Northampton is the nightlife magnet of the valley. For a rundown of what's happening, look for the free Valley Advocate (www.valleyadvocate.com).
An old favorite, the Iron Horse Music Hall, 20 Center St. (tel. 413/586-8686; www.iheg.com), hosts a wide variety of artists nearly nightly, from Bruce Cockburn and The Magnetic Fields to regional folk singers and grunge rockers. Cover for live acts is typically between $10 and $20. A sister venue, the Calvin Theatre and Performing Arts Center, 19 King St. (tel. 401/584-1444; www.iheg.com), offers performers as diverse as Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, and touring ballet companies.
Open since 1891, the Academy of Music, 274 Main St. (tel. 413/584-9032; www.academyofmusictheatre.com), shows art-house and foreign films and provides a venue for symphony concerts, children's shows, and local theater.
Bishop's Lounge, 41 Strong Ave. (tel. 413/586-8900; www.mulinos.com), a sophisticated update of the funky old Bay State Hotel, has live music of scattered identity 6 nights a week and karaoke on Sunday.
Classical and chamber music is the customary fare at Smith's Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall (tel. 413/586-8686).
The renovated Pleasant Street Theater, 27 Pleasant St. (tel. 413/584-5848; www.pleasantstreettheater.com), is an independent art movie house. It was recently purchased by the independent Amherst Cinema Art Center, 28 Amity St., Amherst (tel. 413/253-2547; www.amherstcinema.org).
Students and other young adults tend to gravitate toward the livelier music scene in Northampton, but Amherst does offer some nighttime entertainment. Close at hand is The Black Sheep, 79 Main St. (tel. 413/253-3442; www.blacksheepdeli.com), active with Celtic and bluegrass music. (The Black Sheep's cafe has sandwiches and a scrumptious dessert case.) At the Amherst Brewing Company, 24-36 N. Pleasant St. (tel. 413/253-4400; www.amherstbrewing.com), there's good homemade beer, as well as pool tables, foosball, and big TVs.
Amherst College's Buckley Recital Hall (tel. 413/542-2195) hosts chamber music performances that include classical quartets and solo pianists.
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.