You’re at that awkward age: Too old for green beer and the kids are too young for it. So, how to be festive? Not to worry. There are plenty of family-friendly ways to get your Irish on — no luck required.
A WEEKEND OF ENTERTAINMENT
A fragrant mound of corned beef and cabbage may seem cliched, but it is delicious and obligatory — when in Irish Boston, do as the Boston Irish do. Head to the Irish Cultural Center of New England in Canton on Friday (781-821-8291, www.irishculture.org) where they’ll be serving it up all day. There’ll be lots of music, too, including dancing with Irish DJ Dan Hallissey and traditional Irish music in the pub. Return Saturday, for a full roster of family-friendly events ($10), beginning with an Irish breakfast and storytelling by Father Liam Bergin from Boston College who will tell tales of St. Patrick, shamrocks, and snakes. Learn how to bake scones and brown bread, how to crochet, and how to say some Irish words and phrases at workshops throughout the day. Kids will love the hayride (weather permitting) through the woods to search for a pot o’ gold, before stopping at the Irish Cottage for refreshments. Traditional Irish players from the Westwood School of Music will perform at 3 p.m. Pick up a step or two at A Family Ceílí, 4-7 p.m., $10 adults, $5 children. A little later on, enjoy a concert by award-winning Irish artists Niamh Parsons and Graham Dunne, 7:30 p.m., $25, $20 members. The weekend culminates on Sunday with a performance by comedian Jimmy Tingle.
SHAMROCKS ON THE SLOPES
Leprechauns will be hiding shamrocks at some of New England’s most popular ski resorts on St. Patty’s Day. At Okemo in Ludlow, Vt. (800-786-5366, www.okemo.com), we’re told a mischievous fairy rises before dawn to scatter lucky clovers around the mountain. If you find one, you’ll get a swag bag of goodies. Mount Sunapee in Newbury, N.H. (603-763-3500, www.mountsunapee.com), also has a shamrock hunt for prizes. At Waterville Valley in Waterville Valley, N.H., lift tickets are reduced to $17 on March 17 (800-468-2553, www.waterville.com). Bretton Woods (603-278-3320, www.brettonwoods.com) in Bretton Woods, N.H., marks the day with two-for-one lift tickets. Wear a green outer layer to the Wachusett Mountain Green Day Celebration (978-464-2300, www.wachusett.com) in Princeton, and you’ll get $17 off lift tickets, half off on the NASTAR Race Course, and be entered to win a rest-of-the-season pass. There’ll also be live music, an outdoor barbecue, and Irish specials in the cafeteria.
TIP OF THE HAT TO HISTORY
Among the sites on the Irish Heritage Trail is Fenway Park. Find out why on a guided tour offered by the Boston Irish Tourism Association. Our beloved ballpark is one of 20 sites along the route, which covers about three miles downtown and in the Back Bay. Explore 300 years of Boston’s Irish history and heritage on a 75- to 90-minute walk on March 17 and 18. Tours meet at 1 p.m. at the visitor information center on Boston Common. $15 adults; $12 students and seniors; free for age 12 and under when accompanied by an adult. Reserve in advance at www.irishheritagetrail.com. Or make it a DIY tour, and download a map online or pick one up at one of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau centers around the city.
FUN FOR WEE ONES
Celebrate the holiday with your little ones on March 19 from 11 a.m. to
3 p.m. at the Boston’s Children’s Museum (617-426-6500, www.boston
childrensmuseum.org) $16, which includes museum admission, where kids can decorate shamrocks and make bracelets with Celtic designs. There’s also storytelling of Irish folklore and two performances by the Keane O’Brien Dance Academy.
The Boston Public Library hosts a variety of special events, including performances by the West End Library Renaissance Ensemble and the Kenny Academy of Irish Dance, and craft activities (build a contraption to catch a leprechaun)! Check out www.bpl.org for times and locations.
GETTING JIGGY WITH IT
Join the foot-stomping, hand-clapping fun at the 12th annual A St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan. The popular performance combines storytelling, dancing, and music at four locations: Hanover
Theatre in Worcester, March 15, Cabot Theatre in Beverly, March 16, Zeiterion Performing Art Center in New Bedford, March 17, and Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, March 18. All shows are suitable for kids, but there’s also a matinee at Sanders Theatre on March 18. Tickets from $20-$45, www.wgbh.org/events.
On St. Patty’s Day, Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College (www.merrimack.edu) in North Andover offers a salute to all things Irish with Tony Kenny’s Irish Celebration. Kenny, an Irish cabaret performer, shares the stage with daughter Victoria, Seamus Kennedy, the Dublin City Dancers, and Dublin Trinity Band. Adult tickets from $40; students and seniors $35; age 10 and under, $10.
The Chevalier Theatre in Medford (781-391-7469, www.chevalier
theatre.com) will host a cornucopia of tunes by Matt and Shannon Heaton, Laura Cortese, and Fódhla on March 18. Tickets start at $25.
Famed Irish tenor Ronan Tynan (you may know him from the group the Irish Tenors) is performing a solo show at the Tilden Arts Center at Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable March 19 at 3 p.m. (508-375-4044, www.ronantynan.net). Tickets start at $39.
When they mash up Gaelic music with rock ’n’ roll and throw in some Irish dance, you know it’s going to be a lively scene! It’s happening on March 30 at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell (978-937-8688, www.lowellauditorium.com) and it’s called the “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” show. The cast includes 14 dancers, eight musicians, and two vocalists. Tickets start at $38.
Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be reached at email@example.com.