Every March 17, St Patrick’s Day is celebrated with parades, block parties, Irish dancing, and most importantly, a whole lotta green. By turning their river emerald green every year, Chicagoans are known for some of the most extravagant St Paddy’s traditions. These celebrations are notoriously big crowd drawers which is why we want to inspire you to stay at home with these suggested fun activities.
1. Host a costume contest
Embrace the colorful tradition and set the tone for the celebrations by hosting a costume party. It’s easily adaptable to any age group and guaranteed fun. Put your best green attire on and strut down your at-home parade. Don’t forget to have some prizes ready for the most creative costumes!
2. Plan an educational scavenger hunt
We promise you can make this fun for everybody! Divide your home into chronological sections and create a hunt that tells a story with treats along the way. As a parent, you’re killing two birds with one stone by both pleasing your children with some goodies and feeling like a good parent by teaching them a thing or two about the holiday. If you and your friends are the competitive type, organize a St Paddy’s Day-themed competition with opposing teams.
Here’s a quick St Patrick’s Day cheat sheet to give you a head’s up:
St Paddy’s Day is the celebration of the Patron Saint of Ireland, St Patrick. March 17 marks the supposed date of Saint Patrick’s death in 461 A.D. He was born Maewyn Succat circa 386 A.D in England but was captured and enslaved at age 16 by Irish raiders for 6 years. He then changed his name to Patrick and escaped to join the Catholic Church. As a Christian missionary, he devoted his life to converting the Irish and used the shamrock to demonstrate the Holy Trinity. After the potato famine (1845-1852), Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America in the 1700s where it became the popular event we know of today. The first ever St Patrick’s Day parade was actually held in Boston in 1737 and the rest is history.
You’re welcome. Now go get a head start on your hunt!
3. Cook and bake traditional Irish dishes
Don’t get us wrong, green frosting and green-colored drinks are fun but why not take the knowledge you’ve learnt during your at-home scavenger hunt and convert it into some classic Irish dishes. As St Paddy’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year, you could opt for a typical Irish breakfast (basically ‘a full English’ with soda bread and jam) and make some homemade soda bread the night before. Nothing like fresh bread in the morning! We also recommend making a warm and comforting classic Irish stew accompanied with a glass of Irish whiskey. Surround yourself with your friends and family for some cooking fun!
4. Plant Shamrocks
Now that you know everything there is to know about planting herbs indoors, have a go with shamrocks (wood sorrel or white and yellow clover). A craft workshop suited for all ages, you can teach your children or friends how to pot a plant like a pro. Did you know that wood sorrel has many health benefits? They are edible and contain loads of nutrients – so why not throw some in your Irish stew?
5. Watch an Irish movie
You can never go wrong with a cozy movie night at home. Turns out there are a bunch of acclaimed Irish movies so why not go all the way with your themed evening and watch an Irish movie with your closest friends and family? Check out some of the best lists here.
If you’re in need of some more inspiration you can also check out our blog on date ideas you can recreate at home.
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