The University of New Hampshire has a lot more to offer at night than you’d think. It’s the weekend, Wildcats, and maybe you’re not sure what to do. Whether you’re looking to try out somewhere new, or just want to know more about your favorite places, I’ve got you covered. I’ve put together a few of the best spots for nightlife in or around Durham, New Hampshire. If you want casual drinks and dinner, or want to stay out all night at the bar, there’s something here for you. Nights spent at the following places will have you begging for Friday, all week long.
Libby’s Bar & Grill
Libby’s is located on Main Street right in downtown Durham. College kids line up here every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night to get the best drink deals. “Thirsty Thursday’s” offer a variety of drink deals, such as $2 drinks starting at 8. Yes, $2 drinks and they’re not cheap, watered-down drinks, these are good. Of course, there are other nights with cheap drinks but Thursdays are one of the busiest. Libby’s also has a huge basement with club-like vibes where everyone goes to drink and dance the night away. They host fun events such as Bachelor watch parties, bingo nights, senior nights, and karaoke. Of course, you can go there to watch both professional or UNH sports games. Besides alcohol, you can also for dinner for delicious burgers, salads, sandwiches, nachos, etc. I highly recommend the nachos.
Scorpions Bar and Grill
Scorpions, or Scorps, is your next step in the night after Libby’s. Usually, students start at Libby’s for their drink deals and make their way over to Scorps soon after. Luckily, they couldn’t be closer to each other. They too offer amazing drink deals, such as $2 drinks between 8-10 pm, $5 pitchers, and sometimes even $1 drinks. Stop by for a trivia night, where you can win a variety of cool prizes. With only two main bars downtown, lines get long and Durham is extremely cold. Win a “cut the line” certificate at trivia for a great, warm start to kick off your weekend. During Halloween, they have costume contests, and on a handful of nights, you can find live music performances. Scorps has so many great nights to offer, so why not head down and give it a try?
Located in Newmarket just a few minute’s drive from downtown Durham, Kume is a delicious place for dinner and drinks, or a fun place to get drinks before going out. If you like Japanese food, this is the place for you. Not only are their chicken, Lo Mein, rice, and dumplings amazing, but their sushi is so fresh and full of taste. If you’ve never tried scallion pancakes, order a plate for you and your friends to share, I promise they’ll be your new favorite obsession. Forget their food, let’s talk drinks. Kume offers daily drink specials such as Mai Tai Monday, Tini Tuesday, Wine Wednesday and Thirsty Thursday. Each of these specials takes a significant amount of money off your bill with cheaper-than-normal drink prices. My favorite drink here is a Mango Tango, which is a coconut rum and pineapple based drink. Be careful though, you’re going to want more than just one.
The Stone Church Music Club
The Stone Church Music Club is located in Newmarket, just behind Kume Bistro. The Stone Church is a great place for live music and drinks all while being in a fun and friendly environment. It has more of a chill vibe rather than Libby’s or Scorps, offering all different genres of music. They have designated country nights, Irish folk nights, stand up comedy shows, open mic nights, and many local band performances. Thursday nights are known as “UNH nights” where bands created by UNH students can take the stage and make a name for themselves. Weekend shows are almost always sold out, so make sure to get your tickets ahead of time. Tickets are either pretty cheap or free, depending on the event. Most shows are 18+, but there are so exclusive 21+ shows. Of course, though, you have to be 21 to order drinks at the bar. Check their website for a list of shows that may interest you!
603 Bar and Lounge
Located in Dover, New Hampshire, 603 is a night club that has many hot New England D.J. performances. It’s open 7 days a week, but Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights offer the best experiences. With D.J.’s, killer lights and intense sounds, 603 is guaranteed to offer you an amazing weekend. D.J’s and dancing are the main event of the night taking place from 9 pm to 1 am. There are a variety of drink deals, such as $2 drafts, $3 Fireball shots and $4 cocktails. With prices like that, you can’t go wrong. Besides the weekends, there are weekday deals as well. Tuesday’s half off drinks and apps, Wednesday’s 35 cent wings and karaoke and Thursday’s half-off drinks between 8 and 10 pm. Unless you have a designated driver, you will most likely be Ubering to and from 603, so these cheap drinks are extra appreciated!
Portsmouth Gas Light Co.
With a grill, deck, pizza pub, and third-floor nightclub, you can’t go wrong at the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. Let’s talk about the third-floor nightclub, sounds fun, doesn’t it? Located right in the heart of downtown Portsmouth, it’s the perfect place to party. Celebrate something special here, such as birthdays, job landings, or graduations. The nightclub is open from 9 pm to 1:30 am and has so much to offer. Between ladies’ nights, St. Patrick’s day celebrations, glow parties and Brewfests, you’ll never be bored at the Gas Light Co. Even on weekdays if you need a break from studying, they’re always hosting events such as live music or trivia nights.
Of course, there’s always nightlife beyond the bars. UNH has a variety of sports teams, fraternity’s, and other organizations that get together to party as well. House parties are fun because you get the chance to meet a ton of new people of all different ages. Many apartments and townhouses throw parties, they’re just harder to find then heading to the bars. The scene at these parties is mostly freshman and sophomores, and a handful of juniors, who slowly make their way to the bar as they turn 21. Make the most of your time at house parties, because they definitely make for the best memories.
Now that you know the best nightlife near Durham, where are you headed first? Let us know your favorite places below!
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Kenley Stevenson grew up on Long Island, New York. Being a short train ride from New York City, opportunities for her to create and grow were endless. Now, she is currently a junior English/Journalism major at the University of New Hampshire. On top of Society19, she also write articles for Trill! Magazine. She has a huge passion for food, fashion, and anything related to today’s pop culture, and hopes to spend her future writing about it.