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The Top Under-21 Hot Spots You Can't Miss This Summer


It’s another fabulous weekend in the big city. You’ve just finished an exhausting week of work, and you’re ready to explore the bustling city nightlife. There’s just one little glitch – you’re under 21. While your new friends from work are begging you to meet them for drinks at the bar or check out the new nightclub, you’re stuck counting down the days until your 21st birthday.

Well, no need to worry, collegiettes! We have the inside scoop on the best places to go if you’re under 21 and living life in a big city. These local hotspots are open to 18+ collegiettes but have a 21+ feel. Read on for more!


1. Rise

Venue: Dance club

Price: $20, $10 discount with a college ID

Address: 306 Stuart St.

Website: http://www.riseclub.us/ 

Open on Fridays from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., Rise is the perfect place for a night out in Boston if you’re under 21. This venue is the only “after-hours” dance club in Boston, and it includes a multilevel dance floor and live DJ.

“Rise is pretty much the only place I went during my freshman year,” says Ali, a junior at Boston University. “It’s such a fun place, and with the student discount, it was a totally affordable night.”

2. Improv Asylum

Venue: Comedy club

Price: Ticket price may vary depending on the show, but a single ticket is usually $25

Address: 216 Hanover St.

Website: http://www.improvasylum.com/

While clubbing the night away can be the perfect cure to a horrible week, we can’t be dancing queens every weekend. If you’re looking for a fun alternative to the bump-and-grind club scene, check out Improv Asylum, a popular comedy theater on Hanover Street.

“It’s a great place for a first date or just a fun night out,” says Becca, a junior at Suffolk University.

3. Club Passim

Venue: Concert hall

Price: Ticket price may vary depending on the show, with prices from $5-$20

Address: 47 Palmer St., Cambridge

Website: http://www.clubpassim.org/ 

For a classic coffeehouse experience, try Club Passim. As a self-proclaimed “listening room,” Club Passim offers an intimate and cozy space with live music performances almost every day of the week. The venue also shares space with Veggie Planet, a vegetarian restaurant that will serve snacks or meals during any of the concerts.

“I absolutely love Club Passim,” says Katy, a sophomore at Boston University. “I’ve never been very big into the whole club scene, so this is a nice alternative to that.”

New York City

1. Joe’s Pub

Venue: Concert hall

Price: No cover charge, but there is a $12 food/drink minimum

Address: 425 Lafayette St., Brooklyn 

Website: http://joespub.publictheater.org/programs--events/joes-pub/?SiteTheme=JoesPub 

Since its opening in 1998, Joe’s Pub has become one of the most popular performance venues for the college-aged crowd. With an intimate atmosphere and a full dinner menu, Joe’s Pub is the perfect place for a night out with friends. Past Joe’s Pub performers include Jason Mraz, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Lady Gaga, Ne-Yo and Norah Jones.

“Joe’s Pub is the best,” says Julian, a sophomore at New York University. “I usually go there with a big group of friends because it’s cheap enough and has a comfortable setting.”

2. Webster Hall

Venue: Nightclub

Price: Ticket price varies depending on the night

Address: 125 E. 11th St., East Village

Website: http://www.websterhall.com/ 

Webster Hall is one of the oldest and most famous entertainment venues in New York. With over 40,000 square feet and a 1,500 capacity, Webster Hall is a true nightclub experience. The venue is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night with a different party type for every night. Thursdays are called “House Party” with a hip-hop theme, Fridays have a techno dance vibe and are called “Girls & Boys” and the weekend ends with “Brite Nites,” an interactive dance party with live performances.

“Before I turned 21, I used to go to Webster Hall about once a month,” says Michelle, a senior at Columbia University. “It was a great way to meet new people, and, of course, a ton of fun.”


1. Numbers

Venue: Dance club

Price: $10

Address: 300 Westheimer Road 

Website: http://www.numbersnightclub.com/ 

There is no place in Houston quite like Numbers. The bar and concert venue offers a circus-like atmosphere complemented with the 1980s retro dance music and crazy outfits. Employees wear anything from fishnets to pink mohawks and invite guests to do the same, creating a seriously memorable night in this Texas city.

“Numbers is an experience,” says Kelsey, a junior at Rice University. “Be prepared going in, because you’re going to have a totally unforgettable night no matter what happens.”

2. South Beach

Venue: Dance club

Price: Free before 11 p.m., $15 after 11 p.m.

Address: 810 Pacific St. 

Website: http://southbeachthenightclub.com/ 

As the premier gay dance club in all of Houston, South Beach has a unique flair to it. There is no real dress code, and the club encourages any kind of wild fashion statements on its two dance floors.

“South Beach really is the best gay bar in town, but no matter who you are, South Beach will welcome you,” says Madison, a junior at the University of Houston.


1. Lincoln Hall

Venue: Concert hall

Price: Ticket price varies depending on the show, with prices from $10-$20

Address: 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.

Website: http://lincolnhallchicago.com/Home+Page/Home

For a casual night of live music and entertainment, there’s no better place in Chicago than Lincoln Hall. The concert hall offers an open floor and a viewing balcony for the show and cozy and quiet seating in the back. Lincoln Hall also has a small restaurant that offers wraps, burgers and sides. 

“Chicago is an amazing place for music, but Lincoln Hall is the best,” says Jane, a sophomore at the University of Chicago.

2. Metro

Venue: Dance club

Price: Ticket price varies depending on the show, with prices from free to $25

Address: 3730 N. Clark St.

Website: http://www.metrochicago.com/ 

With live performances, Metro is a great place to go if you’re looking for a hot dance club. Between the main dance floor and the upper balcony, the club has a huge capacity of 1,150 people. Metro’s past performers include Jack Johnson, Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys and Fall Out Boy.

“Metro is the place to go when you just need to blow off the past week and have a great time,” says Caroline, a senior at DePaul University.


1. Eddie’s Attic

Venue: Concert hall

Price: Ticket price varies depending on the show, with prices from $10-$14

Address: 515 N. McDonough St., Decatur

Website: http://www.eddiesattic.com/ 

A 15-minute drive from downtown Atlanta (about an hour by public transit), Eddie’s Attic in Decatur is a small concert venue for music lovers. Musicians like John Mayer, Sugarland and The Civil Wars have all performed in this intimate setting. With a capacity of less than 200, all seats are close to the stage and provide great acoustics. Make sure you show up early to get a good seat!

“Eddie’s Attic is close to campus, so it’s always filled with college students,” says Vicky, a sophomore at Emory University. “It’s a good place to go with a couple of friends for a chill night.”

2. Opera Nightclub

Venue: Nightclub

Price: Ticket price varies depending on the show, with prices from $10-$30

Address: 1150 B Peachtree St. NE

Website: http://operaatlanta.com/index.cfm 

Open Wednesday through Saturday, Opera is Hotlanta’s premiere dance club. This beautiful venue has a large dance floor, a balcony lounging space and even an outdoor patio space. On Thursdays, expect to hear the best dance music, and Fridays there’s great EDM. Opera does have a strict dress code, so make sure you dress to impress!

“Opera Nightclub can be more of an expensive night out, but it’s worth it if you’re out for a big celebration or event,” says Ashley, a senior at Emory University.

San Francisco

1. Rickshaw Stop

Venue: Concert hall

Price: Ticket price varies depending on the show, with prices from $10-$20

Address: 155 Fell St.

Website: http://www.rickshawstop.com/ 

A former TV studio, Rickshaw Stop is definitely an interesting concert hall. Rickshaw Shop has live music almost every night with past performers like M.I.A., Vampire Weekend and Wallpaper. And in case you get hungry during your night out, Rickshaw Stop serves anything from tamales to lasagna.

2. Ruby Skye

Venue: Dance club

Price: Ticket price varies depending on the show, but tickets are usually $20

Address: 420 Mason St.

Website: http://www.rubyskye.com/welcome.html 

Located in the famed theater district of San Francisco, Ruby Skye was originally a theater. Today, Ruby Skye has turned into a modern and elegant dance club. With its grand Victorian-inspired design and modern dance music and DJs, Ruby Skye will turn your summer night into an event to remember.


1. Play

Venue: Dance club

Price: $10

Address: 1519 Church St.

Website: http://www.playdancebar.com/index.php/play-nashville 

Play Dance Bar is the premiere gay bar in Nashville. It’s most famous for its drag shows. The cover charge is only $10, but make sure you bring cash since Play does not except credit or debit cards.

“I absolutely love Play,” says Megan, a sophomore at Belmont University. “I always have a great time, and all of the people there are fantastic.”


Venue: Dance club

Price: $5

Address: 114 Second Ave. South

Website: http://seennashville.com/ 

As its motto suggests, SEEN is the place to be seen in downtown Nashville. SEEN hires local and national DJs to perform during the club’s Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night events.

“SEEN really shows off the best of Nashville with all of its high-energy fun,” Megan says.

Washington, D.C.

1. 9:30 Club

Venue: Dance club

Price: Ticket price varies depending on the show, with prices from $15-$35

Address: 815 V St. NW

Website: http://www.930.com/ 

With live shows all week, the 9:30 Club is a fantastic place to go in D.C. The club is open to all ages, so it provides a wide variety of music and performances. 9:30 also has a fully stocked non-alcoholic bar so you can splurge and order yourself a Shirley Temple! Or, if you’d prefer a caffeine boost instead, the club also features a full coffee bar for all guests. 

“Even though I’m over 21, I still recommend this place to all of my under-21 friends because I think it gives a good bar/nightclub feel,” says Victoria, a junior at George Washington University.

2. The Birchmere

Venue: Theater

Price: $20-$45

Address: 3701 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.

Website: http://www.birchmere.com/ 

If you’re looking for a twist on the classic dinner-and-a-movie night, try The Birchmere. This 500-seat dinner-theater venue offers a night of musical performances and delicious food. Events at The Birchmere can get a little pricey since the total cost includes the cost of dinner and the show, but locals say it’s worth it!

“Birchmere is a good spot for a fancy night out with a date or just a girlfriend,” says Hannah, a senior at American University.


For any collegiette, a summer in a big city can be fabulous for gaining work experience and expanding your social life. Every big city is full of things to do no matter how old you are, so don’t let the pre-21 blues ruin your weekends!

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