St. Patrick's Day used to be celebrated with all the local sports and after-school clubs walking down the main street followed by a music session in the local pub.

How times have changed!

Now, it's a weekend festival with not only parades but events and activities to entertain everyone in the family all over the island. has you covered if you are looking for things to do in Ireland, this and every weekend. Below, we've selected some of our favourites for the St. Patrick's Day weekend.

1). St. Patrick's Day Parades
Every county in Ireland will have a parade featuring the best local talent, clubs and businesses. The main parade in Dublin has a theme Home is Where the Heart is, and spectacular floats and flamboyant performances will weave their way through the streets of Dublin, cheered on by over half a million spectators.

2). Sky Park
This weekend is not only about parades and rugby.

Skypark, in Carlingford is a brilliant day out for children, families, couples and adults. On St. Patrick's Day you can avail of a special 2-1 offer when booking online with the code '2for1stpatricksday'.

Sky Park

3). Treasures of the National Museum
The St. Patrick's weekend presents the perfect opportunity to introduce your family to the iconic treasures in the National Museum. There are two tours on Sunday at 2.15pm and 3.30pm in the National Archaeology Museum that includes the ‘Tara’ Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice. No booking required. Places allocated on a first come basis. 

You can also explore and learn about some of the hidden meanings behind the symbols of Ireland at the National Museum of Decorative Arts & History on Sunday. The fascinating drop-in handling session for all ages starts at 3pm and uses the Museum’s collection of objects for handling.

4). Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes
On Monday 19th of March at 3pm, enjoy the wonderful anarchic work of children’s favourite Roald Dahl with storyteller and artist Wayne O’Connor as famous fairy tales are reimagined in a suitably revolting manner at the Hawk’s Well as part of Sligo Children's Book Festival.

Revolting Rhymes
Revolting Rhymes

5). Dublin Bay Prawn Festival
Howth is the place to be this weekend for the annual Prawn Festival and this year looks like being one of the biggest yet. Featuring food tents with a selection of dishes from local restaurants (not only prawns), live music, funfair and even a dog show!

6). Brigit's Garden
Down to Earth Forest School will be hosting a Stick Sunday Family Fun Day in Brigit's Garden on Sunday. Celebrate Irish culture with fire, crafts, stories and song in the woods. Places are limited so booking is advised.

7). National Botanic Gardens
On St. Patrick's Day, the Botanic Gardens will have a special Irish plant folklore tour, Shamrocks and Shillelagh. Plants have always been a key element in traditional Irish folklore. On this walk you can hear about the magical myths and legends that have surrounded Irish plants from ancient to modern times with fascinating tales of fairies, changelings and miracle plants.

Meet at the VisitoCentre at 2.30pm and the tour costs €5 per person.

Karen on tour Shamrocks and Shillelaghs
Karen on tour Shamrocks and Shillelaghs

8). Xtreme Funfair Swords
Xtreme Funfair returns to The Pavillions in Swords where you can enjoy all the attractions from the family rides to the white-knuckle rides.

They are open 2pm-10pm all weekend with an earlier 12 noon start on St.Patrick's Day. Tickets are pay-as-you-go or you can pre-purchase tickets online in advance for a discount.

9). Father Ted St. Patrick's Weekend Special
Dublin’s Laughter Lounge is hosting a special Father Ted-themed series of shows to celebrate St Patrick’s Day this year. Steve Cummins will play MC for the shows which will include a Lovely Girls Competition, and a bunch of other Craggy Island-related mischief.

10). FAKE | Science Gallery Dublin
From biomimicry to forged documents, from scandals to substitutes, FAKE, the new free exhibition at Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, asks when authenticity is essential, when copying is cool, and what the boundary is between a fakery faux-pas and a really fantastic FAKE. The exhibition will run until 3rd June.


11). St. Patrick's Weekend Shindigs
It's not all parades, you can also experience a taste of fresh air, fun and adventure at Carrowmena Activity Centre this St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend. Are you brave enough to tackle their 28ft Climbing Wall? Try to find hidden markers in orienteering or shoot arrows in our custom built Archery range. You can even go Kayaking on the beautiful River Roe with Binevenagh as a back drop.

12). glór
There is plenty to keep the family entertained on St. Patrick's Day in glór including the Imagination Playground, Face Painting,Puppetry Workshop, Family Traditional Music Session and Uoo, Mee, Wee, a charming and playful show about finding your feet and having the courage to be different.

13). The Moat Theatre
The Princess Bride is a classic fairytale adventure about a beautiful princess and the gallant hero who rescues her from an evil villain. The perfect Bank Holiday Monday classic that the whole family will love.

14). The Hunt Musuem
The Hunt Museum in Limerick continues their Drop-In Arts & Crafts on Sundays from 3pm-4pm during Spring. Children will create crafts on a specific theme which are linked to objects in thier collection, as well as enjoy a small tour where they learn about the objects. The theme this in March is Sunday Saints.

15). St Patrick's Day at Castle Espie
Listen to tales of St Patrick in the Crannog between 1-3pm and get up close to slithering snakes, including an Indian Python, as part of Karl Mantella's Zoo-2-You Roadshow. You can also have your face painted and enjoy special themed treats at the Kingfisher Kitchen, while listening to traditional themed music.

Castle Espie
Castle Espie

Three things to do next week:

1). Easter Alien Invaders
Take on other visitors in an attempt to be the first alien to land your UFO on Earth in W5, Interactive Discovery Centre in Belfast. Free with your admission, create your own weird and wonderful eggheaded alien and send him spinning through the solar system in special 'Flying Saucers'.

2). Greenan Maze
Spring might be arriving a bit late this year but some things are worth the wait. Greenan Maze will re-open on Saturday 24th March, just in time for the Easter School holidays. Book early if you want to take part in the Egg Hunt over the Easter weekend.

3). Aquazone at the National Aquatic Centre
Aquazone is open this Bank Holiday Monday and every day over the Easter Holidays. The National Sports Campus also run multi-sport camps over four days from March 26th to March 29th and April 3rd to April 6th. You might be training alongside an Irish Olympian!