If your days of drinking green beer are long gone but you still want to celebrate St. Paddy's Day, take a look at these family-friendly things to do on St. Patricks Day for kids.
1. Attend a St. Patrick's Day Parade
Check out your city's site on About.com or browse your community calendar for upcoming St. Patrick's Day parades. Wear green--green wigs, green pants, green shoes, green everything--and paint shamrocks and rainbows on your kids' faces. (No need to buy special face paint. Just use washable markers.)
Mid-March can be quite cold in many parts of the country, so bundle up and bring blankets to sit under. It doesn't hurt to bring a Thermos of hot cocoa, either (consider flavoring it with mint syrup).
Want to get in the Saint Paddy's parade spirit? Check out these photos from a recent St. Patrick's parade in New York City.
Skip the green beer and go straight for the kid-friendly alternative: root beer floats.
The little ones will love the sweet, sudsy treat. Serve in clear, plastic mugs (compare prices).
Legend has it that if you catch a leprechaun, he must take you to his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Keep the magical story alive in your child by building a leprechaun trap together. (Bonus: your child learns a bit about engineering along the way!)
Encourage your child to entice the leprechaun with gold (rocks painted yellow?) and leave a trail of glitter or shamrocks to prove that the magical little man came by.
Set the mood by playing some kid-friendly Irish music in the background.
6. Bake Some Green Goodies
What holiday is complete without a sweet treat to end the day?
You could make green cake pops or white ones that you pipe black and orange frosting onto to turn them into leprechaun faces.
Since rainbows play a role in St. Patrick's Day, how about baking a cake with one layer for every color of the rainbow, like the rainbow cake pictured here.
And just so you know ... authentic Irish desserts aren't nearly as sweet--or as green--as the treats we tend to indulge in in America.
Cozy up with a good book about Ireland and St. Patrick's Day, like these Irish folktales and fairy tales suggested by Elizabeth Kennedy, About.com's Guide to Children's Books.
In my house, our daughters especially like A Fine St. Patrick's Day by Susan Wojciechowski (compare prices). It's a charming tale with a 6-year-old heroine, and it teaches a good lesson in the end.