17 ways to spend St. Patrick’s Day with the whole family

From Irish-inspired cooking classes to annual community parades, here’s how little ones, teens and parents alike can feel the luck of the Irish this year.

two little girls decorating cupcakes in green with mom
© gpointstudio / stock.adobe.com

Here’s how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, from Arlington County to Prince William County and everywhere in between throughout March.

Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 7, 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Old Town is back, thanks to the Ballyshaners. Throughout the one-day affair, the entire family can enjoy sounds of pipe bands, steps of Irish dancers and a variety of other special events that all ages can delight in. Plus, prior to the parade, don’t forget to check out the Fun Dog Show starting at 11 a.m. in Old Town’s Market Square, featuring some of the best-dressed pooches of the region. // King Street, Alexandria; free

St. Patrick’s Day-Themed Cookie Class
Saturday, March 7, 5:30 p.m.
Make special, St. Patrick’s Day-themed cookies at Raven’s Nest Coffee House this month as an entire family. Cookies will be as delicious as they are beautiful, boasting designs of four-leaf clovers, pots of gold and rainbows too. // Raven’s Nest Coffee House: 215 E. Davis St., Culpeper; free 

St. Patrick’s-Themed Crafting & Cookie Decorating Workshop
Sunday, March 8, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Participate in the ultimate day of crafting at AR Workshop this month. Throughout the three-hour course, family members will learn icing techniques by Angie Kang of Sweetly Iced Bakery to create the perfect cookies, and also decorate a mini Lazy Susan after your bellies are full. // AR Workshop Alexandria: 1212 King St., Alexandria; prices vary, registration required

Family Class! Irish Favorites!
Sunday, March 8, 2-4 p.m.
Chef it up as an entire family this March with help from the Cookology staff. When the course is over, you’ll have made (and tried) traditional meals from Ireland, such as potato leek soup with pesto croutons, shepherd’s pie and Irish apple cake with custard sauce. // Cookology Ballston Quarter: 4238 Wilson Blvd., Suite 3110, Arlington; $55

Preschool Painting Party
Wednesday, March 11, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Spend the morning with your youngster listening to classic fairy tales and painting a piece of art. While you hear Irish folktales, your kiddo can paint a plate embellished with a clover or a pot of gold. // Create Like Crazy: 10417 Main St., Fairfax; $12 for first child, $10 for second

Third Annual Leprechaun Family Run at Dulles South Recreation and Community Center
Saturday, March 14, 10-11 a.m.
The South Riding community is coming together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a few days early with this special family run. Following the jog or walk, there will be various activities for kids and adults to participate in. // Dulles South Recreation and Community Center: 24950 Riding Center Drive, South Riding; free 

Storytime and Activities featuring Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase
Saturday, March 14, 11 a.m.
Bring your little ones to a fun, read aloud event at the One Loudoun location of Barnes & Noble. After hearing the tale of Pete the Cat and his quest for luck, all family members are invited to partake in hands-on activities. // Barnes & Noble One Loudoun: 20427 Exchange St., Ashburn; free

Greater Manassas St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Saturday, March 14, 11 a.m.-noon
Honor the luck of the Irish with the entire community of Manassas at the annual Greater Manassas St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The celebration will include performances from several pipe bands, Irish dance groups, drummers and so much more. Don’t forget to wear your best in-theme outfits, as there may just be a competition for the most green. // Old Town Manassas: Center Street, free

St. Patrick’s Day Treats
Saturday, March 14, times vary
Chefs of the Wegmans kitchen are welcoming families of NoVA to celebrate the Irish with this hands-on cooking class. Throughout the one-hour session, you’ll make a classic Reuben sandwich, Irish soda bread with cheeses and frost-filled shamrock cookies. // Wegmans: locations vary; $10

Lucky Leprechaun 5K
Sunday, March 15, 8 a.m.
Potomac River Running is hosting a celebratory 5K race in honor of the green-filled holiday, perfect for the whole family. As the weather warms up, parents and kids alike can jog through Reston Town Center, finishing up on Market Street to indulge in some post-race treats. // Reston Town Center: 11911 Democracy Drive, Reston; $30-$40

Cupcake Wars: St. Patrick’s Day Theme!
Sunday, March 15, 2-4 p.m.
Kids ages 8 through 16 are invited to compete in Cookology’s very own cupcake wars, yet this time the entire affair is St. Patrick’s Day-themed. While the participants make vanilla, chocolate and buttercream cupcakes with green and yellow decorations, parents are able to watch the competition, or even participate as judges. // Cookology Dulles Town Center: 2110 Dulles Town Circle, Suite 190, Sterling; $55

Lucky Gold Hunt at Douglass Community Center
Tuesday, March 17, 10-10:30 a.m.
Do you have the luck of the Irish? Find out with your little ones (ages 2 and 3) at this fun-filled scavenger hunt hosted by Douglass Community Center. After you and the children have collected the gold coins, all are welcome to participate in a finger-painting session. // Douglass Community Center: 407 E. Market St., Leesburg; $5

Lucky Me: St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Craft Time
Tuesday, March 17, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Led by Elizabeth McKenzie, this sensory craft and playtime will give your little ones (ages 1 through 5) the chance to explore all things green on St. Patrick’s Day. For the first 30 minutes, you and your kiddo will craft an in-theme item, and for the rest of the fair, you can play the day away in the Nook space. // Nook Ballston Quarter: 4238 Wilson Blvd., Unit 1295, Arlington; $10-$20

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Workshop!
Tuesday, March 17, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Looking for a fun way to entertain your teen this month? Sign up for this St. Patrick’s Day-themed workshop hosted by Board and Brush, restricted to those ages 16 or older, for the perfect mother-daughter date. By the end of the class, you’ll both walk away with a beautiful wooden piece for the home. // Board and Brush Fairfax: 11215 Lee Highway, Suite J, Fairfax; $68

The Chieftains
Thursday, March 19, 8 p.m.
If you want to expose your children to your Irish heritage, or you simply love traditional Irish music, you won’t want to miss this special performance by Irish music legends, The Chieftains. The six-time Grammy winners will perform their signature blend of traditional Celtic and contemporary tunes that listeners of all ages can enjoy. // George Mason University’s Center for the Arts: 4400 University Drive, Fairfax; $45-$75

Shamrock Pizza Party
Friday, March 20, 3:30-4:45 p.m. & 5:15-6:30 p.m.
The entire family is welcome to wear their best green attire for a one-of-a-kind pizza party this month. Before the feast, kids and parents alike are welcome to participate in themed activities, play games and enjoy special rides too. // My Gym Chantilly: 4300 Chantilly Shopping Center, 2C, Chantilly; $20 for members, $24 for nonmembers; reservation required

St. Patrick’s Day Family Swim
Friday, March 20, 6-8 p.m.
Does your family love to swim? Take advantage of the indoor facilities at Tom Dolan Swim School this month, as local families come together for a St. Patrick’s Day-themed evening of swimming. // Tom Dolan Swim School: 22000 Dulles Retail Plaza, Suite 104, Dulles; $5-$20

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