New York’s capital city of Albany and nearby Saratoga Springs feature superb facilities for group business, including the Albany Capital Center and the renovated Gideon Putnam hotel. Both regions also overflow with after-hours entertainment that will keep attendees entertained into the evening.

Following are some standout nightlife experiences for groups in Albany and Saratoga Springs.

Nightlife Experiences in Albany

Staged performances, football games and tours that highlight the area’s best restaurants and craft breweries are among the many activities to choose from at the close of business when meeting in Albany, according to Jill Delaney, president/CEO of Discover Albany.

“We’re lucky because we have a lot of diverse activities in a very compact, walkable downtown, so groups can stick together or they can poke around and do myriad different things, and all are very convenient to hotels and convention facilities,” she said.

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For those who prefer a lift, Delaney added that Albany launched the Capital City Trolley in 2018. It runs every 20 minutes, from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, giving groups access to attractions and places to grab a bite.

Attendees can hop on the trolley to travel between the Albany Capital Center or Times Union Center and various bars and eateries, including City Beer Hall, Ama Cocina, Hollow Bar + Kitchen, Excelsior Pub and Speakeasy 518.

City Beer Hall, Albany, New York, Credit: Tony Colasurdo
City Beer Hall, Albany, New York, Credit: Tony Colasurdo

The trolley also stops near the Albany Institute of History & Art, Palace Theatre, Capital Repertory Theatre and Lark Street, which is considered Albany’s “Village in the City.”

“The trolley has become a real connector for this area, making it possible for visitors who come here without cars to really get out and enjoy more of what Albany has to offer,” Delaney said.

“It’s free, it’s convenient and it’s easy to use,” she added. “All you have to do is download the Cityfinder app and it will tell you where and when to catch a ride.”

Guided outings are also available to groups, including a bicycle tour during the warmer months facilitated by Capital City Cycle Tours that explores Albany’s Warehouse District, home of Capital Craft Beverage Trail watering holes.

Another F&B outing is run by Taste of Troy Food Tours, which presents the Historic Downtown Albany Food Tour, a walking excursion that features tastes from five local restaurants. The company also provides customized group activities, including happy hour events.

Various ticketed events provide even more opportunities to entertain groups.

Capital Repertory Theatre, an award-winning performance venue, showcases the works of new and emerging playwrights. According to Delaney, group rates are available, and receptions can be arranged.

The Albany Empire football team, which celebrated its first season last year, plays at Times Union Center. Group rates and customized group experiences, including taking pictures with the players, are available.

“The Albany Empire has really made themselves a part of the fabric of this community in a very short time,” Delaney said. “Games are big community events, and they are a great way to experience this city.”

Nightlife Experiences in Saratoga Springs

Live entertainment is also aplenty in Saratoga Springs, where groups can check out a stand-up act at The Comedy Works, watch a band perform at Putnam Place or dance the night away at Vapor Night Club, which is located at Saratoga Casino Hotel.

“And that doesn’t even include the long list of shows happening at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the city’s famous outdoor amphitheater located within Saratoga Spa State Park,” said Talia Cass, director of marketing and communications for Discover Saratoga.

Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, New York, Credit: Chris Lee
Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, New York, Credit: Chris Lee

Saratoga Springs is also a particularly great spot for gaming, she added, including slots and electronic table games at Saratoga Casino Hotel, arcade games in a bar environment at Sinclair Saratoga, and placing bets on beautiful horses at Saratoga Race Course, which is easily one of the most iconic attractions in Upstate New York.

Group poker runs could also be arranged, during which attendees collect a playing card at several participating bars and the best poker hand at the end wins.

“Discover Saratoga organizes the locations and logistics, so the poker run is walkable and seamless for the planner,” Cass said. “The activity allows groups to get out of their element and play games while networking over a cocktail.”

If the group strictly prefers beer, Spa City Brew Bus operates customizable brew tours.

Or maybe the group would enjoy cruising Saratoga Lake and the Adirondacks.

“Multiple cruise lines in Saratoga County offer seasonal and evening cruises for groups,” Cass said. “Talk about the perfect way to unwind after a long day of seminars and meetings!”

Albany and Saratoga Springs CVB Contact Information

Discover Albany

Discover Saratoga