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Alternative nightlife options for students

16th street mall is an all-age appropriate and fun place to hang out.
Photo: Mailys Steiblen · The Sentry

Places that welcome all ages

When the weekend rolls around, students find themselves going out for the night to have a good time. While there are many places to go to in Denver for college students, it can be harder to find nightlife that is for all ages and isn’t just the typical clubbing scene. 

The Mercury Café offers both poetry open mic nights and dance classes. On Friday nights at 10 p.m., students can come listen and enjoy poetry, or perform their own poetry. Attending the poetry slam is free and performers only need to sign up with the host 15 minutes before the start of the open mic. 

The Mercury Café also offers swing classes at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays for only $10. So if students are looking to learn a new skill while having fun dancing the night away to live music, then checking out the Mercury Café might just be the perfect option.

Other non-bar and club options for students to attend at night include Denver’s comedy clubs. While most comedy clubs are 18+, Voodoo Comedy admits all ages until 10:30 p.m. The Voodoo Comedy Playhouse, located near Coors Field, has shows five nights a week, Tuesday through Saturday, that start at varying times depending on the show. 

Voodoo mostly specializes in improv but does offer sketch comedies, standup routines, and musical comedies. So if a student has had a long week, Voodoo Comedy Playhouse is a great place for a laugh to relieve stress. 

If a student isn’t into spending their nights listening to poetry or comedy, Dangerous Theatre is a good choice to see a live theater performance. Cheaper than most theaters, a ticket to one of their shows is $20. Students can also ask for a student discount and get $5 off of their ticket.

Plus, with the purchase of a ticket, Dangerous Theater also provides appetizers and alcohol-free drinks to enjoy during the show. But fear not, if students are looking to have an alcoholic beverage, they can legally purchase their own.

Dangerous Theater specializes in local playwrights, comics, and performers. They tend to produce underground and indie acts, so it’s a great place to catch something that might not be performed elsewhere.

It can be hard to find nightlife that doesn’t imitate clubbing. If students are looking for Denver nightlife that is a bit different and out of the box, looking at cafes, comedy clubs, and little theater companies might just be the places to go to switch up their nightlife experiences.

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