If the entertainment at your neighborhood bar consists of only a broken juke box and a shabby pool table, it’s time to switch up your nightlife routine. Manhattan has plenty of bars that pair drinking with fun activities to keep you happy and entertained until the wee hours of the morning.
Join hardcore music enthusiasts at Pianos, one of the Lower East Side’s favorite bar/lounge/live-music venues. On Monday nights, the bar hosts Smartass Rock and Roll Trivia, a fun, 3-round contest that tests your classic rock IQ and rewards winning teams with free drinks. After Smartass, stick around for Karaoke Killed the Cat and watch aspiring rock stars rev the crowd with soul-draining versions of Don’t Stop Believing and Total Eclipse of the Heart.
- Location: 158 Ludlow Street, between Stanton & Rivington Streets. 212.505.3733.
- Get there: F/V trains to 2nd Avenue
- Dive 75
Stop in at this popular neighborhood local on the Upper West Side to enjoy a game of Battleship or Connect 4 and sample one of the 20 beers on tap. If all of the games are taken, munch on free candy, watch a ball game or bond with the tropical fish swimming around the bar’s huge aquarium. A great staff, friendly patrons, and a chill atmosphere make it a perfect spot to check out any day of the week.
- Location: 101 West 75th Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam. 212-362-7518.
- Get there: 1/2/3 trains to 72nd Street
Slate was created for all the hyper-masculine guys who get dragged to Chelsea nightclubs by their girlfriends and spend the entire night shuffling around the dance floor pretending to have a good time. Sneak below the sleek lounge and dance area and find a spacious lower level full of beer-chugging guys high-fiving each other over games of pool, ping pong, and foosball. Comfy couches are nearby so those less inclined to competition can sit back, sip their Lychee-tinis and enjoy the games.
- Location: 54 West 21st Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues. 212.989.0096
- Get there: F/V, R/W trains to 23rd Street
- Bowlmor Lanes
With a full restaurant, completely revamped bar and sophisticated VIP lounge, you almost don’t notice the cheesy retro décor at Bowlmor Lanes. Fortunately, it’s just enough to remind you that you’re at a bowling alley and not some posh loft party in TriBeCa. After you finish your martini, order a few beers, lace up those smelly rental shoes and bowl your heart out.
- Location: 110 University Place, between 12th and 13th Streets. 212.255.8188
- Get there: N/R/Q/W, 4/5/6, L trains to Union Square-14th Street