It’s Easy Being Green! How to Throw a St. Patrick’s Day Party
This St. Patrick's Day, it's easy being green! A party that focuses on the color green is a good time for guests and quite easy for you to put together. We've compiled a compendium of all things green to get your St. Paddy's shine on. Get the kids involved in the décor, invitation writing and food prep and you'll be ready for guests in no time.
How to Throw a St. Patrick's Day Party
Here's how to get started on your very own St. Patrick's Day party for kids:
Invitations and Fun Party Activities
Send mailed invitations out two weeks before the party. For evites, send 7-10 days before the big day.
Download images of shamrocks and print onto green paper. For contrast, print a few white shamrocks, or try patterns. Cut the images out and glue to regular note or decorative paper that has the party invitation written or printed on.
Arrange some activities that fit with your green party theme. For young children, we recommend a face painting or temporary tattooing station. For face painting, use nontoxic, kid-friendly, washable paints. Choose simple images such as shamrocks, rainbows with big splashes of green or green leprechaun hats.
Tattoos can be any variety that fits with the idea of a “green” party. St. Patrick's Day temporary tattoos will generally have green in them somewhere, but don't limit yourself. Any green tattoos that your kids will love will fit in perfectly with the green theme.
For older kids or grown-ups, have a “green trivia” contest. Compile questions that contain the color or word green (or have answers that do). Some examples:
- What two colors make green? Blue and yellow.
- What little vegetable lives in a pod? Peas.
- If somebody has a green thumb, what does that mean? They're good at gardening.
- What island has the name green in it? Greenland
- What is another name for a three-leaf clover? A shamrock
- For adults: What race was Captain Kirk's green love interest from in the original 60s series? An Orion.
Of course, a green scavenger hunt is a fun activity before or on the way to the party. Ask guests to snap pics on their phones or cameras while a parent drives or walks with them to the party. Scavenger items could include a green car, a green bicycle, a woman wearing a green shirt, a green house, etc.
Party Foods ... Mmm!
For ease of preparation, serve foods that are naturally green. Green melon balls, green pears, grapes and kiwi make a great fruit platter. A nice guacamole dip surrounded by celery sticks, raw pea pods, broccoli and asparagus is a delicious dish. Toss a few lime corn chips on the side.
Green milkshakes - Make your own McDonald's style “shamrock shakes.” Soften one pint of green colored mint ice cream (no chocolate chips!) and scoop into a blender or food processor. Add 4 oz. cold 2% milk (don't use low fat milk). Pulse together until creamy. Add a froth of whipped cream and a few mint candy chips.
Green Pizza - Kids love pizza! (Except a thankfully short phase when mine was three.) Make a “green pizza” using any standard prepared pizza crust dough, cheese, tomato sauce and plenty of green veggies including olive slices, cilantro, fresh spinach leaves, or any greens your kids will eat and that look appealing. Decorate them into a face to make it look more fun (green mustache and eyebrows, anyone?) If you feel like getting creative, make your pizza dough in the shape of a shamrock first!
Broccoli Soup - Prepare a yummy green soup for adults (and some kids). Some ideas are broccoli soup (which my kid loves!), green split-pea soup, Italian wedding soup, St. Patrick's Day leek and potato soup, pea soup with cheese, and asparagus soup.
Broccoli Soup Recipe
My favorite is broccoli soup, which I know by heart:
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 large crowns of broccoli (about 1 to 1 and a half pounds), chopped
- 3 tbsp flour
- ½ cup milk
- Salt and pepper
Optional: grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in a pot, then add the onion and garlic. Simmer for 5 minutes until onion is translucent. Add chicken broth, then broccoli. Heat to boiling, then turn down to low for about 20 minutes.
Add everything to a blender, and pulse until well blended. Do this carefully. I only add a couple cups at a time, and start on low. The first time I tried it, the cover exploded and I had hot soup all over the kitchen! Once blended, pour everything back into the pot. I keep a couple chunks of broccoli to give the soup texture.
Mix the flour with the milk in a covered container, and shake well to blend. Add to soup. Add salt and pepper for taste. Simmer another 5 minutes, then serve. Add cheese, if desired. Yum!
Easy Green Décor
Decorations really set the mood for your party. Try these ideas to save money while decking the house out in green glory:
- Use green cardboard to make pretty shamrocks. Hang from ribbons or tape to the wall with double-sided non-damaging sticky tape.
- Take any green paper and use a hole punch to create confetti. Set the kids to this task – it will take a while but they'll love it. Toss the confetti onto the table for cute décor.
- Go to your local party store for cups, plates, napkins, a tablecloth and cutlery in any shade of green. Don't look specifically for St. Patrick's Day items. You're seeking the stuff that's on super-sale! (Don't you love a great bargain hunt?)
- Find pictures of beautiful rolling hills and villages in Ireland; print on shiny paper. Pick up cheap picture frames at your dollar store. Insert the pictures into the frames and hang or set up around the party area.
- Buy a cheap, plain white or light-colored paper tablecloth. Cut out a regular, DRY kitchen sponge (non-scratchy) in the shape of a shamrock. Dip the sponge into green paint and decorate the tablecloth with it.
We're sure you'll have ideas of your own to make your party special, but we hope these awesome suggestions will get you on your way to a great "easy being green" party!
What other "green" ideas can you think of to celebrate?
Though only a quarter Irish (or is that an eighth?) Chris is still patiently waiting to inherit a supposed Irish castle - he's 986th in line. He edits a party site with a section on St. Patrick's day party ideas here, and considers himself very lucky, with two adorable daughters and an amazing spouse.
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