Go, Make & Eat a Kid-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day
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Places to Go
Many cities already celebrated with parades and festivals last weekend. But there are still a few St. Patrick's Day celebrations planned in and close to the Triad.
On Thursday, March 17, Burlington Recreation and Parks will host its first St. Patrick's Day Bash. The event features lots of family-friendly activities, including a parade, food, free entertainment and a ton of craic — that's the Irish word for fun! Among the planned activities are face painting and balloon twisting. There will be decked out golf carts and food trucks all over downtown Burlington for this inaugural event.
Coming up on Saturday March 19, the Irish fun continues with the Asheboro Downtown Business Association's first St. Patrick's Day Celebration event. Hosted by Four Saints Brewing Company in Bicentennial Park, this event promises live music, food trucks, a beer garden and, for the kids, face painting, crafts and potato sack races.
Also if your family is up for a day trip, the 20th Annual Charlotte St. Patrick's Day Parade and Charlotte Goes Green Festival is planned for Saturday, March 19, as well. A parade and a full day of Irish music, dancing, kid-friendly amusements and tons of food await festival goers in the Queen City.
Crafts to Make
Among the crafts I perused online, I found instructions on how to make a potato putty Celtic journal. However, it was the potato putty that caught my attention. While tweens and teens might enjoy making the journal, younger children can have hours of fun making Potato Putty and then creating Irish-inspired trinkets, such as clovers, rainbows or pots of gold. The putty can be dyed any color, shaped into anything and will dry hard. Here's the recipe, via FreeKidsCrafts.com: Dissolve 1/2 cup dried potato flakes in a half cup warm water. Then add 1/4 cup white glue, 1 tablespoon acrylic paint (green or other, depending on what you want to make), 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of corn starch. Once thoroughly mixed, mold your potato putty into fun shapes and let dry.
Do you have baby food jars on their way to the recycling bin? Before you toss them, consider creating Pot of Gold Candy Jars. This adorable art project from KinderArt.com can also serve as a teacher gift or hostess gift for a friend or relative hosting a St. Patrick's Day celebration. Throwing a St. Patrick's Day themed party? The pot of gold candy jars can be given as thank you gifts for guests.
While you might think "beer" when you think of St. Patrick's Day, it is a set of wine corks that makes shamrock art a little bit easier. By taping three corks together, you can make an easy-to-use shamrock stamp for your little ones. The Wine Cork Shamrock Stamps activity is the brainchild of CraftyMorning.com. Use the stamp to decorate the placemats that are next on my craft list, paper lunch bags or construction paper holiday cards or decorations.
Whether you are having a St. Patrick's Day party or just making Irish food to mark the day, have the kids create St. Patrick's Day Placemats for the table. This is a fun craft from ActivityVillage.co.uk that can be modified for any holiday. Have older kids help the younger ones weave and decorate a placemat for each place setting. Decorate and personalize the placemats with wine cork shamrock stamps or permanent markers. If you want to wipe down and reuse the placemats, protect them with craft contact paper or laminate them.
I would be remiss if I did not pass along these great ideas for St. Patrick's Day Selfie Props. A stick, some cardstock and a few patterns are all you need from LiaGriffith.com to mark your celebrations with whimsical, digital memories. The props are easy enough for kids of all ages to help create and fun for everyone in the family to use while attending parades, enjoying festivals or hanging out at home for an Irish dinner.
Foods to Eat
One of my favorite ways to celebrate any holiday — or any regular day — is by spending time in the kitchen cooking with my family. The kids will have a blast helping with these Irish and St. Patrick's dishes.
Shepherd's Pie is a crowd pleasing casserole topped with whipped potatoes. I selected an easy version from Food.com for a family-friendly recipe that takes only 30 minutes, which is perfect for a weekday holiday.
My grandmother passed down her Irish Soda Bread recipe to me. And while I won't share her secrets outside our family, this recipe from AllRecipes.com will serve your family well. You and the kids will want to make enough to share with friends and neighbors. For a little extra Irish fun, add a few drops of green food coloring.
For an authentic Irish potato side dish, you'll want to start this recipe from FoodNetwork.com early. Colcannon only takes 15 minutes to prep — have the kids help mash the potatoes and stir in ingredients — but there it will take nearly 2 hours of cooking time. However, the end result will be well worth the effort.
Another potato side dish the kids will enjoy making and eating are Baked Basil Fries from BettyCrocker.com. The kids can mix up the herbs and oil and then toss the potato strips to prep them for baking. You'll probably want to use this recipe all year long.
For dessert, divide up sugar cookie dough, add food coloring to each portion, and then roll out snakes of dough to assemble Rainbow Cookies. PrincessPinkyGirl.com's version includes marshmallow clouds. To really get into the spirit of the holiday, serve with chocolate coins.