Troubadours play most evenings and weekend afternoons at the Casa de la Cultura (tel. 042/20-7181), on the west side of Parque Vidal .
UNEAC (National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists, Máximo Gómez e/ Martí/Vicente, www.uneac.com ) has cultural events.
The no-frills, overly air-conditioned Piano Bar (Luis Estevez #13, e/ Independencia y Parque Vidal, tel. 042/21-5215, daily 9 p.m.–1 a.m.) hosts boleros, instrumental music, and trova.
Casa de la Ciudad (Independencia #102, esq. Juan Bruno Zayas, tel. 042/20-5593, Mon. 8 a.m.–noon, Tues.–Fri. 8 a.m.–noon and 1–5 p.m., Sat. 1:30–10 p.m., Sun. 6–10 p.m., CUC1) hosts cultural activities.
Everything from comedy to live music is featured at Bar Club Bulevá (Independencia #225, e/ Unión y Maceo, tel. 042/21-6236, daily 10 p.m.–2:30 a.m., CUC2), a hip space where performances are followed by disco.
Get the ball rolling with a shot of rum at Bar Marquesina (tel. 043/22-4848, daily 10 a.m.–1 a.m.), on the northwest corner of Plaza Vidal.
El Mejunje (Marta Abreu #107, e/ Zayas y Alemán, Tues.–Fri. 10 p.m.–4 a.m., Sat. 5 p.m.–4 a.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.), an open-air space amid brick ruins, hosts a varying program, from rap to traditional trova (some of the best in Cuba), but is famous nationwide for its LGBTQ (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer) Saturday night parties.
A small cabaret is hosted at La Casa del Gobernador (Independencia, esq. Zayas, tel. 042/20-2273, Fri.–Sun. 9 p.m.–2 a.m., CUC5).
Artex El Bosque (Carretera Central, tel. 042/20-4444, Wed.–Sun. 9 p.m.–2 a.m., CUC1), overhanging the Río Cubanicay, also has an open-air cabaret at 10:30 p.m.
And outside town, Cubanacán Villa La Granjita (Carretera Malez, Km 2.5, tel. 042/22-8190) has a nightly “Fiesta Campesina” show poolside at 9:30 p.m.
There’s a cinema on the west side of the main square and another, Cine Cubanacán, on the Bulevar; pop into the Bar Daiquiri for a post-movie trago (daily noon–midnight). Classical and other performances are hosted at Teatro la Caridad (Tues., Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 9 p.m., 5 pesos).
Baseball is hosted October–May at Estadio Sandino (Avenida 9 de Abril), about one mile east of Parque Vidal .
Children may get a kick out of the lions, leopards, hyenas, etc. at Parque Zoológico Camilo Cienfuegos (Av. Martí, Tues.–Sun. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., one peso), but the beasts are kept in primitive conditions.