True, St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday traditionally reserved for partiers ages 21 and older. However, kids do not have to feel left out of the holiday spirit. There are plenty of great family friendly spots all over Denver that are designed to let the inner Irish out in even the youngest of holiday enthusiasts. So grab the whole family, deck them out in their favorite green clothing (don’t forget the shamrocks) and head out to one of these great spots for you and your whole family to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade
27th and Blake St.
Date: March 16, 2013 at 10 a.m.
Grab the family, find a spot along the parade route and get ready to enjoy one of the largest parades in Colorado. For more than 50 years,a dedicated team of volunteers has staged the parade – inspired by the notion everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. The best spot for family viewing is near the beginning of the parade at 27th and Blake Street. You might even make new friends with the other families set up with blankets and picnics.
1735 19th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Date: March 17, 2013 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wait, what? Fado Irish Pub has something for kids on St. Patrick’s Day? Yes, even the big bars like Fado’s bring some family friendly action early in the day. This way everyone can celebrate – at least for a while. Denver’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day party begins with a huge outdoor festival with live music on two stages. Be sure to check out the Colorado Youth Pipe Band at 4 p.m. During the outdoor festival, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., kids can really get in the spirit with games, face painting and even a bouncy castle. Once 5 p.m. hits, however, the bar is strictly 21 and over only.
Echoes of the Emerald Isles
The Denver Brass
Newman Center for the Performing Arts
2344 E. Iliff Ave.
Denver, CO 80208
Dates: March 9 through 17, 2013
What better way to learn about Celtic tradition than through its brilliant music? Join the Denver Brass for an evening that will immerse you and the whole family in the sounds of Celtic music and the traditional Irish sounds. The Denver Brass will be welcoming many exciting guests for this series including the Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers, the Celtic Colorado Pipes and Drums and the Wick School of Irish Dance. Performing along with the Denver Brass will also be Eric Olson on uilleann pipes, Iain Hyde and Tom Delong on fiddle and guitar and many more talented musicians. It is a wonderful way to introduce the whole family to the amazing sounds of traditional Celtic music.
Denver, CO 80238
Date: March 16, 2013 at 10 a.m.
St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t always have to be about drunken shenanigans. Try celebrating the day the healthy way with this great fun run for the whole family, benefiting Denver Urban Ministries. The Lucky Laces has both a 5k and a 10k for the more devoted running fanatics but the Little Leprechaun Fun Run is perfect for the whole family. You’ll all be walking in style to the sound of Celtic music with plenty of bagpipes and other traditional Irish tunes. Once the fun run is over, head over to Parkside Mansion for plenty of family friendly food, music and awards for the run. There will be awards in every age group, plus awards for Best Irish Costume, Best Irish Pet Costume and even the Best Stroller Award.
Passport to Culture: Irish Dance
Lone Tree Arts Center
10075 Commons St.
Lone Tree, CO 80124
Date: March 17, 2013 at 3 p.m.
Introduce your children to the wonderful world of Irish Dance at the Lone Tree Arts Center this St. Patrick’s Day. The Bennet School of Irish Dance will be on hand to entertain and entrance with amazing dance that is a combination of traditional and modern. The whole audience will even be able to participate in the party while showing off their own personal Irish flair. It is a great way to inspire your children and educate about Irish culture, dance, arts and more. Plus, it is sure to be a thrilling performance for the whole family.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.