Almost everyone has heard of St. Patrick's Day, but how do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Some of us aren't bar-hopping college students anymore! There are plenty of ways for a variety of individuals and families to enjoy the holiday. We're going to show you five different ways for just about any type of person to enjoy St. Paddy's Day. Some of these activities won't even last for a full day, so you can choose to do a few of them if you'd like to! If you manage to do all five activities in one day, you're either superhuman or part leprechaun!
1. Watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade
There are many, many cities that hold their own St. Patrick's Day parades. This is certainly one of the most family-friendly options. (Honestly, what kid doesn't want to go to a parade to get free candy?) You're also bound to see plenty of bagpipes, Irish Riverdance and people in costume, which will keep them entertained from start to finish. It's also a wonderful opportunity to teach your child a thing or two about Irish traditions, especially if you have a little bit of Irish ancestry. If there aren't any parades in your area, fear not! You can also catch a livestream of one of the bigger parades, such as the NYC Saint Patrick's Day Parade.
St. Patrick's Day Costumes for Parade Participants
If you happen to be part of a local club or committee, there's a good chance that you might not be watching the parade—because you're in it! Many of the parade-goers will be decked out in green, but you might also be planning on wearing leprechaun costumes. There are quite a few options to choose from, whether you're looking for a leprechaun mascot costume or a leprechaun costume for kids. Once the parade is over, you'll have a costume that you can save and use again for Halloween, too!
2. Run a 5K St. Patrick's Day Race
There are plenty of themed 5K races throughout the year, and if you like running, there's nothing better than running around with a pack of other people dressed in ridiculous costumes! Whether your St. Patrick's Day race is known as a Shamrock Run, a Leprechaun Run or it goes by some other name, there are tons of these races all across the United States. (Check local publications to find St. Paddy's Day races near you.) The great part about this particular race is the fact that it's in March, so you can practically wear whatever you want! The weather is still cool enough that you're probably not going to roast in pants and long sleeves.
St. Patrick's Day Accessories for Your Race
While some people go all-out in a leprechaun costume, you can expect most people at the St. Patrick's Day race to be wearing their running gear and some accompanying shamrock green accessories. Easy St. Patrick's Day accessory choices include crazy green socks, leggings, tutus and neckwear. If you're planning on running in a team, you can add to the fun by choosing a matching green accessory for everyone. (Socks and ties are a safe bet, but kudos to you if you can get everyone in your group to wear matching green tutus!)
3. Host or Attend a St. Patrick's Day Party
Not every St. Patrick's Day party has to be centered around Guinness and green beer. In fact, you can host a perfectly acceptable St. Paddy's Day party without a drop of alcohol. (Just don't skimp on the green!) You don't have to go all-out making a traditional Irish meal, although if you're up for it, the folks at Mashed assembled a lovely list of traditional Irish food and recipes fit for St. Patrick's Day. If you know that you'll be serving a lot of kids and picky eaters, you can always serve green juice and use plenty of green tablecloths, plates and cups. Feel free to have some Guinness on hand for the adults!
St. Patrick's Day Apparel for Parties
Just because you're hosting or attending a St. Patrick's Day house party doesn't mean that you shouldn't dress up! (You might want to keep it classier than the bar parties—leave your Irish beer hats and drunk tees at home if kids will be present.) A green suit is a fun and classier way to celebrate St. Paddy's Day for the dudes. There are plenty of ways for ladies to wear green accessories in a slightly more stylish fashion, too! However, we're certainly not ones to discourage wearing costumes. If you enjoy costume parties, feel free to wear all-green costumes even if it's not exactly a leprechaun.
4. Learn About the Clover and Other Symbols of Luck
Learning about the holiday and the clover symbol is great if you have kids. (Or if you're that curious person that wants to know a little bit about everything—never stop learning, friend!) There are plenty of people in countries other than Ireland that like to celebrate St. Paddy's Day, but being so far removed from the source of the festivities, many people don't know the "why". Check out this St. Patrick's Day article by National Geographic, and you can finally answer some of those burning questions. Due to the fact that St. Patrick's Day and the clover symbol are closely tied with luck, you can dive right in and learn about different tokens of luck around the world.
5. Go Out on the Town for St. Patrick's Day
There's nothing quite like hitting up your favorite bar (or bars) on St. Patrick's Day with your besties. Sure they're going to be much more crowded than on a typical business day, but the drink and grub specials can be enough to make it worthwhile. Part of the fun of going out to a pub on St. Patrick's Day is looking at all the wacky green accessories sported by other patrons. Some bars even have contests or activities where you can earn some free drinks or food! If you're planning on going out with your friends, you might want to ask local bars about their specials so you know where the good stuff is going to be.
Accessories and Apparel for St. Patrick's Day Bar Hopping
If you want to be green and classy, fine, but it's probably better to leave your nice stuff at home if you plan to be in the bars for an extended period of time. A fanny pack is also a great idea because it's going to be crowded and you don't want to lose track of your purse or wallet, so an appropriately green fanny pack will work as a costume piece and a necessity! If going all-out leprechaun is not your style, you can always don some rainbow or green accessories from hats and wigs to suspenders and shoes for a casual leprechaun costume. If you're at your most comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans, make sure that it's green and you're ready to go!
We hope you gained a little more insight on what to do for St. Patrick's Day. What is your favorite thing to do on St. Paddy's Day? Do you have a really good St. Patrick's Day event in your town? Please feel free to let us know in the comments! Whether you prefer to be fashionable or wacky, make sure you have a bit of green to avoid getting pinched.