Chicago celebrates St. Patrick's Day in a big way! Every year, hundreds of people flock to the city to enjoy various activities and events, from the annual Chicago River dyeing to the multitude of parades and parties that take place throughout the city. Whether you're looking for a traditional Irish experience or just want to have some fun, here are a few of the best ways to celebrate and schedule St. Patrick's Day in Chicago.
Let’s dive in!
The Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade is one of the city’s highlights, drawing thousands of revelers every year. The parade dates back to the 1800s and celebrates Irish culture with vibrant floats, colorful costumes and lively music.
Heading through downtown, with a route that passes iconic landmarks like the Willis Tower, the Wrigley Building and more. The parade is traditionally held on the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day and starts at 12 pm, lasting until around 3 pm. To get the best view of the action, arrive early and find a spot along the route.
Step Inside Chicago’s Newest Pop-Up Bar
This St. Patrick’s Day, immerse yourself in the culture of Ireland right here in Chicago with a visit to the new pop-up bar. It features traditional Irish fare and music, along with plenty of fun activities to keep you entertained. From classic dishes like fish and chips to more inventive takes on Guinness-infused cocktails, you’re sure to find something that pleases your palate.
Plus, if you show up early, try your hand at traditional Irish games like “Lawn Bowls” or “Pin the Tail on the Leprechaun.” With its festive atmosphere, creative decor and friendly staff, this pop-up bar is the perfect place to kick off your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Join a St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl
Chicago is well-known for its lively nightlife, so it’s no surprise there are plenty of ways to join a St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl. From the North to the South Side, you can spend the night crawling away in honor of St. Patrick.
If you’re looking for a festive and lively night out, then a pub crawl is the way to go. Whether you’re just a starter or looking for an all-night party, there’s something for everyone. Start off your night at The Green Door Tavern, where you can enjoy some classic Irish tunes and local brews. Then make your way to Old Town Ale House for some live music and plenty of beer.
Other popular pubs for crawls include McGee's, which offers trivia nights and board games, and Gman Tavern, where you can find an impressive selection of beers and spirits. There's also Green Eye Lounge, where you can dance the night away to a DJ set and live music.
Get A Bird's Eye View Of The River Going Green
If you’re searching for a unique way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, why not watch the Chicago River turn green from a sky-high perch? Every year, the river is dyed bright green as part of the celebration and you can get a great view of it from any of the high-rise buildings in downtown Chicago.
Other ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on the water include Wendella'sSt. Patrick's Day Cruise, Chicago Fireboat Tours' St.Patty's Day Green River Cruises, Shoreline Sightseeing'sArchitecture River Cruise, Seadog's Green River Dyeing Cruise and City Experiences'St. Patrick's Lunch Cruise.
Learn About Irish Culture In Chicago
Want to learn about Irish culture in Chicago? Look no further. The city is home to many Irish heritage sites and activities that will give you an insight into the rich Irish culture. One of the greatest places to start is the Irish Art Center, which houses the largest collection of contemporary Irish art in the United States.
Other great ways to learn about Irish culture in Chicago include attending the St. Patrick's Day Festival at Gallagher Way or taking a guided tour through some of the city’s most famous Irish landmarks, such as St. Patrick’s Church or the Irish American History Museum. For the culture aficionado these places will leave you with a great understanding of the Irish impact on the Windy City.
Patrick’s Day at Gallagher Way
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Gallagher Way, the new public gathering space at the Park at Wrigley. This family-friendly event is perfect for celebrating the holiday with live music, food and fun activities.
The festivities kick off on March 17th with a parade featuring the Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band and colorful floats. Grab your shamrocks and head out for a day of merriment as the parade goes down Addison Street.
Gallagher Way will also be hosting special performances from local Irish bands and dancers throughout the day. Enjoy classic Irish tunes from the O’Toole School of Irish Dance andKilrush Academy of Irish Dance and listen to the spirited melodies of The Céilí Band.
Kids can get in on the action too. Activities will take place from 11:00am - 2:00pm and include arts and crafts, face painting, balloon artists, games and more.
To top it all off, enjoy traditional Irish fare and craft beers on tap throughout the day. Grab a bite plus a beer while you dance a jig or two.
So grab your best green outfit and join Gallagher Way for an unforgettable St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Patrick’s Fest at the Irish American Heritage Center
The Irish American Heritage Center (IAHC) is the home to Irish culture preservation in America and doesn’t disappoint during the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. St. Patrick’s Fest at IAHC is an annual event that offers plenty of Irish fun for the entire family. There’s live music from traditional Irish bands, dancing exhibitions and food vendors with classic Irish dishes. The IAHC also has a marketplace of vendors selling handmade crafts and unique souvenirs.
The Fest runs from mid-March through April and all ages are welcome. Kids can participate in face painting and a petting zoo, while adults can learn how to play traditional instruments or participate in a pub quiz. You’ll also find plenty of opportunities to purchase traditional Irish foods, like corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and bangers and mash. This festive event culminates in a grand parade through the streets of Chicago.