7 Places to Celebrate Irish Culture and History in NYC on St. Patrick’s Day

7 Places to Celebrate Irish Culture and History in NYC on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Cathedral

In addition to the St. Patrick’s Day parade and partaking in Irish libations and cuisine, you can also spend the day getting cultured! Visit these great spots around the city to explore Irish arts, heritage and history:

St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Midtown East): This Roman Catholic cathedral, named for Saint Patrick, was completed in 1878. Additions and renovations were done throughout the 1900s and the building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. St. Patrick’s underwent an extensive restoration from 2012-2105. Guided tours are available at 10 am on designated days and you can attend Mass daily. On St. Patrick’s Day, there is a special Mass at 8:30am. This is a ticketed event. Click here for more information.

Merchant’s House Museum (NoHo): Built by Joseph Brewster and then purchased by wealthy hardware merchant Seabury Tredwell three years later in 1835, this historic house was lived in for almost 100 years before it opened to the public as a museum in 1936. The Tredwell family had servants during their tenure in the house and they were often young women from Ireland. They worked long hours and were paid poorly for their physically demanding jobs. In spite of everything, these young women—called “Irish girls” regardless of age—endured and worked hard to send money back to Ireland in order to fund emigration for sisters and cousins. Click here for more information on hours of operation and guided tours of the museum.

American Irish Historical Society (Upper East Side): This hub for Irish culture and knowledge has been open since 1897—Theodore Roosevelt used to be a member! The Society has a library with over 10,000 volumes or Irish and American Irish history and literature. There are also newspapers and newsletters dating back to the late 1700s, as well as early- and mid-1800s newspapers. The Society also hosts exhibits and sponsors events throughout the year.

New York Irish Center (Long Island City, Queens): This center opened in 2005 and celebrates Irish heritage while emphasizing the importance of learning about ourselves as people and how we connect and relate to each other as a community. You don’t have to be Irish to visit the New York Irish Center—being Irish at heart and embracing the Irish spirit works too. There are events, classes and activities nearly every day at the center. Click here for more information.

Irish Arts Center (Hell’s Kitchen): Multi-disciplinary programming about Ireland and Irish America—including performance, exhibition and education—is at the forefront of the Irish Arts Center’s events calendar. This haven for Irish culture offers everything from theater to music, dance, forums, classes and more. I saw a play here a few months ago and had the best time! On St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish Arts Center is hosting its 7th Annual Book Day. There will be 11 pop-up Irish Arts Center Book Day locations smattered around the city in all five boroughs giving away FREE books written by Irish and Irish-American writers, as well as writers from Mexico (as this amazing event is held in association with the New York City Council, New York State Assembly, Consulado General de México en Nueva York Consul General of Mexico in New York, Consul General of Ireland, Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, Literature Ireland, and Call Me Ishmael). The event lasts from 7 am until books run out! Find the list of pop-up locations and more information here.

Irish Repertory Theatre (Chelsea): This Off-Broadway theater stages works by Irish and Irish-American playwrights that highlight the contemporary Irish-American experience. Eugene O’Neill’s “The Emperor Jones,” starring Obi Abili, is running through April 23, 2017. Tickets can be purchased here.

One World Observatory (Financial District): Spend St. Patrick’s Day looking out over NYC! There is a “Passport to Ireland” package for those age 21 and older that includes an exclusive VIP tour of One World Observatory (featuring fun facts and trivia about Irish New York from a certified tour ambassador), an Irish Pride pin, a beer voucher, a commemorative One World Observatory glasses and access to a specially priced beer offer. Those wanting to skip the lines can upgrade to the “Irish Pub” package, which includes everything from the “Passport to Ireland” package. Visitors of any age can opt for the “Irish Pride” package, which features priority admission and an Irish Pride pin, all for the cost of a Standard Admission ticket!

See all of NYC this St. Patrick's Day! (Courtesy One World Observatory)

For great places to grab Irish food and drinks this St. Patrick's Day, click here and here!

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