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
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.
It's your lucky night at House of Yes, which is throwing a green-filled party with games of chance, dance, overflowing pints of Guinness and more St. Paddy's-themed fun.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.