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Best Colorado Springs Nightlife

AOL PICK from our Editors
Colorado Springs offers a full range of evening entertainment, with a full slate of concerts and stage shows. Several small local theater companies, including one at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and one in Manitou Springs, make for a packed performing-arts calendar. Two major venues offer top-notch shows on a regular basis: Colorado College opened its Cornerstone Arts Center a few years ago and offers everything from poetry readings to avant-garde productions, all open to the public. And Theatreworks at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs also has excellent productions. For an overview of local arts events, check out Peak Radar. The bar scene tends to be focused on Tejon Street downtown—at least the bars visitors would want to frequent. The ones mentioned here have a less-rowdy clientele, but many offer live music, dancing and general frivolity. Most downtown bars get lively for happy hour, and close at 2AM. For upscale bars, cruise The Broadmoor, which has a newly remodeled bar in Broadmoor West, the classy Hotel Bar in the main building, and various other spots scattered throughout the complex. You can dance to live ballroom-style music in the Penrose Room (but then you’d have to drop a couple hundred bucks for dinner) or you can do the cotton-eyed Joe at Cowboys.

Pikes Peak Center

Neighborhood: Downtown
Two venues pretty much fill the bill when it comes to concerts and shows in Colorado Springs. The Pikes Peak Center is home to the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and a touring Broadway series, which brings major traveling productions to town such as Mamma Mia and Spamalot—albeit a year later than Denver. Check the venues’ calendars online for a full schedule of upcoming events.

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Jack Quinn Irish Alehouse & Pub

Neighborhood: Downtown
Ever hear of a bar where the patrons run before drinking? Well, that’s the deal at Jack Quinn’s, a popular downtown watering hole that sponsors a running club. A thousand runners have been known to show up on a Tuesday night to do the 5K run through downtown before ending up at the pub. Typical Irish grub is served, along with imported libations. Irish-themed bands often play live music here, starting about 7PM. And we won’t even talk about what happens here on St. Patrick’s Day.

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Golden Bee

Neighborhood: Broadmoor/Southwest
The Broadmoor imported this quaint 19th-century English pub…from England. And reassembled it here. So it really is authentic. It has a much more relaxed atmosphere than the hotel’s other bars and dining venues. We enjoy singing along to the ragtime piano player’s tunes, which start up about 8:30PM and go till last call at 1AM. There’s a camaraderie here that locals love. So raise a pint—or a yard of beer (exactly what it sounds like) and toast the hotel’s affordable side.

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Southside Johnny's

Neighborhood: Downtown
Despite all the motorcycles parked outside, Southside Johnny’s really isn’t a “biker bar.” It may be a little rough around the edges, but it has lots of room for gatherings large and small. Good parking (a rarity downtown) and good local bands draw customers in for happy hour—and beyond—on a regular basis. The music starts about 7PM and goes till around midnight. They serve decent, if typical, bar food (wings, quesadillas, nachos) that won’t knock your socks off, but aren’t bad, either. And it’s a companionable place—you’ll never drink alone.

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Cowboys

Neighborhood: Downtown
Put on your dancin’ boots and practice your Texas two-step if you want to fit right in at Cowboys, a local nightclub that started in 1986 and moved downtown in recent years. Country music—both live and recorded—will get your toes to tappin’. It can get a little rowdy at times, but that’s just the way cowboy bars/clubs are. Some nights are concert nights and you need tickets, others are just for fun, but there is a $10 cover charge. If you are two-step impaired, they give free Western dance lessons if you get there before 7PM on Sundays. Cowboys doesn’t open till 5PM most nights and doesn’t answer phones before then.

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World Arena

Neighborhood: Broadmoor/Southwest
The World Arena hosts Colorado College hockey games in the winter, along with ice shows and large-scale events like Walking with Dinosaurs. Major concerts here have included Cher, Elton John, the Eagles and Sugarland. Check the venues’ calendars online for a full schedule of upcoming events.

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