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4 College Senior

Nightlife: Because we are a big 10 school, we have a lot of students participating in night life activities. I don't find fraternities or bars too busy the majority of the time, so that allows students to have fun with a large group.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There are always new people to meet and new places to try.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: There is almost always a party especially in spring

College Senior

Nightlife: I do not go to parties at night

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 32nd
    Best Drink Prices
  • 100th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 1269th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Reema Siddiqui
View all previous student authors

Nightlife at Purdue revolves almost entirely around that most proverbial of watering holes: the bar. With a handful of bars within walking distance of campus, students of legal age have their pick of places to go for socializing, drinking, and hanging out with their friends. Although there are no clubs in the Greater Lafayette area, several of the bars have dance floors that add a hint of variety to the bar scene. Students under the age of 21 who want to edge their way into the bar scene will have little luck, thanks to the bouncers who require two valid forms of ID. However, there are plenty of house parties in nearby apartments, and most can go to fraternity parties with a little finagling.

Those who are able to get into the bars and drink seem relatively pleased with the accommodations around campus. The Neon Cactus, with its huge drinks, dance floor, and piano bar, is the number one spot on Thursday nights, followed closely by Harry’s, the Egyptian Hookah Bar and Café, and Jake’s. Get to the bars early if you want a seat; otherwise, you’ll be squashed up against the wall by the mass of people pouring into the building. If you’re looking for clubs, you won’t find any at Purdue, except for some remotely located in the Lafayette area. Indianapolis, however, in only an hour's drive away and caters well to nightlife.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Chauncey Hill
  • The Levee
Student Favorites
  • Harry's Chocolate Shop
  • Jake's Roadhouse
  • The Neon Cactus
  • Where Else?
Local Specialties
  • The 24 ounce Neon Cactus mugs: Can be filled with featured beers or mixed drinks for $2
  • Chumley’s in Lafayette: Serves over 100 beers from around the world
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beirut/beer pong
  • Card games
  • Century Club
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
Closing Time
3 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
The Neon Cactus
Organization Parties
Clubs at Purdue sometimes rent out rooms in the Union for dances, parties, and other fun gatherings. These parties can be quite fun, but you can’t attend unless you are a member of the organization, or have been invited by a member of the organization.

Bar ListingsWhat's This?


Roxy's, one of the newer additions to Purdue's bar scene, features neon lights and a dance floor. It also sponsors euchre nights (a card game), and has several large televisions tuned to different stations. A fun night to check out at Roxy's is their "40 Night." That night they sell 40 ounce bottles of malt liquor for a cheap price.

135 S. Chauncey Ave.

(765) 746-4828

The Neon Cactus

This is one of the most popular bars on Purdue's campus, thanks to the cheap (and huge) drinks, the large dance floor, and the piano bar ruled by the fabulous Bruce Barker on Thursday. A $5 cover charge gets you into the Cactus, $2 will net you a Cactus Cup (unless you bring your own), and $2 more will get you a huge drink. It's easy to have a good night at the Cactus for less than $10. Bruce Barker's piano bar is in a separate room from the dance floor and becomes extremely crowded. Hit there early in the evening (unless you want to stand in line for over an hour to get in), and join in the singing and karaoke.

360 Brown St.

(765) 743-6081

Where Else?

Where Else? and the Neon Cactus are the locations where Purdue students head to dance the night away. Ladies' Nights are a particularly big draw. Domestic bottles are sold for just 25 cents some nights. While the dance floor at Where Else? is smaller than the one at the Neon Cactus, this bar is still a staple for students on Thursday nights, and is closer to campus than the Neon Cactus. However, this place gets highly crowded on Thursday nights, so head there early-if you don't want to spend half your evening standing out on the sidewalk waiting to get in.

304 West State

(765) 746-1122

Wabash Yacht Club

The Wabash Yacht Club-which, by the way, is only referred to as either "the Yacht Club" or "Stacks"-never by its full name-is primarily a Greek hangout. The Yacht Club is definitely more about drinking and dancing than it is about food (though wings are cheap and plentiful). Expect your drinks to be a little expensive, but very strong.

304 West State

(765) 746-1122

Cox's Pub

Cox's has decent food and a few pool tables in the back, but its biggest draw is its karaoke scene, which is active most nights of the week. The bar itself is small and kind of smoky, but still a consistently good time.

2401 Schuyler Ave.

(765) 742-8727


Chumley's, featuring beers from all around the world, is the most overlooked bar in the area. It is located across the street from the Lafayette courthouse and can be reached by crossing the beautiful walking bridge. One of their selling points is the Passport. After signing up, you have an unlimited time to finish the 50 brews in the Passport, and upon completion, you get your name on a plaque and a free T-shirt.

123 N. 3rd St.

(765) 420-9327

Jake's Roadhouse

Jake's is a staple of Purdue barhopping. Its garage-style atmosphere makes it distinctive, and on the weekends, it gets so crowded that you can hardly move. On Friday nights, they give away free hot dogs, and every week they have open mic nights for karaoke.

135 S. Chauncey Ave.

(765) 743-5253

Harry's Chocolate Shop

It is required that every student over 21 visit Harry's Chocolate Shop before graduation. Founded in 1919, it is the oldest bar on Purdue's campus, and the place most students hit first on their 21st birthdays. It sports over 30 different shots of alcohol, and students will tell you that the Chocolate Shop has the strongest drinks of all the bars. Students from all over the world and all walks of life come to celebrate and relax at Harry's on the weekends.

329 West State St.

(765) 743-1467

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

You won't get into bars without two IDs, so find a good house party with your friends. It's easy enough to get alcohol if you want it.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 143 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 137 responses

  • 53% Walk.
  • 1% Taxis.
  • 7% Public transportation.
  • 10% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 26% Use a designated driver.
  • 3% There are no good options.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 141 responses

  • 6% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 50% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 30% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 7% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 8% Parties? What parties?

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 32 responses

  • 91% Grand Prix
  • 6% Christmas Parties
  • 3% Shreve Semiformal

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 29 responses

  • 50% Fraternities
  • 33% Houses
  • 17% The bars
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