10 Things to do With Kids at Irish Fest (2022)

Milwaukee is the city of festivals in the summer. But it’s not always easy to know what to expect at each festival. And with kids in tow, it’s even more difficult to know if there will be enough to keep them entertained.

To help, we rounded up 10 things your kids will love to do at Irish Fest this year.

Milwaukee Irish Fest is the largest celebration of its kind, anywhere in the world. This year it returns to the lakefront August 18 – 21, 2022, with over 100 acts across 16 stages.

Children 12 & under receive free admission, and do not require a ticket for entry. General Admission tickets are available online and at the gate.

For more ways to save, head to https://irishfest.com/Tickets.


10 Kids & Family Activities at Irish Fest

Irish Fest has it all: Irish music, dance, sporting demonstrations, family activities, Irish cuisine and more. We’ve put together this preview of kid-friendly activities at Irish Fest to make it easy to enjoy with your family.

Check out Irishfest.com for the latest updates!

1. Family Passport

Collect stamps for your family’s Pirate Paddy Passport.

The family passport is a fun way for families to explore Milwaukee Irish Fest while keeping the whole family entertained.

Families collect stamps for their Pirate Paddy Passports at stops throughout the festival grounds, while making crafts and gathering prizes at each stop. Some of the areas families will visit while on their quest are the Cultural Area, Lakefront Brewery Stage, Celtic Canines and more.

It’s sponsored by Catholic Financial Life.


2. Parades

This year parades will be spontaneous at Irish Fest, on Saturday and Sunday of the festival. The flash mob-style parades will feature fairies, pirates, and more. 


3. Leprechaun Village

Search for gold in the tiny Leprechaun Village at Irish Fest in Milwaukee, WI.

Search for gold in Leprechaun Village and join a special “Leprechaun Kids Club” for fun prizes. 

The Leprechaun Village contains a bank vault, pub, performance stage, workshop and many other tiny structures.

Not only is the display fun to look at, it also contains interesting educational facts about Leprechauns.


4. Children’s Area

Just past the rainbow and castle are fun activities for kids, such as the Lili-Putt mini golf, craft and activity station, and brand new playground.


4. Visit the New Northwestern Mutual Community Park

This entirely redeveloped entertainment space for families offers inclusive and accessible play for children ages 2 – 12 years of age, including those who may experience a variety of challenges. 

The Toddler Play Area called “Giggle Grounds” is a covered play area for the littlest kids.

Parents love the permanent family restrooms with changing tables, nursing mother stations, and sensory rooms that are air-conditioned and quiet.

There’s also a Splash Pad nearby, perfect for cooling down on hot days.

The Splash Pad is located at the Mid Gate entrance, just north of the playground.

5. Children’s Stage

Don’t miss all of the family-friendly entertainment at the newly renovated Cedar Crest Children’s Stage, which features everything from musical and dance performances to puppetry and more.

The John Byrne family entertainment stage returns this year with puppetry and Irish storytelling.

This year’s family entertainment features Wayne Francis, the Puppetee,, Acme Fiddling Company, Fox and Branch, Irish dance performances and more. The schedule for the Children’s Stage will be available on the schedule page.


6. Greenwish Village

Play games like Plenko, Mini-Golf, Connect Four and Slot-Car racing in Greenwish Village.


7. Celtic Canine Area

Milwaukee Irish Fest’s Celtic Canine Area is where visitors will have the chance to see and pet some of Ireland’s most popular dog breeds.

Families can meet and talk with some of the Midwest’s top breeders, and learn about grooming, general care and training.

Learn about all nine of the Irish breeds – Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Terriers, Irish Red Setters, Irish Red and White Setters, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Irish Water Spaniels, Kerry Blue Terriers, and Glen of Imaal Terriers.

There is a display area that features more than 250 photos, prints and descriptions of Ireland’s native dogs.

In the demo area, they feature hourly events that demonstrate obedience, agility, hunting and conformation.

Other dogs, with the exception of service animals, are not permitted on the festival grounds because of health and safety regulations. The dogs in this area have received special permission and permits to gain access to the grounds.


8. Irish Music & Dance

The 40th festival lineup features dozens of Irish and Irish-American artists and dance schools. See the full lineup here.


9. Irish Food

Milwaukee Irish Fest features over 35 food locations throughout the grounds. These range from permanent building booths to tents and food carts. 

For traditional Irish fare, try bridies, sausage rolls, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, and a variety of stuffed baked potatoes. For a sweet dessert, try Bailey’s cheesecake, shamrock cookies 

You can also purchase other types of ethnic food such as Italian and Chinese. Ward’s House of Prime in the Coors/Parkview Stage area on the south end of the grounds also serves a Sunday morning Irish breakfast special. The Tipperary Tea Room (Lilliput area) and Paddy’s Cafe (Coors area) offer a Sunday morning special with Morning Buns.

All food vendors accept credit/debit cards. Check out the menus here.


10. Children’s Red Hair & Freckles Contests

Kids between the ages of 0 and 12 with freckles and/or red hair can join the fun. The winner will receive a trophy or medal and is invited to be a part of the pop-up festival parade. Sign-up will be available before the contest right in front of the Cedar Crest Children’s Stage, located in the Children’s Area.

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Visit irishfest.com for more details or to purchase tickets.

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