St. Patrick’s Day Ideas for Kids that are FUN, Cheap, and Free

Mar 8, 2021 | Entertain, Holidays, Lifestyle, Party

Our kids are finally coming off the massive sugar rush from the last holiday. (Phew!) Now it's time for another one! These St. Patrick's Day ideas are so fun and will make it easy to impress the kiddos and make some fun new memories!

St. Patrick's Day cupcakes on a counter, from Fun Cheap or Free

Buckle up, parents! Knock your kids' socks off with these totally awesome and practically FREE St. Patrick's Day ideas for kids! We know how it goes — holiday celebrations can be so expensive! We often begin with good intentions but end up blowing the budget in a last-minute dash to get items we forgot! (Ahhh!) Well, not this year! Make this holiday special without sacrificing your financial goals or the fun! 

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Irish or not, these St. Patrick’s Day ideas will keep your little leprechauns feeling lucky and having a blast! Use these tips and tricks to throw a fun and budget-friendly celebration — whether it's a full-blown St. Patrick's Day party or a small treat when they get home from school. It's easy to make a few memories without spending any money!


Green St. Patrick's drink in a mug, from Fun Cheap or Free

Food is often one of the most expensive aspects of a party! There are so many fun, prepackaged options at the store that just scream our names when we walk by… DON’T DO IT!! Use these St. Patrick’s Day food ideas to get you the most bang for your buck without missing out on any of the cuteness! Trust us, it’s so worth it! 

  • Green Fruit Salad – Grapes, honeydew, kiwi, green apples — cut up any green fruit you can find and throw it into a simple white bowl. Roll with this fruity, healthy alternative!
  • Leprechaun PopcornFresh popped popcorn is just about the cheapest food you can make! Make it special by adding in green sprinkles and M&Ms. Yes, please! 
  • Shamrock Shake – Milkshakes with mint chocolate chip ice cream?? Mmmmhmmm. Dixie cups are the perfect size for small kids to get a taste at the party! 
  • Four Leaf Clover Cookies – Get some cute shamrock cookie cutters and get baking with your kids! Add some green food dye to the dough for a St. Patrick’s Day touch! Ice them or don’t, either way, they'll be a hit! 
  • Avocado Egg Salad Sandwiches – Avocados may not be Irish, but anything green is totally part of the theme! Avocados aren't cheap, so shop sales and use sparingly. Cut the sandwiches into small, bite-sized pieces to make them stretch further! 
  • Potato Skins – There’s nothing more Irish than a potato, plus they're cheap! 

Keeping the portion sizes small will help your food stretch and save you money in the long run. Letting kids get a small taste of everything will make them feel like they aren’t missing out. Plus, it keeps food from going to waste! Whatever isn't eaten at the party will make great leftover lunches and snacks


Shamrock decorations on a wall, from Fun Cheap or Free

Keep the decorations easy but oh so cute with these budget-friendly ideas. You don't have to be crafty to decorate a St. Patrick's Day party on the CHEAP! Now, let’s get to it! 

  • Shamrock Balloons – Tie four green inflated balloons together by the mouth-piece to create an easy shamrock. Then tape it to the wall!
  • Free St. Patrick’s Day Party Printables – Print and cut for easy decorations. Perfect for the non-crafty mama!! Pinterest has tons of great ideas.
  • Green Paper Garland – If you’re not the crafty type, then let your kids have fun with this one! Cut shamrocks out of green construction paper and string them up for a super easy garland.
  • Make a Balloon Rainbow – Balloons are CHEAP! Blow them up yourself and pin them up as a rainbow leading to a pot of gold.
  • Bake Pot-of-Gold Cupcakes – We love double whammies! This one serves as food AND decor! Bake your own cupcakes to save that dough and top with store-bought gold (or yellow!) frosting. 
  • Hit Up Your Dollar Store – Check your local dollar store for cheap and easy St. Patrick's Day decorations! 
  • Reuse Christmas Items – Got anything that's solid green? Tablecloths, napkins, even green tree decorations and tinsel can look great!

The easiest way to save money while decorating is to use EVERYTHING as a decoration. Display your party favors and cute food on the table. This minimizes the need for actual decorations and allows you to keep things suuuuper simple! Win!!


St. Patrick's Day party favors are fun! Here are a few of our favorite ideas to send your guests home with a memorable favor without spending an arm and a leg.  

  • Rainbow in a Bag – Fill small treat bags with skittles and tie on a cute note that says “Rainbow in a Bag!” The kids will LOVE this one! 
  • Lucky Charms Boxes – Buy a pack of those tiny, one-serving Lucky Charms cereal boxes and give those away as favors. The theme is perfect, so you literally don’t have to do any work at all! 
  • Make Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods – Melt some white bakers chocolate and dip large pretzel rods two-thirds of the way. Then lay them on parchment paper and cover with green sprinkles! Wrap them up in treat bags with a simple thank you tag!  
  • Bags of Cookies – When you're baking those shamrock cookies, bake extra to put in treat bags as favors! 
  • Fill Bags at the Dollar Store – Not the cheapest, but always an easy and inexpensive go-to for last-minute favors.

Go as big or as small as you want! These party favors cost almost nothing — but if favors really aren’t in the party budget at all, that’s okay! Simply give your guests a verbal thank you for coming! The biggest party budget no-no is overspending because you think you have to in order to make your guests happy! 


Child holding a playdough rainbow, from Fun Cheap or Free

There’s nothing better than getting all your friends together and celebrating a holiday with good food and games! Have a BLAST at your St. Patrick’s Day party this year with these fun and (almost) free activities! 

  • Have a Cookie-Decorating Contest – Make extra shamrock cookies and let the kids ice them! Give away a Rolo candy or a chocolate coin as a prize for the winner.
  • Host a “Green” Scavenger Hunt – Make an easy list of green items for the kids to find inside and outside and set them off on an adventure!  
  • Find Free Color Sheets – This one is for the younger crowd! Go online and find some free printable color sheets or find a St. Patrick’s Day coloring book to tear pages out of. 
  • Make Your Own Green or Rainbow Play Dough – This one can get a little messy but we just had to include it because it is sooooo cheap and so much fun! We even have two different recipes for you… This simple playdough recipe uses cream of tartar and lasts for-ev-er. And this playdough recipe uses Kool-Aid and smells so good!
  • Make Your Own Green Slime – All kids will love this! We have a super easy slime recipe you can make for St. Patty's Day!
  • Play Pin the Clover on the Leprechaun – Draw your own on a poster board if you’re artistic… but if not (*raises hand*), print out a photo of a leprechaun and a shamrock and roll with that! Blindfold the kids and see who can pin the shamrock to his hand (or his hat). 
  • Hot Potato – A classic favorite that is perfect for your St. Patrick’s Day party! 

We know you'll love these fun, cheap, or FREE party ideas for your St. Patrick’s Day bash! Host a party you and the kids will remember without breaking the bank — we have a feeling St. Patrick’s Day will be a favorite for years to come! 

Let us know your favorite St. Patrick’s Day tradition in the comments below. We’d LOVE to hear from you! 

Image with text that reads "cheap or free St. Patrick's Day ideas for kids" from Fun Cheap or Free

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Happy St. Patrick's Day!


  1. Kayla

    We don’t typically have a party, but for years on the night before St. Patrick’s Day, we set a trap to try to catch a leprechaun. We use empty milk cartons and other craft supplies from around the house to try to catch him- and we always include something shiny in the trap- like a piece of tin foil to try to lure him. We almost caught him one year- we had a scrap of material (green felt) from his jacket stuck in our trap! Sometimes he leaves us chocolate coins or quarters with shamrock stickers on them and last year he left us a dollar bill with a leprechaun sticker over George’s face! My kids are now tweens and they still enjoy this!

    • Fun Cheap or Free

      Oh, that sounds like so much fun!!! It’s so great that it’s become a tradition for your family, love it!


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