Hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party for family and friends is a great way to have fun and make lasting memories in March. Read on to discover how to throw a successful St. Patrick’s Day party.
This article describes the steps necessary for hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party at home: planning and staying organized, choosing a theme, creating and sending invitations, decorating your home, making party favors, preparing music, planning games and activities, making food and drinks, and making last-minute party preparations. Keep reading to discover St. Patrick’s Day party ideas for adults, office, and school, together with more helpful information in the FAQs section.
1. Plan and stay organized
Organizing a successful St. Patrick’s Day bash is no easy task since it requires planning in advance and paying attention to even the smallest details. Here are some tips:
- Start planning your St. Patrick’s Day party early – at least a month before the event – to make sure you have enough time to organize and purchase everything you need.
- Choose a date that works for you and everyone on the invite list. Mid-March is usually when most people celebrate the holiday, so it would be best if the party falls around then.
- Decide whether the party will be strictly for adults only, kids only, or families. It will help determine the theme, decorations, party favors, games and activities, food and drinks, and music and entertainment.
- Set a budget to determine how much to spend on decorations, food, drinks, paper goods, party favors, and so on. It’s essential to not miss out on essential items. But you shouldn’t overspend either or you might feel discouraged about hosting a party again.
- Make a list of all the tasks, such as getting decorations, decorating the house, preparing food and drinks, or creating and sending invitations.
- Set deadlines for each task and assign them to different people before and during the event, ensuring the assistants are on the same page about their duties. It’s always best to ask for help and delegate instead of taking all responsibilities for yourself, feeling overwhelmed, and delivering poor results.
- Make a clear schedule of the day’s events, so everyone knows what to expect when they arrive at the party.
- Create a backup plan in case something goes wrong or there are unexpected changes in plans. For example, get large umbrellas for a garden party in case it rains.
2. Choose a theme
Picking a theme for your St Patrick’s Day party is a fun and exciting aspect of planning that impacts how guests interact with each other at the event. A theme guides the decorations, activities, dress code, and food served at the event. It can be as simple as a color scheme or as elaborate as an immersive narrative. There are mainly two routes for a St. Patrick’s Day color scheme: green and gold, or rainbow. Here are some ideas for organizing a party with an immersive narrative:
- Irish pub night: Hire a bartender and serve Guinness, green beer and cocktails, whiskey, Irish coffee, and other traditional drinks. Serve finger food appetizers, such as mini shepherd’s pies, Reuben crescents, nachos, chips, and dip. Play darts and rings.
- Fairytale story: Take a cue from the mythical creatures that inhabit Ireland’s history and transform your home into an enchanted forest by decorating with lots of greenery, shamrocks, and clovers. Add touches of faux stone walls, swords, and flags. Hang twinkly lights from the ceiling or walls to create a whimsical atmosphere. Have everyone come dressed up as their favorite characters from Irish folklore, such as leprechauns, fairies, and warriors.
- Rainbow dress-up: Create a vibrant party and take stunning pictures by inviting guests to come dressed in their favorite pastel shades and bright hues. Decorate your home with rainbow-colored streamers, balloons, and tablecloths to set a cheerful mood. Serve rainbow-colored desserts and treats, such as donuts, ice cream cake, bundt cake, or popcorn.
- Kiss Me I’m Irish: Create photo opportunities with leprechaun props and have an impromptu Saint Patrick’s day pageant where visitors compete to win the title of king or queen of the party.
3. Create and send invitations
Making invitations for your St Patrick’s Day party is an important part of planning and can help set the tone for the event. When creating invitations, think about how you want to present them, such as digitally or as printed cards. Here are a few tips on making effective invitations:
- Include all the pertinent information, such as date, time, and place.
- Use green and gold themed art or pictures in invitation design.
- Incorporate a fun phrase that ties in with your theme. For example, announce a fairytale theme by saying Charms, spells and fables: Join us for a spellbinding St. Paddy’s celebration or a rainbow dress-up theme by writing A brilliant spectacle of colors: Let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together with a rainbow dress-up soiree.
- Include RSVP instructions.
- Add any additional information guests should know, such as suggestions on dress code.
4. Decorate your home
Decking out your home for a St Patrick’s Day party will get your guests into the holiday spirit, thanks to banners, balloons, streamers, lights, confetti, table centerpieces, themed plates and cups, wall hangings, photo displays, and other festive items. The decorations must be tied to the selected theme. They can range from traditional and understated to over-the-top and creative. Traditional decorations may include green tablecloths, cut-outs of shamrocks or four-leaf clovers, balloons in shades of green, as well as Irish flags, banners and streamers. Creative decorations could include an archway with green helium balloons and gold accents, light-up rainbows set up around the house, window drapes made from bunting fabric with a mix of green, white and orange (the Irish national colors) or gossamer curtains in rainbow hues. For centerpieces, use leprechaun hats filled with shamrocks or pots of gold filled with chocolate gold coins. Check out our selection of DIY St. Patrick’s Day decorations for more ideas.
5. Make party favors (optional)
St. Patrick’s Day party favors are a fun and creative way to thank your guests for attending the event by giving them small tokens of appreciation to serve as a lasting reminder of their special experience.
St. Patrick’s Day party favors can range from the traditional, such as small bags of green sweets or chocolates or shamrock-shaped keychains, to the more imaginative, such as personalized mugs with a fun quote about luck or homemade Guinness beer soap. For younger partygoers, put together favor bags with colorful shamrock beads, pot of gold coins, or rainbow-themed items like small umbrellas or notebooks. If you have time to get creative, make small pots of gold filled with treats like chocolate coins and lucky charms. Be sure to include personalized cards or tags on each favor bag so your guests know how thankful you are for their presence. Hand out the party favors at the end of the event.
5. Prepare music
A St Patrick’s Day party is not complete without authentic Irish music. To put together an entertaining evening, pick music that fits with the theme and encourages guests to get on their feet. Here are some suggestions:
- Create a playlist with traditional Irish songs such as The Irish Rover, Wild Colonial Boy, Molly Malone (Cockles and Mussels), Whiskey in the Jar, Raglan Road, and Danny Boy.
- Install speakers in your home or outside, depending on where the party is held, and check the sound quality before the event starts.
- Set up a karaoke station for extra fun.
- Consider hiring a live band for playing traditional Celtic music, especially for an outdoor party.
6. Plan games and activities
Games and activities are fantastic for creating an entertaining atmosphere, breaking the ice, and get the conversation flowing at a St Patrick’s Day party. Everyone will have something to do throughout the night and won’t get bored of each other’s company after a few drinks. Here are some ideas:
- Have a scavenger hunt around the house or yard using items like green apples or four-leaf clovers.
- Set up a pot of rainbow coloring station where guests can make their own designs.
- Throw a bean bag toss game to challenge guests to go for their lucky strike.
- Have a clover creation station where kids can make their own leprechaun hat out of construction paper and glue.
- Inflate green balloons, draw faces on them, and let guests try popping them by stomping on them.
- Play Irish-themed board games, such as Blarney, Celtica, Destination Ireland, Hibernia, INIS, Ireland-Opoly, Keltis, or Luck o’ the Dice.
- Play charades using only words and expressions related to St. Patrick’s Day, such as leprechaun, lucky charms, or Irish jig.
Check out these St. Patrick’s Day activities for kids if you’re looking for ideas on how to keep the younger guests entertained throughout the party.
7. Make food and drinks
Get creative at your St. Patrick’s Day party by providing food and drinks that fit the theme of celebrating all things Irish. It’s essential to prepare various dishes and drinks to appeal to the different tastes of adults and kids. Additionally, consider any allergies, dietary restrictions, or lifestyle choices, which can be clarified when inviting guests to your party. Here are some food and drink ideas for a St. Patrick’s Day party:
- Start the party with a green cocktail for adults, such as Irish Mule or the Leprechaun’s Kiss. For non-alcoholic drinkers and kids, prepare a minty Shamrock Shake or green juice.
- Bring out festive appetizers to get people interested, such as mini shepherd’s pies, Reuben crescents, nachos, chips, and dip.
- Serve traditional Irish dishes such as corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, or boxty.
- For drinks, have a selection of beer, wine, and soda, as well as classic Irish coffee and Guinness.
- Prepare a special punch bowl with a mix of citrus fruit juices colored green for added effect.
- Surprise your guests with sweet and savory St. Patrick’s Day desserts, such as Guinness brownies, Baileys cheesecake, or Irish apple cake.
8. Make last-minute party preparations
When you’re down to the wire and guests are scheduled to arrive, you’ll want to make sure your St. Patrick’s Day party is ready. Here are some last-minute tips:
- Ensure there are enough designated parking spaces within walking distance of your party.
- Put up signs indicating restrooms, exits, places where people can store their coats and jackets, no smoking areas, or recycling bags, so everyone knows where they can find what they need during the party.
- At least one guest will inevitably ask for a charger. Ensure there are enough charging stations near exits or gathering areas.
- Set up seating arrangements to make all guests feel comfortable sitting while talking and having a snack or a drink.
- Place candles around the house for a warm and inviting atmosphere.
- Make sure there is plenty of food and drinks available, as well as plates, napkins and utensils.
- Play music in the background so that conversations flow more easily and keep the mood light.
St. Patrick’s Day party ideas for adults
Check out more St Patrick’s Day party ideas for adults:
- Have a costume competition with prizes for the best-dressed guests.
- Set up outdoor games such as horseshoes, ladder golf, and croquet.
- Provide a selection of craft beers and ales paired with classic Irish cheeses and smoked salmon platters.
- Play a drinking game like beer pong.
- Put together an assorted array of cupcakes decorated with green icing in the shape of four-leaf clovers or shamrocks.
- Set up a scavenger hunt for the adults, hiding clues written on St Patrick’s Day cards throughout the party area. For example, base the hunt on famous Irish writers and poets, such as James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, and Seamus Heaney.
- Host an Irish trivia game and give out prizes for the top three winners.
- Ask guests to share their favorite St Patrick’s Day memories and reminisce around the fireplace.
St. Patrick’s Day party ideas for the office
Here are some fun ideas for throwing a St. Patrick’s Day party at the office:
- Decorate the office with green streamers, shamrocks, and leprechauns.
- Host a potluck with traditional Irish dishes like colcannon, shepherd’s Ppe, and fish and chips.
- Set up festive photo opportunities with props like a giant cardboard shamrock or a large top hat with a leprechaun beard.
- Organize an Irish sing-along with popular songs like Danny Boy, Whiskey in the Jar, and Molly Malone.
- Create an interactive game of leprechaun bingo where everyone can join in the fun.
- Have guests leave messages on paper rainbows for good luck vibes throughout the day.
- Ask coworkers to prepare and share their favorite Irish recipes with everyone at the party.
St. Patrick’s Day party ideas for school
Check out some ideas for throwing a St. Patrick’s Day party at school:
- Host a St. Patrick’s Day themed art contest.
- Have a kid-friendly dance party with Irish music.
- Host a popularity contest and give out prizes for the best dressers.
- Set up a lucky clover photo booth for memorable pictures.
- Set up a leprechaun obstacle course relay race.
- Bring a pot of gold piñata filled with chocolates, candies, and toys.
- Install a friendship bracelet-making station.
- Play Irish-themed bingo with shamrock cards.
- Decorate the school’s library with green and gold decorations.
- Play leprechaun-themed charades.
- Organize a shamrock or clover scavenger hunt in the playground.
- Set up Irish music trivia.
- Keep children engaged with St. Patrick’s Day crafts.
Discover more helpful information about St. Patrick’s Day parties.
When are St. Patrick’s Day parties held?
Most St. Patrick’s Day parties are typically held on March 17th each year. But they may be extended over several days or even weeks, depending on the region or country in which they occur.
Are there any special traditions associated with St. Patrick’s Day parties?
Yes. Traditions vary from place to place but generally involve decorations such as shamrocks and wearing green clothing, drinking Irish beer or whiskey, playing traditional Irish music, dancing jigs, or telling stories about the patron saint of Ireland.
What do you bring to a St. Patrick’s Day party?
As a guest, you can bring traditional Irish food to a St. Patrick’s Day party, such as shepherd’s pie, colcannon, Guinness chocolate cake, or Irish soda bread.
Throwing a St. Patrick’s Day party doesn’t have to be overwhelming, especially when following the step-by-step instructions and suggestions outlined in this article. From decorations and snacks to music and games, get creative to ensure your guests have a good time. Celebrating the holiday in style doesn’t have to break the bank either – with budget-friendly DIY ideas and unique ways to decorate, you can plan the perfect Irish-themed event at home with ease.