5 Fun Things to Do for St. Patrick's Day in NYC

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    Mario Tama / Getty Images

    Break out your green attire, and channel your inner Irishman (or woman) – it's time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, held on Thursday, March 17th, in 2016. New York City boasts a rich Irish heritage and is the setting for some of the most festive St. Paddy's Day celebrations in the world. Here, we've rounded up 5 fun things to do for St. Patrick's Day in NYC this year.

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  • 02 of 06

    Head to the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade

    Spencer Platt / Getty Images

    One of the city's oldest and largest parades, NYC's annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at 11 am on March 17th, running from 44th Street up 5th Avenue (past St. Patrick's Cathedral) to 79th Street. A full-day affair, the revelry typically continues until late afternoon. Though there are no floats, spectators will be treated to a lineup of marching bands, bagpipers, Irish dancers, and more – arrive early to get a good viewing spot along 5th Avenue. 

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  • 03 of 06

    Put Bottoms Up at an Irish Pub

    Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

    New York City has no shortage of jovial Irish pubs where you can find a good pint and friendly atmosphere any time of the year. On St. Patrick's Day, green beers pair well with patrons dressed in great at one of the 5 best Irish pubs along NYC's St. Patrick's Day Parade route. Alternatively, look to our picks for the top 5 Irish pubs in all of Manhattan – each is well worth raising a glass to. Alternatively, sign up for a St. Patrick's-themed pub crawl: St Paddy's Pub Crawl is running events on March 11th, 12th, and 17th in 2016.

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    Listen to Irish Music

    Paddy Reillys Music Bar

    There's nothing like fiddles and bagpipes to get into the Emerald Isle frame of mind. Several Manhattan bars offer traditional Irish music throughout the year – check the schedules of these standbys for live music for their 2016 St. Patrick's Day lineup: Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar in Kips Bay; Doc Watson's on the Upper East Side; the Landmark Tavern in Hell's Kitchen; 11th Street Bar on the Lower East Side; Dempsey's in the East Village; The Porterhouse at Fraunces Tavern in the Financial District: Gramercy Ale House in Gramercy; and Saint Andrew's in Midtown.

    Also of note for St. Patrick's Day 2016: Larry Kirwan, lead singer of NYC Celtic rock band Black 47, will play B.B. King Blues Club & Grill; or catch a special St. Patrick's Day Celebration with the Narrowback and Girsa at Webster Hall. 

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  • 05 of 06

    Learn About Irish History in NYC

    Tenement Museum

    NYC touts long and strong ties to the Irish immigrant story. Learn more on the "Irish Outsiders" tour at the Lower East Side’s Tenement Museum, which recalls the experience of a typical 19th-century Irish immigrant family (tours run daily, including St. Patrick's Day).

    Alternatively, head over to the East Village's Merchant's House Museum, set within a preserved 19th-century home, where you can learn more about the Irish immigrants who once served on staff here – you may even be able to meet them still, courtesy of a selection of special Saint Patrick's Day-themed ghost tours focused on the spirits of the Irish servants who are said to still haunt the place.

    Finally, consider swinging by the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City to learn more about Ireland's devastating potato famine of the 1840s, known as the Great Hunger.

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    Find Family Fun at the Irish Arts Center

    Irish Arts Center

    Swing by the Irish Arts Center in Midtown, an NYC-based arts and cultural center focused on showcasing the culture of Ireland and Irish America through performance, exhibition, and education. With St. Patrick's Day falling on a Thursday this year, they'll be hosting their annual St. Patrick's Open Day a few days early, on Sunday, March 13th, 2016. The free afternoon event (from 12 pm to 4 pm) will highlight a host of family-friendly activities: learn to play the tin whistle, take Irish lessons, and more.