You’re here because you’re under 21 and you want to experience the nightlife and all that it offers, but it’s hard to find clubs that let y’all in and cater to your needs. Finding a place to hang out with just your group of friends may not be hard, but it’s not the same as going out and exploring the city. Here’s a quick list of some of the best places that know how to cater to a younger crowd.
Replay Lincoln Park
Located at 2833 N. Sheffield Ave., this sports bar/arcade is the grown-up version of Dave and Busters. Some reviews from 30 and up said they felt out of place around the younger crowd so if you want to be young and free this may be the one for you. Don’t be confused by the games because their websites say they aren’t kid-friendly because of their full bar, but 18-20 don’t worry. They have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks to add to the experience. They’re open until 2:00 am on Fridays and Sundays, but on Saturdays they’re open until 3:00 am.
If you’re a fan of live music and happen to be near Lincoln Park, then you should check out Lincoln Hall. They showcase up and coming artists from across the country. You can see who will be performing up until July of next year on their website now. They cater more to 18–20-year-olds because they are so close to DePaul University, but reviews say they have a section for 21-year-olds that want to have a good cocktail while listening to music. You will have to purchase tickets before going and sitting is first come first serve.
From Lincoln Park to Bucktown, WhirlyBall is the nightlife spot for young adults that want to act like kids. They offer whirlyball, laser tag, bowling, and have a great menu. After 5:00 pm kids are no longer allowed in and it’s free for all for those who are kids at heart. I would recommend playing a day and then reserving a spot for your group, but they do allow walk-ins on a first-come-first-serve basis.
I’m sorry, but this one is for the 21-year-olds who love Shakespeare and books. This may not be the first thing that pops in your head when you hear nightlife, but this place is loved by many. Here’s the overview, a professional actor drinks five shots and they attempt to perform a Shakespearean play. Located at 182 N. Wabash Ave. behind the Chicago Theater, you’ll meet in a hidden library speakeasy and be served cocktails throughout the performance. There is also Junk Shakespeare, but this is open to all ages.
The best place to look for nightlife or hangouts is Yelp. I found that their search engine is the easiest to use when filtering out places based on age, music type, and neighborhood. The reviews are accurate and photos give you great insight on what to expect before you get there.
By Triniti Maye, Saint Xavier University