In addition to your local parade, there are many ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the Boston area. From storytimes to animal fun to crafts to music, you're sure to find something to bring out your Irish green!
Zoo New England
"St. Patrick's Day Fun," Children's Museum in Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., Easton. Fri.., March 14, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. With museum admission: $9. Celtic music, crafts and a little leprechaun magic. Participate in different activities from searching for pots of gold to learning the history of St. Patrick’s Day. Best of all wearin’ of the green will get you a special treat at the front desk. www.childrensmuseumineaston.org
"St. Patrick's Day Storytime and Treasure Hunt," The Curious George Store, 1 JFK St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. Fri., March 14, 10 a.m. - 10:45. Free. RSVP required. Listen to some St. Patty’s themed books and then find the gold at the end of the rainbow following the clues around the store. www.thecuriousgeorgestore.com
"Celtic Celebration," Old Sturbridge Village, Route 20, Sturbridge. Sat., March 15 & Sun., March 16, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Adults, $24; seniors (65 and over), $22; ages 3-17, $8; 2 and under, free. Irish music, food, step dancing, and stories. Irish musicians will explain the difference between jigs and reels and tell of the Irish experience through song. Museum exhibits and historians will explain what caused the wave of Irish immigration in the 19th century, and also talk about what life was like for Irish families after they arrived in America. www.osv.org
"WGBH's A St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn," Sanders Theatre, 1500 Mass. Ave., Cambridge. Sat., March 15, 8 p.m. & Sun., March 16, 3 p.m. $25-$45. A wide range of new and familiar musicians alike perform to help celebrate the holiday in true Irish style. www.wgbh.org
"St. Patty-cakes Breakfast," Buttonwood Park Zoo, 425 Hawthorne St., New Bedford. Sun., March 16, 9 a.m. Adult members, $8; child members, $5; adult non-members, $13; child non-members, $10; under 1 are free. Pre-registration with payment required. Delight in deliciously green pancakes in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day at the Bear’s Den Café, then explore the Zoo to see what all the animals are up to for the day. www.bpzoo.org
"St. Patrick's Day Enrichment," Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd., Boston. Sun., March 16, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. With zoo admission: adults, $17.95; seniors, $14.95; ages 2-12, $11.95; under 2 and members, free. Watch as many of the animals receive green-themed enrichment items. Enrichment can be offered in a variety of different ways and zookeepers use novelty foods, sounds, smells, boxes, bags, and toys to provide activities that excite all the senses. www.zoonewengland.org
"Celebrate St. Patrick's Day," Boston Children's Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. Mon., March 17, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. With museum admission: $14. Various activities to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, including the Boston Police Gaelic Column of Pipes and Drums (at 11:30am), making a 4 leaf clover, creating green bubbles, a parade at 2 p.m. and more. www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org
If you have children, you know who author Marc Brown is -- the creator, author, and illustrator of the beloved Arthur series, featuring his iconic “little aardvark with a big agenda.”
More than 66 million Arthur books are now in print in the United States and the PBS television show Arthur is the network’s most-watched children’s program and the winner of six Emmy Awards. It is enjoyed by children and families in more than 100 countries around the world. Brown and his wife Laurie Krasney Brown are also the creators of the critically-acclaimed nonfiction Dino Life Guides for Families series. During this afternoon event at the Boston Public Library, children are encouraged to participate in the question-and-answer period with Mr. Brown and craft questions for him. Mr. Brown appears in Boston Public Library’s 2014 Lowell Lecture Series which is dedicated to the theme “Gateway to Reading,” a program which explores the fundamental importance of childhood literacy and addresses the joys, discoveries, questions, and challenges facing today’s generation of young readers. The series of acclaimed speakers includes beloved authors and illustrators who turn reluctant readers into voracious bookworms, noted scholars in the field of children’s literature, and experts who bring literacy skills and the love of reading and writing to children in new and groundbreaking ways. Sunday, March 9, 2 p.m. Free. All ages. Boston Public Library, Rabb Lecture Hall, 700 Boylston St., Boston. www.bpl.org
Marc Brown Photo
Take a trip around the world at the Puppet Showplace Theatre with Sparky's Puppets in "One World, Many Stories," an interactive performance featuring funny folktales from Asia, Africa, and Europe. Visit a friendly family of mice in Japan. Laugh at the antics of West African trickster Anansi the Spider. Then, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, meet a mischievous leprechaun who proves very hard to catch! Kathleen “Sparky” Davis began dramatizing stories with hand puppets while working as a children's librarian. Since 1980, Sparky's Puppets have performed for children and family audiences at schools, libraries and festivals throughout New England. Every summer, Sparky creates a special show for the Rhode Island statewide public libraries' summer reading program. March 13 & 14, 10:30 a.m.; March 15 & 16, 1 & 3 p.m. Ages 3 and up. $12. Puppet Showplace Theatre, 32 Station Street, Brookline. www.puppetshowplace.org
Puppet Showplace Theatre
Playful Paws Playgroup at the Franklin Park Zoo is as much for the caregivers as it is for the "cubs."
In this unique playgroup just for toddlers, you can get out of the house and bring your little one (18 months to 3 years) to the zoo for some open play and animal exploration. At each class you'll learn through looking, touching and movement. The possibilities are endless and may include story times, animal encounters, biofacts, simple crafts, and more! And, if the weather is nice, you might go for treks outside. Pricing varies by number of programs per month. Individual class registrations open up after the first class has happened if there is still space available. Wednesdays in March, 10:15 - 11:00 a.m. Members, $32 adult/child pair; Non-members, $40 adult/child pair. Franklin Park Zoo, One Franklin Park Rd., Boston. www.zoonewengland.org
Zoo New England
The Jewish holiday Purim is a joyous festival that celebrates the bravery of Queen Esther, a Persian monarch, who, along with her cousin Mordechai, foiled the plans of the king's advisor (Haman) to exterminate the Jews in Persia.
The general topsy-turvy spirit of Purim is ascribed both to the merry celebration of the occasion, and as an allusion to how the decree against the Jews was suddenly overturned and their standing in the kingdom went from outcast to privileged. Join the celebration of Purim in and around Boston with these family-friendly events:
"Celebrate Purim," Boston Children's Museum, 308 Congress St. Sun., March 2, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. $14. Enjoy all your favorite exhibits plus see a PJ Library story come to life in an interactive musical puppet show. Children will make holiday crafts, watch a Purim Shpiel (play), and more. www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org
"Purim Merriment at the Museum" Children's Museum of Easton, 9 Sullivan Ave., Easton. Sun., March 9, 10-11:30 a.m. $15 per family preregistered; walk-ins, $20. Celebration includes dancing, sing-a-longs, costume parade, crafts and hamantaschen (Purim pastries). www.bostonjcc.org/southpurimmuseumFULL ENTRY
The Butterfly Place is an indoor garden filled with hundreds of free-flying butterflies. Visitors can see New England butterflies and tropical species from all over the world through October. Walk along a winding
pathway. Observe butterflies sipping from flowers, basking in the sunshine and flying freely in a natural habitat. Enjoy the koi fish and quail birds which live among the butterflies. Visit the "show and tell bench," where a staff member is always available to answer your questions and help make your visit fun. See eggs, caterpillars or other interesting creatures up close. Watch a 15 minute, continuously running video which explains the butterfly life cycle. Explore exhibits where you may observe eggs, caterpillars, cocoons and chrysalides. Each display gives information about the species featured. The butterfly flight area is kept at 80-85 degrees as butterflies need warmth to fly. Dress appropriately. There is air conditioning in all other areas. Most visitors spend about one hour. Your admission is valid for the entire day, so you may "come and go" as you please. There is no place to eat inside. The Butterfly Place does offer an outdoor picnic area, where there is a covered tent available from April through Halloween. In addition, there are nearby places to go for coffee, lunch or ice cream. Don’t forget your camera! Open daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Ticket sales end 30 minutes prior to closing. All ages. Children under 3 must be in strollers, backpacks, carried or held by the hand. Adults, $12; seniors, $10; ages 3-12, $8; under 3, free. The Butterfly Place, 120 Tyngsboro Rd., Westford. www.butterflyplace-ma.com
The Butterfly Place
Spring celebrations begin early at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary with the age-old tradition of maple sugaring. The warm days of late winter awaken the flow of sap in the
maples, causing buds to swell and resulting in sweet-smelling, billowing clouds of steam rising from the sugarhouse. On these naturalist-guided tours you will learn how to identify a sugar maple, observe tapping and sap collection methods, watch the sap being boiled down in the sugarhouse, and get a sweet taste of the final product. Afterwards, you can warm up in the barn by the wood stove, indulge in a hot dog cooked in maple sap, sample delicious soups and desserts made by sanctuary volunteers, or browse through the gift shop. The syrup is available for sale (quantities may be limited). Tours last about an hour and run rain or shine. Dress warmly and wear warm waterproof boots because the walk is entirely outdoors. Advance registration required. Sat. & Sun., March 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 & 16. Tours begin at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Members: adults, $8; ages 3 and up, $7. Non-members: adults, $9; ages 3 and up, $8. Under 3 are free and should be in a backpack. Ipswich River Sanctuary, 87 Perkins Row, Topsfield. www.massaudubon.org
Photo by Marie-Anne Verougstraete
In honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday, head to the Providence Children's Museum for a wonderfully wacky weekend-long celebration full of Seussational activities and crazy Seuss characters!
Inspired by "Horton Hears a Who!," visitors can use an array of interesting loose parts to fashion theor own Who-ville sound inventions. Cast a line to catch One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and try your hand at a Cat in the Hat toss game. Browse silly Seuss stories, act out your own Seussian tales in a puppet theater, and more. Sat. & Sun., March 1 & 2, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. All ages. With museum admission, $9. Providence Children's Museum, 100 South St., Providence, RI. www.childrenmuseum.org
Providence Children's Museum
As part of Winter on the Waterfront's Family Fun Week, District Hall in Boston's buzzing Innovation District will play host to its first ever science fair tomorrow afternoon. During the event, some of the best and brightest local tech companies on the verge of incredible breakthroughs will entertain, enlighten, and inspire kids of all ages into new heights of thinking. Say goodbye to the three-cornered posterboards in the lunchroom science fair -- this one is sure to blow them away! Mad Science of Greater Boston will present a science show for children that highlights some of the best of Mad Science. Mad Science’s high energy demonstrations are fun and sure to leave the children with memories that last well beyond the grand finale. The show will also include foggy dry ice and demonstrations of how science is used to float beach balls in the air. And, with suggestions from the audience, the Mad Scientist will unlock the mystery of how to get “Egg-bert” back into his house. Ever seen scissors sizzle and shiver? Ever taken a bubble shower? Here’s your chance! Sat., Feb. 15, noon - 3 p.m. Free. All ages. District Hall, 75 Northern Ave., Boston. www.winteronthewaterfront.org
Bundle up and celebrate all things winter at Lowell's annual Winterfest.The two days of fun kicks off on Friday at 3 p.m. with free skating at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, followed by a number of kids' activities, including face painting, balloon animals, a special Lowla Bear temporary tattoo station, a live magic and juggling show by "Lucky Bob," and DIY snowman building. There's also a 21+ party at Club Celsius ($5). Both the official opening ceremonies and the Human Dogsled preliminary heat and costume contest will be held at 6 p.m. The 3rd annual Microbrew Showcase & Competition (21+, $20) will begin at 7 p.m., and includes samples of some of the area's finest craft brews, microbrews, and gluten-free hard ciders from across the nation with over two dozen brewers represented. Enjoy live musical performances in conjunction with the New England Music Awards (NEMA). Cost of admission includes fifteen sample tickets redeemable for 3-ounce samples. Saturday is equally filled with activities and events including wildlife tracking, an all-you-can-eat chocolate festival, a trivia contest, indoor playspace (with crafts, music, games and more), maple sugaring, outdoor ice games, carriage rides, the national soup competition, live dog mushing demonstrations, the Human Dogsled finals, pyrotechnic displays, spoken word performances, and more. Winterfest ends with a laser light show inside Club Celsius. This winter's been a long one -- but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate the season! Fri., Feb. 21 & Sun., Feb. 22. Most events are free but some have a small admission fee. Pricing details and times of each event/activity is listed on the event website. Winterfest is held at various locations in downtown Lowell. www.lowell.org/pages/winterfest
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.