americas.

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Leprechaun Hike
Greenbelt Conservancy
200 Nevada Ave.
Staten Island, NY  10306
(718) 667-2165
Sigreenbelt.orgDate: Sunday, March 16

This one-mile hike is perfect for little adventurers who are seven years old and up. Sneak a peek at Staten Island’s elusive leprechauns and look for their bountiful pots of gold on this nature walk, sponsored by NYC Councilwoman, Debi Rose. Registration is required for this free event, which will be led by Greenbelt educators throughout the forest.

Photo Credit DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Photo Credit DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

Brooklyn St. Patrick’s Parade
Prospect Park @ Fifteenth St. and Prospect Park W.
Brooklyn, NY  11215
Brooklynstpatricksparade.comDate: Sunday, March 16

A local tradition, Brooklyn’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Park Slope is a family-friendly, pared-down version of Manhattan’s extravaganza. Filled with high school marching bands, child step dancers in full costume and contingents honoring various counties in Ireland, the small, one-hour parade is flanked by families, pets in costume and well-wishers. It will be interesting to see if Brooklyn’s new borough president will present parade onlookers with the green bagels his predecessor was known for.

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at


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