While Manhattan is known for its hot nightlife scene, there is so much more to do in the evening than club hopping. Unless you know someone or are “on the list”, one might spend an entire night dressed up and standing in line, only hoping to get past the velvet ropes and spend a fortune on coveted bottle service. For those just not into the club scene, or looking for something out of the ordinary, here’s a look at some non-club nightlife options in New York City.
Going to a movie in Manhattan can be an ultimate viewing experience, as many theaters are themed, have huge screens, or just have something extra to offer. For an old fashioned movie experience that channels Hollywood glamour, try the Ziegfeld Theater in Midtown. While it only shows one movie at a time, the theater seats over 1,000 people, has been home to many move premiers, and houses one of the biggest screens you’re likely to come across. If the Ziegfeld isn’t showing your movie of choice, pick an indie theater, such as the Angelika, showing a yet-to-be-famous, low budget film. If you prefer something a bit more mainstream, the movies at Lincoln Center houses an IMAX theater, which often shows the latest movie blockbuster.
A game enjoyed since childhood birthday parties, bowling is a fun, interactive nighttime activity for friends looking for a laid back good time. And Manhattan bowling alleys are not your typical suburban bowling alleys. Often open until 4 AM, bowlers are likely to even catch a famous face or premier after party at one of New York’s chic bowling alleys. Located on University Place, Bowlmor Lanes boasts having hosted famous faces such as Olympian Michael Phelps and rocker Benji Madden. Leisure Time Bowling, located in the Port Authority, offers late night package deals where a group of four can get 2 hours of bowling, a tower of beer, and shoe rentals for $29 per person.
Who isn’t looking for a great laugh? Many Manhattan comedy clubs have been the home of famous comedians. Most clubs charge a cover under $20 and then require a two-drink minimum. Make it dinner and a show, since most offer full menus and bar service. They typically offer two shows per night, so early birds and night owls alike can join in the fun. While they often feature dark, tight spaces, visitors get a true comedic experience and sometimes even find a famous performer dropping in at the last minute. The Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village has been know to host Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, and Jon Stewart to name a few.
While tourists and locals alike often think of New York City nightlife as nothing more than dive bars and chic nightclubs, there is so much more to do on a Saturday night than drinking in a crowded space. Next time you’re looking for a fun night out, try a new movie viewing experience, bowl in a high class alley until the sun comes up, or laugh till your sides hurt in a NYC comedy club.