You’ve been cooped up all winter — now is the time to enjoy being outdoors again. 

Take advantage of Battle Creek’s social district to take your happy hour into the sunshine. It works like this: Go to one of the following venues, order a drink in a to-go cup with the State Street Commons logo and take it outside. The district is marked by signs throughout downtown.  

Sit by the river. Wander around Michigan Avenue. Get an Instagram pic in front of a mural. Find a bench under a tree. Hang out in the fresh air while waiting for a restaurant table to open. 

Your choices for libations include the following: 

Café Rica 

These baristas bring the same attention to detail they have for their lattes to a cocktail. Try a classic, such as the old fashioned or the Bloody Maria. Or jazz up your cocktail with coffee, like the Cafe Rican which has Noire rum, peach bitters, simple syrup and iced cold brew.  

And while it’s not to-go, we can’t talk happy hour and not mention Cafe Rica’s cocktail flights. Bring some friends and choose between margaritas, mojitos, mimosas, old fashioneds and wine. 

Cricket Club 

If you don’t need to look at a menu because you know exactly what kind of cocktail you want, then challenge the bartenders at Cricket Club. Besides mixology, the bar also has a wide selection of draft beer. 

Griffin Pub and Grill 

An Irish-inspired pub is a no-brainer if you love Guinness, but Griffin has a versatile bar. Check out the draft specials. The mules are especially popular. They have 12 varieties, including the dragon mule and the mango mule. 

Handmap Brewing 

At Handmap, you know exactly where your beer comes from — take a look through the window into the brewery. The Rye of Sunshine IPA is a good place to start, or get a taste of Battle Creek with the cereal-infused Two Can. We’ve also been told the Pineapple Soury tastes like summer. 

Kitchen Proper 

This upscale restaurant made its name with truly genuine, locally sourced food. Their wine dinners can be sellouts. But did you know they also have a rocking cocktail list? They’re the kind of drinks that you’ll want to sip and savor in the evening. Maybe at one of downtown Battle Creek’s outdoor summer concerts. 

Torti Taco Bar & Grill 

A cold Corona beer on a hot summer day is classic, but it’s a shame to miss out on Torti Taco’s creative cocktail menu and seafood bar. Mezcal and tequila go well with oysters, so maybe slurp some fresh oysters with an original cocktail such as the Mango Ahumado (tequila, mezcal, mango, ginger, lime) or the Oaxacanite (tequila, mezcal, honey, lime, bitters). 

Clara’s on the River 

Clara’s does have nice outdoor seating on the garden patio, if you’re in the mood for food. But they also have the perfect summer drink to pair with downtown festivals. The Gilligan’s Island has coconut rum, melon liqueur, Captain Morgan’s, creme de banana, amaretto, orange juice and pineapple juice, then it’s finished with a little bit of sweet and sour mix and grenadine.