7 Ways to Break Up Your Boring Bar Routine in NYC

It’s great to have a place where the bartender keeps your fave cans of beer on ice or doesn’t need to ask what you’re having, because she’s already pouring it when you walk in the door.

But, for those who need a break in the routine, there are plenty of experiences that pair drinking with activities to lure folks out of their local watering holes and into some fun.

We're not saying you have to stop drinking (although one of us tried that, and it's harder than it looks), we're just saying you should try mixing things up a li'l bit.

Don’t worry—your barstool will still be waiting for you when you return.

Here are our picks for getting out of your go-to bar (but staying on the wagon):

Have a drink and get creative

Maybe by this point you’ve been to so many wine and painting events that your apartment walls are covered with amateurish artwork like clumsy cityscapes and wonky wildlife. Luckily there is even more art-making that pairs nicely with alcohol!


PlantNite hosts events around the city where guests come to create terrariums while drinking. Tabletop gardening looks like a project that would have easily consumed any one of our afternoons from childhood (plus the booze, minus the Barbie heads).

Have a drink and solve a mystery

Watched enough CSI to qualify for an online criminal justice degree? Then it’s time to get in on the action. Live in Theater hosts interactive, oft-hilarious murder mysteries where guests get to try out their investigative chops.

The outdoor, immersive plays are a lot of fun, and there are a number of experiences to choose from. Shows take place on Saturdays and include an open bar in the ticket price at Arlene’s Grocery (95 Stanton Street).

Have a drink and see some animals


Lemurs, sea lions and bears, oh my! The Bronx Zoo (2300 Southern Blvd. – Bronx) will be holding their Brew at the Zoo event on June 16. After stopping by to see their spirit animals, guests will have the opportunity to sample over 100 varieties of wine and beer.

There will also be animal trivia, a live band, DJs and karaoke (Please be kind to the animals; it’s no fun to be caged in when bad karaoke is going on.)

Have a drink and a sail


Manhattan by Sail and Urban Oyster have teamed up to offer a Craft Beer Tasting Sail aboard the Clipper City, a steel-hulled schooner with six fore-and-aft rigged sails and two square topsails.

Starting May 20th, tours take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and depart from Slip 2 at the South side of Battery Park. The ride lasts around an hour and 45 minutes and includes five craft beer tastings paired with cheese and charcuterie. You'll be talking like a pirate in no time.

Have a drink and learn something


If you’ve ever daydreamed about drinking a beer during class, you’re in luck. The American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West & 79th Street) hosts an after-hours series with cocktails, conversation, and informal talks on current science topics called SciCafe.

SciCafe is held on the first Wednesday of the month through June and is free for guests 21+ with a valid ID. So, on June 7 there's one last chance to get in on the Nye-style fun this year. If you decide to get your geek on, you should be in good company: events are primarily standing room only.

Have a drink and go for a bike ride (not at the same time, of course)


Who says exercising can’t be fun? For those who want to combine their fitness goals with their love of alcohol, Levy’s Unique New York offers a Boozin’ in Brooklyn bike tour.


With winery and brewery destination options, tours can be customized for guests, making perky peddlers of both winos and beer snobs.

Have a drink and see a movie


No, we’re not talking about sneaking a can of beer into the movie theater and faking a cough to drown out the all-too-recognizable sound it makes as you pull back the tab. There are theaters in this town that actually sell beer and wine.

Williamsburg’s Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Avenue – Brooklyn) goes one step beyond and creates movie-themed food and drink specials to match their marquee offering. 

During their Film Feasts screenings audiences are served themed food and drinks during the specific moments that inspired them. Cue the fava beans and Chianti.

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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