When my son was younger, St. Patrick’s Day meant setting up a leprechaun trap. In some households, the Leprechaun causes trouble like knocking over chairs. I also always left a trail of shamrocks and gold coins that led to a pot filled with a few green colored gifts (usually candy and a swimsuit since its almost pool season here in Arizona). Even if you’re not Irish it’s still fun to be festive. Everything on my list is pretty simple and inexpensive.
Showing your family they’re special to you
Teaching and learning, focus on the cultural aspects of the holiday
Another reason I’ll add to this list is teaching about cultures. Based on the media and what stores are selling for the holiday, my son started to get the impression St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrating beer. This started a conversation where we talked about the cultural traditions behind the holiday and a chance to research the culture. One of the things I like to do on St. Patrick’s Day is to enjoy an Irish meal at an Irish restaurant for the full experience. Because St. Patrick’s Day can turn into a drinking and party holiday out at my Irish restaurants/pubs we try to go earlier in the day or the day before the crowd gets crazier. The same goes for Mardi Gras and Cinco de Mayo.
Don’t miss our St. Patrick’s Day Gift Guide for Teenagers.
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14 ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with tweens and teens
One: Eat all things green – make all green foods for a meal. Dye pancakes green and top with rainbow sprinkles. Make green jello. Pasta with pesto sauce and a side of green veggies. Add some green dye to milk. Chocolate mint ice cream (if you can find one that is green) for dessert.
Two: Irish dinner – Cook up (or go out for) a traditional Irish meal. Corned beef and cabbage is one of my favorite Irish meals.
We have a few Irish restaurants in town that put on a huge St. Patrick’s Day celebration and serve all the traditional dishes, live music, and green beer. Because this is a drinking holiday for some, I do recommend going to the restaurants earlier in the day or the day before to avoid the drinking crowd.
Three: Gift your teens fun green socks to wear on St. Patty’s Day. Something fun, simple, and festive.
Four: Give them a pack of St. Patrick’s Day pins or stickers that they can hand out to friends. Wearing a bit of green, even just a sticker or pin, avoids the punching (all in fun) because you’re not wearing green.
Five: Decorate your home with St. Patrick’s Day home decor. This isn’t a holiday to go overboard with but you can add a wreath or welcome sign on your patio or a decoration or two in your home. I updated my mantel for the holiday this year.
Six: St. Patrick’s Day-themed bento lunch – this one is more for the tweens than teens. For the older kids, you could add a holiday chocolate to their lunch.
Seven: Dye the toilet water green. I don’t think boys will ever outgrow the amusement they get from this.
Eight: Serve Lucky Charms cereal for breakfast. Serve it with green milk.
Nine: Binge-watch Irish movies.
Ten: Fun manicures with green nail polish or themed designs if you’re really creative. Use green polish, white polish, and gold nail polish – paint the ring finger gold and the rest of the nails green. Add white dots to the green nails using a toothpick dipped in polish. It’s easy to do and so fun! Don’t forget the toes.
Eleven: Bake Irish Soda Bread together – super easy quick bread version with no yeast
Twelve: Enjoy the local Irish culture. Does your town host a St. Patrick’s Day Parade or Festival?
Thirteen: Dye their hair green. You can use a temporary dye and just do a small section.
Fourteen: Get Shamrock Shakes at McDonalds. Or make your own at home.
Fifteen: If you have a vinyl cutting machine such as a Cricut craft machine, make fun St. Patrick’s t-shirts
We hope you found some ideas that you can use for some family fun. Have a new idea? send up a note and we’d love to hear it. Share your St. Patrick’s Day fun on social media and tag us, @sweetshoppemom
…and after St. Patrick’s Day, there’s Easter
Planning ahead for Easter – we have some great ideas for making easter fun for teens and tweens