Why Fort Collins nightlife is more than just parties and bars

Amanda Thompson

Compared to many other cities, Fort Collins is considered small and quaint, yet there is still plenty to do for a fun night out.

As an out-of-state student from Los Angeles, California, I had absolutely no idea Fort Collins had much more to offer other than a continuous house party and bar scene. Granted, Fort Collins is famous for its breweries and unique bars, which is definitely one characteristic that a college town should be proud of. However, I believe that those who are not from Fort Collins or not necessarily into the party scene, should know that there are fun, unique and sometimes quirky places to have a fun Friday or Saturday night.


Bowl ’til you drop

The bowling alley Chipper’s Lanes, has two different locations close to campus and offers various deals and specials throughout the week. Bowling with friends is a great way to take a break from the overly crowded house parties. Chipper’s Lanes also offers drink specials such as $1 domestic drafts on Tuesdays, which is much more affordable than an $8 beerita. On certain nights depending on which location of Chipper’s Lanes you go to, they offer “college nights” that come with $8 unlimited bowling, live music and beer pong.

Game night with a twist

Just because we are all college students now, does not mean that we are too old for a classic game night with board or card games. The Haunted Game Cafe is a great place to grab a bite to eat and play a board game…or 160. With over 160 different board games to choose from, and a year-round Halloween-esque menu, The Haunted Game Cafe promises hours of gaming with a spooky twist. They also host multiple events each month such as “Dungeons and Dragons Encounters”, “Magic The Gathering Tournaments” and “Open Role Playing”…if you’re into that kind of thing. If not, there is no harm in living dangerously and changing up the usual nightly routine to go and check out one of these events, or even to pop in for a “Vampire’s Kiss” (raspberry mocha).

Overlook the entire city

Not only is this an efficient way to clear the head and get away from people, society and life for a bit, but a night drive up to Horsetooth grants you the best view of all the city lights of Fort Collins. Don’t forget to bring the camera and tripod, because if you venture up high enough, you can capture a beautiful scenic picture of the night sky illuminated with stars.

Learn how to salsa like a champ

Gentlemen, if you’re looking for a way to impress the ladies I highly recommend taking salsa lessons at the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant on Tuesdays. On most nights the entrance fee is only $5 for lessons and open dance until closing. The crowd is a mix of beginner to experienced, and college students to older individuals. It is a surprisingly refreshing break from 18–23 year olds, to mix and mingle with people in all different age groups.

Even though this list consists of only a few alternatives from the party scene in Fort Collins, there are always various events and happenings around Old Town and campus. I recommend checking out the City of Fort Collins’s events page monthly for fun activities to do throughout the week.

Collegian Nightlife Blogger Amanda Thompson can be reached at blogs@collegian.com or on Twitter @amanduhh3003.