Photograph by Matt Zaller courtesy Madame Morbid

Trying to avoid the typical St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in New York City? Usually the pomp on Fifth Avenue is ruined by the drunken antics along the sidewalk. Good news for Untapped readers – there’s a lot to do off-the-beaten path this Sunday, along with the much anticipated opening of Hudson Yards. Read on for 10 alternative ways to take in St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

1. The Vessel Opens to the Public

Along with the official opening of Hudson Yards on Friday, the highly anticipated bee-hive shaped structure at Hudson Yards known as the Vessel, is opening with ticketed advance access this weekend starting Saturday, and full public access starting Monday. The structure was created by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio, and is an interactive outdoor climbing experience. The Vessel is comprised of 154 flights of stairs, about 2,500 flights of stairs, and 80 landings. Visitors can climb the spiral staircases of the Vessel to experience exceptional views and new perspectives of the city. Reserve your tickets here.


2. Hard Hat Tour of Ellis Island Hospital

Untapped Cities is excited to offer our renown Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital this Saturday. The over 100-year-old contagious disease hospital has been abandoned since 1954! On this tour, discover the kitchen, autopsy room and other usually off-limits places as well as receive special access inside the original morgue and long abandoned FBI offices.

Weather is looking great – sunny and over 50 degrees. Book tickets below:

Behind-the-Scenes Hard Hat Tour of the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital


3. Explore “Little Ireland” in the Bronx

Located in the neighborhood of Woodlawn Heights in the Bronx, is New York City’s own Little Ireland. Commonly known as Woodlawn, this neighborhood is predominantly home to many Irish-Americans. One can grab a bite to eat at Rory Dolan’s, or join the party at Rambling House surrounded by Irish locales. Spend your St. Patrick’s Day exploring this local Ireland and immersing yourself in the Irish culture with a New York City twist. Also stop by to see the fabulous mausoleum’s of Woodlawn Cemetery.

4. Tour the Remnants of Penn Station

Image via Wikimedia Commons, Library of Congress

Not interested in the upcoming holiday? Take Untapped Cities’ Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station! In this tour, you will view over a dozen hidden remnants of the old station, as well as never-before-seen old station photos from photographers that covered Penn Station’s life.

With significant upgrades already underway inside Penn Station (the Amtrak information both was removed this past weekend), you will also learn on this tour about the past, present and future of Penn Station. Book tickets below:

Tour of the Remnants of Penn Station

5. Sober St. Patrick’s Day

As another alternative way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, try staying sober! The Eighth Annual Sober St. Patrick’s Day in New York City will occur this Saturday, March 16 at the St. Patrick’s Youth Center. A light supper, desert, and coffee hour will be provided. World class musicians, dancers, and singers will perform at the event, showcasing traditional Irish instruments and dances. Award-winning performers such as John Whelan, a seven time “All Ireland” Champion Button Accordion Player, and Brian Conway, a five time “All Ireland” Champion Fiddle player will showcase their skills on customary Irish instruments.

6. St. Patrick’s Very Superstitious Tour

Photograph by Matt Zaller courtesy Madame Morbid

Along with many others tours hosted by our friends at Madame Morbid, such as the Deadly Drag Tour, this weekend experience the St. Patrick’s Very Superstitious Tour.  Halloween and many other superstitions originated in Ireland over four thousand years ago. On this trolley tour, explore the origins of superstitions and the role they still play today, including the dark history of Brooklyn. Madame Morbid’s trolly tour is Brooklyn’s only mobile ghost tour. If you’re interested in a spooky St. Patrick’s day, visit the Madame Morbid website or Facebook page for more information.

7. Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

Calling all transit nerds and historian buffs! Take our popular underground tour of the New York City subway! On this tour, visitors will begin in City Hall Park, the birthplace of the NYC subway system, see the architectural ghosts of the partially abandoned Chambers Street station, learn about the comically short route of the mythical “Subway before the Subway,” Alfred Ely Beach’s Pneumatic Transit System, and take a peek at several abandoned subway stations from the 6 line.

This tour will take you behind the scenes of New York City’s transit world that thousands of commuters walk by everyday without noticing. Book tickets below:

Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

8. Visit the Irish Hunger Memorial

The Irish Hunger Memorial is located on Vesey Street and North End Avenue in Battery Park City. The memorial is dedicated to the Great Irish Famine, and is a reminder that hunger results as a lack of access to land. The memorial is made up of an abandoned stone cottage, barren potato fields, and flora from the north Connacht wetlands in Ireland. Designed by Brian Tolle in 2002, the memorial contains stones from each of Ireland’s thirty-two counties. If you download the app for the Irish Hunger Memorial, you can actually go on a self-guided tour of the memorial.

9. Holi in the City

This Saturday, “Holi in the City: The Festival of Colors Day and Night Party” will take place at Stage 48. This Indian festival occurs every year all over the world to celebrate the coming of spring, the joy of friendship, and equality for all. It is recommended that visitors dress in white and come prepared to leave covered in all different colors of powder. Enjoy delicious food, drinks, and music from New York City’s top entertainers. All ethnicities, nationalities, and religions are welcome!

10. Take a Haunted Tour of the Merchant House Museum

The Merchant House Museum is one of the oldest sites of Irish habitation in New York City that is still intact. The Museum was originally the home of the Tredwell family which consisted of eight children, all of which actually died in the house. The Tredwell family also hired multiple Irish servants who are saod to haunt the house as well. The Merchant House Museum provides tours of the house, their most renown being the “Candlelight Ghost Tour”. During the Candlelight Ghost Tour, you can see, hear, and experience the supernatural that haunts the house. The museum was actually voted one of Manhattan’s “most haunted house”. If you aren’t too scared, book a tour at the Merchant House Museum to celebrate Irish history this St. Patrick’s Day.