I read an Instagram post this week that said, “Can you believe that one year ago, this was the last normal week we would ever have?” It’s crazy to think that for most of us, going out for St. Patrick’s Day was probably one of the last times we were in a packed bar, crowded pub, or noisy restaurant.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way towards being able to get back to a life that involves going out and being social again, but we’re not quite there yet. Because of the ongoing pandemic, most of us will likely be celebrating St. Paddy’s at home or with a few close friends.
If you’re feeling less-than-inspired, I get that! It’s not as fun to make your own green beer and drink it on the sofa. Before you decide to pass on the party completely though, let me share a few ideas that can infuse a little extra fun into your quarantine plans.
1. Rent a Pub
I know that some of you are vaccinated at this point, and others have a somewhat large “quarantine pod.” If you and your friends have the resources to do so, why not try contacting one of the small local bars or pubs in your area to see if it would be possible to rent the space for a safe and fun St. Paddy’s party?
Most local businesses are still really struggling financially, so if they can accommodate you and your friends, I’m sure they would love the business! It would be a great opportunity to “go out” without really “going out” and sharing space with tons of strangers, too.
(Plus, is it even a celebration if you don’t get at least one cup of suspiciously cheap green beer?)
2. Set Up a BYOB Cocktail Bar
Believe it or not, alcohol consumption is a fairly recent addition to St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Before this, it was a dry holiday! So whether you want to booze it up or not, you can set up a cocktail/mocktail bar and let your guests know that it’s a BYOB affair.
Be sure to have plenty of green food coloring, Irish cream, green rock candy (it’s a tastier way to turn your beer or other drinks green!), green and gold sprinkles, and any other festive drink additions on your DIY drink buffet.
You might want to grab a couple of glass beverage dispensers and mix up a signature cocktail and mocktail for guests who aren’t feeling creative. I recommend something simple and delicious like this lemon-lime sherbet punch for the non-alcoholic drink, and something like a Grasshopper or this easy Bailey’s mint martini for your boozy beverage.
3. Try Something Traditional
Since you’ll be in the comfort of your own home, this could be the year that you do something different to celebrate. You can try your hand at traditional Irish recipes like soda bread with bacon and cabbage, colcannon, shepherd’s pie, or porridge, and you can curate a fun playlist of traditional and less-traditional Irish tunes to serve as background music for your festivities.
There are also lots of interesting Irish dance tutorials online, so if you’re feeling bold (or maybe just a little tipsy), you and your friends can try learning a jig. Even if it’s not successful, you’ll have fun, and it will be a great story to tell. Alternatively, you can just queue up some Irish dance performances or concerts on YouTube and watch the professionals instead.
4. Lean Into the Tropes
Of course, there’s no harm in going full-on cheesy, stereotypical St. Paddy’s party, either. Break out the green and gold Mardi Gras beads, your favorite “Kiss me, I’m Irish” tee, and sprinkle shamrock confetti on every surface like your life depends on it.
You can make salted caramel pots of gold, play a drinking game with the Leprechaun movies, dye everything green, and drink Guinness to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to set up a fun photo booth with props and a ring light so that you and your friends can make even more memories.
How Will You Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
Even though most of us won’t be able to do the time-honored St. Paddy’s pub crawl this year, it’s still totally possible to have fun! With a little creativity, you can make the day just as memorable as any in the past.
How are you planning to celebrate St. Paddy’s in this pandemic year? Share your ideas in the comments!