Are you under 21 or just feeling like a sober night out, but still wanting to take part in the nightlife around Portland? If so, here are some options:
If you want interactive fun…
Try mini-golf! With two locations, one downtown and the other in Beaverton, Glowing Greens Mini Golf provides a great atmosphere with its black light mini-golf. With 18 holes, this venue lets you get to know a friend, take someone on a date or accompany the whole family. They are open until 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on the weekends. Minors are welcome the whole time.
Avalon Theater and Wunderland are full of cheap (25 cents) to play classic and modern arcade games. They have five easily accessible locations spanning the Portland area. The game room entrance fee is less than three dollars. They can entertain everyone from kids to teenagers to adults, and are open until 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on the weekends. For additional fees, they have 3-D movies and laser tag. Snacks are also available.
If you’re into dancing, The Escape Nightclub and the FX Nightclub offer places to dance for those under 21 and are open late.
If you want some entertainment…
Most of the music venues in Portland offer concerts for those under 21. There are Hawthorne Theater, Crystal Ballroom and the Roseland Theater, just to name a few.
The website pc-pdx.com/ is a great way to scroll through the calendar for shows all over Portland. You can filter between 21+ and all ages. Many of these concerts are free or $5-$10 and are small enough to get a great view of the artist. Book tickets in advance for the main theaters, as they can sell out months in advance for popular artists.
There are also comedy venues across Portland that provide low-cost or free shows. Helium Comedy Club is free to attend and open to 18+ on Tuesday’s open mic nights. Curious Comedy Club is always open to all ages, although they do not censor content. Food is available.
The Portland Poetry Slam showcases both open mic and slam poetry competitions, and hosts various feature poets from around the nation. Working on an every other week schedule, they are located in the top Mezzanine of Portland Center Stage downtown. The show is free and open to the public, though donations are greatly appreciated. Drink and food are offered are the level below which also includes a homemade cake vending machine (it’s good cake!). All ages are welcome to attend and shows begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Portland State also provides options for a fun sober night out. The PSU Theater hosts all sorts of plays, musicals and opera made both locally and abroad. PSU students get reduced prices on their tickets. 5th Avenue Cinema is located on the PSU Campus and is free for PSU students. Free popcorn is available and they sell candy for $1. The PSU Event Calendar also lists events hosted by clubs and organizations around PSU.
If you get the late night munchies…
Open 24/7, the famous Voodoo Doughnuts is probably the kookiest place to buy a doughnut and has many vegan options. The line is often serenaded by street performers and once inside the decoration makes the wait worth it. Oh, and it’s possible to witness a wedding or two along the way.
The 24-hour Original Hotcake House serves meals for every type of craving, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner. Their menu includes all types of American classics like cheeseburgers and pancakes. Located on SE Powell just outside of downtown, this restaurant works as a quick solo stop or a spot to feed the whole family anytime.
Food carts make up a large portion of Portland’s food scene. There are food cart pods located on Hawthorne, Belmont, Division and downtown. The food is inexpensive and quickly made, but the results are worth it. The Portland Mercado provides all sorts of authentic and quality meals from all types of Hispanic and Latin traditions. Many carts are open as late as 10 p.m. A comprehensive food cart guide can be found at: http://www.foodcartsportland.com/