Gray Line’s Top 6 Things to do in Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

St. Patrick’s day in Chicago is proudly celebrated with numerous activities. If you’re in the Chicagoland area during St. Patty’s weekend, you’re in for quite a treat! From parades and pub crawls to parties and shuffles, we’ve got your inside scoop to Chicago’s top St. Patrick’s Day activities. 

1. Chicago River Dyeing
Every year, the city dyes the Chicago river green in honor of the holiday. Get there early to grab a spot between State and Columbus; the water starts turning green at 9 a.m. and only keeps its color for about five hours, so don’t miss it! It is best to view the showing between Lake Shore Drive and Columbus.  Need a ride for your group, visit Aries Charter!

2. Parades Galore
There are many parades throughout the Windy City and its suburbs. The main parade takes place in downtown on March 16 at 12 pm and features Irish music, bagpipes, Irish dancers, floats, and more. This is definitely an activity you don’t want to miss! Thousands of people flock to the parade in order to celebrate. The parade steps off in Grant Park and works its way up north.  If you’re not able to see it in Downtown Chicago, hit the South Side Parade on March 17th.  A long-time tradition, the South Side Irish Parade is a family-friendly celebration and it steps off noon from 103rd Street.  There’s also the Northwest Side Irish Parade that features an after party from 1- 5 PM.   If you have some extra time, taking a Chicago tour through Gray Line will add to the experience!

3. Irish Food & Spirits
How can you celebrate St. Patrick’s day without eating some delicious food? There are pubs and bistros that offer traditional Irish food spirtis ranging from corned beef to freshly brewed beer.  Where you go to eat depends on where you’re going to be situated. A quick search will pull up the closest restaurants to you! Cork and KerryFado Irish Pub, and Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro are some of the more popular ones. Additionally, if you like beer, why not join a pub crawl?  St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl is a favorite amongst Chicagoans. Need some additional help planning, visit Choose Chicago for more ideas!

4. The Kiddos
A lot of the activities on this list are great for families, however, there are events that are tailored specifically towards children. In Naperville, there is the St. Paddy’s Day 5K followed by the parade at 10 AM on March 16th.   If that’s not enough for you and the kids, there is also a “Luck of the Irish” Kid’s Night Out event in Naperville on March 15th  Plus, Catigny Park in Wheaton is hosting a Little Leprechauns party on March 16th.  Need more kids activities?  Click here for more family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day events.

5. Shamrock Shuffle
While not over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, it’s a great way to sprint into Spring!  The Shamrock Shuffle is scheduled for March 24th.   The event features an 8K, a 2 mile walk or a 1 mile walk.  Visit Shamrock Shuffle to learn more.

6. Cultural Immersion
Jam out to some Celtic music in Gaelic Park. The Taylor Street Band and Irish Dancers will be performing at this family-friendly event on March 17. Additionally, meet up with other people who are interested in Irish heritage at the Cultural Center. There will be music, dancing, and beverages.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Gray Line Chicago!

May you always have…
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.

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