St. Patrick’s Day is one of our favorite holidays (everyone wears green for crying out loud). However, we’re aware that for many adults the holiday is associated with intense revelry. And if there’s one city that knows how to party, it’s New York City.
This is interesting because New York City also happens to be one of the most popular destinations for student groups in the spring. So it’s common for group leaders to consider bringing a student group to the Big Apple over St. Patrick’s Day. However, someone who’s never done this before may wonder: is that a terrible idea?
Well, the luck of the Irish is with you! We’ve lead plenty of groups through Manhattan on St. Patrick’s Day. Allow us to shed some light on how you can absolutely enjoy an enriching student trip in New York City on one of the nation’s most debaucherous days.
Getting Around The Madness:
When you’re talking about St. Patrick’s Day in New York City, you’re talking about the St. Patrick’s Day parade. It’s one of the largest in the world and has been doing its thing since 1762. Officially, the parade marches on 5th avenue between 44th and 79th street, from 11 AM to 5 PM. This means it completely shuts down the road and surrounding areas to pedestrian and commuter traffic. Consequently, our advice is: if you’re not in the parade… just stay away from midtown that day!
Instead, make this your “Downtown Day”. See the Statue of Liberty, explore the Financial District, pay respects at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, eat and shop your way through Chinatown, Little Italy, and SOHO, walk the Brooklyn Bridge. You get the idea. The rest of Manhattan keeps on ticking, and there’s so many wonderful areas to enjoy. It’s simple to steer clear of the parade and treat St. Patrick’s Day like just another day on tour.
St. Patrick’s Day Night Is Like Any Other:
The craziest thing we noticed about St. Patrick’s Day in New York City is that the party starts early. As mentioned, the parade starts at 11 AM, so you’ll notice partiers spilling onto the midtown sidewalks as early as 7 AM to claim their spots. Personally, we’d need a few more cups of coffee to be in “party mode” that early. But what this means for groups, especially those staying in midtown hotels, is you don’t need to be too concerned about St. Patrick’s Day night being an outrageous disturbance. By that time, to put it bluntly, the partiers are pooped! The pubs will likely still be hopping, but at least that means the festivities have made their way indoors.
If you’re staying in a Times Square hotel, and usually allow students to have free time at the end of the day, you can reasonably expect the area will be back to normal by night time. It’s Times Square of course, so expect the typical amount of shock and awe. But either way, be assured St. Patrick’s Day night isn’t much different from any other.
Use The Holiday To Your Advantage:
Since St. Patrick’s Day shouldn’t compromise your New York City trip, why not use it to your advantage? A holiday centered around Irish history and culture is a wonderful chance to discuss Irish immigration to New York and the invaluable contributions they’ve made to the city.
Similarly, if you’re a performance group, the holiday might offer rare performance opportunities that aren’t available throughout the year. There’s more visitors in the city leading up to and immediately after St. Patrick’s Day, and everyone’s in the mood for music, singing, and dancing. Why not connect with a Green Team member and let us find you a once-in-a-lifetime performance opportunity? The holiday should only increase your chances of landing one that’s perfect for your group.
New York City Is Just As Magical On St. Patrick’s Day:
Our travelers have told us that the New York City trip can be a life-changing experience, and we agree there’s something magical about the place no matter what time of year you visit. Simply put, if you want to bring your group to New York City, and your trip happens to fall on St. Patrick’s Day, don’t hesitate….bring your group to New York City! Just remember: avoid midtown during the parade, Times Square should return to normal by night, and try to use the holiday to your advantage. Not only will St. Patrick’s Day not compromise your trip, but it can make it even more special.