Stuff to do for Under 21's in the USA

Travel Forums North America Stuff to do for Under 21's in the USA

1. Posted by samanthah (Budding Member 10 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

if you've read my previous posts, you'll know that I'm coming to america (yay!) for 5-6 weeks this summer. as i got some very helpful replies from said previous posts, i thought i'd try you guys on another of my seemingly endless list of questions...

What is there to do in the evenings if you're under 21?? In Britain, where I live, the drinking age is 18, and most places you can probably get away with being younger. Not that i go out and get drunk all the time, but bars/clubs/pubs etc are nice places to go to at night. So where would you guys suggest me and my friend head in the evenings on the east coast? is there anything for u 21s to do at all???

Thank you lots
sam x
PS: And why is the age so much higher in the usa?

2. Posted by IMonaghan (Respected Member 431 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hey Sam,

The age in the USA used to be 18 a while back and is a point of contention among people here at times. Right now the rule is 21 and the laws are very strict, so it's pretty normal to be carded when ordering alchohol. Selling to a minor can lead to thousands of dollars in fines and even a loss of your license for subsequent offenses. To make it worse (or better?) the police here spend a good amount of time enforcing this law and "testing" bar workers with youngsters wanting alchohol.

It was a wave of drunk driving accidnents by folks aged 18 to early 20s back in the 70s and 80s that spurred the change. The argument over here is of course at 18 you are old enough to pay taxes, and can be sent to war to die for your country. You are not old enough to smoke cigs or drink though.

You can usually hang out in a pub type bar that has some sort of a food menu. You generally aren't carded there until you order an actual alchoholic drink. Clubs however you can't even enter until you are 21 in most cases.

There are some clubs around NYC and most other cities that follow some special guidlines such as having the "bar" area in a seperate area than the "dance" area, thus letting in the 18+ crowd. Sadly I haven't been "clubbing" in almost five years. I very much prefer a pub and a pint.

If I hear any ads today while I'm listening to the radio of 18+ clubs I'll post them up here, if you are planning on coming to NY at all.

3. Posted by NZder04 (Budding Member 7 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi Samanthah

I lived in the US for a while when I was 18 and found it really hard not being able to go clubbing....and drink. There are ways around it. Like
IMonaghan said, you can try going to bars that serve food. They are generally sweet. Otherwise there are always 18+ clubs...where u won't be able to drink.

4. Posted by Midstride (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

You can always -snip-

[ Edit: sorry, no illegal suggestions allowed in this forum ]

5. Posted by Midstride (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

God, fascism isn't dead...

6. Posted by pretenses (Budding Member 9 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Under 21 in the States...Pretty much sucks if you are not creative, and it all depends on where you are, when you are, and what your tastes are.

For the more conservative night out, some places have late night bowling, there's miniture golf places, and things along those lines.

Then there are various nights of the week that bars inaccesable to those under 21 are 18+, you pay a cover charge, and only drink coke, water, etc. These once a week days/special occasions are often listed as "college night".

Along the same lines, there are places, for example Jillians, that have arcade games, pool tables, a bar/dance floor, sports TV's, appetizers. Kind of an all-around type place. You can check out the locations at On the weekends they card you to get in after something like 7, but during the week its midnight if at all.

There are also bars that are 18+, where they give bands to those over 21, and not to those under. Often bars like this have "mini-concerts" and things like that to draw crowds.

Also - you can look up the city you are going to be in, and see if there are any concerts, street festivles, etc. going on in that particular town at the time you're going to be there.

Finally - if you are going on greyhound/amtrack, you won't have a car. You might want to find out if the method of travel you are taking goes to downtown(s). Sometimes you can just walk though downtown and find places that have guest music playing or something like that. I would definitly check out online the company you'll be using. They might have links to things to do in various towns.

Hope this helps!