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Ditch the Beer and Crowds For These Irish-Themed St. Patrick's Day Events

By Mary Johnson | March 16, 2012 7:29am
The Chieftains make their triumphant return to Carnegie Hall on St. Patrick’s Day as the climax of their 50th Anniversary Tour in support of their new album
The Chieftains make their triumphant return to Carnegie Hall on St. Patrick’s Day as the climax of their 50th Anniversary Tour in support of their new album "Voice of Ages."
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MANHATTAN — Every year on March 17, David Jacobson remembers how he used to struggle through the crowds on St. Patrick's Day, weaving through rowdy revelers and getting beer spilled on his shoes.

Now, the owner of the pub trivia company TrivWorks.com — who knows more than a few bar owners because his company — prefers to steer clear of the bar scene on St. Patrick's Day in favor of a more cultured kind of celebration.

“Irish heritage is way too important in this city to ignore,” said Jacobson, 34, who moved from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn. “[And] it’s not limited to food and drink. There's plenty of culture in this city that reflects St. Patrick’s Day.”

Jacobson said this year, he plans to don some green socks and dress his young child up in something festive before enjoying some traditional corned beef and cabbage at a local restaurant.

“You still definitely want to celebrate and join in on the festivities somehow,” he said. “Whatever it is, I’d say do it with other people so you’re keeping the spirit of St. Patty’s Day alive.”

For some, the idyllic St. Patrick's Day activity may include getting a dose of Irish culture. The good news is the city offers a multitude of options for those wishing to honor the Irish in a more family-friendly way. DNAinfo has collected a few of the offerings for those who want to mark St. Paddy's with more highbrow festivities.

St. Patrick’s Day in Irish New York

For something steeped in history and less crowded than the Fifth Avenue St. Patrick's Day parade, there will be a walking tour in lower Manhattan to explore what was once the city’s “Little Ireland” district. The $18 tour, which begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday at St. Paul’s Chapel on Broadway between Fulton and Vesey streets, will focus on the role Irish immigrants played in the history of New York City. 

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, on West 83rd Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, will host a St. Patrick's Day event catering to children of all ages. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids 4 and under can create collages of green shamrocks. Those older than 5 can learn about rainbows — more than just the path to a pot of gold — and make their own rainbow mobiles. The cost is $11 for children 1 year old and up.

The Chieftains

Carnegie Hall is hosting a performance by The Chieftains, the six-time Grammy-winning Irish band that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The group is touring to promote its recently released album, “Voice of Ages.” The show begins at 8 p.m. For ticket information, call 212-247-7800.

Irish Repertory Theatre

Two separate plays will be performed at the Irish Repertory Theater on West 22nd Street in Chelsea Saturday. “Beyond the Horizon,” by Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill, tells the story of a complicated love triangle set on a Massachusetts farm at the beginning of the 20th century. Tickets start at $55.

“Give Me Your Hand” takes the audience on a visual stroll through London’s National Gallery, as imagined by Irish writer Paul Durcan. Tickets are $30.

Both shows are playing at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Lomography Gallery Store Walking Tour

For those hoping to observe the chaos on St. Patrick’s Day, rather than participate in it, the Lomography Gallery Store on East 23rd Street is hosting a free photographic walking tour. The gallery will provide participants with a bag of different cameras and films, allowing guests to experiment with photographing the big Fifth Avenue parade.

Irish-Themed Shake Shack Treats

Never one to miss out on the opportunity to highlight the latest trends in the form of rib-sticking food, Shake Shack will be offering two Irish-inspired dishes throughout the weekend. The limited-time-only menu additions include “When Irish Fries Are Smiling,” crinkle cut fries topped with horseradish sour cream, crisply smoked bacon and scallions, and the “ShackMeister Ale Float,” a pint of Shack beer topped off with a scoop vanilla custard.  

Pet-Friendly Party

And a Murray Hill doggie day care has carved out a pup-centric event that combines Irish-brewed Guinness and beer pong with a dog costume contest. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, New York Dog Nanny on Lexington Avenue will serve up frothy brews and corned beef and hash for humans, while their furry friends will be invited to dress for the occasion. The winner of the costume contest will be announced at 7:30 p.m. The hour-long event costs $7 per person.