In March, Chicago will turn into a giant, green import from Dublin. No city celebrates St. Patrick's Day with the fervor of Chicagoans, but not all the festivities are, shall we say, family-friendly. But just because you have some Leprechaun-sized companions, doesn't mean you can't get in on the action. Celebrate all things Irish and at four of the most popular and family-friendly St. Patrick's Day events.
Every year, the Chicago River gets dyed a vibrant green by the city's plumber's union. Make sure to point out to your kids the color of the dye before it's dumped into the river, the bright orange powder is magically transformed into green with the help of a legendary Leprechaun. Or so they say. [Insider tip: the best place to "watch the magic" is at the intersection of Columbus and Wabash.]
The Irish American Heritage Center will be hosting a large-scale, family friendly St. Patrick's Day party featuring traditional and contemporary Irish music and dance, fun kids' activities (including Celtic-themed Wiggleworms fun), an arts and crafts fair, and good eats. Don't miss the festive Trinity School Irish dancers, on stage at 5PM.
The South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade promises everything Irish: shamrock-flecked floats, Irish dancers, bagpipes and... no beer. The zero-tolerance alcohol policy has tamed the parade, making it family-friendly and easier to manage with smaller tots. This year's parade will honor Chicago's first responders while also celebrating the Irish heritage. Expect much merry-making despite the alcohol ban. [Insider tip: catch a good spot along Western Avenue between 103rd Street and 115th for an awesome view of the parade route.]
Tavern on Rush will be featuring Guiness beer-battered fish and chips ($14) and mini corned beef sandwiches on caraway rye buns ($4) on its special St. Patty's Day menu, March 15 - 17. You're welcome.
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