Ah, St. Patrick’s Day; the only day of the year where it’s socially acceptable to get all dressed up in one color, go to all of the bars near you, and get super drunk! However, if you’re under the age of 21, this holiday may seem kind of pointless. But it doesn’t have to be just another day, you can make it into something fun! Here is a list of all the things you could do to make your sober St. Patrick’s Day a great one!
Catch the nearest parade.
Many large cities have parades around this time of year, celebrating their Irish residents and the culture. My hometown city holds one of the biggest St. Patty’s day parades in the country! I was able to be a part of the parade for four years, performing along the parade route with my high school marching band.
Decorate your door.
If you like to get creative with holidays and decor, this is the perfect thing to do on a weekend night. My roommate and I created this masterpiece the other day! And we only spent about $2 each on the supplies!
Make green food.
This one is kind of obvious. Making things green is so much fun, especially when it’s food! Growing up, my mom would make my sisters and I green waffles for breakfast on this holiday, so making food green is always a great way to celebrate responsibly with your family.
Buy Shamrock Shakes at McDonald's.
I LOVE SHAMROCK SHAKES!!!! These minty milkshakes are a seasonal treat brought in by McDonald's during the month of March (it usually starts closer to the end of February and goes through the first few weeks of April because people love them so much.) They also added two new concoctions to the special menu, combining a chocolate milkshake with the Shamrock Shake. Although I’ve yet to try the new items, you can never go wrong with the classic mint shake to celebrate being Irish.
Buy mint milk at Byrne Dairy.
This is a relatively new thing, so I’ve never actually tried it. It's another limited time offer, so you can only purchase it during the month of March. The title of it is pretty self-explanatory–it’s mint flavored milk! And it’s green!!!! You could even try to make your own Shamrock Shake with this... Someone try it out and let me know how it worked.
Try a green bagel at Bruegger's.
Bruegger's Bagels makes special green bagels for the holiday each year! They are only available for a few days though, so make sure to find out when your local store is offering them and take advantage of this unique product!
Create an Irish jig playlist.
A huge part of Irish culture is their recognizable music. If you’re a fan of the style, gather up all your favorite Irish songs and compile them into a playlist or burn them onto a CD. Then you can have your own personal dance party and bust out all those Irish step dancing moves!
Watch your favorite Irish movie.
Take a few hours to delve into Irish cinema! Or just watch some movies that are set in Ireland, or take place around St. Patty's Day.
Do some research on the history of the holiday.
Everyone knows what St. Patrick’s Day is, but not a lot of people know what it actually celebrates. There’s a deeper meaning behind it and the culture itself is very interesting, so plan to do some research on it this year and perhaps you will then have a higher appreciation for the holiday!
If you’re of Irish descent, do some research on your family history and origin.
I was always told growing up that I’m about 75% Irish. My last name, Madden, is definitely an Irish surname. I decided to do a little research on the origins and the meaning behind it, and this is what I found on IrishCentral.com:
“Madden is one of the Gaelic Irish surnames from which the prefix O was dropped during the centuries of Gaelic eclipse, but which did not share in the widespread resumption of Os and Macs since the Gaelic revival. In Irish it is Ó Madáin, the earlier form being Ó Madadháin. This sept was a branch of the Ui Máine (Hy Many) living in this part of Co. Galway which lies beside the Shannon, extending over that river into Offaly.”
I also found this on BehindTheName.com when I searched for the meaning behind Madden:
“Means ‘descendant of Madaihín,' a given name derived from Irish madadh meaning ‘dog, mastiff’.”
Pretty cool right? No wonder I’m a dog person! I strongly recommend doing this even if you’re not Irish, but St. Patrick’s Day is a great time to learn about your Irish origins if you have them.
Take advantage of Irish restaurants’ food discounts.
Many pubs and restaurants have deals throughout the month of March, especially as the holiday draws nearer. Sometimes they’re deals at the bar, but oftentimes, they also have discounted food! So even if you can’t drink at the bar, grab some friends and just go out to dinner! Maybe make it an early one to avoid all of the bar-goers.
Go all out with the green (‘cause why the heck not!)
If you choose to do none of the other activities, you should at least do this one. It’s not St. Patty’s day if you’re not dressed up in at least a little green! Have fun with it!
Find a house party.
If you are really set on celebrating the holiday in true Irish style but can’t go to the bars, there are always frat parties! I feel like St. Patrick’s Day is every frat boy’s dream and they probably make a lot of money during the weekends of and before the actual holiday. Go with a group of friends, wear all green or even just accessorize with some beads, be safe, and have fun!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!