Ah, St. Patty’s Day. It’s that time of the year again when people celebrate their Irish roots, or, celebrate others’ Irish roots. In other words, it’s an international excuse to drink a lot of Guinness and get into as many shamrock shenanigans as possible. So whip out your finest green attire and ‘kiss me, I’m Irish’ swag: it’s time to paint the town green.
From pub crawls to bagpipes, here’s your guide to finding fun things to do in New York City for Saint Patrick’s Day 2017.
First, a brief history on what St. Patty’s Day is actually about:
St Patrick’s Day, celebrated annually on March 17th, is the traditional religious feast day of St. Patrick. It’s also the day he passed away, back in 460 AD. The Irish have religiously observed this holiday for centuries now and continue to do so with pomp and splendour.
Interesting fact: While St. Patrick is renowned for introducing Christianity in Ireland, he wasn’t Irish himself. He was, in fact, born to Roman parents in Scotland or Wales in the late fourth century.
What’s most fascinating is that for most of the 20th century, Saint Patrick’s Day was considered a strictly religious holiday in Ireland – which meant that all of Ireland’s pubs were shut for business on the day. However, in 1970, the day was converted to a national holiday, and thus, the stout resumed flowing and hasn’t stopped since! Today, St. Patrick’s Day is synonymous with drinking and parties that never end.
Fun things to do in New York City for Saint Patrick’s Day 2017:
NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Considered an annual tradition, NYC’s parade hosts around 150,000-250,000 marchers with incredible band performances and a kickass bagpipe show! Prolific politicians attend the event, along with around 2 million other people, every year. The Parade starts at 11am on March 17th at 44th Street, marching up Fifth Avenue—past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street—all the way to 79th Street. It finishes around 5:00pm at the American Irish Historical Society at East 80th Street.
Get more information here.
Brooklyn’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade
This annual parade, now in its 42nd year, is set to take place on Sunday, March 19th. The festivities begin with a Catholic mass at 9am, followed by a spirited march of white, green, and orange along Prospect Park West. The aim of the Parade is to honor the patron of Ireland, St. Patrick, to remember the Battle of Brooklyn, and to pay tribute to the Irish for their many significant and historic contributions to NYC and America as a whole.
Learn more here.
St. Patrick’s Day just wouldn’t be complete without a pub crawl! Gather your friend’s, paint shamrocks on your cheeks, and let the liquor guide your way. These St. Patty’s pub crawls are our top picks.
St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl 3 Day Event
Where: Starts at Bar None on 98 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10003
When: March 16th, 17th, & 18th
Thu – 5pm-9pm
Fri – 3pm-8pm
Sat – 1pm-6pm
*Bars close at 2am
3-Day All Access Pass – $22 Purchase tickets here.
Thur. – $8 Purchase tickets here.
Fri. – $13 Purchase tickets here.
Sat. – $9 Purchase tickets here.
Crawl your way through the East Village, Murray Hill, Chelsea, and Midtown West – it’s the biggest daytime party in Manhattan. Over 50 bars are participating in this year’s St Paddy’s Day Weekend Pub Crawl including Bar None, Village Pourhouse, Madison Square Tavern, PS 450, Local 138, The Hill, Blarney Stone, The Grayson, Bait and Hook, Plug Uglies, and much much more!
Check out more info and get your tickets here.
St. Patrick’s Day: Kegs and Eggs + Pub Crawl at Van Diemens Bar & Kitchen
Where: Van Diemens, 383 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10016
When: Friday, March 17th
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Brunch only: $22
With pub crawl: $26
Get your tickets here.
Chances are, you’ll be drinking a significant amount of liquor come Friday. Kick off your St. Patrick’s day shindig with a brunch to help guarantee you actually make it to the end of your pub crawl. Van Diemens will be serving up deliciously green eggs, pancakes, bagels, and more. Wash it all down with unlimited green beer before hitting the streets of NYC to take the city on one bar at a time.
St. Patrick’s Beer & Art Run
Where: Rockaway Brewing Company, 46-01 5th Street, Long Island City
When: Saturday, March 18th
Price: $32 Get your tickets here.
Take your crawl up a notch and make it run! This 10k fun-run takes you past hundreds of beautiful murals by street artists from around the world. Finish up at Rockaway Brewing Company and reward yourself with a (free) beer.
St. Patrick’s Day Booze Cruise
Where: Empire Cruises, 2430 FDR Drive, New York
When: March 17th
Reserve your spot here.
Dance to top hits mixed by a live DJ and sip yourself silly at the Top-Shelf open bar – this booze cruise is a great way to shake up the traditional pub crawl. Pass by iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governors Island, and Brooklyn Bridge.
Sober St. Patrick’s Day NYC 2017 Party – Reclaim the Day!
Where: St. Patrick’s Youth Center, 268 Mulberry St, New York
When: March 17th
Reserve tickets here.
Celebrate Irish culture without the booze. Enjoy performances by world-musicians, singers, and dancers including Brian Conway, 5-time All-Ireland Champion Fiddle Player, The Willie Kelly Family, The Donny Golden School of Irish Dance, and more. This event is alcohol-free but has plenty of snacks and baked food to offer!
Cultural and Art events
St. Patrick’s Weekend in Little Ireland
Where: 209 Broadway, New York
When: March 18th
Time: 12pm – 2pm
Get tickets here.
This St. Patrick’s Day, embark on a journey through ‘Little Ireland’ in the Lower East Side. Witness the tremendous role that Irish immigrants have played in shaping the history of New York City. This family-friendly tour will explain why St. Patrick’s Day is more popular here than in Ireland. Stops include: the founding site of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Al Smith’s home, the Five Points, the first Catholic church in the city, and sites associated with Tammany Hall, Thomas Addis Emmet.
Irish Ghost Tour
Where: Merchants House Museum, 29 East 4th Street, New York
When: March 17th
Time: 6:30pm or 7:00pm
Find tickets here.
Doors slam, floorboards creek, voices call into the dead of the night. Venture into the shadows of history to see the house where eight family members died and hear true tales of inexplicable occurrences from the people who actually experienced them. Many of the most peculiar occurrences have been related to the Tredwells’ Irish servants quarters. WIth this tour, explore the spooky world of Irish immigrants who worked for the Tredwell family, one of the wealthiest merchant clans in 19th-century New York.
Places to Eat
The Late Late
Address: 159 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002, USA
Mon-Thur: 4pm – 2am
Fri: 4pm – 4am
Sat: 12pm – 4am
Sun: 12pm – 2am
Where: Fitzpatrick Grand Central, 141 E 44th St, New York, NY 10017
Hours: Mon – Sun: 7am – 2am
A true blue Irish restaurant, this joint is run by Irish-born hotelier John Fitzpatrick and offers some great food and drinks with a lovely atmosphere!
Where: 839 West 181st, Manhattan, NY 10033
Mon – Fri: 11am – 3am
Sat – Sun: 10am – 3am
This Irish themed restaurant has a unique Gaelic name that translates to ‘Togetherness’ in English. Famous for its Irish stew, Le Cheile will be as lively and vibrant as ever this St. Patrick’s Day weekend! You can check out the menu here.
Looking for other ways to enjoy this weekend? Check out our top picks for things to do in NYC!