As the second part of my series, I’ve decided to do the most obvious of party ideas for March: St. Patrick’s Day! This is a day, especially for those of us who are of Irish decent, to celebrate the anniversary of the death of St. Patrick and his religious feast day. So, grab your green and your shamrocks and read along on how to make the most of an inexpensive St. Patty’s Day celebration!
This is probably the easiest part of the party itself; you only need one color: GREEN! But here are a few extra tips to get you started!
1. Use green streamers throughout your party area.
2. Buy a few green light bulbs and use them in the lamps in your party space.
3. Find a big rock (or make one out of Styrofoam or papier-mâché) to be your Blarney Stone. Position it near the door so people can kiss it when they enter. (Legend has it that kissing the actual stone is supposed to give the kisser the gift of eloquence and persuasiveness; this makes for a great ice-breaker as your guests arrive!)
4. Gather as many gold-wrapped coins as you can find and place them around your party area. You can use bowls (pots of gold) or vases. (These also make nice table decorations!)
5. Get a box of Lucky Charms cereal and pour some into a jar (pickle jars, jelly/jam jars, etc.) with a lid. These also make for a cute party favor for your guests. Give them away at the end of your party as a reward for attending!
6. Use thick paper (like poster board) and cut out shamrocks. Make some with 3 leaves and a few with 4 leaves. Place them around your party area on the walls and doors. Hide the 4 leaf clovers if you would like to make a game out of it! BONUS: If your guests find the 4 leaf clovers, give them an extra treat as a prize. Gold coins and Lucky Charms are a good start!
7. Make a “treasure chest” of gold coins and create a rainbow to find the “pot of gold.”
The best (and cheapest!) way to create an Irish dinner for your St. Patty’s Day party is to invite your guests to bring traditional Irish dishes. BONUS: Using your invitations, place a recipe card for each food item you would like them to bring. This serves two purposes: there won’t be repeat items and it saves your guests the research time!
Here are few ideas for dinner dishes:
1. Cornbeef and Cabbage
2. Irish Lamb Stew
3. Mini Reuben Sandwiches
4. Irish Soda Bread
5. Shamrock Salad
6. Pistachio Pudding
7. Irish Scones
*For a longer list of food items, check out Hannaford Supermarkets’ website here! The page includes a shopping list at the bottom!
These are ideas you can use to decorate AND eat!
1. Bowls of: green jelly beans, green M&Ms, or any other green candy you can find.
2. Shamrock cookies: use a shamrock cookie cutter (VERY cheap at a local grocery store or Walmart) and decorate using green icing (food coloring in vanilla flavored icing) and/or green sprinkles. BONUS: Walmart has Green Apple flavored green sprinkles!
3. Green Cupcakes: use food coloring to dye white/yellow cupcakes; decorate with green. BONUS: use Lucky Charms (only the marshmallows) for decorating the top of the cupcakes!
Depending on whether your party is alcohol-free or not, you will have to gather different types of beverages for everyone’s tastes.
Here’s a few suggestions:
1. Dark Irish beer (if you don’t know which beers are Irish, just ask your liquor store attendant)
2. Irish whiskey (this is probably better used if used in Irish coffee; here’s an easy recipe)
3. Green gatorade or Kool-Aid
4. Black & Tans
5. St. Patty’s Day Punch
- Lime punch (Hawaiian Punch is great in the green flavor)
- Lime sherbet/Pistachio ice cream/Mint chocolate chip ice cream(just a few scoops; you can always add more as needed)
6. Irish Jello Shots (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
- Use small plastic cups (such as Dixie cups)
- Lime gelatin
- Vodka (any kind)