|(Photo credit: Courtesy of FAME Media)|
…if you want to party with the big kids
Your older siblings might have come to this converted cathedral way back in the nineties when it was called Limelight. A few years—and a number of drug busts—later, the space was taken over by a national chain (there are Avalons in L.A. and Boston) and received a mega club-style makeover, complete with neon lights, a booming sound system, backlit bars, and plenty of VIP rooms. Depending on the night, a drag queen or two will take you back to the club's more sinful days, but for the most part, Avalon attracts an outer-borough crowd that dances to the house and trance music pumping through the main dance floor and side lounge, a.k.a. "The Chapel." Admission is the only perk here, but if you want to club it up like a grown-up, Avalon is as close as you can get. (Plus you can tell your parents you went to church over the weekend.)
660 Sixth Ave., at 20th St., 212-807-7780; May 13-14, 19-21, 26-28, June 2-4, 9-11, 17-18, 23-24; $45 at afterpromnyc.com.
…if you're an uptown prep-schooler that never leaves the bubble
According to the A-Group at Horace Mann, Marymount, and Dalton, this former nightspot-turned-private club on the Upper West Side is the place to hold your after-prom. Crane comes with a huge dance floor and bar in the back (serving soda and virgin cocktails, of course), and a more intimate side lounge with tables and banquettes for those seniors who haven't quite perfected their dance moves. Party organizer Stav Vaisman promises big name talent (He recently booked rapper Fat Joe at his last teen party) and guest hosts (a few One Tree Hill stars and a certain red-headed It Girl are in talks to appear). There will even be giveaways from sponsors like Verizon Wireless. Think twice before smuggling in that "water bottle"—students will get searched by security guards.
408 Amsterdam Ave., between 79th and 80th Sts., 212-877-3097; May 12-14, 18-21, 25-29, 31-June 4; June 7-11, 17-18, 22-24; proms4u.com; $40.
…if your school enforced a strict no same-sex date rule
Switch partners at this young gay haven. Three floors (named heaven, hell, and purgatory) mean three chances to see young, fit, and shirtless boys (and sometimes even girls) dancing to bubblegum pop and retro dance hits. There's a different theme every night (Latin Wednesdays, Lesbian Fridays), but Heaven's most faabulous fete is its Saturday night, 18-and-up "Gay College Party" that could easily double as a listening session for every Britney Spears CD made. Ever. But don't worry that you'll stick out among the co-eds—it's more likely you'll be over the hill by Heaven's standards.
579 Sixth Ave., between 16th and 17th Sts., 212-243-6100; Daily, 5 p.m.-4 a.m.; $15 at the door.
…if you're not dancing at the prom, so there's no way you're dancing at the after-prom
Comic Strip Live
Sharing laughs can be just as intimate as sharing a slow dance—and your palms won't end up as sweaty, either. Credited as the birth place of such famous comedians as Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Dave Attell, and Eddie Murphy, these days you're more likely to catch an up-and-comer at Comic Strip Live who provides witty one-liners on a VH1 special. The Strip's "Limo to Laughter" prom package includes a commemorative Playbill, free food, and unlimited soda and juice. And if you think you've got the chops to entertain, you can enter the "Funniest Grad" contest for more freebies and a video tape of your performance (perfect to submit for next season's Last Comic Standing).
1568 Second Ave., between 81st and 82nd Sts., 212-861-9386; May 13, 18-20, 25-27, 29; June 1-4, 7-11, 17-18, 23-28; two shows per night, 12:30 a.m. or 1 a.m., and 2 a.m. or 2:30 a.m.; $35 at comicstriplive.com.
…if you don't have a curfew
Add a little spice to your night by making your first after-prom stop this Latin-themed club that was the inspiration for Barry Manilow's hit song (ask your parents). Copacabana relocated to the West side, but live salsa and merengue bands still rule the main disco ball-lit dance floor, along with an additional downstairs lounge that skews modern with a DJ spinning R&B and hip-hop. When you're finally ready to kick off your dancing shoes, board the complimentary cruise ship that sails around the New York City harbor during sun rise while you refuel and recap over a full continental breakfast.
Copacabana, 560 W. 34th St., at Eleventh Ave., 212-239-2672, 1 a.m.-4 a.m.; Sunrise Cruise, Pier 40, West Side Hwy at W. Houston St., 212-239-2672; 4 a.m.-6 a.m.; May 19-20, 26-27; June 2-3, 8-10, 23; $60 at ticketmaster.com.