The best St. Patrick’s Day events in NYC

Parades, pub crawls and step dancing—oh my! Here are the best St Patty's Day events NYC has to offer.
Photograph: Marielle Solan
By David Goldberg and Time Out New York contributors |

One of the best NYC events in March is St. Patrick’s Day. Some events are starting to sell tickets, but there are also free things to do, such as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Our list includes a range of ways to celebrate: see a rockin’ show or join one of the many Irish pub crawls with a bunch of drunk college kids. Not your scene? There are also awesome tours, Celtic dance performances and more things to do that don’t involve guzzling copious amounts of Guinness. 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

icon-location-pin Various locations,

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.

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

Annual St. Patrick’s Day Open Day

icon-location-pin 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 the artists perform at this celebration of Irish culture.

Raise New York
Things to do

St. Paddy's Pub Crawl

icon-location-pin Various locations,

If you're in the mood for a debaucherous St. Patrick's Day, look no further than this three-day annual debacle. First, register at one of the starting venues to collect your wristband and a map containing all of the participating venues and, more importantly, their drink specials. Then, plot a course, hit the streets and party ’til you're green. 

John Whelan
Photograph: courtesy the artist
Things to do, Performances

Sober St. Patrick’s Day

icon-location-pin 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 John Whelan, Donie Carroll, Brian Conway, Flyn Cohen and Liz Simmons.

Little Ireland
Things to do, Walks and tours

St. Patrick’s Weekend in Irish New York

icon-location-pin 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. 

St Patty’s Beer Mug-Making at Brooklyn Glass
Photograph: Courtesy CourseHorse
Things to do, Classes and workshops

St. Patty’s Beer Mug-Making Workshop

For a proper St. Patrick’s Day celebration, you need a festive mug to hold your Guinness. Make your own emerald green drinkware in this hands-on glass-blowing workshop. The expert instructors will teach you how to mold molten glass heated to 2,100 degrees into a sturdy mug, then allow you to work it yourself.

Photograph: Shutterstock
Things to do, Classes and workshops

Stout and Whiskey Tasting Class

Raise a glass to delightfully strong Irish stouts and whiskeys in this tasting class at Bedford Cheese Shop. You’ll sample two beers and two spirits, each paired with a corresponding cheese. It’s an ideal way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day if you don’t want to get sloshed on a pub crawl. Sláinte!

Photograph: Shutterstock
Things to do, Walks and tours

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

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.

Photograph: David Rosenzweig
Things to do, Walks and tours

St. Patrick's Day at the Merchant's House Museum

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.

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2013
Photograph: Amy Beckerman
Things to do, Festivals

Brooklyn St. Patrick's Day Parade

The British first conquered New York City right in Brooklyn Heights, and centuries later the Irish American Parade Committee still commemorates the 43rd anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn (as many of the committee members’ forefathers were involved in that war) and celebrates Irish-American contributions to New York City. At 12:45pm, the procession also honors the heroes and victims of 9/11.

Want to celebrate with some Irish cuisine?