When everybody’s Irish, everybody tends to get rowdy. Keep the kiddos safe — and let them be rowdy — at these great family friendly St. Patty’s Day celebrations.

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Downtown Atlanta
Peachtree Street and Ralph McGill Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30308

Price: Free
Date: March 17, 2012
Time: 12 p.m.

Kids love parades, so load up the mini van or SUV and head to downtown to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The annual parade begins at Peachtree Street and Ralph McGill Boulevard and proceeds down Peachtree to Woodruff Park. The 2012 St. Patrick’s Day parade in Atlanta is the 130th since it debuted in 1858, and it’s bigger and better than ever. With dozens of marching bands, floats and so much more, it’s the perfect family friendly event for everyone.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah
5 West Liberty St
Savannah, GA 31401

Price: Free
Date: March 17, 2012
Time: 10:15 a.m.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Savannah is celebrating its 188th year in 2012 and it’s the second largest parade in the world. The entire city joins in the huge celebration, which kicks off with the lively and colorful three-hour parade. More than 350 military units, award-winning bands, and world-famous Clydesdales march through the streets of historic Savannah as families cheer them on from the curb. It’s a scene unlike any other and definitely worth the trip. If you’ve never been to Savannah on St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll be delighted beyond belief.

Smyrna St. Patrick’s Day Fest
Smyrna Market Village
2840 Atlanta Rd. Southeast
Smyrna, GA 30080

Price: Free
Date: March 17, 2012
Hours: 4 p.m. to 11p.m.

This traditional Irish festival features carnival-style rides, a live DJ, a redhead contest, the mayor’s annual green dyeing of the fountain, and great food from local eateries. Proceeds benefit Mustard Seed Communities. No strollers, backpacks or coolers. If you plan on bringing the kids, go early to avoid the later, crazier crowds.

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Irish Fest at Tanglewood Farms
171 Tanglewood Dr.
Canton, GA 30015
(770) 667-6464

Price: $10 per person
Hours: March 1 to March 31 Wed to Fri – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sat and Sun 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tanglewood Farms goes green every March to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Families can get lucky by rubbing a real rabbit’s foot or going on a search for a four-leaf clover in the sprawling pasture. Or get up close and personal with real tailless Manx cats, which originated from the Isle of Man where Saint Patrick first stepped ashore.

Opening Day at Six Flags Over Georgia
275 Riverside Pkwy.
Austell, GA 30168
(770) 739-3400

Prices: $54.99 general admission/$39.99 for kids less than 48 inches/free for 2 and younger
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If parades don’t float your boat, head to Six Flags Over Georgia for opening day, which just happens to fall on St. Patrick’s Day this year. The amusement park is celebrating its 45th year of operations by introducing a new line-up of family shows, including the exciting illuminated dance show. There’s something for everyone at Six Flags. From heart-pounding thrill rides to much gentler choices for tots, it all opens on St. Patrick’s Day for the 2012 season of adventure.

Related: Best Parks for Kids in Atlanta 

Jackie Kass is a freelance writer from Atlanta with more than twenty years of writing experience. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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