Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, a lovely greyhound, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Friday, March 2, 2018

St. Patrick's Day Ideas (With Leprechaun Visits)

This spring is going by really quickly. It's hard to believe St. Patrick's Day is coming up so soon, with Easter only a few weeks behind.

This year, I haven't decided what the Leprechaun visit will be like. Our new dog has recently discovered finding and picking things up off the floor, so I will have to be careful where the Leprechaun items are placed. The kids also both know the secret behind the leprechaun visit, but still want him/her to come. Bernardo has known about the holidays for a few years and was really good about keeping it a secret. However, someone at school spilled the secret of S.C. to Higgins last year right before Christmas and all the holiday mysteries unraveled from there. They still really get a kick out of finding the Elf, the Leprechaun visit/treats, and finding their Easter baskets, so I'm going to try to keep finding new ways to surprise them.

Below are my St. Patrick's Day food, activity, craft, and leprechaun visit ideas. I'll update this post with any new ones!

  • Almost every year we have Beef Stew with Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day. (The kids aren't huge fans of corned beef yet.) The soda bread tastes best when you make it the day before, or at least the morning of.
  • Shamrock sucker napkin rings.
  • Rainbow and Shamrock pancakes. Once I started using condiment bottles and candy making/decorating bottles, the shapes were easy to do. I made regular pancake batter, separated into 4 bowls, added food coloring (blue, green, yellow, red). I then placed one color in each bottle and piped the shapes onto the hot skillet/griddle. Once the pancakes were done, I placed them on a plate and added whipped cream clouds under the rainbows.
  • Rainbow bread. One year, I made a braided loaf of bread with rainbow colors. After mixing the dough, I separated into equal pieces (I think 5), dyed each section a different color, rolled out the strand, and braided. We used it to make french toast and rainbow sandwiches for St. Patrick's Day.
  • Rainbow cupcakes (version 1 and version 2). These are a little more time consuming than regular cupcakes, but make a big impression when someone bites into them. Another option is to hollow out the center of a cupcake and fill with sprinkles or small candies. I haven't made these yet, because I hate biting into a cupcake and getting a bunch of hard candy in my mouth. Plus, it falls out everywhere. However, it is a surprise and kids love extra sugar.
  • Shepherd's Pie. Another easy dinner for St. Patrick's Day. This is a mild recipe. We like a little more seasoning in our dishes, so I add diced garlic, fresh ground pepper, and paprika to the meat. A little chili powder might also be nice. For the potatoes, I also added fresh ground pepper and used sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Lunch time fun: cut bell peppers width wise to get a shamrock shape, add a chocolate gold coin under a sandwich, make lunch all green (see leprechaun visit below).
  • St. Patrick's Day Shake. My version of the shamrock shake.
  • Make cookies. The boys love decorating cookies (and of course eating them!). I have a shamrock cookie cutter and we make sugar cookies. (Click here for a sugar cookie recipe that keeps its shape.) If you don't have a shamrock cutter, you can use a heart cookie cutter. Cut out 3 hearts, overlap the points and push down to join. Cut a small piece of dough for the stem and push down to add to the shamrock. Bake, cook, and decorate. I also made Pots of Gold cookies. I couldn't find a pot/cauldron cookie cutter and ended up using a cupcake cookie cutter. Once it was decorated, it looked really nice and like a pot of gold!
  • Hidden Shamrock Pound Cake. Shamrock shape hiding inside the pound cake.
  • Oreo Gold Coins. There are a couple of ways to make these cookie coins. 1. Spray one side of the cookie with Wilton Gold Color Mist Spray (edible). Let dry. Turn over, spray other side, let dry. 2. Dip in yellow/gold candy melts or yellow colored white chocolate.
  • Pretzel coins. Buy round pretzels. Locally, I can only find these at Meijer, but I'm sure other stores must carry something similar. Dip pretzel in melted yellow candy melts. Place on a piece of wax paper. Fill in the center with candy melts. Let set. You could also pipe on a shamrock/clover in yellow or green candy melt. For extra shine, spray with the edible Gold Color Mist Spray.
  • Leprechaun Donuts. These could be make for the Leprechaun to eat when he or she comes to visit, or to be left by the leprechaun for the kids to find.
  • Pretzel shamrocks. Use mini twist pretzels to form the shamrock shape. Dip 3 twists in green candy melt/green colored white chocolate. Place on a piece of wax paper, with bottoms touching. There will be a small gap in the middle. Fill in with candy melt/chocolate. Break a piece of a twist or stick pretzel to form the stem. Dip in candy melt, place shamrock stem. Let set/dry completely.
  • My list of green foods. Let me know if I missed any and I will add to the list!


I hate cleaning up after the Elf and Leprechaun, so their visits are usually not very messy. Normally, the leprechaun leaves a trail of some kind leading to the pots of gold (treats are usually gold/yellow or green colors).
  • Leprechaun Pots of Gold. I went a little crazy on our first leprechaun visit. I made a rainbow out of construction paper and taped it to the wall. Above the rainbow hung a cloud made of batting and it was raining jelly beans over the pots of gold. I should have used a clear thread to hang the cloud and jelly beans, but forgot to buy it. Be careful when stringing the jelly beans: the needle gets sticky very fast and can be hard to push the the candy. Watch out for your finger tips! 
  • Leprechaun Treat Bags: how to make your own pot shaped baggies. If you don't want to make your own, Wilton does sell a treat bag that has a bowl type of bottom. You could cut out pot shaped piece of black construction paper and place inside (or tape to the outside depending on the filler for the bag), to form a treat bag that looks like a pot.
  • Make their lunch all green! They got a kick out of this last year. I think this would even work with older kids (maybe without the leprechaun note).
    • Include a note from the tricky leprechaun and include a gold chocolate coin as an extra treat.
    • Sandwich: Use green bread or green tortillas to make their sandwiches. I made peanut butter and apple wraps in a green tortilla.
    • Celery sticks with peanut butter.
    • Fruits & Veggies: kiwis, granny smith or golden delicious apples, green grapes, cantaloupe, pears, green bell pepper slices, celery, sugar snap peas, green applesauce (or at least with a green lid)
    • Sides: green chocolate dipped pretzels, green veggie straws/chips, green tortilla chips, green candy popcorn (see my Candied Popcorn post for directions, just use green, white, and/or gold candy melts), only green jelly beans/M&M's/Skittles
    • Green pasta: buy green pasta. My local grocery store usually carries Barilla and Ronzoni brands Veggie/Garden Rotini or spaghetti noodles. Sometimes they also have Ronzoni SuperGreens Rotini. If you cannot find the Garden/Veggie pasta at your grocery store, try adding green food coloring to the water before cooking regular pasta.
    • One year, I wrapped rainbow crepe paper around the stair railings. There was also a trail of coin shaped confetti leading to the hidden pots of treasure. I made sure to include a few dead ends, so it took them a little while to find their treats. 
    • Another time, I made rainbows for the trail. I used both regular rainbows and rainbows where the colors were in reverse order. The normal rainbow trail led to their pots. However, the reverse rainbow trails led to quite a few dead ends. The dead end trails also had small pots, but they had a note that said "This one is a trick. Keep looking.". 
    • Make a scavenger hunt from the leprechaun for the kids to find their pots of gold. I did a small scavenger type of hunt last year. There were small pots hidden around. The ones that had the pipe cleaner shamrocks attached, contained the clues.
    • This year, I am toying with the idea of setting a reverse trap. Normally, you set a trap for the leprechaun, but I'm thinking of setting an obstacle course for the kids to get to their pots. Maybe something similar to when our elf made a crepe paper barricade in the hallway? Higgins saw it as an obstacle course and had a blast with it. Or maybe cut out paper chains of shamrock and pot of gold shapes like this years elf made paper barricade?
    • Some fun pot of gold fillers:
      • Green, gold, or St. Patrick's Day themed pencils or pens
      • Fun pencil toppers/erasers
      • Green or yellow bouncy balls
      • Bubbles (some party stores sell individual items so you can pick out a green or yellow one)
      • Shamrock stickers
      • Shamrock sucker (either store bought, or see shamrock sucker napkin rings for an easy to make shamrock shaped sucker) 
      • Green or gold Frisbee
      • Chocolate gold coins
      • Gold/yellow wrapped candy (mini Snickers, mini Reese's cups, Sixlets, Rolos, Starburst, Hershey Kisses...). Party City normally has bins where you can buy individual candy pieces and items for goodie bags. It's my go-to store for finding small filler ideas. Some stores carry single color bags of jelly beans (either prepackaged or fill your own bag stations).
      • Arcade tokens
      • Car wash tokens
      • St. Patrick's Day rubber ducks (shamrock, leprechaun)
      • "Gold" $1 coins (can usually get these from the bank)
      • Small Nerf gun or ball (yellow or green)
      • Small water gun (yellow or green)
      • Yellow or green nail polish, hair bows, ribbons, bracelets
      • Cars, toys, art supplies, beauty supplies...Pretty much anything your child likes, that happens to come in yellow or green colors, and will fit in the pot will work. Higgins loves to use my tape, so his pot of gold has had rolls of tape that have yellow or green covers to them.
      • Books: (You know me, I love books and giving my kids books!)

 Pipe Cleaner Shamrock Instructions:

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