Ames, IA
Tuition (in-state)
$19,838 ($7,726)
Admission Difficulty
Very Easy
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College Sophomore

Nightlife: I am not 21 yet so I do not know what the party life would be like.

3 College Senior

Nightlife: The bars could use a little bit of work, but most of the bars that were located on campus town are being torn down and relocated. So there should be better facilities in which the bars that were once in campus town. I just remember some of the old bars in campus town weren't in the best of shape.

College Sophomore

Nightlife: I know there are many bars and clubs around campus and very close to campus housing. I have not personally been to any of them as I do not drink and am not of age. People I have spoken to about this topic always have positive things to say.

4 College Senior

Nightlife: Good party scene with a variety of popular places. Frat parties are trashy but fine for freshman year. There is always a place to go and everyone is out to have a good time and meet new people.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: not a lot of options

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 48th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 90th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 1283rd
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Staci Harper
English/Rhetorical Studies/Speech minor
View all previous student authors

Nightlife doesn't really come alive for ISU students until the magical day when they turn 21. Until then, Iowa State students just don't have a lot to do, in terms of clubbing and bar-hopping, unless they go to Iowa City or Des Moines. But there are plenty of parties around, and the social scene is definitely alive. There are things to do if you are not 21—you just have to look a little harder for them.

For students who aren't as comfortable with the bar scene, activities and concerts in the Memorial Union are available, and there are always movies to see at one of the movie theaters. The dorms clear out a lot on weekend nights, with students either going home or going to parties. So, if you don't party, find others who don't either, and get together and watch movies or play games. Otherwise, weekends can get really lonely. For most students, though, nightlife is just fine. Students who are 21 seem to be very satisfied with the nightlife in Ames. If you enjoy rowdy parties, Iowa State is right up your alley!

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
Other Places to Check Out
  • Applebee's Neighborhood Grill
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
  • Clyde's Sports Club
  • Cy's Roost
  • Deano's 119 Main
  • Della Viti
  • London Underground
  • Okoboji Grill
  • Old Chicago
  • Olde Main Brewing Company
  • Paddy's Irish Pub
  • Thumbs
  • Wallaby's Bar & Grill
  • West Towne Pub
  • Whiskey River
  • Zeke's
Favorite Drinking Games
  • "Screw" the dealer
  • Beer pong
  • Card games (A$$hole)
  • Power hour
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • The Datebook, printed Thursdays in the Des Moines Register
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
A lot of the places in Ames have awesome specials.
Organization Parties
Many of the campus clubs and organizations sponsor parties and dances. You just need to poke around to find out which ones, because they are not usually very widely publicized. Since ISU is so large, most of the parties rely on word-of-mouth advertising.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Project 20/20

2424 Lincoln Way


(515) 292-7719

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Welch Avenue Station

Great food and fun. Prices are a little high, but there is never a cover charge.

207 Welch Ave.


(515) 292-2334


This is a popular Greek hangout. Prices are said to be a bit higher here, but they play dance music at this bar.

124 Welch Ave.


(515) 292-6887

Mickey's Irish Pub

109 Welch Ave.


(515) 292-7378

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 106 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 96 responses

  • 0% There are no good options.
  • 3% Use a designated driver.
  • 30% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 10% Public transportation.
  • 1% Taxis.
  • 55% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 102 responses

  • 4% Parties? What parties?
  • 3% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 41% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 49% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 3% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 17 responses

  • 50% Welch Avenue
  • 23% Greek Triangle
  • 12% West Ames
  • 8% Hyland Avenue
  • 8% Greek Land

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 26 responses

  • 62% VEISHEA
  • 38% VEISHA


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