St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun, Plus Book and Movie Suggestions, Articles, Photos!

We enjoy St. Patrick’s Day so much in our house (don’t worry we celebrate every time there is a chance to celebrate) that I’m not even getting my second St. Patrick’s Day post up until almost midnight! I hope the Leprechauns won’t mind, as I really don’t want them playing tricks on me!


The girls and I made Shamrock sugar cookie cut-outs the night before, with homemade mint buttercream, and they took to their classmates.  This kicked-off our celebrations!

2014-03-16 19.38.07

While they were at school, we went out and grabbed Reubens for lunch.  Then after school, homework, and me putting on a big pot of my Irish Stew, the kids and I went out and got some McDonald’s Shamrock shakes (how could we not, plus the six-year-old was begging), some St. Patrick’s day party stuff like glasses, mustaches, straws, and we came home and watched the animated “The Secret of the Kells” which is a 2009 movie set in the eighth century (see synopsis below).

Secret of the Kells

I mixed up my Irish Soda Bread dough and popped that into the oven as the stew simmered and we set-up our annual Leprechaun hunt. My middle daughter always makes tiny Leprechauns on paper and we stick them to bags of mint M&Ms and money and hide them all over the house. Then, the kids try to find the pesky fellows and have a lot of fun. We enjoyed our stew, warm soda bread with butter, and 7-UP with lime sherbet to drink out of straws shaped like Shamrocks.

Before leaving you with an array of photos from our day, we have a few suggestions for books and movies if you have a love of the Irish.  Or let us know your favorites in the comments below. We’ll also leave you with a few older posts, including a post from another one of my blogs that features my recipes.

Books (4 for children and 1 adult option)~

fiona's luck cover1) Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 – 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge; New edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English

The greedy Leprechaun King has locked away all the luck in Ireland and the whole country has fallen in to despair. Through clever charades, Fiona outwits the Leprechaun King and restores luck to the land.

Luminous illustrations add to the magic and wonder of this original folktale.

depaola st pat2) Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie de Paola

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What’s this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (P) (February 1994)
  • Language: English

The story of Patrick’s life, from his noble birth in Britain, to his being captured and taken to Ireland by a group of bandits, to the “dreams” that led him to convert the Irish people to the Christian faith. DePaola also retells several well-known legends, including the story of how Patrick got rid of all the snakes in Ireland. Full color.

StPatDay13) A Fine St. Patrick’s Day by Susan Wojciechowski (Author) , Tom Curry (Illustrator)

  • Age Range: 3 – 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 2
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Books; Reprint edition (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English

WELCOME TO THE rival towns of Tralee and Tralah, where the annual St. Patrick’s Day decorating contest is under way. Every year, Tralah defeats Tralee. This year, though, little Fiona Riley has a wonderful idea that will help Tralee win the contest for sure. But neither town has counted on a stranger arriving—a funny little man with pointed ears and boots trimmed with bells—who will turn the contest upside down!

st. pat from the black lagoon4) St. Patrick’s Day from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler, Author and Jared Lee, Illustrator

  • ISBN-13: 9781614792079
  • Publisher: ABDO Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/2014
  • Series: Black Lagoon Adventures Set 3
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 8 – 12 Years

It’s St. Patrick’s Day and Hubie needs to find something green to wear for the big class parade. Leprechauns, four-leaf clovers, pickles – how can he possibly make a decision with all these great options? He better decide quickly, because there’s a rainbow out and everyone is looking for the pot of gold at the end of it.

Here are some festive bookmarks for you to download and print:

St Patricks Day bookmarks (click here for .pdf)

St. Patrick's bookmarks

And a series of books for the adult historical reader…..

5) Check out Michael K. Reynolds, author of historical Irish novels! His series, Heirs of Ireland, is pretty amazing.  See the ad below with the books and check out his website at:

Reynolds irish history


The movie we watched, “The Secret of the Kells” is so amazing. It gets 5 stars from us, but even on a site like Rotten Tomatoes (movie review site), it has a 91% approval rating and it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Picture! It’s on NETFLIX streaming right NOW, so don’t miss out!

The Secret of the Kells (2009)

The SEcret of the Kells movie photo12-year-old Brendan battles Vikings and confronts an ancient serpent god on a mission to locate a legendary crystal and complete the mythical Book of Kells. Brendan lives in a heavily fortified medieval outpost known as the Abbey of Kells, where the ongoing threat of Viking raids causes the peaceful monks to live in a state of constant fear. Along with his uncle, Abbot Cellach, Brendan labors to fortify the abbey walls daily so his people will be protected from invading forces.

When the mysterious Brother Aidan arrives at the abbey carrying an unfinished tome filled mystical secrets, Brendan becomes illuminated, and his dormant talents are awakened. The book must be finished, but accomplishing that mission will be no simple task. As the Vikings close in, Brendan ventures into the surrounding forest and prepares to confront his darkest fears. Accompanying him on his dangerous mission is Aisling, a half-wolf/half-human fairy whose powers will help to guide Brendan through this enchanting yet dangerous new world. (Synopsis from

IMBD site:

Other movie recommendations for adults include:

Magdalene Sisters (2002): Slavery never ended for the women sentenced to work in Catholic laundries for sins like getting raped or looking too attractive.

Michael Collins (1996): Liam Neeson embodies the “Lion of Ireland” who rose as an IRA leader and fell when his detractors thought his Irish Free State betrayed the cause of independence.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006): Like Victor Hugo said, all wars are civil wars because all men are brothers. This winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or shows two brothers torn apart by war.

The General (1998): The strange but true story of gangster Martin Cahill is like an Irish “Sopranos” with art theft, the IRA, and bigamy thrown in.

In the Name of the Father (1993): Seven Oscar nominations and an all star cast of Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, and the late Pete Postlethwaite are two good reasons to watch this top Irish movie of an Irishman wrongly sentenced for life after an IRA bombing.

Previous Posts from the Archive~

St. Patrick’s Day on Hook of a Book 2013

St. Patrick’s Day 2011 on my Breathe Beauty Art and Photography blog (in hiatus), Recipes Included!!

And if you missed it earlier, 3 Stories by my 3 kiddos for St. Patrick’s Day


How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Spread St. Patrick’s ideals of treating others with kindness?

We’ll leave you with some photos…enjoy!

addie and em decor st patty's cookies

addie lepy

lepy hunt


2014-03-17 19.41.13




Filed under Children and Family, Feature Articles

2 responses to “St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun, Plus Book and Movie Suggestions, Articles, Photos!

  1. Marsha Lambert

    Sounds like you guys had a great day!!! Loved reading about your celebrations!


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