Get ready for a glorious day of giddy green shenanigans!
With a historically large Irish population in our diverse and wonderful city, it’s no surprise Chicago’s usual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are of international renown.
This year has unfortunately followed the last and our beloved parades and river dying have been called off for another year running due to the pandemic. There is no doubt that things are now moving in the right direction, and with the pure popularity of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, many of us were hoping for a miracle. But the truth of the matter is, an event that would draw thousands of people is not safe, and we’re still a little way off celebrating our favorite annual events like we once did.
The March parades and river dying will have to wait until next year but despite the absence of our treasured traditions, there are still many ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. With it now just a hop, skip, and a jump away we’ve here rounded up some of the best.
The Irish have observed St. Patrick’s Day for over 1,000 years and though today St. Patrick’s Day is a tradition around the world, it is nearly always celebrated in the same jubilant way the Irish do it. How is that you ask? With music, drinking, dancing, and, of course, a whole lot of green. For that reason, bar hopping is often a go-to way of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and though this year there won’t be any of the usual Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawls a variety of Beer Tours and Tasting options offer a grand old time with your friends!
The Secret Chicago Beer Tour is a stand out option for craft beer lovers. As the largest craft brewing city in the US, Chicago has more than 150 breweries in 228 square miles. On this private tour, craft beer experts will take you to the very best breweries in town both new and old, while teaching you the fascinating history and process behind each and every one.
The Chicago’s Old Town: Beer Flights and Bites Tour offers a similar tour of the best beer spots but concentrated in the historic Old Town neighborhood. Again a professional tour guide and enthusiastic beer geek will accompany you as you bar-hop through Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, sampling the best craft beer the city has to offer as well as tasting some of the best food around along the way.
If something a little stronger tickles your fancy In The Realm Of Whiskeys: St. Paddy’s Guided Irish Whiskey Tasting might just be the one for you. Enjoy a journey through 9 tastings (9ml) of carefully curated Irish whiskeys while experiencing how colors can affect how we taste, all set to original music by composer Ryan Ingebritsen and original scent by master perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. Tickets are limited to 15 per session, two sessions per evening, and will be socially distanced to keep all guests safe.
For many Irish folks, St. Patrick’s Day is the most important day of the year, and that means celebrating it in style and with a splash. So if you’re looking to push the boat out on something a little big bigger than a bar crawl or beer tasting tour, look no further than the St. Patrick’s Day Yacht Party. There’s nothing more memorable than celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Weekend on a three-story luxury yacht cruising around Lake Michigan. Cover yourself in green, jump on board, and take in the Windy City’s sensational skyline while drinking with your friends.
For many reasons this year calls for a tamer version of events than those gone by. So if you’re want to start the day with something a little more laid-back but still celebrate it with something fun and memorable the Spray Paint & Sip: St. Patrick’s Day Takeover is a wonderful way to kick-off your celebrations. This interactive workshop turns you into the artist with the help of private instructors who will teach you all the steps along the way. BYOB rules mean you can learn the ins and outs of working with spray paint while sipping on your favorite beverage at your own pace. It’s a fun St. Patrick’s Day activity full of green glee that’s a great option for friends, families, or couples.
The Street Art and Craft Beer Tour offers another way of unleashing your inner artist but combines two of Chicago’s passions (beer & art) in more equal measure. Here you can make your way through West Town as you see and learn about some beautiful street art, before tasting some phenomenal craft beers from District Brew Yards and then trying out your own skills on a personal mini canvas.
4. St. Patrick’s Day Snacking
With the news that our typical celebrations have been canceled again, local Chicago brands, shops, and establishments are attempting to keep St. Patrick’s Day spirits alive with innovative efforts and newfound traditions. Wherever and however you are celebrating, it’s easy to revel in the ‘greenery’ of St. Patrick’s Day with some exclusive snacks!
There will be St. Patrick’s Day-themed Get Lucky Shakes at JoJo’s Shake Bar, St. Patrick’s Day themed Emerald Dipped Donuts at all Stan’s Donuts joints around the city, and the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day Candy Board at Chicago’s XO Marshmallow, the world’s first Marshmallow Cafe.
There will undoubtedly be an array of options at bakeries, bars, and even grocery stores, across Chicago that it’s almost impossible to keep up with. This year there will even be a fusion of two Chicago staples in Eli’s Cheesecake Company and Green River Soda who have combined to create a neon green cheesecake for St. Patrick’s Day. The special St. Patrick’s Day Cheesecake will be available at the wonderful Eli’s Cheesecake bakery at 6701 West Forest Preserve Drive and at Jewel-Osco grocery stores throughout Chicago.
You can always guarantee West Loop’s PB&J has the recipe for a good time. Having built their own outdoor igloo for an arctic winter wonderland earlier this year, it’s obvious no small measures are taken and the Pot Of Gold PB&J pop-up looks more of the same outlandish fun with lots of pizza, lots of beer, and lots of green St. Patrick’s Day-themed shenanigans.
5. Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day At Home
Not everybody will be wanting to head out and about in the current circumstances so there are also a few ways of celebrating from home. The St. Patrick’s Day Irish Whiskey Tasting & Drunk History Class offers an enjoyable and educational experience from the comfort of your own four walls. The Spirit Guides will guide you through a seminar on the history and production of Irish whiskey through an exclusive Livestream. Take a deep dive and journey through the countryside with mixology lessons on Irish cocktails, and immerse yourself in Irish musical entertainment, with premium cocktails that you make from a cocktail kit shipped to your door.
Looking for more St. Patrick’s Day activities? Check out Chicago’s best Irish events here!
While St. Patrick’s Day is known for its binge-drinking scene, we ask that you please drink responsibly and get home safe with a designated driver, ride-sharing service, or public transportation.
[Featured image from Shutterstock]