San Diego has plenty of family-friendly festivities to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. From learning about Irish traditions through step dancing, bagpipes, or fiddles to getting creative while decorating four-leaf clover cookies or making leprechaun traps and finding that sought-after trail of gold. Don your brightest green apparel during a leprechaun run or nibble green cookies and scones at tea time. However you choose to celebrate, one of these events is sure to bring some luck your way.
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St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival
Watch the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade west of the Mississippi this year at Balboa Park. There are over 100 parade entries this year, so it’s bound to capture your little leprechaun’s attention after the parade, head to the festival at Balboa Park, where you’ll find Irish step dancers, Irish folk singers, Celtic music, Irish crafts, food, and a kids zone.
Timing & Route: The parade starts at 10:30 am from Fifth Ave. + Laurel St. It’ll head North up Fifth Ave. to Upas St., cross to Sixth Ave., and turn South down to Juniper.
When: Saturday, March 12, 2022, at 10:30 am
Fifth Ave. + Laurel St., Balboa Park
House of Ireland Lawn Program
You’ll be welcomed into the House of Ireland and front lawn for their annual day of Irish traditions. They’ll serve up Irish treats all day from 11 am -4 pm, including their famous Irish coffee (non-alcoholic), Irish stew, and baked goods. Then, starting at 2 pm, immerse yourself in live Irish step dancing, Celtic music and other traditions.
When: Sunday, March 13, 2022, from 11 am-4 pm
House of Ireland
665 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park
St. Patrick’s Day Science
Experiment with St. Patrick’s Day Science at the Fleet Science Center’s Junior Science Club. Kids in grades 1-4 will be fascinated with color-changing cabbage juice and harnessing the power of a potato. There are two sessions to choose from: 9am-10:30am or 11am-12:30pm. Advanced registration is required. Cost: $13/members, $15/non-members.
When: Saturday, March 19, 2022, at 9 am and 11 am
Fleet Science Center
1875 El Prado, Balboa Park
Leprechaun Scavenger Hunt
Follow the gold coins to find a lost leprechaun in the garden. This self-guided scavenger hunt will take you through shamrock meadows and rainbow tunnels. Keep your eyes open for a secret clue along the way from Ms. Smarty-Plants! Cost: Free with entry, $4-$8; ages two and under are free.
When: Tues., March 15 – Sun., March 20, 2022, during open hours
Water Conservation Garden
12122 Cuyamaca College Dr. W., El Cajon, CA 92019
St. Patrick’s Day Potato Party (Military only)
“Potatoes for everyone!” at this military family event at Crews Park. There’ll be traditional Irish food and fun, including a river dancing group, bagpipes, a fiddle player, shamrock cookies and an inflatable bounce house for the kids. Be sure to pre-order your Irish pizza or traditional Irish dinner ahead of time. Cost: free to attend, food cost is extra.
When: Thursday, March 17, 2022, from 3-5 pm
Note: This event is only open to those with valid Military ID and their guests (Active duty, Retiree, Dependent, DOD or Contractors)
North Island Naval Air Station
St. Patrick’s Day Tea
Savor everything Irish at this “green-themed” tea service. You’ll delight in an Irish vegetable soup served with Irish soda bread, finger sandwiches and pastries like scones with jam and carrot cake. Children under 12 will get special kid-friendly service, vegetarian and gluten-free available with advanced notice. Cost: $9.95/children, $32.95/adults. Reservations are required. Available for service inside, outside (weather permitting) and even as a to-go option.
When: March 17 – 21, 2022 at 11:30am, 1pm and 2:30pm
Julian Tea and Cottage Arts
2124 Third St., Julian, CA 92036
Leprechaun Kids 1K Fun Run
Wearing green at this leprechaun fun run will guarantee your kids a good time; quite literally since this is a chip-timed 1K run. Kids will also get some lucky green sunglasses and gold in the form of a medal for finishing! The kids run is for ages 12 and under, parents can run with their kids (bonus claps for matching family attire). Start/finish lines are at Garnet Ave. + Bayard St. in Pacific Beach. Cost: $25/kids, $45/adults. Registration required.
When: Saturday, March 12, 2022, at 10:15 am (5K run starts at 9 am)
912 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach
St. Patrick’s Day Cookie & Craft
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with leprechaun cookie decorating and crafts at the Mission Hills Library. This event will bring your kids good luck, or at least some free cookies! Recommended for ages 5-13. Cost: free! Register in advance, the class will fill up.
When: Saturday, March 12, 2022 from 3-4:30 pm
Mission Hills Library
215 W. Washington St., San Diego, CA 92103
Fluffy Leprechaun Slime
Slip your fingers into green and gold fluffy slime at the Point Loma Library. Take your creation home, along with the recipe to make more later on. Recommended for ages 7-12. Cost: free! Register in advance, the class will fill up.
When: Friday, March 11, 2022, from 4 pm-5 pm
Point Loma/Hervey Library
3701 Voltaire St., San Diego, CA 92107
Try your luck at trapping leprechauns at this fun class held at the Valencia Park Library. Kids will be challenged to design and create their own traps while learning about Ireland and leprechaun lore. All ages are welcome. Cost: free! Register in advance, the class will fill up.
When: Tues., March 15, 2022, from 5-6 pm
Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library
5148 Market St., San Diego, CA 92114
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