Having children means St. Patrick’s Day takes on a whole new meaning. While pub-crawls may no longer be a realistic means of celebrating good ol’ St. Paddy, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the day with your family.
Immerse yourself in Irish culture at one of three local festivals:
The Maspeth Town Hall Community Center is hosting an Irish Celebration complete with a hot buffet, refreshments, live music by the Billy Hickey Band, Irish step dancers and arts and crafts for children. The celebration will be held on March 11th from 3-7pm at St. Aldabert’s Parish in Elmhurst.
For details, call (718) 335-6049
Hofstra University is hosting its 14th Annual Irish Experience Festival also on March 11th. From 11am-6pm, patrons can enjoy live music by Stone Row and The Black Velvet Band, and performances by the Hirten Family Dancers. When not singing and dancing along, families can enjoy Irish food and explore the craft vendors.
For details, call (516) 463-6582 or visit the website.
On Sunday March 18th, celebrate with the Irish Arts Center’s Annual St. Patrick’s Open Day from 12-5pm in Long Island City. Families can enjoy live musical and dance performances and participate in language and arts and crafts workshops. Admission is free.
For something more low key than a festival, try spending a day hopping around Queens with your kids for a taste of Ireland. Start with a traditional Irish Breakfast at a local Irish pub. What is an Irish Breakfast? Usually, eggs, baked beans and toast, bangers (sausage), Irish bacon or rashers, white and black puddings (more sausage) and a grilled tomato. Many pubs in Queens offer traditional Irish breakfasts in addition to other brunch staples on Saturdays and Sundays within the 9-12 dollar range. Maspeth locals love Connelly’s Corner on Grand Avenue. In the Sunnyside/Woodside area you’ll find Molly Blooms and Sidetracks on Queens Boulevard, The Kettle Pub and Restaurant and The Dog and Duck on Skillman Avenue. Head further east and you’ll find Bliss Street Station on Greenpoint Avenue. The Stop Inn Diner and Cuckoo’s Nest are in Woodside. Most of these pubs begin their brunches between 10 and 11, but it is best to call ahead and check the time.
After or before your brunch, checkout the Butcher Block on 41st street in Sunnyside. This local grocer has the largest selection of goods imported from the United Kingdom in Queens, and possibly within the five boroughs. Irish breads, flours, cheeses, teas, jams, cookies, biscuits, and candies line the shelves, and the butcher has an amazing selection of sausages and meats. You can even purchase an entire ready-to-eat dinner for your family. If you’re in the mood to browse Irish goods, try Celtic Tiger Imports in Maspeth,
If these options are not enough, consider extending your celebration into the coming months. Both the Irish Arts Center and the New York Irish Center offer dance and language classes for children and adults and host musical and dance performances, lectures, readings, and children’s art programs.
Bliss Street Station, 47-02 Greenpoint Ave
Connelly’s Corner, 71-17 Grand Ave
Cuckoo’s Nest, 61-04 Woodside Ave
Molly Blooms, 43-13 Queens Blvd
Sidetracks, 45-08 Queens Blvd
Stop Inn Diner, 60-22 Roosevelt Ave
The Dog and Duck, 45-20 Skillman Ave
The Kettle Pub and Restaurant, 50-24 Skillman Ave
The Butcher Block, 43-46 41st Street
Celtic Tiger Imports, 72-17 Grand Avenue