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College can be tough, and we all need a break sometime. If you’re a college student looking for a fun place to go when you’re taking a break from studying, check out the list below of the best bars in Houston that cater to the cash-strapped crowd with great drink specials. You won’t have to decide between dinner and a good time at these local hotspots.

4500 Washington Avenue
4500 Washington Ave.
Houston, TX  77007
(832) 356-9VIP

Every Thursday, 4500 Washington Avenue opens its doors for College Night with drink specials all night long. As one of the newest Washington Avenue clubs, this place features a great patio outside accented with fountains and a large dancefloor inside. Unlike most Houston nightspots, parking isn’t a problem here. As an added plus, Washington Avenue is 18 and up, so the freshman can take a break and hit the town, too. The dress code is strictly enforced, so look your best before heading out.

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Howl at the Moon
612 Hadley St.
Houston, TX  77002
(713) 658-9700

This famous dueling piano bar features College Night every Thursday with Moon U. The doors open at 7 p.m., so bring your college ID to get in free. Drink specials include $2 16 ounce Miller Lites, $3 Skyy cocktails and $4 bombs. Come to Howl at the Moon to not only be entertained, but to actually be part of the show as well.

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Mix Karaoke Lounge
13151 Bissonnet
Houston, TX  77099
(281) 564-0500

While it’s usually difficult to string the words “karaoke” and “classy” into the same sentence, this is exactly what Mix Karaoke strives to be.  This upscale karaoke experience features food such as pizza, wings and sushi and offers College Night on Thursdays for those 18 and up.  Mix boasts more than 10,000 songs available for those who want to hit the stage after a few drinks. The bar also offers $4 shots on Thursdays and free cover.

Shakespeare Pub
14129 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX  77079
(281) 497-4625

Shakespeare Pub calls itself “Houston’s home of the blues and zydeco.”  This dive-ish bar features College and Industry Night every Tuesday, with specials that include free pool, $2 20 ounce Ziegenbock pints and $2 well drinks with a college ID. The music is loud, the dress code is relaxed and if you’re looking for a good place to hang out with friends and listen to something different than what’s played at the typical Houston bars, Shakespeare is your pub.

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Marquis II
2631 Bissonet St.
Houston, Texas 77005
(713) 522-2090

If you’re looking for a laid back night of games and drinking on a college student’s budget, it doesn’t get much better than Marquis II. This West U neighborhood bar has pool, shuffleboard, a juke box, plenty of TVs to catch the game on and an abundance of wallet-friendly drink specials. If you’re with a group a friends, hit Marquis up on Mondays for $15 domestic buckets. Wednesday offers $3 wells, but if you’re new to this bar, Tuesdays are a must. Go for the $6 regular teas and $7 flavored teas. These are Long Islands with a “everything’s bigger” Texan attitude. Served up in 23 ounce glasses, Texas teas come in a myriad of flavors, including Mandarin, Fanta Orange, Strawberry and Watermelon.

Kristi Rivera is a freelance writer born and bred in Houston, Texas. She is also known as the Rock Band queen, Trivial Pursuit virtuoso and spelling bee champ. She is a lover of music, books, pop culture, blue jeans and high heels. You can find her at some of the best live shows and nightspots in Houston. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.