5 Ways to Have a Blast This St. Patrick’s Day Without Alcohol

St. Patrick's Day activities without alcohol

If you’ve celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S., you know all about green eggs and beer. In fact, according to a Nielson survey from 2019, bars and restaurants make more sales on St. Patrick’s Day than any other day of the year. So, what do you do if you don’t drink alcohol? Luckily, there are plenty of ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while maintaining your sobriety – even during a pandemic.


  1. Attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, festival or run

Most cities and towns host an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade or festival. A few popular ones include this parade in Annapolis and the Shamrock Fest in Washington, D.C. There also are several marathons and 5Ks for St. Patrick’s Day if you’re looking to be more active. And even if COVID-19 keeps you from attending a parade in person, you can usually watch them virtually from home.

  1. Make a non-alcoholic green drink

Who says you have to put alcohol in a green beverage? There are tons of fun recipes for mocktails, green lemonade and punch. It’s also the season for Shamrock shakes. For healthier options, make a green smoothie, green juice or even green tea.

  1. Cook an Irish dish

There are a lot of options for making tasty Irish dishes, including shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage and Irish stew. Many recipes are meat and potatoes-based, so remember to add a vegetable like carrots or parsnips. There are plenty of kid-friendly options too, including green eggs, green Jell-O and even sweet treats made with Lucky Charms cereal.

  1. Learn about Irish heritage

Look for a culture club or Irish Heritage Center near you (for example, the Emerald Isle Club in Towson). These centers often have events or other online resources to help you learn more about Ireland.

You also can celebrate Irish heritage by listening to Irish music or watching Irish movies. There’s more traditional Irish music, with the fiddle, pipes, flute and harp. But there’s also rock – U2, Flogging Molly, the Dubliners, the Cranberries and many others.

For movies, streaming services, like Netflix, have an Irish section. Pick a movie at random to watch. You can also rent movies from the library. There are old and new films, including Oscar-nominated “Belfast,” “Brooklyn,” “Song of the Sea” and many more.

  1. Practice Irish step dance

Learn a traditional Irish step dance, such as Irish Ceili (“kay-lee”), which involves keeping your upper body still as you move your feet in different patterns. Find a video online and give it a try with your family.


Wishing you a healthy and happy St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day began as a Catholic holiday that marked the end of Catholic parishioners fasting for Lent. But today, at least in the U.S., it’s become a widespread holiday for all — and alcohol usually plays a role in the celebration. But it doesn’t have to.

If you’re planning to drink or host a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, we encourage you to put a plan in place to keep everyone safe. And if you, or someone you know, needs help with alcohol addiction, our team is here to help.


Daniel Watkins is the Sr. Director, Mental Health Operations and Nursing at Luminis Health.