What To Do in Washington, DC for St. Patrick’s Day (2019)

There are tons of things to do while visiting Washington, D.C. during St. Patrick’s Day! Whether it is 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 this festive weekend.

St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, March 17 2019. 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 green and orange flag along Massachusetts Avenue. Hear about the scandals and stories that came out of this historic neighborhood, as well as learn 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 D.C. to 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, John F. 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 John F. 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, which is offered multiple times during the week.

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 wins the design competition for the presidential mansion. He oversaw the the building of White House twice, originally in the 1790s and after its burning in 1814. Marvel at James 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, Ri Ra in Georgetown,  The Dubliner in Capitol Hill, and James Hoban’s Irish Restaurant and Bar in Dupont Circle are all great places to grab a bite with a little Irish flair throughout the year. Throughout the week you are sure to find a lively staff and Irish 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 will be held on March 23, 2019 from 2 PM to 7 PM at RFK Stadium. This festival is full of activities with everything from carnival rides to live entertainment. If you are a looking for a place to cut loose and enjoy a green bee, then this is the event for you!

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

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2019
Time: 12pm-8pm
Location: RFK Stadium
Cost: Tickets

Take in one of our many parades

Unfortunately due to budget concerns with the increase security requirements, the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been cancelled but the volunteers behind this event are committed to bringing it back in 2020 for the 50th Anniversary!

Consider attending one of the many parades happening outside of D.C. Here are just a few:

About the author

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with three published books about the city. She has traveled extensively and lived in London, UK where she attended University College London for a Masters in History and in Seoul, South Korea where she taught English. While her family is now based in DC, she still explores the world. Her two children (both under the age of 3) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts. She has been a part of the Free Tours by Foot team since 2011.