What activities come to mind when you think of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? Of course, for many, the first thought is overflowing pints of green beer, contemplating how to get out of work the next day because you’re too hungover to go in, and (of course) like the traditional turkey on Thanksgiving, eating corned beef.
But… what if you’re sober? Oh, and a vegetarian?
If you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day but are not interested in partaking in the mainstream rituals, don’t worry; I’ve got you covered.
10 Fun Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
1. Make a Special Irish Meal | Believe it or not, you can enjoy many traditional Irish dishes that don’t involve animal products at all. The two recipes I have my eye on this year are vegan colcannon with garlic confit by Leisure Fan Club and a vegan shepherd’s pie by Food by Maria. Both dishes look absolutely delicious.
2. Watch Films set in Ireland (or simply inspired by it)| I’m a Boondock Saints, or P.S. I Love You gal, with no in-betweens. But, if those are not of interest, plenty of wonderful films may satisfy. Here’s a list I found online – here.
3. Explore Irish Literature & Art | Read classic Irish authors like James Joyce or Eavan Boland. Check out artwork from Ireland’s best —from traditional to contemporary, my favorites include photographer Conor O’Leary and painter Louis Le Brocquy.
4. Scavenger Hunt | This one is especially good for the kiddos – set up a scavenger hunt to find objects associated with traditional Irish culture (e.g., shamrocks, four-leaf clovers, etc.) or/and with clues relating to Irish culture and history.
5. Host a Virtual (or in-person) Party | Get together with the people you love and enjoy some Irish tunes or comedy sketches. If you have a little nerd in ya, you can make the time educational by pre-assigning topics and teaching each other about Ireland’s cultural heritage, folklore, and history.
6. Try Green Baking | More recipes to add to your St. Patrick’s celebration, but I couldn’t help it; these recipes look amazing. First, we have Wild Garlic Irish Soda Bread from Food & Mood, next Matcha Oat Balls courtesy of Mississippi Vegan, and lastly, Coconut Milk and Avocado Ice Cream from Fool Proof Living.
7. Make your own Upcycled Good Luck Charm or Art Piece | A simple yet meaningful activity that everyone can enjoy —try using discarded or otherwise “disposable” items like paper, fabric, wood, glass, cardboard, plastic, and anything else to create something new and beautiful.
ReCreate is an Ireland-based social enterprise repurposing unwanted materials into art and educational supplies – amazing! They have fantastic resources on their site – here.
8. Wear something festive (and green!) | Some classics you just have to hold onto. Break out your favorite green outfit, Pinterest some cute looks, and just have fun with it.
9. Enjoy Nature | Ireland is known for its green landscapes and pristine natural sights, so get outside and enjoy nature in your area. Walk in the park, visit a local botanical garden, or explore different types of shamrocks in your backyard.
10. Plan your Dream Trip to Ireland | We were lucky (no pun intended) to have the opportunity to travel to Ireland in 2019. The trip was a dream of mine since I was a child. So if you too dream of one day visiting (or revisiting) the Emerald Isle, there’s no better time than now. Start researching, create an itinerary, or use Pinterest to pin inspirational photos and articles to revisit later. I have a few of my own travel guides on the subject; check out below.
Clover Cooler Mocktail
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 2 teaspoons honey or agave
- 4 ounces ginger aid or ginger beer
- 2 ounces sparkling water
- Ice cubes, as needed
- Fresh mint leaves
- In a highball glass or mason jar muddle fresh pineapple and mint
- Fill glass with ice
- Combine the pineapple juice, lime juice and honey. Stir until the honey is completely dissolved.
- Pour in the ginger aid and sparkling water, give it one more gentle stir to mix everything together, but not unfizz all your bubbles
- Top with fresh mint leaves for garnish
At the end of the day, St. Patrick’s Day should be about celebrating Irish culture, not just drinking beer. So find a way to honor the occasion meaningfully – you won’t regret it. Sláinte!