Spring weather means new leaves are coming soon, but until then you'll spot plenty of green throughout the suburbs as Irish bars get decked out to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. No matter what your heritage is, you can join in the festivities by raising a pint of Guinness, checking out some Irish dancing and live music and digging into traditional fare both this weekend and next.
Here's a look at what some Irish pubs in the suburbs are planning:
Ballydoyle Irish Pub, 28 W. New York St., Aurora, (630) 844-0400, ballydoylepub.com: Catch a performance by the McNulty Irish Dancers at 7 p.m. Friday, March 11, followed by Irish music from The Tooles at 9:30 p.m. Bring the kids from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 12, where they can enjoy face painting, coloring stations, a bag toss game, jewelry making, Irish music from the Babin Brothers and dance performances. On Thursday, March 17, kegs and eggs start at 8 a.m. with an Irish buffet and green beer. See the Oswego Fire Department Pipes and Drums at 10 a.m. followed by performances by the McNulty Irish Dancers at 11 a.m., 2:30 and 5 p.m. Mulligan Stew plays at noon. The Babin Bros. play at 3 p.m. The annual Ballydoyle Knights parade takes place at 5:45 p.m. followed by Red Rebel County at 6:30 p.m.
Ballydoyle Irish Pub and Restaurant, 5157 Main St., Downers Grove, (630) 969-0600 or ballydoylepub.com. Ballydoyle in Downers Grove celebrates St. Family Day from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 13, with face painting, a coloring station, Lucky Coin bag toss game, the McNulty Irish dancers and live musical performances.
Claddagh Irish Pub & Restaurant, 1702 Commons Drive, Geneva, (630) 208-0337, claddaghirishpubs.com: Festivities run daily through Thursday, March 17, starting with live music from SonicSoul and a Guinness sampling at 7 p.m. Friday, March 11. On Saturday, March 12, the pub hosts a performance by Trillium at noon, Irish dancers at 5 and 7 p.m. and The Bare Hambones from 8 to 10 p.m. Peter & Katie Whalen perform at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 13, followed by a Celtic Sound Jam Session at 4 p.m. with Irish dancers taking the stage at 3 and 5 p.m. You can personalize a Guinness glass to keep or give as a gift from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 14. The Whalens return from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 17, with Irish dancers performing at 6 and 8 p.m. and Celtic Sounds playing from 7 to 10 p.m.
Five Roses Pub, 5509 Park Place, Rosemont, (847) 233-0077, fiverosespub.com: Nick Cortese and DJ Gordo perform at the bar's St. Patrick's Day bash at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 12, and corned beef and cabbage will be offered on special through Sunday, March 20. Drink specials include $6 Jameson, $5 Tullamore Dew, $6 Guinness and $4 green beer March 12 and 17.
The Kerry Piper, 7900 Joliet Road, Willowbrook, (630) 325-3732, kerrypiper.com: The annual St. Patrick's Day party kicks off with a performance by Coyote Riot from 9 p.m. to midnight Friday, March 11. On March 12, you'll find live music and dance performances running throughout the day both inside the pub and in a heated, 6,000-square-foot tent. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 13, you can get your head shaved to benefit St. Baldrick's Foundation. Performances continue from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. March 17 with sets from Chicalba Bagpiping, The Ploughboys and others.
McGonigal's Pub, 105 S. Cook St., Barrington, (847) 277-7400, mcgonigalspub.com: The bar serves as the center of the sixth annual Barrington Celtic Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday, March 17, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19, hosting live music from acts including Fast Eddie McAteer, Cirrus Falcon and Morgan Fingleton. You'll find a limited food menu inside, but additional eats can be purchased from the huge heated festival tent set up on the 200 block of Park Avenue that will host additional musical acts along with Irish dance performances. The tent will also serve Guinness, Harp, Smithwick's and green Miller Lite. Admission is free, though donations will be accepted for the American Cancer Society.
Mickey Finn's Brewery, 345 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, (847) 362-6688, mickeyfinnsbrewery.com: Eat and drink Irish on Saturday, March 12, with a menu featuring fish and chips, shepherd's pie, Irish stew and the brewery's own Hackett Irish stout and St. Pat's Irish red ale. Fitz & The Celts perform at 7 p.m. followed by Davey Arwine and Donnybrook. Festivities continue on March 17 when 95 WILL Rock's "Tom & Emily Morning Show" broadcasts live from the brewery from 6 to 10 a.m., giving away T-shirts to the first 95 people to arrive when doors open at 7 a.m. The bar offers a free Irish breakfast until 10 a.m. and then serves the Irish menu all day. Corned beef and cabbage is offered daily through March 20.
Peggy Kinnane's Irish Restaurant & Pub, 8 N. Vail Ave., Arlington Heights, (847) 577-7733, peggykinnanes.com: The bar hosts a St. Patrick's Day family celebration from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 13, with a leprechaun balloonist, a face painter and a performance by the Trinity Irish Dancers. A brewery ambassador leads a tasting class of Guinness, Smithwick's and Harp from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 15. Admission is $20. On March 17 you'll find a special St. Patrick's Day menu and performances by the McNulty Irish Dancers from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Quigley's Irish Pub, 43 E. Jefferson St., Naperville, (630) 428-4774, quigleysirishpub.com: Stop in after Naperville's St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, March 12, to catch a set from Cirrus Falcon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Messengers take the stage at 9 p.m. You'll find entertainment all day on March 17 with New Element playing from noon to 3 p.m. and the Chicago Irish Band playing from 7 to 11 p.m. Cover is $5.
Timothy O'Toole's, 5572 Grand Ave., Gurnee, (847) 249-0800, timothyotooles.com: On St. Patrick's Day, the party begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 17, with Irish-inspired eats, a leprechaun and a balloon artist. The PipeShire Pipe Band plays from 5 to 9 p.m. Drink specials the entire week leading up to St. Patrick's Day include: $4.50 pints or $14 pitchers of green beer, $6.50 Guinness and Smithwick's pints and $6 Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale.
Timothy O'Toole's, 412 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, (847) 984-2599, timothyotooles.com: Timothy O'Toole's in Libertyville hosts its first St. Patrick's Day party that includes Irish-inspired eats and Irish dancers. Drink specials the entire week leading up to St. Patrick's Day include: $4.50 pints or $15 pitchers of green beer; $6.50 Guinness and Smithwick's pints and $6 Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale.
Tommy Nevin's Pub, 3032 English Rows, Naperville, (630) 428-4242, tommynevins.com: The celebration kicks off at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, March 12, with the Trinity Irish Dancers, followed by the Larkin and Moran Brothers from noon to 3 p.m.; Cirrus Falcon performs from 5 to 8 p.m. followed by Firefighter's Highland Guard of Naperville Bagpipers at 9 p.m.
• Daily Herald staff writer Sara Hooker contributed to this report.