Best Ways For Kids To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2013 In The Bay Area

March 8, 2013 5:00 AM
March is Irish American Heritage Month and time to put on the green. Everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day, the beloved cultural event that has become an international celebration. The San Francisco Bay Area knows how to celebrate everything well, especially by putting the spotlight on kids. Help kids enjoy the spirit of Irish culture that is tailor-made for them at these cultural events, programs and neighborhood spots around the Bay Area.

(Getty Images/Peter Muhly)

(Getty Images/Peter Muhly)

San Francisco Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
2nd and Market Sts.
San Francisco, CA 94105

There has been a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in San Francisco since 1852, and the festivities haven’t lost their appeal. The holiday is alive and as feisty as ever as the city celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day 2013 on Saturday, March 16. The event highlight is the famous parade, which begins at 2nd and Harrison Streets at 11:30 a.m. The parade route marches through the city to Civic Center Plaza near City Hall for the family friendly festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kids and their families will enjoy Irish music, dancing and a total festival spirit, San Francisco style.

Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Amador Plaza Road and Dublin Blvd.
Dublin, CA 94568

Have a delightful day with the kids at the 30th Annual Community St. Patrick’s Day Celebration in Dublin. This first-rate celebration has something for everyone in the family, including a parade from the local Lions Club. Grab the kids early Saturday morning and head to the Annual Pancake Breakfast ($5) at Fire Station 16 for green pancakes (naturally.) The parade starts at 9:30 a.m. sharp with great views along the parade route. After the parade, you and the kids will enjoy carnival rides and an International Food Court, including an expanded Irish menu, drinks, desserts and kettle corn. Who can resist?

Follow up with the kids on Sunday, March 17 at Dublin’s 14th Annual Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk at Civic Plaza, an enjoyable and healthy way to spend time with the little ones, sharing the St. Patty’s Day celebration. Register online at through March 12, and you and your child will get event t-shirts too. Visit the City of Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Celebration webpage for a complete event schedule and details.

McBride School of Irish Dance
Marinwood Community Center
775 Miller Creek Road
San Rafael, CA 94902
(415) 479-0775

The McBride School of Irish Dance prides itself on offering quality Irish dance instruction to young dancers in a safe and supportive learning environment. McBride strives for students to feel confident as they train to be well-rounded dancers who are part of a team, while making friends and having fun along the way. With locations around the Bay Area, classes are convenient and plentiful. McBride Irish Dancers perform at many events, including the City of Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Festival. Adult classes are available too, so families can Irish jig together while learning about Irish culture. Visit the McBride website for complete information on classes, locations and to register.

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St. Stephen’s Green
223 Castro St.
Mountian View, CA 94041
(650) 964-9151

After all the parades, Irish Dance events or lessons, it’s time to eat! Lucky for the family, the San Francisco Bay Area has several kid friendly Irish restaurants and even pubs. While any time is the right time to introduce the kids to Irish food, the month of March certainly seems like a natural time to start. St. Stephen’s Green is a perfect spot for the entire family. With a wide range of sports events on view, the restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily, and breakfast on weekends. St. Stephen’s Green offers a full menu with lots of Irish fare, including sausage and mash, Irish stew, shepherd’s pie, Dublin steak, and Guinness steak pie (perhaps that last one best enjoyed by mom and dad.) Tuesday nights are Irish Night, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with Irish music in the spotlight.

Kensington Circus Pub
389 Colusa Ave.
Kensington, CA 94707
(510) 524-8814

If you have little ones, Kensington Circus Pub is the perfect place to eat. Serving English and Irish food, the sports bar and restaurant is especially kid friendly. Parents will be happy to know that while the Kenisngton is a real pub, it also has a toddler play area well stocked with toys to entertain the kids while their parents enjoy a meal. This pub morphs into a live-band area sometimes during the evening when drinks and music center stage.

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Melanie Graysmith is a freelance writer and artist based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. Melanie is a member of an independent filmmaking group and aims to spin her stories into film. Her work can be found at

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