A Wee Bit of Irish Fun
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Kansas City Style
Create family memories this St. Patrick’s Day with festivities celebrating Irish heritage and enjoy a little “green” fun.
A Bit of Leprechaun Magic
With a bit of creativity, you can create the magic of leprechauns at home.
Follow the Rainbow: Create a trail of shamrocks or rainbows for the children to follow from their bedrooms to the breakfast table. Lead them to a breakfast of green scrambled eggs, green pancakes and green milk. A touch of food coloring will do the trick for each of these delicacies. A favorite in our family is toast with a “green message” (written with a food coloring marker available in the bakery aisle at the grocery store). At each place setting, leave a St. Patrick’s Day treat or small gift.
Leprechaun Loot: Using gold chocolate coins, Chuck E. Cheese tokens or gold dollar coins, host a hunt at your house to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Top off the fun with a visit to Chuck E. Cheese or the Dollar Store where the kids can redeem their loot!
You’ve Been Pinched: Perhaps you’ve played “Ding Dong Ditch;” this game is similar. Prepare a treat for a neighbor (chocolate coins, cupcakes, baked goodies) and deliver them with a note: “You’ve Been Pinched! Whether your are wearing green or not, I’m here to tell you that you are liked a lot! Enjoy this treat, and here’s hoping you may, Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Your Secret Leprechaun.” Leave the treat on the doorstep, ring the bell, then disappear, hiding where you can watch your friend claim the prize.
Kansas City-Style St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Kansas City is proud of its rich Irish heritage and is home to a museum celebrating the culture and host to many parades and festivals in March.
Kansas City Irish Center at Union Station (Lower West Wing of Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, MO, 816.474.3848, www.IrishCenterKC.org. Hours: Wed.-Sat., 10:00-4:00; Sun., Noon-4:00). Tucked inside Union Station, you’ll find this small museum housing artifacts, photos and the tale of Irish immigration from old Ireland to Kansas City’s Irish community today. Hands-on exhibits are part of the educational process. A favorite is the children’s touch table, where kids are invited to explore artifacts including Padraic, the Irish-speaking teddy, tin whistle, bodhran and turf. The center also offers classes in Gaelic, Irish music and crafts.
Snake Saturday Festival: March 16, 10:00-3:00 (www.SnakeSaturday.com). This annual Northland festival starts with the Snake Saturday parade and includes carnival rides, food, a car show featuring more than 50 race cars, a children's square with free pony rides, petting zoo, live entertainment and much more!
Emerald Isle St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Special Activities: March 16 (www.DowntownLS.org/Parade). Downtown Lee’s Summit celebrates all things Irish with an Irish breakfast, Bits O’ Gold Coin Hunt for kids, Emerald Isle St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Noon and more. Downtown businesses also will have their doors open as they celebrate and showcase spring decor.
Brookside 33rd Annual St. Patrick's Warm-Up Parade: March 16, 2:00 (www.BrooksideKC.org/bba/St-Patricks-Parade). This annual event is a family-friendly celebration of Irish heritage right in the heart of Brookside.
Irishpalooza Celebration & Parade: March 10; events begin at 11:00, parade at 2:00 in the Martin City downtown district (www.Irishpalooza.com). Carnival games, vendors, food and fun for the entire family.
41st Annual Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade: March 17, 11:00 (Midtown KC: Broadway, from Linwood to 43rd St.; www.KCIrishParade.com). The parade has become Kansas City’s largest single-day civic event, as well as one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the nation. Tens of thousands of onlookers line the streets to see the hundreds of Irish floats, bands, families, organizations, business entries and others celebrate the feast day of St. Patrick and our Irish heritage. This year's theme is “Gathering of the Clans–An Irish Homecoming.”
More Events & Parades: Visit our Holiday page for more events and holiday ideas!
Feast on Irish Food
True to our Irish heritage, The Kansas City area is home to many wonderful Irish restaurants with authentic food, music and décor for a truly festive feast.
O’Malley’s 1842 Irish Pub: 500 Welt St., Weston, MO, 816.640.5235, www.WestonIrish.com. O’Malley’s serves authentic Irish fare in an authentic Irish-American pub, complete with Irish music. You can choose indoor or patio dining (where you see the famous world's largest ball of string). The menu includes salads, sandwiches, steaks, soups and, of course, fish and chips. Also, read our Weston Day Trip Diary on www.KCParent.com for more fun in Weston!
Browne's Irish Market: 3300 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO, 816.561.0030, www.BrownesMarket.com. The Irish Market opened in Kansas City in 1887, and now the family’s fifth generation carries on the tradition of serving a wide variety of Irish delicacies. Enjoy handmade sandwiches, Irish potato soup, Irish stew, Dublin potato salad and more, as well as Irish souvenirs. On St. Patrick's Day, Browne's serves a traditional Irish breakfast starting at 7:00 and lunch specials in the afternoon.
O'Dowd's Little Dublin: Country Club Plaza at 4742 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO, 816.561.2700, www.ODowdsLittleDublin.com. O'Dowd's Little Dublin is known for "the BEST American pub eats and Irish treats in Kansas City!" Enjoy fish and chips, Irish stew, corned beef, Reubens and shepherd's pie. O'Dowd's Little Dublin on the Plaza boasts an authentic Irish interior with imported woodwork, creating a pharmacy, library and cigar shop steeped in amazing Irish atmosphere.
Riley's Irish Pub & Grill: 913 Main, Lexington, MO, 660.259.4770, www.RileysPub.net. Riley's dishes up traditional Irish fare from a classic Reuben to fish and chips, and they have a delightfully-themed menu for "the wee ones!" Children choose from leprechaun toes (mini corn dogs), charmin' fingers (chicken strips), grilled Dublin cheese sandwich or classic fish 'n chips. Riley’s Irish Pub is located on Lexington’s famous Block 42, so named because it boasted 42 saloons and only one church... women and children were not permitted to walk on the "saloon side” of the road. Today, Riley's is a family-friendly Irish restaurant with a charming historic ambiance. Built in the 1890s, the pub has original stained glass windows, tile floor, tin ceiling and back bar. Also, read our Lexington Day Trip Diary on www.KCParent.com for more fun in Lexington!
O'Quigley's: Multiple locations across the Metro! www.OQuigleys.com. From Irish stew to fish 'n chips, you'll find all your favorite Irish dishes at O'Quigley's. Prices range from $8 to $20.
Kristina Light makes it an annual tradition to attend a parade (or two) with her family and enjoy favorite Irish eateries in March.