It’s not that we don’t love the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Everybody does! But don’t you get tired of the same old thing year after year? Watching the bagpipers and the kilts and the drunk people and the crying kids, followed by a pub crawl later that night? Helppp!

Isn’t there any other way to enjoy the day? Well, guess what. I looked into it. And there are plenty here in New Jersey. Here are just a few of the zillions of great ideas for having a fun, safe and unique St. Paddy’s day in NJ

Morristown-Saint Paddy’s Day 5K
How about going out and getting some exercise and having fun at the same time. You can buy participating in this St. Paddy‘s Day 5K. The race features include high-quality race shirts, a scenic course, prizes to top age group and overall finishers and of course what would a 5K be without some great post-run refreshments. It all happens Saturday, March 12 at 10 a.m. at Ginty Field, 49 Woodland Ave., Morristown.

Allaire Village
Bill Doyle, Townsquare Media

Wall Township-St Patrick's Day Tours
If you’re interested in history, here’s an opportunity to take a 90-minute tour of the historic Village at Allaire, where you can learn about the beautiful history and culture of Ireland. A period-dressed interpreter will escort you to all the historic buildings where they’ll demonstrate traditional Irish cooking, folklore and music. It’s happening Saturday, March 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic Village at Allaire, 4263 Atlantic Ave., Wall Township.

Virtual Luck of the Irish 5K
This isn’t just another 5K race. This one is virtual where you can participate from home. The regular rate for this annual luck of the Irish 3.17-mile race is $18 but you can sign up now for $16. At least 15% of every registration goes to the National Hemophilia Foundation for hemophilia research. And here’s how it works: You can complete your race anytime in March. There’s no one there watching you! (And it’s even better of course if it happens on March 17 but you can choose!) And when you sign up you’ll get your bib and your participation medals in the mail. Find out more here.

Princeton Story Time at Tumbles
Have your kids enjoy a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day with music and dance and arts and crafts. Allow them to make their own shamrock puppet at Tumbles of Princeton’s Story Time. There are a lot of fun activities including a leprechaun maze a gold coin scavenger hunt an obstacle course, open gym, and, for three years old and up and open tumble zone. Don’t forget to wear socks!

Henry Mandel/Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley
Henry Mandel/Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley

Decorate a St. Patrick’s Day Cookie in Hanover
Yeah, it’s fun to hang out with the adults on St. Patrick’s Day and imbibe in a couple of—well a lot of—adult beverages, but you never think of hanging out with your kids do you? Here’s a great idea! The Morris County Library at 30 E. Hanover Ave. in Hanover presents it’s decorate a St. Patrick’s Day themed cookie event. It’s for ages 13 to 18. The event is on March 16 from 4 pm to 5 pm at the Morris County Library.

Decorate a St. Patrick’s cupcake in Montclair
Here’s another baking event. This one takes place on March 13 at the Eclectic Chic Boutique, 547 Bloomfield Ave., in Montclair. It’s a Saint Patrick's-themed cupcake decorating workshop. It’s great for beginners and taught by Cheryl, the owner of Cheryl's Sparkly Creations. You can either take the class with a DIY kit or go out and shop for your own ingredients. It’s best for adults and children ages 12 and you can also get a Zoom link if you can’t be there in person. Here’s more info.

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner in Columbia
Saturday, March 19, Brook Hollow Winery and Event facility is doing their annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner at their beautiful venue. You’ll have a delicious meal of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, soda bread, and be treated to beautiful Irish music between 7-9 p.m. And it’s only $20. The Brook Hollow Winery and Event Facility is at 594 State Highway 94, Columbia, NJ.

Celtic Woman Show in New Brunswick
You never really think about going to the theater on St. Patrick’s Day, do you? But here’s a unique idea to celebrate the Irish culture. How about really getting into the Celtic spirit by visiting the State Theater in New Brunswick on Thursday, March 17 from 8 to 11 p.m. You’ll be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with global music sensation, Celtic Woman! The State Theatre is Located at 15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick. More info is here.

Sussex St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance
How about a good old-fashioned dinner dance to celebrate Saint Patty's Day in style? Bring a friend or the one you love to enjoy a bountiful corned beef and cabbage buffet with beer, wine and soda. There’s a cash bar and a DJ to spin some great dancing tunes. 21 and over only. The dance takes place at the Sussex Firehouse, 25 Loomis Ave in Sussex. For more info go here.

“The Office” Trivia Night in Hoboken
This is a must for all fans of the cult-favorite show, "The Office." On Tuesday, March 15 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The Green Rock Tap and Grill in Hoboken is hosting a St. Paddy's Day trivia night about show. It’ll feel just like St. Paddy's Day at Dunder Mifflin in Scranton and you’re all invited. So if you are obsessed with the show, and always wanted to prove your knowledge, reserve tickets here. P.S. The venue says the best way to reserve tickets is by selecting a team captain and having them be in charge of tickets for ALL.

West Windsor St. Patrick's Day Party with the Joshua Harr Shane Foundation
The Joshua Harr Shane Foundation is a New Jersey charity that offers assistance to the critically ill, to special needs individuals, and to our military during times of hardship and need. They are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party at Mercer Oaks Golf Course, 725 Village Rd. W. in West Windsor. There’ll be music, dancing, giveaways, a silent auction, a Chinese auction and a four-course dinner.

Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash
Photo by Anna Kolosyuk on Unsplash

Somerville St. Patrick’s Day Paint-and-Sip
I guess you could say there’s a little alcohol involved here but we’re mostly talking about painting. There’s nothing as fun and relaxing as those “paint while you sip wine” places. And village brewing in Somerville is a great place to do it! Here’s the part that’s most fun of all. Your host is a Johnny Depp lookalike who will be the leader and coach of your painting session. Enjoy your Sunday afternoon, March 6, with friends and/or family or you can grab lunch, order a snack and, of course, sip your favorite beverage! Get there at 1:30 because painting starts at 2! Tickets are $40 and reservations are required. Get tickets here.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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