If your days of rowdy reveling and guzzling green beer are a distant memory, you might find yourself wondering: Are there any kid-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.
Sunday, March 4
Belmar St. Patrick's Day Parade – Belmar
Head down the shore for Belmar's annual parade featuring thousands of marchers, several bands, and festive floats. The parade starts at 12:30pm and takes place on Main Street.
Saturday, March 10
Atlantic City St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Atlantic City
This year’s parade features music, marching bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers, floats, and more on the world-famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. It begins at 1pm just north of the Garden Pier and ends at Albany Avenue.
Little Irish step dancers add to the cheer at the Hamilton St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Hamilton St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Hamilton
Formerly the Trenton St. Patrick’s Day Parade, this celebration moved to Hamilton several years ago. The opening ceremonies begin at 12:30pm, and the parade kicks off at 1pm.
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 10:30am. The parade itself starts at noon at the Morristown Municipal Building on South Street.
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.
Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Elizabeth
The celebration begin with a mass at St. Patrick’s Church in Elizabeth, followed by the opening of the Reviewing Stand Festivities at Morris and Stuyvesant Avenues in Union at noon, and then the parade at 1pm sharp. There will be activities for the whole family, including a kids' zone on Stuyvesant Avenue.
Kids' St. Patrick's Day Celebration at The Shannon Rose Irish Pub – Clifton and Ramsey
This kid-centric St. Paddy's Day party features all kinds of Irish fun, including music, face painting, and more. The party kicks off with a scavenger hunt at 11am, and at 2pm there's a leprechaun costume contest for kids. The event is held at both locations and space is limited, so call for a reservation.
Sunday, March 11
Asbury Park Saint Patrick's Day Parade – Asbury Park
The parade begins at 1pm on the boardwalk at 5th and Ocean Avenues and heads into downtown. You can expect floats, marching bands, dancing, performances, and more.
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Bergenfield is bursting with Irish pride at the Bergen County St. Patrick's Day 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 2pm.
Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Hunterdon County's St. Patrick's Day Parade – Clinton
The 2018 FSSP St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at Clinton Community Center and goes through the town on a family-friendly route. The Parade will highlight Irish-American traditions and culture, including Pipe & Drum bands, along with Irish dancers, musicians, singers, public service groups, veterans, canine groups, and much more. The parade takes place at 3pm.
See festive floats, dancers bagpipes and more at the Hackettstown St. Patrick's Day Parade.
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 3:30pm, 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 at Rumson's fifth 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 pm 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 9am, and the parade begins at 1:30pm at Woodbridge High School and ends at Town Hall.
Somerville St. Patrick's Day Parade – Somerville
Somerville hosts one of the biggest St. Paddy's Day parades in Central NJ, with bands, dancers, and bag pipe players. The parade goes down Main Street starting at 1:30pm; come early or stick around afterward to enjoy Downtown Somerville.
Saturday, March 17
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 1pm., and the parade kicks off at 3:30pm at 93rd Street and Landis Avenue. You can join the party immediately following the parade at Kix McNutley’s.
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Grab some luck from a leprechaun at the Sussex County St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Sussex County St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Newton
The 15th Annual (self-proclaimed) “shortest parade in the U.S.,” takes place at 11:30am. The excitement includes bands, floats, Irish dancers, local schools, and treats for the kiddos.
Sunday, March 18
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 1pm at 5th Street and Broadway.
Top photo: Union County St. Patrick's Day Parade. All photos courtesy of the parades.
Originally published 2013; updated for 2018.