When March rolls around, all you want to do is drink green beer, eat corned beef and cabbage, and celebrate your Irish roots (even if you don’t officially have any). But if your days of rowdy reveling are a distant memory, you might find yourself wondering: Are there any child-friendly St. Patrick's Day activities in NJ? You bet your lucky charms there are! Grab the kids and march on over to any of these great St. Paddy's Day parades and celebrations.
Atlantic City St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Atlantic City
This year’s parade features music, marching bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers, floats, and more. The parade takes place at 1 p.m. on the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. It begins at North Carolina Avenue and the boardwalk.
Mummers at the Hamilton St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Hamilton St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Hamilton
Formerly the Trenton St. Patrick’s Day Parade, this parade moved to Hamilton four years ago. The opening ceremonies begin at 12:30 p.m., and the parade kicks off at 1 p.m.
Morris County’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Morristown
This parade touts itself as having more bands than the Rose Bowl parade! Seventy thousand are expected to be in attendance at this big, family-friendly event, which begins with pre-parade festivities at the Green at 10:30 a.m. The parade itself starts at noon near the corner of South and James.
Ocean County St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Seaside Heights
Come on down to the 31st Annual Ocean County St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Seaside Heights. It all begins at noon on the Boulevard.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Celebration – Sea Isle City
Celebrate in Sea Isle City with live music, antique vehicles, floats, and more. The celebration starts at 1 p.m., and the parade takes place at 3:30 p.m. at 93rd Street and Landis Avenue. You can join the party immediately following the parade at Kix McNutley’s.
Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Elizabeth
The festivities begin with a mass at St. Patrick’s Church in Elizabeth, followed by a parade at 1 p.m. sharp. There will be activities for the whole family, including a kid’s zone on Stuyvesant Avenue.
Kids' St. Patrick's Day Celebration at The Shannon Rose Irish Pub- Clifton and Ramsey
This kid-centric St. Patty's Day party features all kinds of Irish fun, including music, face painters and a costume contest. Event is held at both locations.
Asbury Park Saint Patrick's Day Parade – Asbury Park
The parade begins at 1 p.m. on the boardwalk at 5th and Ocean Avenues and heads into downtown. You can expect floats, marching bands, dancing, performances, and more.
Bagpipers at the Bergen County Parade.
Bergen County St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Bergenfield
This family-friendly parade marches up Washington Avenue in Bergenfield. The celebration starts with the Grand Marshall Breakfast at Tommy Fox's Public House, and the parade kicks off at 2 p.m.
Clinton St. Patrick's Day Parade – Clinton
Clinton's St. Patrick's Day parade begins at Clinton Community Center and goes through the town. The parade takes place at 3 p.m.
Hackettstown St. Patrick's Day Parade – Hackettstown
Hackettstown's St. Patrick's Day Parade is one of the town's biggest events, drawing more than 14,000 attendees. This year's parade kicks off at 3:30 p.m., with Grand Marshal Michael Lavery leading a procession that will include Irish dance groups, bands, bagpipes, drums, floats, fire and rescue squads, animals, and more.
The Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Rumson
Celebrate being Irish with Rumson's 5th annual parade. Louis (Lee) Carr is the Grand Marshal of a parade that will feature marching bands from area high schools, Irish Step Dancers, floats, bagpipes, and much more local color. The parade begins at 1 p.m. at Victory Park and will travel to East River Road, turn on Carton Street, and end at the school.
Woodbridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Woodbridge
The theme of this year's parade is 50 years of American Irish in Woodbridge. A flag-raising ceremony at Town Hall kicks things off at 9 a.m. The parade begins at 1:30 p.m. at Woodbridge High School and ends at Town Hall.
Sussex County St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Newton
The 14th Annual (self-proclaimed) “shortest parade in the U.S.,” takes place at 11:30 a.m. The excitement includes bands, floats, Irish dancers, local schools, and treats for the kiddos.
Bayonne St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Bayonne
Bayonne celebrates St. Patrick’s Day all month with its Irish flag–raising ceremony, the annual St. Patrick’s Party, St. Patrick’s dinner dance, and the city’s parade. The parade takes place at 1 p.m. at 5th Street and Broadway.
Top photo: Irish Step Dancers at the Bergen County St. Patrick's Day Parade, Photos courtesy of the parades.
Originally published 2013; updated for 2017.