St. Patrick’s Day has come round once again. While you could tromp down to a bar and make yourself sick off beer filled with green food coloring, wouldn’t it be more fun to throw an amazing St. Patty’s Day bash of your own?

Serve up the right food and drink

“We’re all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day”, as the saying goes. Your food should be Irish too, so here are a few ideas to get you started:

Drinks: You can’t think of Ireland without thinking of Guinness, but don’t forget Murphy’s too. To really kick things up a notch, don’t be satisfied with just throwing out some cans of stout and calling it done. Why not try serving up some unique Guinness cocktails?

You should also be serving Irish whiskey, which is not to be confused with Scotch, bourbon, or Kentucky mash blends. Jameson is always a favorite, but there are some awesome craft whiskeys coming out of Ireland these days.

Food: Traditional St. Patty’s Day foods include soda bread, corned beef and cabbage, Dublin Coddle, and beef and Guinness pie. There’s also an old Irish joke that a seven-course meal in Ireland is just seven types of potatoes. Potatoes should always feature heavily in your St. Patty’s Day offerings.

For the true gourmands, nothing beats the challenge of matching your food to the strong stout you’ll be serving. Stout goes very well with oysters, chocolate puddings, and game meats like rabbit or pheasant.

Put thought into your decorations

The decorations are the first thing people see when they walk in, and they can also be a way to keep the party going. Of course Irish green should feature heavily, but no party is complete without shamrocks and rainbows.

Shamrock tissue garland is easy to hang and makes a great statement. Put your own “Blarney stone” at the entrance and invite guests to kiss it in order to enter. Fill vases or Mason jars with green lights and use them to decorate tables and benches.

Companies like Premier Glow offer all kinds of St. Patrick’s Day-themed lighted party favors that allow your guests to interact with the decor. A shamrock LED top hat can be the perfect prize for a game winner, and light up shamrock necklaces let everyone advertise their Irish loyalty for the night.

Activities people will love

For the kids: Divide the kids into teams and place a bucket of clothing for each team at the far end of the room — the goal is to find all the green clothes. After someone blows a whistle, one member of each team hops like a frog to the basket, finds one item, and hops back with it. Once they return, the next person goes and so on until one team has them all.

You can also get some colored ping pong balls and play Blarney Stone Bounce. Each team gets a particular color of ball, and at the sound of the whistle, they throw them at a Blarney stone replica. The goal is to get their ball to bounce off the stone and into one of the buckets around it.

For adults: When it comes to adult St. Patty’s Day games, you should be thinking alcohol. Try the Hot Potato drinking game, which is basically a riff on musical chairs. Pass the shot glass around, and whoever is holding it when the music stops has to drink. You can also adapt the children’s games above to add some liquor into the mix.
Instead of pin the tail on the donkey, you might also try a rousing game of Pin the Snake on St. Patrick. If the blindfolded participant misses, they have to down a shot of Jamesons. It’s not entirely clear whether the most sober player at the end is the winner or the loser, and that’s just the way it should be.

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