Every Labor Day weekend, a wave of green takes over Crown Center with the annual celebration of the Kansas City Irish Fest. Now celebrating its 21st year, this festival was formed when the Brookside and Westport Irish Festivals merged to make the juggernaut that it is today.
Whether you’re Irish or just Irish for the day, you and your family are guaranteed to have an absolute blast taking in all that the Irish Fest has to offer. So toss on some green, pack up the stroller, and get ready to have some fun at Kansas City Irish Fest, running Friday, Sept, 1, through Sunday, Sept. 3 at Crown Center.
Irish Fest location, tickets and parking
Kansas City Irish Fest takes over the entire outdoor areas of Crown Center and extends north on Grand into Washington Square Park.
Single-day tickets and weekend passes are available. Weekend passes must be purchased in advance and single day tickets cost more at the gate. Children 3-11 must purchase a child ticket. Children under 3 are free.
Your ticket will allow you to come and go as you please on the day of admission.
Parking is available in the Crown Center garages and is free on the weekends. The entrance to Kansas City Irish Fest is also close to the Union Station bus stop and the Union Station Streetcar stop, if you’d prefer to park elsewhere and ride in.
Friday, Sept. 1, 5-11 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 2, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
**Sunday, Sept. 3, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
**The festival opens up with Mass at 9:30 a.m. Entertainment begins at 11:00 a.m. Sunday
Activities for kids
From the four entertainment stages to the bountiful food options, your kids will have a blast taking in the entire festival. But the crème de la crème for kids is the Children’s Area located in Washington Square Park. The Children’s Area is open each day of the fest from the opening of the day until 8 p.m. This year’s Children’s Area will include:
- Missouri Children’s Stage with your favorite Kansas City entertainers, including StoneLion Puppet Theatre, Dino O’Dell, Mr. Stinky Feet and The Hiccups and more! Find the full children’s stage schedule here.
- Silent Disco for the entire family
- Scavenger Hunt and take and go craft coloring activity
- Amusement activities and inflatable obstacle courses
- Face Painting (extra fee)
- Balloon artists and magicians
- An interactive mural painting. Kids will have the chance to be a part of an Irish Fest mural, drawn by local artists.
The festival grounds have plenty of portable restrooms around. In addition, your ticket allows you to come and go, so you can use the restrooms (including the family restrooms) inside Crown Center as well.
Stroller and wheelchair accessibility
Ramps are installed at the festival to allow accessibility to all levels of entertainment, including the stage and spaces on the level where the ice rink is located.
A majority of the festival grounds are on paved surfaces but you will find areas set up on grassy areas as well, such as the Children’s Area in the park.
Mom Tips for Kansas City Irish Fest
- Diaper bags are allowed in but will be subject to search.
- You will definitely want to make a point to catch one of the fantastic Irish dance performances happening throughout the weekend. Your children will feel like they are Irish dancers the rest of the day!
- Bring empty refillable water bottles that you can fill with water. The bars will have water stations where you can refill.
- If the temperatures are warm, take full advantage of popping into Crown Center to cool off.
- My favorite way to explore the Kansas City Irish Fest is to take my kids earlier in the day and then return with just grown-ups in the evening to soak in the amazing music and libations.
- Don’t forget sunscreen and reapplications!