Nightlife in Princeton is quieter than in nearby fellow “college town” New Brunswick; however, it does exist. Those just over 21 might think Princeton nightlife is less than stellar since there’s no nightclub scene here. Some bars have lounges, play music, or even offer live music, but they’re not nightclubs. Younger adults of drinking age can go to KatManDu in Trenton, or to some other clubs in New Brunswick. The 30+ crowd is better off going into Manhattan for dancing.
Just because there are no nightclubs here, doesn’t mean there’s little to do in Princeton once the sun goes down. There’s enough evening entertainment to gratify the young to the young at heart. Here’s a short, but sweet list of places to go in the Princeton area after hours.
- The Bar Scene – Mediterra Taverna, Tre Piani, Main Street Bistro & Bar (re-opening May 2011), Rocky Hill Inn, Witherspoon Grill, Teresa Caffe, Big Fish, elements, The Peacock Bar, Enoteca, ONE 53, BT Bistro (has a lounge, but is currently closed for renovations), Metro North Bar & Grill (has a lounge)
- The Pub Scene – Tiger’s Tales, The Alchemist & Barrister, Triumph Brewery Co., Princeton Sports Bar & Grill (karaoke, lounge area), The Yankee Doodle Tap Room (has a lounge area with fireplace), Winberie’s, Ivy Inn (karaoke, darts, billiards), Conte’s Pizza
- Live Music – Arts Council of Princeton, Mediterra Restaurant and Taverna, Ivy Inn, The Alchemist & Barrister, Triumph Brewery Co., Witherspoon Grill, Small World Coffee, BT Bistro (currently closed for renovations), Rocky Hill Inn (they even provide opera),
- Concerts – Richardson Auditorium, McCarter Theater, Princeton Shopping Center (summer concert series), Princeton Public Library
- Comedy – Catch a Rising Star
- Roller Skating – Kendall Park Roller/Inline Skating Rink (open skate and family hip hop skating)
- Theater – McCarter Theater (also performance dance and family entertainment)
- Movie Theaters – Princeton Garden Theater, UA Movies at Market Fair 10, Montgomery Cinema
- Art Exhibitions – Princeton University Art Museum (Thursdays only until 10 PM), Arts Council of Princeton, Small World Coffee, Twist – yogurt without limits, Triumph Brewery Co.
- The Coffee House Scene – Small World Coffee (1 hour free wi-fi with a purchase) and Starbucks Coffee (unlimited free wi-fi)
- The Frozen Dessert Scene – Thomas Sweet, Halo Pub, The Bent Spoon, Twist – yogurt without limits, and Fruity Yogurt
- Stargazing – Peyton Observatory (monthly open house)
- Other – Princeton Tour Company (ghost tours), Arts Council of Princeton (various events), Princeton Public Library (various events)
There are also lots of gala dinners, benefit auctions, wine tastings, beer tastings, Halloween parties, bingo nights and more happening at businesses, houses of worship, and organizations to keep you busy throughout the year.
Where do you go to in or around Princeton after hours? Please share your favorite spots in the comment section below.