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The best St. Patrick’s Day events in NYC

Parades, pub crawls and step dancing—oh my! Here are the best St. Paddy's Day events NYC has to offer.

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014
Photograph: Marielle Solan St. Patrick's Day Parade 2014
By Shaye Weaver and Time Out contributors |

You don't need to be Irish to mark St. Patrick's Day (and you certainly don't need to drink green beer). That's the beauty of celebrating in New York City. From the annual St. Paddy's Day parades across the boroughts to pub crawls and live music, the Big Apple is alive with joyful festivities splashed in green. If partying isn't your scene, there's still plenty to do like taking an authentic Irish cooking class and learning all about how Irish immigrants live here during the 19th century. Either way, get ready to belt your favorite drinking songs, bust out a limerick and show off your shamrocks—St. Patrick’s Day in NYC is going to be a blast!

RECOMMENDED: See the full St. Patrick’s Day in NYC guide

Best St. Patrick’s Day events in NYC

Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Dave Bledsoe
Things to do, Festivals

Annual Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk, Rockaways

March your way over to Rockaway Beach for a pre-St. Patrick’s Day Parade the first Saturday in March. The Annual Parade kicks off at 1pm (129th St and Newport Ave) with grand marshals including congressmen and respected community members. Early birds can attend a mass for peace and justice at St. Francis de Sales church (129th St and Rockaway Beach Blvd) beforehand.

Photograph: Courtesy I Love NY
Things to do

Bleecker Street St. Patrick's Weekend Block Party

Barrow Street Ale House, West Village

Hang out all afternoon at this Bleecker Street block party spanning two days. Tour through the stretch's bars and pubs (Barrow Street Ale House, The Lantern, JoJo's Philosophy and Luxor Lounge) that'll have drink specials. Register at Macdougal Street Ale House (122 Macdougal St.) from 1 to 5pm.

Sober St. Patrick's Day
Photograph: Courtesy Sober St. Patrick's Day Inc.
Things to do, Performances

Sober St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Youth Center Gym, Nolita

Who knew you could observe St. Patrick's Day without getting a pounding headache the next morning? This nonprofit org offers a booze-free celebration of Irish culture featuring Irish step dancers, traditional music, food and refreshments. This year's acts include accordionist John Whelan, fiddle player Brian Conway, and the Donny Golden School of Irish Dance.

Photograph: Courtesy of Irish Arts Center
Things to do

Irish Arts Center Book Day

Irish Arts Center, Hell's Kitchen

The Irish Arts Center is handing out 10,000 free books by Irish and Irish American authors in honor of St. Patrick's Day. The giveaways will pop up around New York City, which will be announced soon.

Alice Choi
Photograph: Courtesy Williams Sonoma
Things to do

Authentic Ireland Cooking Class at Williams Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma , Upper West Side

Join Williams Sonoma Columbus Circle and Alice Choi for a hands-on lesson in authentic Irish cooking. You'll use fresh incredients to ballymaloe beef and parsnip stew and a decadent cocoa-stout cake with malted buttercream. You could also win a trip to Ireland through Williams Sonoma's sweepstakes.

Dead Rabbit
Photograph: Daniel Krieger

Visit some Irish pubs in NYC

Glugging down pints of Guinness shouldn't be reserved solely for St. Patrick's Day, but we understand the craving will be strong on March 16 and March 17. After the infamous parade, bask in the Celtic atmosphere at some of the city's best traditional Gaelic taverns. Our list of Irish pubs offer fail-proof combo of cocktails, some of the best beer in the city and plenty of Irish coffees inspired by the Emerald Isle. Toast to drinking like the Irish! 

The servants' quarters of the Merchant's House Museum
Photograph: Courtesy the Merchant's House Museum
Things to do, Walks and tours

A Tribute to Irish servants at the Merchant's House Museum

Merchant's House Museum, Noho

New York's only preserved 19th-century home takes you through its fourth-floor servants' quarters, which were carefully restored and repainted in their original colors. Learn about the daily successes and struggles of the Irish immigrants who worked as staff in the mid–19th century. At the haunted house tour on Friday night, uncover the mystery of some of the bizarre occurrences that took place in the servants' quarters, and face the specters of family members who passed away in the house. 

Irish Arts Center
Photograph: Courtesy Darial Sneed
Things to do, Festivals

Annual St. Patrick’s Day Open Day

Irish Arts Center, Hell's Kitchen

The Irish Arts Center opens its doors for an Irish extravaganza, filled with authentic music, dances, craft workshops and delicious tea. Learn to play the tin-whistle, get your face painted, experiment with tap-dancing, or simply sit back and watch Megan Downes with City Stompers and the IAC Community Céilí Band perform at this celebration of Irish culture.

Little Ireland
Things to do, Walks and tours

St. Patrick’s Weekend in Irish New York

St. Paul's Chapel, Financial District

If the traditional parade is too much for you, check out the lower-key, lower-Manhattan walking tour, themed especially for St. Patrick’s Day. Walkers will explore NYC's former “Little Ireland” district, learn about the incredible contribution Irish immigrants made to the overall history of the city, and understand why this day is more popular in New York than it is in Ireland. Reserve your spot here. 

Things to do, Walks and tours

The Irish Mob of Hell's Kitchen: From the Gophers to the Westies

Port Authority Bus Terminal, Hell's Kitchen

Step back in time and explore the city’s organized crime history with this Saturday-evening walking tour. Beginning at the southeast corner of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, the tour visits the streets and establishments where infamous Irish gang members once reigned supreme and did their dirty deeds.

Want to celebrate with some Irish cuisine?


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