Holidays

From parades to green food, there are plenty of ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
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How To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2022

And no, you don’t have to be Irish to celebrate.

On the tail-end of the long winter months, March 17 shines bright on the horizon of springtime with a flurry of emerald hues, leprechauns, and the luck of the Irish. Whether you want to stay in and enjoy the holiday with your kids and a bowl of Lucky Charms or plan to head out for a pint of green beer and adult festivities at a local pub, there are plenty of fun-filled ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Even if you aren’t of Irish heritage, you can still enjoy being festive on St. Paddy’s Day in honor of the Emerald Isle. Typically filled with green fanfare, food, and lots (and lots) of drinking, it’s a holiday that welcomes all styles of celebration. But your celebration doesn’t have to be over-the-top or even overly authentic to be enjoyable. Sure, you can plan a huge bash where you serve only green foods, listen to Irish folksongs, and play games with an Irish twist, but you could also celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a more subdued way as well. Read a book by an Irish author, wear green clothing, or simply make a festive post on social media.

Read on for plenty of inspiration on how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year.

1

Enjoy Green Food & Drinks

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One pretty low-effort way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is to eat green foods and drink green drinks. Shamrock shakes and green beer are definitely staples, but you can also incorporate green food into your actual meals as well. For example, you can start your day with green breakfast foods like a spinach breakfast casserole or kale and eggs and then continue the theme throughout the rest of the day.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, you could also make a huge batch of green sweets like cookies in the shape of a four-leaf clover and topped with green icing or some pistachio macarons to enjoy with your kids or share with your neighbors and coworkers. You can also just turn your kid’s food green with a few drops of food coloring.

2

Make A Festive Post

One of the most simple ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day is with a festive social media post. A snapshot of your green beer selection is a great starting point, of course, but there are plenty of other ways to spread the Irish love on March 17.

Share St. Patrick’s Day memes or funny quotes on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to spread the luck of the Irish to friends and family. Better yet, post an Irish poem or Irish song lyrics to your social account to really capture just how much the spirit of the holiday means to you.

3

Play Games With An Irish Twist

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, you can have a game night (or day) dedicated to the holiday. Celebrate by playing parlor games like “celebrity” but only use famous people who are of Irish descent, or play 20 questions where the topics have an Irish theme. Hide gold coins around your house for your kids to find scavenger hunt-style or snag a St. Patrick’s Day bingo board printable from Etsy to play a round together.

Clearly, drinking games are also par for the course if you’re celebrating with other adults, and all you need to do is drink green beer or some Irish whiskey to be on theme.

4

Wear Green

OK, this one is pretty obvious. If you’re not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, you’re probably going to get pinched by your kids at some point, so plan ahead and wear some sort of green clothing or accessories to celebrate the day. Even if you don’t go head-to-toe emerald for the holiday, some green socks, a green scarf, or even a green scrunchie work well in a pinch. (See what I did there?) You can also dress your kids in green clothing so that the whole family can be in on the celebration.

5

Dance An Irish Jig

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Who hasn’t watched in awe as a troupe of traditional dancers stomps out rhythmic Riverdance choreography? Learn to do a little jig yourself when you sign up for Irish dance lessons in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. To do Irish dancing justice is a true art form, but even if you’re totally devoid of rhythm, it can be fun to try and learn how to tap along to Irish music. You can scour Google search results for “Irish dance lessons near me” or stream a YouTube video to follow along with a lesson online.

6

Read Books About St. Patrick’s Day

You can read St. Patrick’s Day books for kids on March 17 to celebrate with little ones. Picture books about leprechauns and luck take center stage on the holiday, and there are plenty of fun choices for kids of all ages to enjoy. Some even feature their favorite characters like Pete the Cat and Curious George starring in their own St. Patrick’s Day stories.

You could also read adult novels by Irish authors in celebration of the holiday. Angela’s Ashes and P.S. I Love You are classics, but you could also try a title by Maeve Binchy or Donal Ryan to get a taste of what Irish life is actually like.

7

Watch An Irish Movie

Get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day when you curl up on the couch and watch an Irish movie. There are plenty of Irish films out there across all genres, so you can pick whatever you’re in the mood for that day. For horror fans, there’s nothing scarier than the movie Leprechaun, but if you’re in the mood for a good, old-fashioned Irish gangster film, you can check out The Boondocks Saints or The Departed. If you’re watching with kids, A Very Unlucky Leprechaun is a top choice for families to enjoy together.

8

Attend A Parade

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There’s pretty much nothing like a St. Patrick’s Day parade to kick off your holiday celebration. Filled with festive floats decorated to the gills, Irish folk music blasting from speakers, and likely more green beer than you can handle, many major cities (and even some smaller towns) host a parade on March 17.

If a parade isn’t quite right for you or there isn’t one nearby, another idea is to head to the greenest space you can find and soak up some outdoor time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. Wander around in the fresh air, hunt for four-leaf clovers, and simply enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer.

9

Head To A Pub

If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day sans kids, a pub is the perfect place to enjoy all of the festivities of the day. Just do a quick Google search of Irish pubs near you to find out where to enjoy green beer, live music, and even some Irish snacks to nosh on come March 17. You can also check out Irish pub reviews on sites like Yelp to give you a good idea of what to expect when you head out for the holiday. This is a great idea if you’re planning to get together with a group of friends and want to really enjoy an authentic Irish-style celebration.

10

Learn Irish Words & Phrases

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in an authentic way, take some time to learn about the Irish language. “Often mistakenly referred to as ‘Gaelic’ (which is a language group that includes Irish or refers to a language spoken in Scotland), the native language of Ireland is simply ‘Irish.’ And, thanks to English colonial efforts to restrict its use over the centuries, it's endangered according to UNESCO's Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger,” Romper previously reported. As such, there’s really no better way to honor the day than to pick up a few Irish phrases or even just learn to count to 10.

11

Make St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

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Get your kids in on the fun of the holiday when you make St. Patrick’s Day crafts together. Crafting is a fun way to celebrate at home without planning a whole party or prepping a lot of food. (Though you can totally do those, too!) You can make DIY shamrock hats, build a leprechaun house, craft miniature pots of gold, or decorate your home with handmade St. Patrick’s Day banners you create together. The possibilities are really endless, so grab a stack of green construction paper and some gold glitter and let your kids go wild.

12

Answer All Of Your Kid’s Questions About The Holiday

If your kids are prone to ask endless questions about why you do certain things or celebrate certain holidays, they likely have plenty of questions about St. Patrick’s Day. But do you know the answers?

Despite having Irish ancestors, I honestly don’t know a lot about the holiday aside from the Americanized day of drinking and wearing green. Thankfully, this handy article about how to explain St. Patrick’s Day to kids has a ton of info about the holiday’s history, traditions, leprechaun lore, and more all in one spot. Brush up on your knowledge ahead of the holiday and then share with your kiddos when they (inevitably) ask.

13

Set Up A Leprechaun Trap

One of the most whimsical ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with kids is to make a leprechaun trap. Basically, these are fancy, decorative boxes with treats and trinkets underneath meant to lure a leprechaun in and catch them inside. Some are shaped like a leprechaun’s hat (To fool them into thinking it’s their hat, naturally.) while others are filled with Lucky Charms and gold-covered chocolate coins to entice the curious little lads. Follow a tutorial or make it up as you go along, but either way, you can enjoy this silly and fun activity with your family in honor of St. Paddy’s Day.

14

Share Irish Legends

You likely know that St. Patrick’s Day is about so much more than green beer, pots of gold, and leprechauns. However, some of the most popular aspects of the day’s celebrations are actually rooted in Irish legends and folklore.

To really understand the origins of the holiday, dig into stories from Irish culture about merrows (magical Irish mermaids), selkies (seals that become human), and bodachs (frightening fairies), and then share them with your family. This article about Irish folklore is a great starting point, but there are also entire Irish storybooks devoted to the subject.

15

Make A Traditional Irish Feast

Cooking classic Irish foods on St. Patrick’s Day is a fun way to celebrate the holiday. From beef and cabbage to colcannon made with kale and potatoes and Dublin Coddle, there are plenty of tasty and traditional Irish foods you can make a home. There are even more than a few kid-friendly Irish meals you can make to please everyone at the dinner table like corned beef hash, shepherd’s pie, and soda bread.