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NYC's Best Clubs, Nightlife Spots For The Under-21 Crowd

credit: MoMA PS1

Just because you're under 21 doesn't mean you can't party until 4 a.m. Here are five places to hit up in NYC without a fake ID. By Carly Petrone.

(Le) Poisson Rouge
credit: (Le) Poisson Rouge

Le Poisson Rouge

158 Bleecker St.
New York, NY 10012

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Le Poison Rouge, the iconic cabaret venue in the West Village, offers guests two types of live experiences. Take in a storytelling show or an intimate performance in The Gallery at LP, or enjoy a concert in the Main Space. Those who aren't yet 21 can still dance the night away, check out an art exhibition, or attend an album release party. LPR also has a pretty great food menu for when it's time to refuel.

credit: Videology Bar & Cinema / Facebook


308 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

More: Best Bars In Williamsburg

Videology may be a an old video store-turned-bar in Williamsburg, but it also houses a 40-seat screening room in the back. Stop in any time of the day to watch whatever the bartender has decided to put up on the big screen, or stop by one of their fun TV or movie-themed trivia nights. There's also plenty of midnight screenings happening every weekend. Make sure to check their calendar online --  this place also offers Q&A sessions with famous directors, TV and movie viewings with a live score, and bingo nights.

Amateur Night

Apollo Theater

253 W. 125th St.
New York, NY 10027

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Head uptown to the Apollo Theater on Wednesday nights for Amateur Night. Comedian Capone hosts this weekly showcase where aspiring musicians, singers, dancers, comedians, rappers, and spoken word artist hit the stage. The best part? The audience gets to decide their fate by cheering for their favorite or booing to signal the "Executioner," who escorts contestants off the stage. Come early for a festive pre-party featuring video and music by DJ Jess. Tickets range from $21-$33 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.

B. B. King

B.B. King Blues Club

237 W. 42nd St.
New York, NY

More: Best Blues Clubs In NYC

B.B. King Blues Club offers a great place for those under 21 to enjoy a live performance -- as well as an all-you-can-eat Sunday Gospel Brunch! This legendary venue has hosted plenty of iconic singers and bands including Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Gipsy Kings, Jay Z, and many more. Gear up to hear some classic soul music, live jazz, and acoustic performances. See website for ticket prices and details.

Postcrypt Coffeehouse
(credit: Instagram/Postcrypt Coffeehouse)

Postcrypt Coffeehouse

1160 Amsterdam Ave.
New York, NY

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You definitely don't have to be religious to stop through Postcrypt Coffeehouse, the small 30-seat venue located in the basement of St. Paul's Cathedral at Columbia University. This little student-run space has been operating as a venue for poets, stand-up comedians, and musicians to make their mark since 1964. The rule is that everything must be performed acoustically. Stop in on Friday and Saturday nights during the academic year between 8:30 pm. and 11:30 p.m. to see who's up on stage. Want to be in the spotlight yourself? Try playing at one of their open stages or email them here. Admission is free.

The Village Vanguard
The famous awning of the Village Vanguard legendary jazz club

Village Vanguard

178 7th Ave South
New York, NY 10014
(212) 255-4037

More: Best Dance Clubs In New York City

All ages are welcome at this West Village basement jazz club, a New York institution that celebrates its 80th year in its current location in 2015. Admission is $30 with a one drink minimum. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the first set and 10 p.m. for the second. A $25 student discount ticket is available for the second set Sunday through Thursday.

10/3 - 2 Broke Girls - Cheap Concert Venues - the knitting factory
Photo Credit: The Knitting Factory

The Knitting Factory

361 Metropolitan Ave (at Havenmeyer St)
Brooklyn NY 11211
(347) 529-6696

Exploring Williamsburg: Eat, See And Play

After relocating to Williamsburg from Manhattan a few years back, the flagship of this national mini-empire of music/performance venues and concert tours has redefined itself for the 21st century. Cutting edge techno, jazz, indie, experimental DJs, hip hop and more take the stage each night, guaranteeing a late-night dance party. You'll also find poets, authors, burlesque, and the out-of-the-box, like skee-ball competitions. All shows are 18+. Under 18 may attend if accompanied by an adult. See website for more.

Webster Hall
(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for AOL)

Webster Hall

125th E 11th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 353-1600

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Webster Hall sometimes gets a bad rap by serious club goers as being overly-touristy and populated with "amateur" party-goers, but the fact is, the megaspace brings in top-notch live acts and internationally-known DJs. And it is 18+ for most shows (alcohol policies are strictly enforced), with weekly Girls' Night Out and Girls +Boys Night themes among their more popular regular events. Wander the floors of this multi-floored warren and you'll find a wide variety of music, performances and dance spaces. On busy nights, do be prepared for aggressive security inspections at the door and crowded dance floors. Prices may vary by age and gender on certain nights. Check the website for discount seasonal and event passes.

Nightlife & Music Under 21, Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Photo Credit: Nuyorican Poets Cafe via Facebook

Nuyorican Poets Cafe

236 East 3rd St (Between Aves B & C)
New York, NY 10009
(212) 780-9386

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This energetic LES hangout with a Latin edge has been delivering slam poetry, hip-hop, open mikes, jazz jams, author's readings, comedy and more for two decades now. A small cafe up front provides a variety of drinks (alcoholic and otherwise) and small bites, while the young, urban art-driven crowd cheers on competitors and performers. See website for more.

(Credit: Bowlmor)

Bowlmor Lanes Times Square

222 W 44th (between 7th and 8th Aves)
New York, NY 10036
(212) 680-0012

More: Best Bowling Alleys in NYC

Like any bowling alley, this one is open to all. Unlike any other bowling alley, the Times Square spinoff of the downtown favorite offers up seven elaborately-decorated, New York City-themed spaces, any of which can be rented for private parties as well as regular bowling. Perfect for Sweet Sixteens, graduation parties or simply a night out with friends, you'll find a better-than-average grill menu curated by chef David Burke and a variety of nonalcoholic and alcoholic libations. Though walk-ins are welcome, it's a good idea to call ahead and reserve lanes for larger groups.

Nightlife & Music Under 21, MoMA PS1
Photo Credit:

MoMA PS 1 Warm Up

22-25 Jackson Ave (at 46th Ave)
Long Island City, NY 11101
(718) 784-2084

Exploring LIC: Eat, See And Play

While not really nightlife, this is perhaps the largest all-ages summer dance party in the city. Each Saturday throughout the summer, you'll find experimental live music, DJs, performance pieces and more to which you can bounce the day away under an artistic "urban landscape." You'll also have the opportunity to dine at the much-anticipated M. Wells Dinette inside the museum. Warm Up takes place on Saturdays during the summer. See website for full schedule!

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Carly Petrone is the founder of Petrone on the Rocks, a lifestyle site about food, drinks, beauty, travel, and more. She lives in New York City.

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