Most of Canberra's best cocktail bars, clubs, and pubs can be found around Garema Place and nearby City Walk, and in the Sydney and Melbourne Buildings, or head farther afield to Kingston and Manuka.
For grown-up drinks, the Muddle Bar on West Row (tel. 02/6262 7898) does great cocktails. Of the pubs in town, the best in the city center are the British-style Wig & Pen, on the corner of Limestone and Alinga streets (tel. 02/6248 0171), which brews its own beers; the popular Moosehead's Pub, 105 London Circuit, in the south of the city (tel. 02/6257 6496) and the Phoenix, 21 East Row (tel. 02/6247 1606). King O'Malleys, 131 City Walk (tel. 02/6257 0111), is another popular Irish pub in the city, despite (or perhaps because of) being named after the man responsible for ensuring that alcohol was illegal in the ACT from 1910 until 1928. When Federal Parliament moved to Canberra in 1927, one of the first pieces of legislation passed in the new Parliament House was the repeal of O'Malley's prohibition laws.
Casino Canberra, 21 Binara St., Civic, in Glebe Park (tel. 02/6257 7074), is a small, older-style casino offering all the usual casino games daily from noon to 6am. Dress regulations prohibit leisurewear, running shoes, and denim, but overall it's a good place to lose money.
For details on what's happening on the Canberra party scene check out www.outincanberra.com.au.
If you're looking for something different to do on a Friday night, try the Weird Canberra Ghost and History Tour. Led by "cryptonaturalist" Tim the Yowie Man (yes, that's his real name; he changed it after spotting an unidentified big black hairy creature in Canberra's Brindabella Mountains in 1994), the 3-hour tour visits around 20 weird and/or spooky sites, including a funeral parlor that was once a hot bed of espionage activity, a haunted pioneer's house, the hotel room where one of Australia's prime ministers died, and a very spooky air-disaster memorial that had us all shrieking in terror when weird orbs appeared in our photographs. Tours depart on selected Friday evenings at 8pm and cost A$74. Tours are very popular, so book in advance. To check dates and for additional information, visit www.destinytours.com.au/canberra.htm or call tel. 02/9487 2895.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.