Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day brings with it the opportunity to celebrate as if you are. Aside from indulging in the wearing of the green, eating corned beef and cabbage and searching for that elusive pot of gold, Connecticut offers kids any number of ways to enjoy the holiday.

Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade

New Haven, CT

Date: March 10, 2013

Everyone loves a parade and New Haven’s just happens to be one of the oldest in the country. This year will mark the 171st anniversary of the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade complete with fife and drum bands, clowns, school bands and, of course, bagpipes. Following a traditional 10 a.m. mass held at St. Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue, over 3,000 participants will fall into place for the start of the big event at Chapel Street and Derby Avenue at 1:30 p.m. Whether you are Irish by heritage or just for the day, every member of the family is sure to be in the spirit of things.

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11th Annual Shamrock Run & Walk
Chippens Hill Middle School
551 Peacedale St.
Bristol, CT 06010

Date: March 23, 2013

For the kid with energy to burn, a philanthropic streak or perhaps both, the 11th Annual Shamrock Run & Walk is a great way to channel both energies. After the dust settles from the previous week’s festivities, get out and give back while getting some fresh air and exercise. With 5-mile, 2-mile and kids fun run events as well as race bags, t-shirts for early registrants and food, the whole family can share the day. Beneficiaries this year are the St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Bristol, The Sandy Hook School Support Fund and The Cove. The first event kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and registration is available online.

Irish Music at Fairfield Public Library
1080 Old Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 256-3155

Date: March 17, 2013

No one is immune to the power of music and Irish songs have a way of engaging both young and old as well as everyone in between. Whether you want to introduce your children to the genre, you have a child who is a student of the craft or your family just can’t get enough of a good thing, the Fairfield Public Library is offering an hour of musical entertainment beginning at 3 p.m. as part of the Town’s Diversity Initiative. Performing will be Fairfield’s own Damien and Sally Connolly, who have their roots firmly and skillfully planted in their heritage as well as their art and will both be performing at the Fairfield County Irish Festival later this year.

Pumpernickel Puppet Show
Thornton Wilder Hall
2901 Dixwell Ave.
Hamden, CT 06518

Date: March 16, 2013

If you are looking for something to do with the little ones that is fun and exciting but doesn’t necessarily have to center around the holiday, why not treat them to the Pumpernickel Puppet Show presentation of the classic tale of “Peter and the Rabbit?” Variations of the story will be presented by the nationally known puppeteer, John McDonough, who will fascinate and engage the audience. The puppets are colorful, the voices and the sound effects are real and the children’s smiles will be nothing short of priceless. After the performance, a closer look at what goes on behind the curtain will be sure to delight one and all.

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Theodora DeBarbieri is an animal advocate, columnist and local TV show host residing in Connecticut. She is owned by a number of dogs, cats and birds. Her work can be found at