Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Charles St. and Franklin Street
Baltimore, Md. 21201
Date: March 10 – 2 p.m.
Price: Free to watch/ Brunch is $25 adults/$15 children ages 2 to 12
Rain or shine, thousands of spectators decked in green join together in downtown Baltimore to celebrate Irish culture with a full day of enchanting music, song and dance. Starting at the Washington Monument, the parade marches down N. Charles Street and then turns onto Pratt Street to bring the festive entertainment past the Inner Harbor. Kids will enjoy watching Irish dancers around their own age perform in authentic costumes, as well as lively bands, a variety of theatrical entertainment and comical performances. Come early and start the day off with a hearty St. Patty’s brunch at the James Joyce Pub (one of the Best Irish Pubs in Baltimore) on S. President Street, featuring traditional favorites like O’Brien’s potatoes and Irish brown bread.
The Irish Shrine & Railroad Workers Museum
918 Lemmon Street
Baltimore, Md. 21223
Price: Tours and museum visits are free
Kids can take a step back in history to learn more about the Irish immigrants who first settled in Baltimore between 1840 and 1850. Today, a group of five alley homes have been converted into a museum to share the tales and travails of these immigrants and their important work on the B&O Railroad. The museum depicts everyday life for a typical Irish immigrant living during the 1840s. Families or school groups interested in getting the full experience of where the Irish worked, worshipped and lived can take the Irish Heritage Walk, which combines the B&O Railroad Museum, St. Peter’s the Apostle Church, the Hollins Street Market and Irish Railroad Workers Museum.
Baltimore Irish Arts Center (BIAC)
Founded in 2001, BIAC serves Ireland’s descendents in the greater Baltimore area by offering small group classes to share, educate and ensure the longevity of traditional Irish music. Budding young musicians are encouraged to explore the beautiful sounds produced by Irish instruments such as the button accordion, fiddle, Uilleann pipes, tin whistle, flute, banjo, and Bodhran (Irish drumming). There are even Irish dance sessions available, which is a great activity for kids with lots of energy. Visit BIAC’s website for a list of live Irish music events in the city where local musicians demonstrate their passion and talents — a cultural treat for all ages.
Ryan’s Daughter Irish Pub & Restaurant
600 E. Belvedere Avenue
Baltimore, Md. 21212
No St. Patrick’s Day celebration is complete without tasting some specialty Irish dishes. Ryan’s Daughter is a great kid-friendly pub stop that is both comfortable and convenient for families to have dinner together. Kids and their parents can sample traditional Irish food like Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, fish-n-chips or corned beef and cabbage boxty, while soaking in the fun atmosphere and décor of the pub. The restaurant’s Sunday brunch menu also offers a delicious selection of a la carte items that is guaranteed to bring out the “hungry Irishman” no matter your heritage.
Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Library
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, Md. 21201
Many branches of the Enoch Pratt Library will be hosting Irish craft activities to celebrate the holiday and answer questions for inquisitive youngsters beginning in March. For example on March 4, the Pennsylvania Avenue branch will host a St. Patrick’s Day Craft so children can learn more about the “luck of the Irish.” At the Walbrook branch on March 13 starting at 12:30 p.m., kids will be transported off to the magical land of leprechauns and lucky shamrocks with Irish fairy tales and festive Irish music and dancing. Or another option is to visit the Patterson Park branch 3:30 – 4 p.m. on March 13 and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a one-of-a-kind library treasure hunt. For kids who think they already know everything there is to know about the green holiday and Ireland, they should test their knowledge with “Luck of the Irish Trivia” at the Southeast Anchor library on March 15. (Note: The events listed above are mostly recommended for children ages 6 to 12.)
Keri Ann Beazell is a Baltimore writer following the latest developments in arts and culture, natural wonders, lifestyle and pets. She enjoys promoting thought-provoking discussions, education, new ideas and smiles among readers. Follow her online at Examiner.com