Not everyone who goes to New York City is 21 and up, and we firmly believe that 21 and under people deserve to have a good time too! It's hard to find places at night that will let in underage people and trust them not to drink, but there are a few NYC venues that will. And if bars aren't your thing anyway, there are plenty of other things to do once the sun goes down and the bouncers come out.
The best things to do in New York City don't necessarily involve a drink in your hand or 6" heels. In facts, things that don't require the second are actually preferable a lot of the time. When you're traveling to NYC with an underage friend, you don't have to sacrifice by not going to the kind of places you want, and there might be some places you never even thought of going!
Of course, there are the bars that let in underage kids but still serve alcohol to all the "adults" and a good time to all! All the best music venues, clubs, artsy places and everything else are at your fingertips.
- Bowery Ballroom: For certain shows at this famous New York City music venue, people as young as 16 are allowed in! Some of the best Indie bands that you are positive will be famous one day put on shows here, so don't deprive the youth of a trip here to see these stars-to-be. These bands will need groupies after all, right?
- Rodeo Bar: Yep, even all your underage New Yorkers can throw on your Daisy Dukes and cowboy boots and pony up to this Southern rock and country bar. Covers are generally no more than $10 a person and the 18 and up crowd is more than welcome! They have a happy hour and live band, so there's really a good time to be had by all ages. That is, assuming you can have a good time in a place that serves fried pickles and "Cowboy kisses," - and not just the ones on the menu if you're lucky!
- BAM Cafe: In Brooklyn, most of the shows are free, and there's always something going on Friday and Saturday nights. Definitely get here early and make a night of it, because it's free and fun and gets crowded very quickly!
- Tonic Bar: To drink and dine among the tourists, visit Tonic Bar in Times Square. There are two levels of eating, drinking and entertainment to be had until 4am. They have sports on the TV a lot of the time, a happy hour, and yes, even our beloved karaoke Sunday through Wednesday!
- Cafe Wha? This is the perfect place in NYC to take out-of-town-ers, because it's fun and attractive to people of all walks. Lots of NYC culture here! There's a great house band, and dance floor you can really let loose on. Every night has a different theme, so check in to see which one strikes your fancy.
- Beacon Theatre: They host music, comedy and theatre productions, and it's a little smaller and cozier than some of the venues. Some of the people performing there this summer are Stevie Knicks and Seal. So yeah, it lets everyone in, but then again...what 18 year old wants to see Stevie Knicks? You can always find their events calendar here though.
You don't have to go somewhere and pay a cover charge to get a taste of New York City though!
- See the City at Night: Union Park Square, Broadway, and Soho are buzzing with activity - and so are the people coming in and out of the aforementioned places. The city lights shine bright at night, and they are quite a sight to see.
- Peeping Toms Welcome: Speaking of walking around the city...Window shopping at night, especially during holiday seasons is a great way to spend an evening and get your sight seeing too, without spending all of your eating money.
- Get Some Culture: Many of the museums are open late. You don't have to miss out on the sunshine to see your favorite art, because you can see some of the best New York museums at night!
- Sing Your Heart Out: Some of the bars mentioned above have karaoke, but some places are strictly karaoke, all the time. 18 and uppers can belt out a tune at Karaoke Duet 35 until midnight Sunday-Thursday.
- Bowl A Strike: Many of the bowling alley's let in underage ladies and gentlemen when they're accompanied by someone 25 or older. You oldies can still drink and be merry, even if it makes you less susceptible to winning.
New York City is full of things to do at night that you don't have to be at least 21 to enjoy. Yeah, being 21 would make things a lot easier, but you'll get there one day, and until then, you can enjoy life in New York City underage. Oh to be young!