*Note: Article has been updated 25 March 2015 to include additional happenings. Thanks to Craig H. for the suggestions.
Downtown Lowell has a thriving late-night scene, bars and nightclubs galore. From throwing back a few drinks at Finn’s to listening to local bands at the Last Safe and Deposit Co., the over-21 crowd will never find themselves without something to do.
But what is there to do for those who are under 21?
“A modern arcade” is what Electronic Horizon calls itself. Considering buying a Ps3, but not sure if you’ll like it? Interested in playing some League of Legends in person with other gamers around you instead of in your dorm, Skyping with your friend across campus? Head over to Electronic Horizon to hang out with some like-minded gamers and meet some potential Player Twos. The store has consoles ranging from GameCubes to Xbox 360s and PlayStation 3s. They also have a handful of PCs to cater to your MMORPG desires. For a list of available games and to see upcoming tournaments, check out Electronic Horizon on Facebook or visit their website: http://www.electronichorizon.com/.
The United Teen Equality Center (UTEC) is a center for teens and young adults to escape the influence of gang violence and help keep them off the streets. They have been serving young adults between the ages of 16-24, from both Lawrence and Lowell, since 1999 and have become recognized for their success in helping the lives of these at-risk youths. Starting in 2006, UTEC began to incorporate skills that can be used in the workforce. This lead to the 2014 public opening of Café UTEC, a small café that serves soups, salad, sandwiches and beverages (including in house-made ginger lemonade!) For more information about UTEC and the café’s full menu, check out www.utec-lowell.org and www.cafeutec.org, respectively. The café is open from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
The Merrimack Repertory Theater (MRT) is Lowell’s professional, non-profit theater company. Having opened in 1979 in UML’s Mahoney Hall, the theater relocated in 1983 to Liberty Hall, a 279-seat theater adjacent to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. To date, the MRT has produced more than 200 productions, including 16 world premieres. Seven plays are produced each season, September through May. While adult tickets run from $25-$65, student tickets are available with a valid ID for just $15. To find out about upcoming productions, visit www.mrt.org.
Found yourself wandering around Downtown Lowell between the hours of 9 p.m. and midnight? Well, wiggle your way down to Wings Over! With a huge selection of wing types, ribs, sandwiches and sauce flavors, Wings Over is a must-eat for any Lowell dweller at some point in their time here. Their hours are great for college students and the general night-owl, being open until 1 a.m. every night – can’t forget to mention that delivery runs until 1 a.m. too. If you and a group of friends (or half the floor in your residence hall) find yourselves quite hungry, order the $115-dollar Aircraft Carrier: two racks of ribs, 60 wings, over six pounds of boneless wings, two large fries, two large onion rings and three two-liter sodas. This makes for the perfect group get-together or, from experience, a floor-wide “Wingsgiving” in late November!
This restaurant makes nearly every list of mine that has to do with anything regarding food and Downtown Lowell. El Potro is an authentic Mexican and Central American restaurant, located on right Merrimack Street in the heart of Downtown. Unlike other restaurants around the city that become 21+ after a certain time, El Potro is open to all ages at all times. This being their second location, you can tell they’re doing something right – the only way to dislike El Potro is if you aren’t a fan of Mexican food. It’s a great spot to hit if you’re with a mixed-ages crowd: aside from incredible food, they serve delicious margaritas!
Brew’d is the perfect typical coffeehouse – great drinks, tasty bagels and muffins and live music from time to time. Every first and third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Brew’d hosts a spoken word and poetry night, and on select weekend days they host acoustic coffeehouse-style performances. A great addition to the atmosphere is the music on the walls, both painted permanently and on exhibit. Currently, the artwork of Lowell resident Josh Primeau is being displayed. Visit www.brewdawakening.com for the menu and upcoming live performances and art exhibits.
A hidden gem in Downtown Lowell, Mill No. 5 was originally a weaving and spinning mill which operated up until the early 20th century. Today, the old mill building has been renovated (using pieces of salvaged buildings throughout New England) into an indoor shopping plaza that houses many different quirky shops such as Vinyl Destination, an independent record store, and Botanie, a florist where buyers are able to purchase not only terrariums but also pieces of jewelry made from recycled materials. Along with the many shops that Mill No. 5 has to offer there is an indoor flea market that takes place on the first Saturday of every month where shoppers can purchase homemade products from local artists and vendors.
Since its grand opening in September of 2014, the Luna Theater has been one of Mill No. 5’s biggest attractions, drawing in young and old film buffs alike. Nothing like any of the big-chain multiplex theaters, the Luna Theater offers a more artsy and intimate setting, giving guests the choice to pick between sitting in one of the big red lounge chairs or at the bar at the very back of the theater while viewing either a cult classic, an independent film, or a live music/theater performance. Tickets for all of the shows are under $10. For more information, visit www.lunalowell.com.
Art lovers should check out the Zeitgeist Gallery. Located at 167 Market St., the Zeitgeist Gallery is a non-profit organization originally founded in Cambridge Mass before its relocation to Lowell in 2012. The goal of the gallery is to bring art and creative minds to the Lowell community and to build a better understanding of visual art. The gallery consists of an exhibition space which houses monthly themed shows that change monthly, a gift shop that sells hand-crafted items and an artist collaborative which gives local artists a place to display their work. The gallery is open from 12 p.m. – 7 p. m. Wednesday – Saturday and on Sundays from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Stressed out and need to clear your mind? Bored and looking for something to do? Like watching ducks swim by? Check out the Lowell Canal System Trails! Part of the Lowell National Historical Park, the system of canals spans nearly 2 miles through downtown Lowell. Tours include guided walking and trolley tours which are both free, canal boat tours which cost $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 for children and, if you are like me and like to avoid crowds of people, the self-guided walking tour. The canal walkway is open to the public from May 15 – Oct. 15 when river conditions permit.
Connector Editor Jen Desrosiers contributed to this article.