What To Do in Washington, DC for St. Patrick’s Day (2020)

There are tons of things to do while visiting Washington, D.C. during St. Patrick’s Day! Whether it’s enjoying delicious Irish cuisine with some authentic Irish music, or visiting our beautiful landmarks that have been built by Irish hands, there is fun for everyone during this festive weekend.

St. Patrick’s Day is Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Here are some suggestions for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and Irish culture during your stay in D.C:

Visit the Embassy of Ireland 

Washingtin DC for St. patrick's DaySee a little piece of Ireland without having to cross an ocean by stopping by the Embassy of Ireland. This townhome is hard to miss with its bright green and orange flag along Massachusetts Avenue. Hear about the scandals and stories that came out of this historic neighborhood, in addition to learning about other embassies, on our Embassy Row and Historic Dupont Circle tour.

Explore St. Patrick’s Catholic ChurchWashingtin DC for St. patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church is the oldest parish in Washington D.C, opening its doors 1794. Originally it was established to serve the Irish immigrants that flooded Washington to help build the White House and Capitol Building. The church is free and open to the public throughout the week, but please be mindful during times of worship. St. Patrick’s is conveniently located in Chinatown at 10th Street and G Street NW.

Visit the Kennedy grave site

John F Kennedy Grave Arlington CemeteryJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy was the United States’ first Irish-Catholic president. In June of 1963, President Kennedy traveled back to his ancestral home of Ireland, where he delivered speeches talking about friendship between the United States and Ireland. Just five months later on November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Visit President Kennedy’s final resting place, as well as the graves of his brothers, Robert and Edward, at Arlington National Cemetery.

Want to learn more about other historical figures and heroes buried in Arlington? Join us on our Arlington National Cemetery tour.

The White House and James Hoban

Washingtin DC for St. patrick's DayWhy not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by taking in the accomplishments of James Hoban? Hoban was an Irish architect that made his way to the United States after the American Revolution. While practicing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he won the design competition for the presidential mansion. He oversaw the the building of White House twice; originally in the 1790s, and again after its burning in 1814. Marvel at Hoban’s design as well as visit one of world’s most famous homes.

For St. Patrick’s Day, the fountain on the North side of the White House is often dyed green!

Looking for a tour of White House? If you were unable to book a tour of the White House during your trip, then consider visiting the White House Visitor’s Center at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. The visitor center is free and full of information about the home.

Take our National Mall Tour to learn about the history of this iconic home as well as the stories of our monuments and memorials.

Treat yourself to delicious Irish food and drink at a local pub

Looking for a festive place to grab a bite to eat before one of our popular evening tours? There are plenty to choose from throughout Washington, D.C.! Places like Fado in Chinatown, Duffy’s Irish Pub on H St.,  The Dubliner and Kelly’s Irish Times, both right next door to each other near Union Station, as well as Kirwan’s on the Wharf, a new addition in D.C.’s exciting new waterfront development called The Wharf.  These are all great places to grab a bite with a little Irish flair throughout the entire year, but the week of St. Patty’s Day, you are sure to find a lively staff and great traditional music to get you into the Irish spirit!

Celebrate with a crowd

Come take part in the largest St. Patrick’s Day festival in the US!

ShamrockFest is tentatively scheduled for March 14, 2020 at RFK Stadium. Details are oddly scarce, and we will update this page when we know more.  Usually, this festival is full of activities with everything from carnival rides to incredible live entertainment. If you are a looking for a place to cut loose and enjoy a green beer, then this is the event for you!

Shamrock Fest boasts itself as “the mother of all St. Patrick’s Day festivals.” The event usually features over 30 different performers. For more information, check out the official  website.

Take in one of our many parades

Consider attending one of the many parades happening in and around D.C. in 2020. Here are just a few:



About the author

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with 3 published books about the city. She has written for HuffPost Travel and has been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. She's also been interviewed by the Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. Canden is the host of our podcast, Tour Guide Tell All

With a M.A. in History from University College London and a B.A. in History from Elon University, she is an authority on D.C. history, and has led tours in the city for over 10 years. She currently resides in DC, but has also lived in London and South Korea, and has travelled to 25 countries. Her two children (both under the age of 3) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts.