Crank out the fiddle and let the Guinness flow, St. Patrick's Day (17 March) is just around the corner and we for one are ready to party. So brush up on your Irish jig, dress in your finest greenery and let the good times roll in honour of Ireland's most famous (infamous?) holiday at these leprechaun-friendly celebrations across the city.
De Paddy O'Bar Pop Up Irish Bar
A pop up Irish bar, with the specified purpose of celebrating St. Paddy's? That sounds like an offer we can't refuse. To nab a piece of the action, head along to Mount Eden's De Post Belgian Beer Cafe, who are ditching their Belg roots (well, for a few days anyway) in favour of some Celtic fun at this one-off event, which will be taking over their downstairs deck. We're talking $8 pints (Guinness, of course), tasty Irish food and amazing live music.
St. Patrick's Festival Parade
Join hundreds of other revellers at the Southern Hemisphere's only St. Patrick's Day parade on Queen Street. Expect some serious Gaelic vibes, with Irish-inspired floats, traditional dancing and plenty of cracking Celtic tunes to get your feet tapping (those marching bands are sick!). Afterwards, why not continue the celebrations over at the Auckland Town Hall, where an Irish Music and Dance Festival will also be happening. Yes, if you're after an event that's fun, frivilous, and family-friendly (not a term often associated with this particular holiday, let's be honest), this is the one.
St. Patrick's Festival After Party
One thing we know for sure, the Irish love to party. So with that in mind, you'd best follow-up the Queen Street festivities with a visit to The Auckland Irish Society's HQ in Mount Albert; where you can expect even more music, dancing and general mayhem. FYI: the society will also be hosting a St. Patrick's Day festival of their own on 17 March, complete with traditional food, games and other Irish fun.
St. Patrick's Weekend Festival
What better place to make merry this St. Paddy's Day than at O'Hagan's Irish Bar. This lively venue in Auckland's Viaduct will be hosting a number of festivities in the lead-up to the big day (think live music, face painting, and some good old-fashioned craic), culminating in breakfast and pints from 8am on 17 March.
Bottomless Irish Brunch
As if we needed further encouragement to celebrate St. Paddy's Day, along comes The Malt Public House with their Bottomless Irish Brunch. Yip, we can think of no better way to honour the impending holiday than by sinking endless Guinness and bacon butties in the beer garden of this stylish cityside venue. Sláinte!
The Greening Of Auckland
Be part of the global St. Patrick's Day celebrations and watch as landmarks across the city light up in the perfect shade of four-leaf-clover green. Yes, the Sky Tower and Eden Park are amongst those spots getting their glow on for Global Greening, a worldwide event involving more than 300 iconic landmarks turning green in honour of Ireland's most celebrated holiday. Plus, the fact that we live in the world's leading time zone means that our lights will be the first to go green.
St. Patrick's Day At Danny Doolan's
No wrap-up of St. Paddy's Day would be complete without mentioning Danny Doolan's, the iconic Irish pub that many of us will have visited on a night downtown. And as it's their 20th year celebrating the holiday, you know it's going to be one hell of a party. Join their crew from 10am for all kinds of cheeky Irish fun, including singing, dancing, and plenty of mighty fine ale. Oh, and they'll also be hosting a 'St. Practice Day' party after the St. Patrick's Festival Parade on 14 March, should you wish to start the celebrations a couple of days early...
- Ditch the Guinness (sacrilege!) and toast St. Patrick's Day with a Lazy Leprechaun cocktail from Beasts & Butterflies instead. This pretty tipple is laced with Irish whiskey, green apple syrup and herbal honey bitters; all in a Paddy-approved shade of green.
- For a legit St. Paddy's Day experience, check out some of Auckland's most popular Irish bars like Father Ted's, The Claddagh Irish Pub, The Fiddler and The Munster Inn.
- Putting their own spin on St. Patrick's Day this year are our German mates over at The Bavarian, who have created a delish fusion dish dubbed the Big Irish Brekky Schnitzelmeister. We're talking a stack of three—yes, three—ginormous chicken schnitzels, swimming in rich parmigiana sauce and loaded with curried potato gems, blood sausage, cheese, bacon, and two sunny-side-up eggs. Pair with a 500ml glass of green beer, and if you smash it all out in under an hour, the duo is on the house. Our personal opinion? You're gonna need the luck of the Irish to finish this one.
Looking for more things to do? Here's where to find Auckland's best markets.
Image credit: Sky City