Whether your family is Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in all that’s Irish including entertaining dance, festive music and delicious food. Grab the kids and head to one of these DC area destinations and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t forget to wear green.
St. Patrick’s Parade
Washington, DC 20006
Date: March 17
Price: free/$15 grandstand seats
Perfect for kids (and adults), the 42nd annual St. Patrick’s Parade of Washington DC will take place along Constitution Avenue, starting from 17th Street N.W. Celebrate the Irish culture and see magnificent floats, marching bands, fire trucks, bagpipers, Irish dancers and local kid-friendly celebrities like the Washington Nationals mascot Screech. Come early and find the perfect spot along the parade route or reserve a seat among the grandstands. Visitors are encouraged to take Metro. For the best direct access, get off at the Smithsonian stop on the Orange/Blue lines or the Archives/Navy Memorial stop on the Yellow/Green lines.
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
2400 E. Capitol St. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
Date: March 16 – 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Price: $31.60 per person main event; discounts available groups of 5 or more people
Recognized as one of the DC area’s must-attend St. Patrick’s Day events for adults, Shamrock Fest is also a kid-friendly destination. In addition to an amazing live entertainment lineup, strolling entertainers and athletic competition areas, the festival will also feature carnival rides, arts and crafts, food and beverage stands and party game pavilions. More than 40 DJs and bands are scheduled to perform at Shamrock Fest. The festival will feature 15 party areas, more than 200 yards of beer trucks (and, yes, green beer) plus a Pub Row featuring local favorite bars and pubs. VIP tickets are available for guests age 21 and up. Shamrock Fest takes place whether rain or shine.
St. Patrick’s Day 8K
Washington, DC 20004
Date: March 10 – 9 a.m.
If you prefer to spend the day away from crazy shenanigans, then consider signing up for the St. Patrick’s Day 8K sponsored by Teens Run DC. The non-profit organization encourages at-risk youth to achieve personal goals through training and motivational support used for long-distance running. Through the help of mentors, at-risk kids and teens increase their perseverance, discipline and responsibility. All contributions to the organization help pay for running gear, shoes, uniforms and lunches after each race. The St. Patrick’s Day 8K race takes place at Freedom Plaza, between 12th and 13th Street and participation is free for all students.
Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Charles St. and Franklin St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Date: March 10 – 2 p.m.
Always a popular tradition, the 50th annual Baltimore St. Patrick’s Parade is the perfect place to celebrate Irish traditions with the kids. Head towards the Inner Harbor and watch Irish dancers, bagpipers, marching bands and more take to the streets. Prior to the start of the parade, guests may visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to attend mass. There will also be an installation mass of the St. Patrick’s Parade Grand Marshal, Honorary Grand Marshal and Deputy Marshals after the parade. Other events occurring that day include the Shamrock 5K as well as a parade day brunch at the James Joyce Pub.
Yuengling Shamrock Marathon 2013
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Date: March 16 and 17
If you have an aspiring athlete in your house, then consider signing them up for the Leprechaun Dash, a 26.2 yard dash for kids 6 months to five years old. Each participant receives a t-shirt, racing bib with the number one on it and a goodie bag as well as special finisher’s medal at the end of the race. One parent is encouraged to run the race with their child while the other parent, guardian or sibling waits at the finish line. Strollers are not permitted during the race. Afterwards, head on over to the Virginia Beach Convention Center where you will find the Sports and Fitness Expo, a two-day event featuring all the latest in fitness gear and equipment for the whole family. The Shamrock Marathon 2013 will also feature three additional marathons, food and beverages and live entertainment. Proceeds help support local and nationally-known charities including Operation Smile and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.