Entertainment options outside Campustown area

Like the rest of the student body, school consumes most of my time. Now that classes are back in session and the monotonous bliss of summer has ended, the weekends are regaining their radiant glory. Ames has a lot of options for entertainment. Aside from the bars, there are plenty of parks, two movie theaters and a handful of wonderful restaurants. If you like to drink and socialize but are burnt out on the Campustown scene, I suggest you visit two of my favorite local watering holes — Thumbs and DG’s Tap House.

Thumbs, 2816 West St., features excellent drink specials every night. Thumbs is open seven days a week and is home to the longest happy hour in town — 2 to 8 p.m. every day. While every night is special, the best bang for your buck is offered Thursday nights: the legendary 75 cent gin and tonic night.

The atmosphere at Thumbs is unlike anywhere else in Ames; there is a comforting lack of bro-dudes sweatily grinding and an awesome selection of music on the juke box. On any given night, the swirling sounds of 20-minute Phish jams weave in and out of hip-hop, classic rock, folk and bluegrass that echo throughout the bar. For those of you who are searching for a place to get away from the dance club or country music atmosphere, go to Thumbs.

However, my favorite part about Thumbs is the interesting people you’ll meet. Thumbs is haunted by the die-hard, loyal group of regulars but also caters to the ramblers. You never know whom you might encounter, and it’s always exciting seeing the characters ambling in. I have made a lot of great friends and had a lot of great times at Thumbs, and it is a place that will remain close to my heart forever.

Across town, there is another great place that exists off the radar — DG’s Tap House, 127 Main St. Directly above the Corner Pocket, DG’s offers live music lovers a great place to go to shows while enjoying an extravagant selection of craft beers from around the world.

Looking back, some of my fondest memories of my time at Iowa State have been spent gyrating on the hardwood dance floor to the booming reverberations of DG’s high-quality sound system while enjoying $2 pints of delicious beer courtesy of Ames’ finest local brewery, Olde Main.

DG’s has a diverse list of shows lined up for the fall featuring local and national touring acts like Euforquestra, Radio Moscow, Murder by Death, Mountain Standard Time, Wookiefoot, Jon Wayne and the Pain and many more.

While focusing heavily on bands within the country’s vibrant jam scene, DG’s also showcases bluegrass and reggae with a few indie rock shows here and there. For more information on upcoming shows at DG’s Tap House, visit its website.