While you may have the luck of the Irish on your side, without a little planning and foresight, your day of celebrating could become a bit overwhelming. Here’s our guide to enjoying the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and all that the city has to offer:
Start Time: 11 a.m.
Start Location: 44th Street and 5th Avenue
End Location: 79th Street and 5th Avenue
The parade marches up Fifth Avenue past St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 50th Street and ends at 79th Street at approximately 4:00 p.m.
According to official parade rules, no pets or mascots are permitted along the parade route. And if you’re looking to dress up for the occasion, keep in mind that beads and hats are NOT permitted if you’re planning to stand in the official reviewing stands on 62nd Street.
There are several parking garages in Midtown, but on parade day, public transportation is a much better option.
From the Hudson Valley, Westchester County and Connecticut: Ride Metro-North Railroad to Grand Central Station. It’s an easy walk west from Grand Central to the parade route, starting at Fifth Avenue and 44th Street. Metro-North will provide 15 additional trains across the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines during the morning rush, as well as additional trains in the afternoon.
From Long Island: Take the LIRR to Penn Station. It’s about a 20-minute walk to the start of the parade from Penn Station, or you can take the F, V, B or D trains for service along Sixth Ave. The Long Island Rail Road will also be offering six extra westbound trains on multiple lines to Penn Station the morning of the parade. Commuters can expect 10 additional eastbound trains during the afternoon rush.
If you’re looking to start your St. Patrick’s Day buzz early, it’s important to note that both Metro-North Railroad and the LIRR have alcohol bans in place on the day of the parade.
No alcoholic beverages will be permitted on NJ TRANSIT trains to and from New York and Hoboken.
Where To Watch
To avoid the crowds, stand anywhere north of 66th Street and Fifth Avenue. The upper steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art provide a great view. You can also get a close-up view of the marchers at 79th Street where the parade route ends.
Official Viewing Stands: The entrance to the official viewing stands is located on 62nd Street and 5th Avenue. Admission to the viewing stands will only be granted to ticket holders.
Nearby Restaurants & Bars
1490 Second Avenue between 77th and 78th streets
This Irish pub sits three avenues from the parade route. Hopefully, you’ll get lucky on St. Patrick’s Day and get to enjoy some warm weather with your meal by sitting outside in their garden. You’ll also find a pool table, darts, and great live traditional Irish music on Sunday nights.
1071 Fifth Avenue at 88th Street
Located a few blocks from the end of the route, you’ll find a chic European restaurant known as The Wright. Its modern motif and American menu is sure to fulfill your appetite on this busy day. It is also located right outside of the Guggenhiem Museum.
21 E. 47th St. (Madison Ave.)
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a traditional Irish breakfast at Maggie’s Place. You’ll find this Irish restaurant just a few blocks from the beginning of the parade route. It is a small, family-owned business, which is refreshing in such a big city.
Along Fifth Avenue between 49th and 51st streets, there are plenty of tourist hot spots to grab food or just snacks. There are several sleek restaurants, plus options for eating on a budget and delis to stop at.
Tips And Tricks
Check mta.info to get the latest information on public transportation in New York City.
Bathrooms. There are public bathrooms in Bryant Park, only two blocks from the beginning of the parade and in Central Park near the 59th Street entrance on the West Side. Otherwise, be observant of restaurants and hotels, especially if you are standing in more northern areas of the parade route.
Make sure to hold your child’s hand. The streets will be busy, so stick together. You’ll need to walk fast and maneuver to keep up with the event.
Pack snacks. New York City certainly can be expensive, so packing snacks will help your budget. If you’re looking to buy food on-site, we recommend venturing into Central Park for some easy-to-carry options.
Alcohol. Public drinking of alcohol is strictly forbidden during the parade. Anyone found drinking can be ticketed and police will confiscate all alcoholic beverages.