How to Plan a St. Patrick's Day Party

Six Methods:InvitationsDecorating your party spaceGreen beer and foodGames and activities for the partySome fine extrasSample Flyer and Invitation

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, this is the perfect time to break out your green clothes and celebrate luck o' the Irish! With these St. Patrick's day party planning ideas your party will be a hit. Raise a toast high in the honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and use these simple tips to throw a grand party!

Method 1

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    Send out invitations. The type of invitation will depend on whether you're throwing your party as a spur-of-the-moment occasion or as a longer-term planned event. For the spur-of-the moment event, send out email invitations to everyone, and try to include something green, like a shamrock or leprechaun design.
    • For postal invitations, design something on the computer using clip art and print it out either on green paper or relying on the green designs to create the sense of green. Add green glitter if it helps.
    • Alternatively, make cards without the printer. Simply use green construction paper or cardstock. It can either be a plain rectangle shape, or turn it into a shamrock shape. Write the party details on each card and perhaps glue on 3D leprechauns or shamrocks. Place into green envelopes and add some green confetti inside to drift out when opened.
    • Green and gold glue glitter is a fun addition to homemade invitations.

Method 2
Decorating your party space

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    Decorate the party space with bells and white calla lilies. The Bells of Ireland bring good luck and the lilies represent beauty. For simple, easy and effective decorations, make green shamrocks. These can be made using green construction paper or poster board.
    • Use green streamers everywhere. They're easy and effective.
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    Prepare the table. The table can serve as either the central eating space or as a buffet. Use a green tablecloth to cover the table and add plain white dishes. Set the table with beer mugs and use orange table napkins to suggest the colors of the Irish flag.
    • Make a centerpiece featuring shamrocks, calla lilies, or white flowers.
    • Use foliage to increase the green-ness of the presentation.
    • Use an orange ribbon bow or lengths for splashes of contrasting color.
    • Make little pots of gold using golden foil-covered chocolate coins. Use small containers as the "pot" and fill with the coins. Place at strategic locations on the table and around the party area; these are especially enticing for children.
    • Purchase a few little gifts for the children, such as a green teddy or toy.

Method 3
Green beer and food

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    Turn your beer green. What better then serving green beer for St. Patrick’s party! Drinking green beer has become somewhat of an American tradition on this day. It’s easy to make and gives a traditional feel to your party.
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    Celebrate this great Irish day with traditional St. Patrick’s Day recipes. Serve your guests a menu mixed with classic dishes and a few surprises. Irish Pub foods are always a big hit, and another great idea is to make some of the dishes green. Some ideas for your party or sit-down dinner menu include:
    • Baked food: Irish Soda Bread is a must-have for the mail meal and for munching on. Other baking ideas include Pizzas with green bell peppers shaped to look like shamrocks and beef and Guinness pasties.
    • Potatoes: However you like them, be sure to have them. The traditional way for St. Patrick's Day is to turn them into Colcannon or Boxties (potato pancakes).
    • Main course: If you're serving a sit-down meal, Beef in Guinness is a great main meal. Some of the baked food ideas will also work as a main meal when accompanied with vegetables.
    • Other vegetables: Stick to green! Sauteed Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans and peas are suitable choices.
    • Desserts: For dessert, suitable baking includes treacle tart, green doughnuts and tie-dyed (rainbow) cake for the kids. Add a pot of gold to the top of the cake!

Method 4
Games and activities for the party

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    Plan party activities. The celebrations deserve some games or activities to heighten the fun. Here are a few ideas:
    • The Ladder Lingo Game: A nice mind teaser game. Begin with St. Patrick’s Day themed words, and ask the person sitting next to you to think of another themed word beginning with the last letter of your word. For the word “Celtic,” the next word could be “Clover.” The game keeps going until no one can think of another themed word.
    • Painting St. Paddy’s T-Shirts. Another simple yet fun St. Patrick's Day party activity. Have t-shirts in all sizes ready, a painting area set up, and some shamrock, leprechaun or Irish flag stencils for ready use. And don't forget to get fabric paints!
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    Add musical ambiance. Find some Irish music. Look in the Celtic music section of your favorite music store (online or in-store), and stock up on some Irish favorites. Play this music in the background during the party.
    • If someone can play instruments, perhaps organize them to play some tunes on a keyboard, guitar, harp, string or wind instrument for a few songs.
    • Consider organizing a sing-along with sheet music and lyrics.

Method 5
Some fine extras

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    Greet guests at the door with a traditional Irish toast. While you can find suitable toasts on the internet, here are just a few:
    • 1. Beannachtam na Feile Padraig! - Happy St. Patrick's Day!
    • 2. Who through strategy and stealth,
    • Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
    • Here’s a toasting to his health.
    • But not too many toasts
    • Lest you lose yourself and then
    • Forget the good Saint Patrick
    • And see all those snakes again.
    • 3. May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, And may trouble avoid you wherever you go...[2]
    • 4. Beimedh a gole! - Let us be drinking!
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    Wear green. Have some spare green items of clothing available for any guests who might have forgotten to come dressed in green. Even green party hats, party wigs, or party glasses can green them up a bit for the occasion!
    • If you have pets in the house, add a green ribbon to their collar.
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    Finish the party with an Irish coffee. And maybe a little Irish whiskey for those who enjoy it neat.

Sample Flyer and Invitation

Sample Event Flyer

Sample St. Patrick's Day Invitation


  • Small yellow Jell-O (jelly) cubes in a cup can make a great "pot of gold" idea.
  • Kids can be kept amused by having some craft items laid out for them to make, such as creating leprechauns, coloring in pages, sticking shamrock stickers onto paper, etc.


  • As with any festive occasion, drink in moderation and get a sober driver to take home anyone who has had too much.

Things You'll Need

  • Party venue
  • Irish food
  • Beer, preferably Guinness and/or green beer
  • Party decorations
  • Tablecloth, napkins, cutlery, plates, etc.
  • Irish music and music player; instruments (optional)
  • Craft gear and computer software/printer for making invitations
  • Green clothes/costumes

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