St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that, yes, we all know has history and mythology and all sorts of cultural significance — it’s intended to be a celebration of Ireland on March 17, the date of Saint Patrick’s death (he’s the patron saint of Ireland), you’re supposed to wear green (
or are you?). But in the U.S., St. Patrick’s Day has — let’s be honest, here — also become kind of a national pub-crawl holiday, which means a lot of grownups are taking this opportunity to find fun games to play while they share a Guinness (or two) with friends.
When you’re selecting a game, think about what your friends like to do when they get together. Do you have a little bit of time to order a special game set, or do you need to pick one that’ll let you work with what you have (like Lucky Charms and a few spoons)? Or do you need a truly last-minute activity, like a printable St. Patrick’s Day bingo sheet? Whatever your party needs, we’ve got you covered.
No matter what your friend group enjoys, there’s a St. Patty’s Day game that’ll keep them entertained, and maybe even start a new tradition for years to come.
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St. Patrick’s Day ice breakers don’t get much more classic than this fun printable bingo sheet from Etsy seller
PlanPrintandParty. Whether you bring it on a pub crawl or just play it with a big group that’s gathered at your house, it pairs perfectly with a tipple or two. 2 Leprechaun Hat Toss wundervisuals/E+/Getty Images
Looking for a low-cost, easy-to-learn game to entertain your friends? A hat toss has quite possibly the lowest barrier to entry of any game. You need some dollar store leprechaun hats and a little bit of space for everyone to move around. Ask your friends to pair up into teams of two and stand across from each other. Then, they have to toss a hat back and forth at each other until someone catches it on their head. First pair to do so wins. You can play once or as much as you want, but once your buddies start getting a feel for the weight and aerodynamics of the hats, there’s going to be a lot of requests for “just one more time!”
3 St. Patrick’s Day “Friendly Feud”
Printable St. Patrick’s Day activities like this super simple themed “friendly feud” from Etsy seller
PaperJamPrintables are the ultimate last-minute party trick. Just print & put it out. If the conversation lulls — despite all those flowing pints — break these out to keep the party rolling. 4 Table Skittles
No, not like the “taste the rainbow” Skittles. Table skittles, also known as “devil among the tailors,” is a traditional Irish pub game, so it’s a fun option to play for St. Patty’s Day without diving headlong into all the shamrocks and leprechauns. You’ll need a
table skittles set, so you will have to plan ahead and order one, and study up a bit on the rules.
In short, the goal is to be the first player to 100 points, and you earn points by knocking over skittles (aka tiny pins) with a ball attached to a pole. This is a low-key tabletop option to pass the time while you sip Guinness and enjoy each other’s company.
5 St. Patty’s Day Dare Cards
If you’re taking your party on the road and planning a pub crawl or meet-up at your local Irish establishment, take these dare cards along. Everyone can pull from the stack, scratch off their dare, and find a way to complete it out in the wild. There are 22 cards so they won’t take up the entire night, and they’re the size of business cards, so they’re compact enough to save until a few beers in when everyone’s ready for this level of goofy fun. Some of the dares include things like doing a jig or blowing kisses at someone wearing green.
6 Find The Coin
This game is appropriate for kids as-is, but could be made into an adults-only St. Patrick’s Day game with whatever drinking-related punishments your friend group prefers. Each round, one player will close their eyes (they’re “the leprechaun”) while the others decide who will hide a gold coin. When the leprechaun opens their eyes, they have to guess who’s hiding the goods.
7 St. Patrick’s Day Jeopardy FreshSplash/E+/Getty Images
If you and your friends always crush it at trivia, bring the ultimate trivia game to your party and DIY a St. Patrick’s Day-themed Jeopardy round. Google “Jeopardy game maker” and you can find apps, online game builders, and Powerpoint templates, so you can design your round of the classic game show in whatever format you need. There are also free buzzer apps your friends can download so everyone has a fair shot to answer. Surprise the winner with an on-theme prize (even a silly leprechaun hat will do) they can wear proudly the rest of the night.
Quoits is a staple pub game, but this one is meant to be played outdoors. It’s kind of like horseshoes in that you’ll be tossing weighted rings around spikes. You’ll need to order a set or, if you’re crafty, make your own.
Masters Traditional Games
describes the rules like this: “A single game is played by two people and each person throws two quoits alternately each turn. The players then walk to the other hob and standing alongside it throw the quoits at the opposite hob. The player with the quoit nearest to the pin wins the end and scores two points. The game is won by the first player to reach 21 points.” 9 Drink If...
Think “Never Have I Ever” with pre-made prompts. Yes, please! These mug-shaped cards include prompts like “drink if your last name starts with O’ or Mc,” and “drink if you pinched someone today.” These are an easy game to take along to a friend’s gathering, to tuck in your purse when you head to the pub, or to leave out on the table for your own guests to pick up when they’re ready.
10 Treasure Hunt
You’re going to need a few family-sized boxes of Lucky Charms, plenty of bowls, and one spoon per player. Assign points to every type of Lucky Charm marshmallow (hearts are one, rainbows are two, etc.). Players have one minute to scoop as many marshmallows as they can out of the cereal and into their pot of gold. Dock a point or two for every cereal piece that makes it into the treasure pile.
If you’re tired of the usual pub crawl, add one of these fun St. Patrick’s Day games for grown-ups that are sure to add a little luck to your evening.
Éirinn go Brách!
This article was originally published on
Jan. 20, 2022