St. Patrick's Day, with its parties and green beer, isn't known for being the most family-friendly holiday. That doesn't mean families can't have plenty of fun and do it without spending any money, either. Whether it's a parade or educational event, New Jersey has some great free events for people of all ages to enjoy and celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
St. Patrick's Day Open Day
March 12 @ 12 p.m.
Irish Arts Cenner - 553 West 51 St. New York, NY 10019
The Irish Arts Center will hold its annual Open Day on March 12, opening its doors for people of all ages to learn about Irish culture. The center will feature authentic music and dance performances, as well as the opportunity to try out one of the 40+ classes offered to both children and adults. Kids can also enjoy such activities as face painting and crafts.
The Wearing of the Green
March 13 @ 4 p.m.
Mulberry St. Library - 10 Jersey St., New York, NY, 10012
Libraries are great sources of affordable family-friendly entertainment, including for St. Patrick's Day. Celebrate at the Mulberry St. Library with The Wearing of the Green, an Irish sing-along appropriate for children aged seven and older, led by Mr. Patrick, along with his guitar and puppet friends.
Lovable Leprechauns, Fairies and Fun from the Emerald Isle
March 14 and 15 @ 4 p.m.
Richmondtown Library - 200 Clarke Ave., Staten Island, NY, 10306, and Allerton Library - 2740 Barnes Ave. Bronx, NY, 10467
Enjoy an afternoon of St. Patrick's Day stories "filled with fairy lore, mischievous leprechauns and Irish magic," plus interactive games appropriate for children of all ages. You'll have two chances to take your kids--one of March 14 in Staten Island and another the following day, March 15, in the Bronx.
March 16 @ 4 p.m.
Riverside Library - 127 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY, 10023
Irish dance champion Ciara Green will lead a workshop for kids teaching Irish dancing. The class is best for children between the ages of three and six.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
March 17 @ 11 a.m.
5th Ave. and 44th St., New York, NY 10036
Who doesn't love a parade? Held every March 17--St. Patrick's Day itself--the parade processes from 5th Ave. at 44th St. to 5th Ave. at 79th St. If you'd like to watch from the grandstands, simply request a complimentary ticket, which are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. You can also commemorate the parade with a pin, on sale now, or relive the parade with a DVD.