Mostly Free and Fun Things to do With Kids in CT This Weekend, March 14-15: St. Patrick's Day, Parades, Maple Fest, Theatre & More!

3/11/15 - By Pam Hegner

You don't have to be Irish to appreciate St. Patrick's Day. The green clothes, crafts, decorations and treats will bring out the leprechaun in all of our lads and lasses. There are a ton of events happening this weekend around the March 17th holiday. Some of them are listed below, and check out our posts on Things to do for St. Patrick's Day in Fairfield County and Hartford County. Of course, not everything will revolve around St. Pat's and we've listed those events too.

Hartford will be busy this weekend with the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Men's AAC Basketball Tournament in town, so plan your trips accordingly.  

Summer will be here before you know it, and our Summer Camp Open House post is a valuable resource for planning ahead. 

There will be rain all day Saturday so please check your venue before heading out to make sure that they haven't postponed or canceled their event.

Like us on Facebook (make sure Mommy Poppins CT shows up on your feed by including us in your "interests list." To put a page on your "interests list," hover over the "Like" button and you'll see a pull-down menu that offers an "add to your interests lists" choice). Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and be sure to get the weekend round up every Thursday.    

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest in order to get updates on events, contests and giveaways. Our event calendar is constantly updated with the best activities around the state.

Here are some suggestions for the weekend ahead! 


All Weekend 

Charlotte's Web at Newington Children's Theater Company (Hartford County) 
The legendary E.B. White story has been lauded "The best American children's book of the past two hundred years" by the Children's Literature Association. The story of Wilbur the pig and his friends is guaranteed to delight young audiences! Come check it out, as it runs through March 22nd. 
Adults - $12 ($15 at door); children - $10 ($12 at door).

St. Patrick's Day Parades - Saturday and Sunday (Hartford and New Haven Counties) 

Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade (Hartford County) 
The 44th annual event begins on Capitol Avenue by the State Capitol. It travels down Main, Asylum, Ford and then ends at the Memorial Arch at Bushnell Park. This is an extremely popular event, so be sure to stake out your spot nice and early.
Saturday. Free. 

Milford St. Patrick's Day Parade (New Haven County)
If you don't feel like braving the crowds for the big parade Sunday in New Haven, head to downtown Milford for plenty of Irish flair and flavor. It will last anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 hours and will have great local bands and organizations.  
Saturday. Free.  

Greater New Haven St. Patrick's Day Parade (New Haven County) 
What started in 1842 with about 90 people marching, is now Connecticut's largest single-spectator event! The parade starts at Derby Avenue and Chapel Street, continues down Church and Grove and ends on Orange Street. It will last about 3 hours, and vendors will be along the route. Come and absorb this Elm City tradition!  

Hebron Maple Festival (Tolland County) 
A full weekend of maple-themed events in charming Hebron! Tour local sugar houses and see demonstrations, watch the antique tractor parade, get your face painted, sample great local food, buy local craft items, and more! POSTPONED to March 21st-22nd.
Saturday-Sunday. Free. 

Saturday, March 14

Family Day at the Bellarmine Museum of Art (Fairfield County) 
Exploring Impressionism is the theme for this wonderful day out geared for ages 4-12. Take a child-friendly tour of the galleries and learn about this popular era in art. There will be story time and arts and crafts, so bring out your little Monet or Renoir for some fun. 

Story time and Family Craft With Andrea; Celtic Knots and Symbols in Greenwich (Fairfield County)
The Byram-Shubert Library in Greenwich hosts this program geared towards kids ages 2-5, but everyone is welcome. You'll sing songs, learn the meaning and origin of Celtic symbols and then create some of your own. 

Maple Sugaring with Flanders Nature Center (Litchfield County) 
This is a special family event with the After School Arts Program. You'll explore the historic preserve and identify the right trees. Then collect sap and learn how to boil it down. Learn the fascinating history behind this art and then sample the final product. You don't want to miss this personal tour and experience! Please register. POSTPONED to MARCH 21st due to RAIN.
$35 per family. 

Sunday, March 15 

St. Patrick's Day Classic at Jennings Beach (Fairfield County) 
Scenic Jennings Beach in Fairfield is the sight of a festive array of races benefiting charity. Runners and walkers of all ability and ages are welcome. There is a 1/2 mile kids fun run, one-mile run, two-mile walk and the main event 4-miler. Post-race party includes great food from and Irish music.  Register early and dress in your best green garb!
$8 and up. 

Open Cockpit Day at the New England Air Museum (Hartford County)
You'll want to find time to check out this really cool aviation museum right near Bradley Airport. Climb into the cockpits of eight vintage aircraft and two flight simulators. The whole family will be fascinated by these amazing machines. There are several hands-on activities for kids, food vendors and two performances of an original play "Red Haired Flying Devil," so plan to spend the day. 
Adults - $12, children (4-11) - $6.50, under 3 - free. 

Maple Syrup Festival and Pancake Brunch at Common Ground (New Haven County) 
Common Ground is an urban farm and educational center where community activities are held throughout the year. This event is a family favorite to celebrate winter's end and see the tapped trees, and taste the sap from start until it turns into delicious maple syrup. They'll have a campfire in the woods and then yummy food including pancakes and their own farm-raised eggs and bacon. No registration required. 
$8; under 3 - free.

3rd Annual Kidologie Fair (Fairfield County)
Just in time for summer, Kidologie Children's Fairs brings together under one roof kid-friendly businesses offering information on social, recreational, cultural, and educational activities and programs to assist families in planning how they will spend their warm summer months. Use promotional code KID1002 and save 20%.
$10 adults, $5 children, $20 family (2 adults, 3 children)

Fly Guy and Other Stories at The Kate in Old Saybrook (Middlesex County) 
Theatreworks USA puts on this musical revue of seven well-known stories including "Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl" and "Diary of a Work." Best for ages 4 and up. The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a beautiful venue in the heart of historic Old Saybrook. 
Adults - $16; children - $10.

Sleeping Giant Spring Hike in Hamden (New Haven County) 
It may not feel like spring yet, but that shouldn't stop anyone from the spring hike at the beautiful and scenic Sleeping Giant State Park. This free, guided hike will last from three to five hours and is not for novices, so use discretion with your children. Minors must be accompanied by an adult and will have to sign a permission slip. 

For more ideas on things to do, don't forget to check our events calendar daily!

Have a wonderful weekend!