St. Patrick’s Day is marked with public parades and festivals with the wearing of green as well as shamrocks strongly encouraged. It is said that on St. Patrick’s Day “Everyone Is Irish!” Christians attend church services and certain Lenten restrictions are relaxed for the day leading to a day of feasting on various Irish delicacies and libations. Cleveland has a long tradition of Irish immigrants dating back to the 1820s when Irish immigrants who had worked on the Erie Canal settled in Cleveland and began working on the Great Lakes as well as the docks. With Cleveland being the family-friendly city that it is, there is no problem finding activities to celebrate “the wearin’ of the green” that is appropriate and suitable for families with young children. Here are just a few.
Free Admission Monday at the Zoo
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
3900 Wildlife Way
Cleveland, OH 44109
Date: March 17, 2014
This year is even better at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo on St. Patrick’s Day. In past years the Zoo offered a discount on admission if you showed up wearing green. This year, with the holiday falling on a Monday, admission is free whether you wear green or not. What a great way to spend the day with your family by checking out all of the various Zoo favorites. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
House of Blues, Cleveland
308 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114
Date: March 17, 2014
The House of Blues in Cleveland celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in a big way every year. To begin with, it opens its doors at 10 a.m. to all ages. Irish music will be performed all day in the Cambridge Room and the Music Hall. Best of all, the restaurant will be serving up all sorts of Irish delicacies for all parade attendees. Come down for the parade and then head to the House of Blues for a fun day of music and food dedicated to the Emerald Isle.
Related: Best Fall Festivals In Cleveland
Superior Ave. and E. 18th St.
Cleveland, OH 44113
Date: March 17, 2014 at 1:04 p.m.
Last year, over 500,000 fans celebrated their Irish heritage with the wearing of the green and attending one of the largest parades in the country. Throngs line Euclid Avenue to see the hundreds of marching units that include marching bands, animals, clowns, floats, fire trucks, dancers, motorcycles and lots more. Traditionally the crowds have been very well behaved but it is recommended with this many people that you keep a close eye on your children if you decide to bring them for an exciting time.
Irish Story Time, Painting and Crafts
Children’s Museum of Cleveland
10730 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
Date: March 17, 2014 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Children’s Museum of Cleveland is truly one of the most kid-friendly places on earth, much less Cleveland. St. Patrick’s Day is special here also and there will be some wonderful activities to participate in over the course of the day. Among those currently scheduled are these two. Join Ms. Colleen for story time at 11 a.m. and then paint a picture about the story that was told. A $1 fee is required for supplies. At 3 p.m., celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an Irish story and then make a shamrock bracelet to take home.
St. Patrick’s Day at the Jump Yard
The Jump Yard
13700 York Road
North Royalton, OH44133
Date: March 17, 2014
Things are always hopping at The Jump Yard and especially so on St. Patrick’s Day. It is one of the area’s largest indoor inflatable collections with full-service concessions as well as a safe play environment for children. Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and receive $1 off admission. There will be free chocolate coins with the purchase of any kids snack pack as well as Irish music, games and prizes all day long. Regular admission rates apply.
4524 E. 49th St.
Cuyahoga Heights, OH 44125
Date: March 15, 2014 2 p.m to 3 p.m.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day two days early with a Leprechaun Hunt at the CanalWay Center in the Cleveland Metroparks. At 2 p.m., participate in a story about leprechaun trickery and then venture outside for the hunt. If you are lucky to catch one, you will be richly rewarded. This event is geared for children ages two to six, accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required and began March 3. To register, call (216) 206-1000 or go to clevelandmetroparks.com.
Mark Horning is a freelance writer covering all things Cleveland. His work can be found on Examiner.com.