Grinnell, IA
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4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: While it may seem like nightlife revolves solely around partying, there are endless things to do on weekends out in the cornfields. Virtually everyone stays on campus on the weekends, and a typical weekend's offerings will include one or two activities held by Weekend, the really fun sub-free group on campus, a Harris party once every three weeks, a handful of off-campus parties, or simply hanging out with friends in someone's dorm room and watching a movie.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There are a lot of different options for nightlife in Grinnell. No matter what you're interested in, there is something for you to do. Every two weeks or so, there is an All-Campus party at the Harris Convention Center. They always have fun themes, and people get really into them. Weekend is our sub-free program on campus. Every weekend, they offer substance-free events like bingo, free movies, or cookie-decorating. It's always a good time.

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4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There are a lot of options for students on campus. There are parties every weekend, and there are also substance free opportunities such as Bingo, Karaoke, and bowling.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: There's a lot of events that happen on campus, but they tend to end rather early.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: The night life is fairly calm. The college does a good job of pairing people with similar sleep habits. Most people are too busy doing homework to party and stay up late on the week days.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 231st
    Best Drink Prices
  • 268th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 1103rd
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Akshay Bajaj
Mumbai, India
View all previous student authors

Grinnell students study hard and party hard. Every weekend there’s at least one party going on, so drunken debauchery is never lacking. The most well-known parties are the Harris parties. School-based groups fund them, and students frequently find people at their doors collecting for beer money. Most theme parties vary from creative to mundane. These include the Underwear Ball, Halloween Masquerade Party, Fetish Party, and a cross-dressing party named after the Mary B. James dorms. They include loud music, lots of dancing, cool light effects, and copious amounts of free beer. Someone throws a Harris party almost every weekend, and the administration has no problem.

Dorm parties, while less popular, also occur frequently. They take place in some random residence hall and may or may not include loud music and lights. They almost always include alcohol, and many cup-wielding organizers will show up to beg for donations for these events. There is also a bar that tends to be open at all hours called Rabbit's Tavern, but it caters mainly toward town residents who work night jobs.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Dorms
  • Downtown
  • Harris Center
Other Places to Check Out
  • Lonnski's Pub & Deli
  • Pagliai's Pizza
  • Voodoo Lounge
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Drunken Trivial Pursuit
  • Moose
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • The Campus Memo
  • Posters hung in the Loggia
  • Word of mouth
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
The beer at Harris Center
Organization Parties
Almost all Harris parties are sponsored by various organizations. Occasionally, a party will be held at an organization's headquarters, such as the BCC (Black Cultural Center) or Scarlet & Black.

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Rabbit's Tavern

This is more of a place for townies. Most patrons are middle-aged men, and the 7:30 p.m. happy hour caters to people who work the night shift. You can play computer games and pool. The bar also serves pizza, sandwiches, and chips.

721 Fourth Ave.


(641) 236-8950

John & Gary's Gametime

This is basically your standard sports bar, complete with TVs tuned to whatever game is on. This bar caters more to the older crowd.

827 West St.


(641) 236-4542

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

On-campus parties

All parties on campus are open to students of all ages, regardless of whether or not alcohol is being served.


Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 14 responses

Very poor
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 13 responses

  • 15% There are no good options.
  • 0% Use a designated driver.
  • 0% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 0% Public transportation.
  • 0% Taxis.
  • 85% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 14 responses

  • 0% Parties? What parties?
  • 7% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 21% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 71% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 0% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
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