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Throwing a St Patrick's Day Party

Posted on 16th January 2015
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Throwing a St Patrick’s Day Party

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We’re heading toward that time of year when we all need to be on the look out for the wee folk, those cute and rascally little leprechauns, of course! It's that time for "the wearing o' the green" as we celebrate everything Irish whether we’re native or just joining in the fun. So why not host a St. Patrick’s Day party with festive four-leafed invitations, Lucky Leprechaun games and food that’ll take you back to the Emerald Isle.
So let’s get started and like all parties, it’s the planning that will win you the day.  So plan your guest list and we’ll start by looking at some smart invitation ideas.

St Patrick's Day Party Invitations:

Lucky Leprechaun costume for adults Ref: AS03414AOne idea is to invite the guests with lucky four-leaf clover cards. You could cut these from green foil card but a simpler idea and a lot less fiddly is to buy a pack or two of pre-cut green shamrock decorations and use these. With their association with good fortune, you could use the heading "This is your Lucky Day— You're invited to a St. Patrick's Day Party!" and then include all the usual detail concerning; date and time, location, dress code (vital if you want everyone in Irish fancy dress) and anything else you want to include. A nice touch is to include a few chocolate gold coins from your own “crock ‘o gold” for extra luck and then send them out to your guests in green (naturally) envelopes.
If this is too much, there are commercially available pre-printed invitation cards and pads but we always think that the extra effort you put in with the invites really goes a long way to setting the tone for the party itself.

Women's Irish costume for St Patrick's Day parties Ref: BJ000169St. Patrick's Day Party Dress Code:

Its party time and it’s for you to set the dress code.  You could have a formal dinner party in which case you might expect your guests to wear “formal” attire, but still with a hint of green! Or you could be hosting an informal or costume party in which case you could opt for either having guests dressed entirely in green, perhaps awarding a prize for the person with the most articles of green clothing on. But perhaps the most popular at this time of the year is the traditional St Patrick’s Day costume party in which case you can expect lots of Leprechauns walking up your path. For added fun why not greet your guests dressed as a leprechaun or as St Patrick himself? Another nice treat is to take a welcome picture of each of your guests or couples and post these on social media for all to see.
Now it is a sad fact that not everyone will want to dress up and despite your best efforts, some people will still turn up dressed in everyday ‘civvies’. You could bar them from coming in but you’re not that harsh are you?  Better is to have a few spare leprechaun hats and beards around so that YOU can dress them at the door – at least for the welcome picture!

St. Patrick's Day Party Decoration:

St Patrick's Day Shamrock Decorations Ref: UA790327Go green! There are plenty of ready to use St Patrick’s Day and Irish themed party decorations available and these would include the green shamrock leaves that we suggested you use as invitations.  Any left over can either be suspended from the ceiling or used against a wall.  The classic leprechaun is to be found sitting with a crock of gold coins at the end of a rainbow and you could create a giant rainbow using sheets of colored art or crepe paper on a wall in the shape of an arch.
Shamrock Leaf cut-out decoration Ref: UA797861For the "pot of gold" at the end of your rainbow, we would suggest using a good shaped Halloween cauldron if you can’t find a true crock, and fill this with padding material – scrunched newspaper or plastic bags covered with gold crepe paper for the top of the padding and then add enough gold coloured chocolate coins and strings of beads to complete the illusion. This should be positioned at the end of the rainbow but you might need two if you’ve made a long rainbow decoration.  The padding in the crocks will reduce the amount of chocolate coins you will need.
If you have smaller tables, cover these with green cloths or tablecovers and then sprinkle these with St Patrick’s Day party confetti, more gold coins and party beads for your guests to take as memento of the party.
If you can afford the expense, you can create floating Shamrock Clouds of three helium filled green balloons with a central green foil balloon or specific St Patrick’s Day in the centre.  Tied with green ribbon these can be flown from the buffet table or around the room.

St Patrick's Day Party Games

The need for party games really depends on the age of your guests, obviously a St Patrick’s Day celebration involving children may require that you plan for a few games so that everyone can get up and play.
Pot o’ Gold
First set an empty leprechaun’s cock or pot on the floor and then give all those playing 5 gold coins each.  These should be marked in a way that you will know to whom the coins belong to at the end of the game.  With each contestant standing on the same spot they get to toss their coins into the pot.  The person with the highest number of their coins in the pot wins, but you’re not really going to keep those coins that miss the pot, are you? A variation would be that you use the same coins for each player and simply write the scores down. Older children could be made to do it blindfold and wearing a big leprechaun’s hat.
Leprechaun Gold Coin Hunt
Leprechaun or Goblin face mask with hair Ref: AC726352Probably the title says it all but for the newbie, simply hide gold covered chocolate coins around your party area then let slip that the leprechaun has lost his gold and either; 1) the person who brings back the most is the winner or 2) eat what you find! If the game is for very small children, you could tie a green balloon to the coin as a ‘big’ clue, again to make it a little more educational, mix up a few different colour balloons without coins so as to focus on colour recognition.
Leprechaun Arts & Crafts
St Patricks Day Hat and Beard Ref:  UW2C9209Watch as your world turns green when you provide paints and pencils for your guests to create their own masterpieces.  Download from the internet some outline drawings to help with the colouring in or let their imagination go wild.  We always invested in a couple of the largest plastic tablecovers we could find, one for the floor and one for the table, simply gather them up and dispose of all the mess in one go.  
Or for older children why not have them create their own Irish Glasses which they can cut from either pre-printed sheets or by following a template which you can create.  Once they are coloured green, or decorated however they think would fit the party, the holes for the lenses can be cut out and green cellophane can be glued behind and over the back of the eyeholes. For an easier time, just use a template for the front of the glasses and use pipe cleaners for the sides.

St Patrick’s Day Food:

Pot o' Gold Potatoes
One of the simplest ideas is to prepare a baked potato for every guest and then lay up your own “Pot o’ Gold Potato Bar” where you can offer a selection of baked potato toppings, such as grated cheese, bacon bits, baked beans, cubed ham, cooked peas, chili, pizza toppings, Mexican seasoning, sour cream and butter - and simply let your guests – regardless of age – choose how they would like to finish their own potatoes.
Deluxe Leprechaun fancy dress costume ref: AQ032426
Green Shamrock Shake
This is a super smooth milkshake at any time but as it’s green it really works well with the Irish theme. Okay it’s aimed at the children BUT we know an awful lot of parents that’ll race you to one! For each guest, put 2 cups milk, ½ to 1 whole banana, and 1 scoop mint ice cream in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust ingredients to your own taste. Pour into clear glasses and serve with green straws and decoration.
Leprechaun Snacks
Serve all of your normal snack foods on green shamrock shaped plates and if you’re having sandwiches, why not try cutting them into shamrock leaf shapes? Make sandwiches from green-tinted bread (the bakery can do this), and cut them out in clover shapes. Serve with a glass of green-tinted milk.
St Patrick's Day Sandwich Picks Ref: UA709859
Shamrock Cake
Easy to achieve, bake three heart-shaped cakes and join them together at their tips to form a shamrock (or bake four cakes to make a lucky four-leaf clover). Remember to choose the size of your tin carefully as it will end up being three or four times the quantity of cake!  When cool, ice with green with frosting and add green sprinkles and some small chocolate gold coins – which can be formed to create a cake band around the outside, either all the way around or just at the centre. 
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