Boston's top St Patrick's Day events include the enormous St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston (locally known as "Southie"), rollicking concerts by the Dropkick Murphys' at House of Blues and other venues, non-stop festivities in our famous Irish pubs - and that's only the beginning of fun things to do on this favorite Irish-American holiday.
You can also raise a glass of Guinness while listening to traditional Irish music on a sightseeing cruise around the Harbor. Or explore Boston's Irish heritage along the Irish Heritage Trail, watch the Celtics play at TD Garden, or stop by Harpoon for some house-made Irish specialties and of course their special brew.
Check out these top ways to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Boston - and you'll quickly see why Boston is considered the most Irish of any American city!
1. Rock on at the Dropkick Murphys concerts at House of Blues & MGM Music Hall 2023
Boston's most famous Celtic punk rock group, the Dropkick Murphys, spends most of their time touring since becoming so popular, but they always return home to Boston to perform concerts St Patrick's Day at House of Blues, near Fenway Park. This year, they've also added performances at MGM Music Hall at Fenway Park.
- Dropkick Murphys - MGM Music Hall and House of Blues - March 16, 17, 18, 19
Needless to say, the Dropkick Murphys' rollicking performances sell out quickly, but if you're a fan, you'll want to catch one of these concerts - so get your tickets now!
Enter DISCOVERY10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets. Good through 12/31/24.
2. Dress in Green for the St Patrick's Day Parade in Southie
The massive St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston takes center stage on the Sunday closest to March 17th, attracting up to one million spectators.
You'll enjoy the colorful floats, Irish and American pipe and drum bands, and enthusiastic crowds.
Just be sure to wear green.
Check the March Boston Event Calendar for the exact date and time
Did you know?
St Patrick's Day is actually an official Boston (and Suffolk County) holiday because it happens to fall on Evacuation Day, which commemorates the ousting of British troops from the city on March 17, 1776 during the Revolutionary War. Public schools and Suffolk Country government offices will be closed, but virtually all businesses and everything else will be open.
3. Sign up for the St Patrick's Day Road Race in Southie
If you're going to South Boston for the big St Patrick's Day Parade, head over to West 6th Street to cheer on the runners of the St Patrick's Day 5K Road Race, where the first lucky 650 runners to register will be wearing the official long-sleeved race shirts designed by the Dropkick Murphys, one of the race's sponsors.
The South Boston Boys and Girls Club sponsors this race, which has been held each year since 1940. Entrants are capped at 1,750 - so early registration is advised.
The race starts and ends at the South Boston Boys and Girls Club at 230 West 6th Street in South Boston, and follows a 5K (3.1 mile) course.
Check the Boston Event Calendar for March for the exact date, time, and sign-up info.
4. Go hear Irish music, see Irish step dancers, and raise a glass of Guinness to celebrate - 2023
St Patrick's Week at Lansdowne Pub (9 Lansdowne St, across from Fenway Park) - Live music all week, with an all-day show and plenty of Guinness on March 17 and 18, plus a big St Patrick's Day Bar Crawl all across Boston on the 18th. More info
A Saint Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn with Brian O'Donovan - Boston's famed radio host welcomes top musicians at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge - More info
The Burren - Traditional Irish music 7 nights each week - plus special Irish sessions, open mics, Irish step-dancing (normally the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month), and appearances by Brian O'Donovan and various other Irish music stars. The Burren will host trad sessions plus special St Patrick's Day Dinner shows on March 17, 18, and 19 featuring Irish specialties, Irish tunes, ballads, stories, and dancing at The Burren, Davis Square, Somerville. Check out their new back patio! Check the Burren's website for details and reservations.
Ned Devine's in Faneuil Marketplace - Live entertainment all day and food specials beginning at 10:30am. More details at neddevinesboston.com.
The Black Rose - Irish musicians perform here (160 State Street, Downtown Boston, behind Faneuil Marketplace) every night of the week, and often on Saturday and Sunday afternoons as well. If you've ever experienced the pleasure of a trad session in Ireland, you'll come close to finding the same thing here, along with plenty of Irish craic and of course plenty of Guinness at the bar. You can find the current schedule on the Black Rose's website.
Mr Dooley's Boston Tavern - (77 Broad Street, near Faneuil Marketplace) - Entertainment every night, ranging from trad sessions to local and Irish bands and musicians. More on Mr Dooley's Facebook page.
5. Dine on Irish food in Boston
Not surprisingly, you can find some of the best Irish food in Boston's Irish pubs.
They do get packed with Guinness fans during evening hours, but most also serve brunch on the weekend. Here are 4 top places to try:
Lansdowne Pub (9 Lansdowne Street across from Fenway Park) - Go for the Irish Scrambler (shown in photo, brunch only), the Irish Breakfast, and house-made Bangers and Mash. Live music on many nights; weekend brunch. website
The Black Rose - (160 State Street, Downtown Boston, next to Faneuil Marketplace) - Order the Irish Breakfast (breakfast menu only) with black and white pudding, or the Shepherd's Pie. Irish music every night of the week, and often on Saturday and Sunday afternoons; weekend breakfast. Reservations may be required for St Patricks Day. website
J.J. Foley's Cafe (117 East Berkeley, in Boston's South End) - Family owned and operated since 1909, JJ Foley's offers a nice selection of Irish ale and cider, along with plenty of Guinness. For a taste of Ireland, order the Fish and Chips, and a side of Irish Brown Bread. For a special Irish treat, save room for dessert and order Banoffi Pie. Patio seating is open already! website
6. Try these fun ways to experience Boston's pub culture
7. Cheer the Boston Celtics at TD Garden
Of course a Boston Celtics game is not just a St. Patrick's Day event - but what better way to show your Celtic spirit than dressing in green and cheering for the home team at a game at TD Garden?
Tickets are affordable, TD Garden's downtown location is super-easy to reach (just take the T to North Station), and you'll find plenty of Irish pubs/sports bars nearby.
So get your Celtics tickets, wear lots of green, and cheer our home team!
Enter DISCOVERY10 to save 10% on TicketLiquidator & TicketNetwork tickets. Good through 12/31/24.
8. Stay close to Boston's Irish pubs
If you're planning some serious St Patrick's Day celebrating at one or more of our fine Boston Irish pubs, a reservation at a nearby hotel means you'll have no worries about getting home or finding a non-celebrating designated driver.
Best strategy: Think about where you'll be at Last Call, and make a hotel reservation nearby. For example, if you think you'll end up at one of the Irish pubs near TD Garden, make your reservation for conveniently-located The Boxer (shown above). If you plan to sample the brew in Southie (a.k.a. South Boston) along the parade route, stay at the new Cambria Hotel across from the Broadway T station.
Here are a few suggestions for hotels in several Boston neighborhoods rich with Irish pubs where you might find yourself at the end of the evening:
Hotels convenient to Irish pubs near Faneuil Marketplace / Downtown
- Bostonian Hotel - Lovely hotel with luxurious amenities across from the Green Dragon and Faneuil Marketplace pubs - Find cheapest rates
- Harborside Inn - Cozy boutique hotel offering great value near the waterfront and close to The Black Rose and Kitty O'Shea's - Find cheapest rates
Hotels close to Irish pubs in Southie
- Cambria Hotel - Value-packed new hotel on the parade route and close to many of Southie's iconic Irish pubs - Find lowest rates
Hotels close to Irish pubs around TD Garden
- Wyndham Hotel Boston - Excellent mid-range hotel close to The Kinsale - Compare all rates
- Onyx Hotel - Popular Kimpton Hotel with great decor very close to TD Garden Irish pubs, such as McGann's - Find discount rates
- Boxer Hotel - Another convenient hotel close to TD Garden pubs; not far from The Kinsale - Find discount rates
Hotels close to Back Bay pubs
- Hotel 140 - One of Boston's best bargain hotels near Cuffs - Compare all rates
- Hilton Boston Back Bay - Excellent high-end business hotel close to McGreevy's and Lir - Find discount rates
- The Eliot - Wonderful luxury hotel where you can stay in style in a suite - close to McGreevy's and Lir - Compare all rates
Hotels near Irish pubs in Fenway Park
- Hotel Commonwealth - Luxury hotel near Fenway Park pubs - Compare all rates
- The Verb - Rock & roll by Fenway Park - Book now
Cambridge hotels near Irish pubs in and around Harvard Square
- Hotel Veritas - Nice boutique hotel near Grafton Street Pub and Toad, and not far from the Plough and Stars - Compare all rates
- Le Meridien Cambridge - Kendall Square (MIT area) hotel near the Aasgard and not too far from The Druid - Compare all rates
9. Sample the Brew & Irish Food at Harpoon Brewery's St Patrick's Day Festival
Harpoon Brewery (306 Northern Ave, South Boston Waterfront) kicks off their St Patrick's Day Festival with a 2-day beer festival at their brewery featuring a large selection of Harpoon and UFO beers, handmade brewery pretzels and food for purchase, and non-stop live music from Joshua Tree, Colum Cille Pipes & Drums, Dicey Riley with Dicey Riley and the Celtic Rock Band, and other local bands throughout the weekend. (to be confirmed for 2023)
Find more details on the March Events Calendar.
Boston's own Harpoon Brewery, located on the South Boston Waterfront, hosts its annual St Patrick's Day Festival.
Join in the fun during the 2-day fest as local bands provide non-stop music while you sample the selection of Harpoon and UFO beers, and munch on homemade Harpoon pretzels. Designated Drivers get free non-alcoholic drinks.
A free shuttle from South Station makes getting there and back easy.
10. Explore the Irish Heritage Trail
Boston is the most Irish of all American cities, with almost a quarter of all Boston residents claiming at least some Irish ancestry in the 2000 U.S. Census.
Boston's Irish Heritage Trail celebrates the contributions of the Irish immigrants and their descendants to the city and the nation over the course of 3+ centuries.
The Trail starts at the beautiful Rose Kennedy Rose Garden in the North End, stretches across more than 3 miles of Downtown Boston and Back Bay, and ends at Fenway Park.
Walking along the self-guided Irish Heritage Trail is a popular St Patrick's Day activity. If you decide to do this too, you'll visit statues, monuments, and buildings ranging from multiple statues of Irish politician James Michael Curley to the moving Boston Irish Famine Memorial to the Massachusetts State House.
The Irish Heritage Trail also takes you past many of Boston's other famous sites and attractions, so it doubles as a way to tour a large swath of the city. More about the Irish Heritage Trail
Return to Top: St Patrick's Day Events in Boston
11. A St Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn
If you're a fan of Brian O'Donovan's Celtic Sojourn program on Boston's WGBH radio or his Celtic Sojourn Christmas celebration, you'll want to be sure to get to his celebration of Irish and Celtic music, dance, and storytelling in A St. Patrick's Day Celtic Sojourn at Sanders Theatre in Cambridge plus additional venues in the Greater Boston area.
Ticket information: website
Check the March Boston Event Calendar for the exact dated, time, and ticket information.
St Patrick's Day - Your Questions, BDG's Answers
Boston Hotels Convenient to the St Patrick's Day Parade
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- Best places to stay near the St Patrick's Day parade (and the Dropkick Murphys' concert)
- More Boston March Events - Lots to do this month in Boston!
- Looking ahead - Boston Events in April
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