While St. Patrick’s Day may be well known for green beer and wild parties, this holiday has so much more to offer. If you’re looking for a mellower or more family-friendly way to celebrate your Irish heritage or just imagine being Irish for a day, the places listed below are right up your alley.
Each year the Chicago River is dyed an emerald green in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. The annual dyeing ceremony is a lot of fun and is a great way to kick off the festivities. After that head over to the parade downtown; Chicago boasts one of the largest parades in the country so get ready for loads of colorful floats and crowds of people donning their green. Check out the parade website for the parade route and more information.
Don’t let the fun end there! We recommend hitting the Saint Patrick’s Day Festival at the American Heritage Center for some authentic Irish music, dancing, activities for children, and more. The Heritage Center keeps the festivities going all weekend, so if the parade has worn you out you can always plan your visit for Sunday or Monday.
The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the country’s oldest and largest Irish parade. It started even before the Declaration of Independence! The parade lasts up to five hours and features floats you won’t soon forget – you’ll take part in a little piece of history too!
While in New York we recommend taking a walking tour of Irish New York. These tours take you through the former “Little Ireland: district and are packed with interesting facts including why St. Patrick’s Day is even more popular in New York than it is in Ireland.
Perhaps one of the more obvious choices for St. Patrick’s Day, Boston has a lot to offer thanks to its large Irish-American community. Check out the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the historic Southie neighborhood where you will be amazed by Irish dancers, lively parade floats, marching bands and more.
If you’re a fan of the theatre you’ll want to buy tickets for “A Little Bit of Ireland” at the Reagle Music Theatre. This show features everything Irish from a splash of River Dance to a pub visit.
Other options include visiting the Irish Cultural Centre for their St. Patrick’s Day Celebration or spending the day at the JFK Library and Museum learning more about one of the most famous Irish Americans in history.
While Phoenix may not be among the first cities that come to your mind for St. Patty’s it certainly should be considered. This city is home to the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire, which includes Irish dancers, marching bands, and bagpipers. The fair starts after the parade, and here you’ll find Celtic rock bands and Irish dancers, food/drinks, and kid-friendly activities such as a petting zoo, face painting, and even pony rides!
If you love music, make sure you buy tickets for the annual Green 17 Tour featuring Flogging Molly. With a headliner like Flogging Molly, this is a concert you won’t want to miss! The concert is part of the St. Patrick’s Day Block Party which starts at 6am and features plenty of Irish-themed festivities.
You don’t have to go wild to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day this year, but it just might be the perfect excuse for a weekend trip!