Olivia is 4 years old this year and we decided instead of hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party at the house we wanted to take her to see the Chicago River dyed green. With the weather being sunny and a high of 40 for the celebrations downtown, it was a great day to be in the city.

We booked a river view room at the Sheraton and arrived Friday night downtown. The river is dyed at 9am on Saturday so we had to check-in on Friday in order to have an above-view look at how the river is dyed.

While our room did have a river front room – it was better to view the river from the Club Level of the Sheraton. We scored a cool booth seat right by the window and could see the boats take the dye all the way from the Sheraton toward the Westin.

The colors were spectacular and seeing all the crowds gather to see the attraction was really neat from up-high. The glowing, fluorescent green color that the river turns is really a sight to see!

After the river dying we decided to try to see the St. Patrick’s Day Parade that cruises along Columbus Drive. We needed to get our bellies full before embarking on the walk to the parade and since we had no reservations made we lucked out that a Whole Foods is walkable to the Sheraton. We got some yogurts and prepared food and then started our venture toward Columbus.

We didn’t realize all the walking and re-routing of the crowds that were involved and how un-family friendly some of the wild revelers were. While we made it to Columbus, we ended up turning around before the parade began and headed back to the hotel. The large amount of people became an issue. We also couldn’t really get a good view.

Exhausted from the 6 mile walk we attempted to go to Eataly for lunch but it was super crowded. My husband’s theory that the higher end the restaurant the less crowded it would be on a party day ended up being spot on. We ate at Joe’s Crab and then headed back to the hotel for a nap.

Overall seeing the river dyed green was the highlight of our trip downtown. However with a toddler, we probably only needed one night downtown. We could have checked out on Saturday and headed home as the rest of the day is for the young, party animals.

Like we do every year as our Irish family tradition, Olivia had tried to trap the leprechaun. We left the trap on Friday when we left for the city and when we got home on Sunday, the leprechaun had left his usual mess and note with a little prize for Olivia….

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patricks Day Chicago River Dying with Toddler 2019


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