Things to do for St. Patrick’s Day in Newport Beach
Unabashedly green outfits, plastic beads, rowdy pubs and pints of the tall, dark and creamy (Read: Guinness) is what St. Patrick’s Day festivities mostly revolve around. After all, it’s that time of year when you can let that jolly little Leprechaun in you have some fun. But maybe you’ve grown tired of frequenting pubs every March 17. Or maybe you have tots in tow, in which case, it’s totally OK to go a different route. Because, really, there’s a lot more to do than meander from bar to bar, especially in Newport Beach, which plays host to a variety of events during the holiday. Just in case you need a nudge in the right direction, we’ve compiled a list of things to do in this itinerary.
Take advantage of St. Paddy’s Day restaurant specials
Just because you’re not schlepping across town to your local Irish pub doesn’t mean you should miss out on the food. Because, truth be told, there’s a lot to love about Irish cuisine (We’ve never met a plate of fish and chips we didn’t like or didn’t instantly devour). To fete the occasion, a slew of restaurants will be bringing their own versions of Irish staples to the table, and we don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t pull up a chair. At Pelican Hill’s Coliseum Pool and Grill, for example, you’ll be treated to special dishes like corned beef hash for breakfast, potato and leek soup for lunch, Guinness pie for dinner and desserts boasting Bailey’s Irish Cream coffee. At Fashion Island Hotel’s Oak Grill, the kitchen will be churning out green eggs benedict for breakfast and corned beef and cabbage you’re not going to want to miss.
Cook up a storm at Sur La Table
In its essence, St. Paddy’s day in Ireland is that time of year when families can get together over food and spirits. (Something akin to Thanksgiving here in our neck of the woods.) And what better way to celebrate quintessential Irish dishes than to learn to rustle them up yourself. Cancel your dinner reservations, because in this class, you’ll almost make an entire menu. Spring onion soda bread with Irish cheddar? Check. Mustard and honey-glazed corned beef? Check. What’s more, you’ll pull together a potato mash with braised cabbage and brush up on your baking skills by whipping up a bittersweet chocolate cake infused with Irish whiskey. The over two-hour-long class will set you back $59, but you’ll go home with delicious new additions—ones that St. Patrick himself would approve of—to your timeworn recipe book.
Camp at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina
It’s a blessing and a curse, really, that St. Paddy’s day falls on a weekend this year. On the one hand, your favorite Irish pub might be even more packed than ever. On the other hand, it might encourage you to think outside the box. Now that you’ve set your clocks forward, you can officially celebrate both St. Paddy’s Day and the arrival of springtime with a family camping trip. Snag a prime RV camp spot at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina, which is nestled in the scenic Back Bay and offers up a treasure-trove of amenities for you and your kiddos. Think: swimming pools, a whirlpool spa and watersports rentals for your paddleboarding and kayaking needs. You can also stay at one of the resort’s 27 cottages that line the pristine waters. Bring your Irish grub—Irish stew and slow-cooked corned beef hash, for example, are easy to warm up at a moment’s notice—or hunker down at the resort’s waterfront Back Bay Bistro, where you can have both your Guinness and fish and chips cravings fulfilled.
Tune into Hutchins Consort’s Fiddle Fest
Put down the green stuff and listen up. With the smorgasbord of food and drink available on this spirited holiday, music tends to play second, erm, fiddle to everything else. On March 17, celebrate your inner Irish by attending Hutchins Consort’ Fiddle Fest and listening to performances that pay homage to this annual cultural celebration. The musicians behind the Hutchins Consort—a Southern-California group that embraces researcher and violin-maker Carleen Hutchins’ instruments—are known for transcribing masterpieces spanning different genres, from renaissance to rock, to “accommodate the unique sonic structure” of Hutchins’ violins. (History sidenote: back in the 1950’s, Hutchins reimagined the violin, building a family of instruments— eight, to be more precise—with enhanced acoustics). With their rendition of Gustav Holst’s St Paul’s Suite, the ensemble will bring a little bit of Dublin to Corona Del Mar.
If you’ve always wanted to roll into a shindig decked out in cropped pants, a tailcoat jacket and a green top hat, now’s your chance. Rally up your friends and hop aboard the Deo Juvante yacht, which, on St. Paddy’s day, will turn into a playground for costume-wearing partygoers. (Sorry, kiddos. This party is 21 and over only). There will be a whole lot of fun to keep up with. You’ll find a fully-stocked bar, offering a variety of libations from beer to whiskey to wine. Not to mention, DNA Promotions—the folks behind the cruise—is bringing a lineup of DJs to keep the crowd on their feet and dancing. But most importantly, before the entire affair draws to a close, one person will be given the highly coveted title of “Best Dressed” and a pair of free passes to the next event DNA throws. The cruise will depart at 1 p.m. (although check in starts at 12:15 p.m.), and you’ll have about three hours to take in those expansive Newport Harbor vistas before returning to dry land at 4 p.m. See you there!
Written By: Mariam Makatsaria