Harness the luck of the Irish with St. Patrick’s day party ideas that are for the grownups. With fun decorations, activities, food and drinks, this party theme is filled with green and gold colors, rainbows, and shamrocks. This is perfect for a house party or a neighborhood block party.
I think St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most fun holiday celebrations, right up there with Mardi Gras! It’s a time to throw a party just for the pure pleasure of having food & cocktails with friends, and it’s acceptable to get a little ‘cheeky’ with decorations and details!
Celebrate the luck of the Irish on March 17 or plan a party for the Saturday before or after the actual date so that guests can recover the next day.
I’ve put together some ideas that you can implement for your own adult theme party at home. With lots of green, rainbows, and a “pot of gold” your guests are sure to have a good time.
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Fun Party Ideas
Send digital invitations about 3 weeks ahead. This is a casual holiday so there’s no need to send paper invites through the mail.
Dress for the theme. This is one theme party where guests will want to dress for the occasion, and there’s lots of leeway. Go over the top with rainbow colors, leprecaun hats, and green and gold beaded necklaces, or keep it simple with a stylish green or gold outfit.
Set up a photo booth with props and a backdrop. Have leprechaun hats, funny glasses, and green or red hair wigs. Hang green curtains for a backdrop, or a streamer rainbow.
Do a pub crawl at home or on your neighborhood block.
- Set up a few different areas or rooms in your home where guests can visit. Each one has a different food and drink pairing. For example, serve Guinness and fish n’ chips in the dining room, have green jello shots with mini Reuben sandwiches in the kitchen, and have Irish coffee with green cupcakes in the living room. Or, serve a different Irish beer in each space.
- This idea works great for a neighborhood block party too. Just follow the same idea, going from house to house. Don’t drink and drive, though!
Host an Irish Whiskey tasting and include some of the popular Irish brands like Jameson, Bushmills, and Paddy.
Relive your college days and play beer pong.
Keep it classy with an Irish themed dinner party.
Play the Lucky Number game for fun prizes. The number 7 is lucky for St. Patricks day. Add it to a grab bag to see who draws the lucky number. You can have several in the bag or do several rounds. Give out silly gifts like shot glass necklaces or gold coin chocolates.
Have a scavenger hunt to “find the leprechaun” or the “pot of gold.” This takes some pre-planning but it’s a terrific idea for a neighborhood party.
Play some Irish trivia games. You can create questions by doing a simple web search or using Wikipedia to curate fun facts.
Make a playlist of Irish bands. Some of the most popular ones are U2, The Cranberries, Flogging Molly, Van Morrison, The Strypes, the Dubliners, Clannad, the Corrs, Boomtown Rats, Westlife, Snow Patrol, Hozier, Celtic Women.
Learn how to Riverdance or dance an Irish jig. Have a contest to see who can do it the best, or funniest.
Give party favors of muslin bags filled with chocolate coins or shamrock cookies. Pile them up in a pot near the door so guests can grab one before they leave.
Decorate with green table cloth, and gold coins. Here’s how to incorporate the coins in creative ways.
- Scatter the coins down the center like a table runner.
- Fill different sizes and shapes of clear jars and bowls with the gold coins.
- Put the coins in small pots down the center of the table.
Use turf grass as a table cover to mimic the rolling green hills of the Emerald Coast and Irish countryside.
Use green plants or terrariums as a centerpiece instead of colorful flowers.
Hang an Irish flag banner around the party spaces.
Print out these St. Patrick’s day tags designed by TomKat Studio and attach them to toothpicks to top cupcakes or mini sandwiches with.
Print and frame signs with witty sayings. Here are some good ones.
- Kiss Me I’m Irish
- Top o’ the Mornin’ to Ya
- Luck o’ the Irish
- Shamrock and Roll!
- Irish You a Happy St. Patrick’s Day
- Eat, Drink, and be Irish
- The Leprechauns Made Me Do It
- We’re All Irish Tonight!
Frame a small version or hang a large print of the map of Ireland for a chic decoration in your party space.
Decorate with balloons. Fill them with helium and let them float on the ceiling or tied to tables. Or, make a rainbow balloon arch for a photo area, near the entrance, or over a buffet table.
Set up your cocktail bar with rainbow colored streamers hanging as a backdrop, and place a sign that reads, “Pot of Gold at the end of the Rainbow.” Have some glasses already filled and easy to grab.
Serve a buffet of bite-sized appetizers that are a spin off of traditional Irish favorites, or recipes that incorporate popular foods grown in Ireland, such as potatoes, carrots, onions, curly kale, cabbage and tomatoes.
- Charcuterie board with Irish cheddar or Dubliner cheese, and cured meats.
- Mini shepherd’s pies
- Mini Reuben sandwiches
- Serve bangers and mash like I did here in this Wimbledon brunch.
- Pierogies – Although they are a traditional Polish dish, pierogies are a delicious potato food that’s perfect for an adult party.
- Smoked salmon on waffle fries
- Potato Skins
- Beer cheese spread
- Bacon appetizers
- Nacho fries or tator tots
Serve Green Themed Appetizers
- Spinach and feta cups
- Baked spinach and artichoke dip
- Green pepper jelly over cream cheese, served with water crackers
Set Up a Food Bar
For heartier fare, set up a buffet with crock pots and chafing dishes and serve some classics.
- Beef stew or Irish stew
- Corned beef and cabbage
- Colcannon – a mashed potatoes and cabbage dish
- Irish Soda bread
Wash it all down with a “Pot of Gold” cocktail with flecks of real gold from Goldschlager.
- “Green Leprechaun” St. Patrick’s day cocktail
- Green beer – just add green food coloring to a light colored beer.
- Green Shots or gold Jello shots
- Green punch
- Festive champagne & Midori cocktail
- Drink Irish whiskey on the rocks
- Drink Guinness
- Bailey’s Irish Cream & coffee
- White chocolate martini with Irish Cream
Create a dessert table filled with green desserts or ones using the fruits of Ireland, including apples, pears, plums, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries.
- Green cupcakes or mini lime cheesecakes
- Shamrock themed shortbread cookies
- Sweet party Chex mix with green M&M’s to customize the party theme.
- Make an apple-berry galette or a rustic apple galette with caramel drizzle.
- Set up a sweets table and fill apothecary jars with green candies like M&M’s, jelly beans, Sixlets, rock candy, etc.
- Make rice krispies treats and add green food coloring to the mix, or mix in some Lucky Charms with the rice krispies.
- Serve a Guinness beer ice cream float
Now you have a whole array of St. Patrick’s day party ideas that are great for adults. Pick and choose your favorites for a fun and festive party! And check out these St. Patty ideas for kids if you have little ones.