St. Patrick’s Day Events for Chicago Families

Paint the town green with these kid-friendly activities.

Wondering what to do for St. Patrick’s Day with kids? As much as we love the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade and seeing the green Chicago River, there is even more shamrockin’ fun you can have with the entire family.

Read our picks below of special events celebrating Irish culture and check out our calendar for more St. Patrick’s Day events for kids. 

Elmhurst Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 4, 2023

Includes more than 80 floats, Irish dancers, the Shannon Rovers, local team mascots – Benny the Bull, Southpaw & Tommy Hawk – Chicago Highlanders, Medinah Clowns, Elmhurst Armpit Orchestra featuring the world’s largest drum, and the York High School Marching Band. 

Oak Forest Fleadh

March 4, 2023

Go through the neighborhood and past Oak Forest landmarks, such as St. Damian Church, Oak Forest High School, Valley Kingdom Ministries and more. The start and finish line is just steps away from Oak Forest Bowl. Hunt for the golden ticket that’s worth $1,000. 

Grab and Go Kit: St. Patrick’s Day Craft at Dunning Branch

March 5, 2023

Stop by the library’s Help Desk and pick up a St. Patrick’s Day craft to take home. They’ll be available while supplies last. 

Find the Leprechaun

March 7-12 and 14-19, 2023

  • Address: Various Winnetka Park District locations
  • Cost: Free

For two weeks in March, park visitors can search for Lucky, the Leprechaun, a stuffed animal. Check Facebook for clues and make sure to bring your camera to snap of pic of the little guy. The first five people that share the picture of Lucky will receive a $10 gift card to a Winnetka business.

St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Bracelet at Whitney M. Young, Jr. Branch

March 9, 2023

Ages 6-13 can make a beaded bracelet featuring a shamrock charm, beads that spell “lucky” and plenty of green beads.

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade & River Dyeing

March 11, 2023

  • Address: Downtown Chicago
  • Cost: Free

The 2023 theme is “Recognizing Workers’ Rights.” It typically features more than 200 floats and marching bands. Don’t miss watching the Chicago River turn green in celebration.

Naperville St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 11, 2023

  • Address: Downtown Naperville
  • Cost: Free

Residents can celebrate Irish heritage by joining the West Suburban Irish for the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade kicks off on the corner of Mill Street and 5th Avenue, heads south on Mill to Jackson, crosses over to Main Street and ends at Water Street.

2023 South Side Irish Parade

March 12, 2023

Alcohol-free parade on Western Avenue from 103rd to 115th on Chicago’s South Side (Beverly/Morgan Park). Expect high school bands, bagpipe bands, Those Little People, Irish dance schools and more.

St. Patrick’s Day Event at Gallagher Way

March 12, 2023

Immerse yourselves in all things Irish with traditional live music, as well as a performance by the Trinity Irish Dancers. There will be plenty of activities for the little ones, including face painting, balloon artists, a wandering magician, arts and crafts and lawn games. Green Beer, specialty cocktails, Irish coffee, too.

St. Patrick’s Day Arts & Crafts at Field (Eugene) Park

March 14, 2023

Ages 3-5 and ages 6-11 can come out to Field (Eugene) Park to make a colorful, green art project for St. Patrick’s Day. Registration required.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Gage Park Branch

March 14, 2023

Ages 5-18 can enjoy games, crafts and a delicious green treat to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Make sure to wear green. 

St. Patrick’s Day Stories at Clearing Branch

March 14, 2023

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing your green and hearing stories about the Irish holiday. The program will also feature songs and fingerplays. Registration required. 

Find the Shamrocks Scavenger Hunt at Edgebrook Branch

March 16, 2023

Ages 4 and up can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by finding the shamrocks hidden in the library. Win a prize while supplies last.

Tinkering Time: St. Patrick’s Day Arts and Crafts at West Loop Branch

March 16, 2023

Ages 6-13 can drop-in for a Tinkering Time program for kids to make some fun arts and crafts projects for St. Patrick’s Day.

Clovers and Snakes at Heller Nature Center

March 16, 2023

Ages 6 and up can join the nature center for crafts, a short walk and to learn about St. Patrick’s Day and the reptiles he is said to have banished. Registration required.

The Forge St. Patrick’s Festival at Lemont Quarries

March 18, 2023

This annual event features Irish dance performances, bagpipes, live music, workshops and more. There will be food and beverages available for purchase.

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