Passionate About Des Moines
and the Moms Who Live Here

St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun

I thought I was Irish until I was 39 years old. True story. Turns out I’m Scottish, not Irish, which explains why my family never really whooped it up for St. Patrick’s Day. (I always assumed we were just lame.)

But, whether you’re Irish, Scottish, or the perfect melting pot of “American-ish,” you can make the St. Patrick’s Day holiday fun for you and your family.

Wear Green

Get festive (and avoid getting pinched) by sporting your green attire on March 17th. You can wear it head-to-toe or choose to accessorize with a scarf, belt, or socks. I love this kelly green vest from J. Crew!

Want something more casual? St. Paddy’s Day is the perfect opportunity for corny t-shirts, so find yourself one and wear it. This one from Raygun is my favorite.

Eat Green

Speaking of corny, give the traditional corned beef and cabbage meal a whirl. Pair it with boiled potatoes and Irish soda bread for a feast any leprechaun would love.

Not that adventurous? The Sam-I-Ams in your life will kiss the Blarney Stone over green eggs and ham. A bit of food coloring in some scrambled eggs makes this dish a hit. Plus, you can eat it here. Or you can eat it there. You can eat it anywhere!

Want something even simpler? Lucky Charms, people. The marshmallows come in colorful, fun shapes, perfect for a sorting or counting game. Bonus: they are “magically delicious”!

Drink Green

St. Patrick’s day offers several traditional drinks to choose from. Guinness Stout tops the list, but green beer is widely popular on March 17th. My favorite, though, is McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. This mint-flavored ice cream sensation is cool and refreshing, and because it’s available for the entire month of March, you’ll be feeling the luck o’ the Irish for weeks.

This year, McDonald’s introduced new varieties of the Shamrock Shake including: the Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe and the Chocolate Shamrock Shake. The mix of chocolate and mint in these two options tastes like an Andes Mint in a glass. Delish!

Too cold for ice cream? Never fear. McDonald’s has a Shamrock Mocha and a Shamrock Hot Chocolate just for you. And if you buy any of these drinks the week of March 11-17, McDonald’s will donate 25 cents from each purchase to Ronald McDonald House Charities. That’s like changing the world while enjoying heaven in your mouth.

See Green

If you visit Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day, you can see the Chicago River dyed green. But, if you can’t make it to the Windy City, many places host St. Patrick’s Day parades, so check out your local listings, including this one here in town.

Watch Green

If you’re looking for beautiful films set in Ireland, some of my favorites are Once and Brooklyn. The Emerald Isle never looked so majestic and lovely.

But, if you’re wanting a heartwarming, coming-of-age film that will harken back to the first time you saw Pretty in Pink, check out Sing Street. It was recently nominated for a Golden Globe and is currently available on Netflix. Set in mid-1980s Dublin, Sing Street tells the story of a lovable young man forming a band in an effort to impress a girl. You’ll find yourself rooting for him and tapping your toe the whole way.

For Irish movies the whole family can watch, check out The Secret of Kells or Darby O’Gill and The Little People. Beautifully animated and timeless humor the whole family can enjoy.

What’s your favorite St. Patrick’s Day tradition?


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