Swarthmore, PA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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2 College Sophomore

Nightlife: There are only three sub-par places to party at. The parties are often small and not conducive to hooking up.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Nightlife: There are only limited parties available and no bigger options available.

College Student

Nightlife: Not being a party person, I am not aware of the night life here. The one or two parties I have been to have all been dry, and there are plenty of other things to do on campus and plenty other events to attend. No one pressures you to go to parties. People don't generally push you into doing things and respect that you aren't a party person.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Nightlife: There are no bars in Swarthmore. The free alcohol at the school parties just gives people a disincentive to go to good parties at other schools. You'll see the same people at every single party sticking with their same friends. Lax bros at swat like to pretend to be real athletes but they're posers.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Nightlife: Swattie, Wanna Get Down? Oh parties at Swat. You have high expectations coming in, but honestly the parties here tend to be repetitive. Free booze and decent music is what you get at Paces or the Frats. But honestly, it's fun going out to them especially once you establish a good group of friends to go out with. Although you will find yourself complaining that there is nothing to do on a Friday night, you'll come to realize that you gotta use that intelligence that you got you in to Swarthmore in the first place in order to have a good time.

2 people found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 435th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 942nd
    Tamest Party Scenes
  • 1241st
    Best Drink Prices

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sudarshan Gopaladesikan
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Math and Engineering
View all previous student authors

Nightlife at Swarthmore is mainly limited to on-campus activities, mostly because the SEPTA trains only run until 11:30 p.m., so getting back to campus without a car can be either treacherous (69th Bus Terminal) or expensive (Philly cabs). Those who do choose to venture off campus tend to be upperclassmen who are generally 21+ and bored with the lack of variety on campus.

On campus, Paces is usually the place to be. Alcohol is free at all Student Activities Committee (SAC) parties, and parties at the frat houses occur almost every weekend, as well. One tip: When planning your social activities at Swat, it’s a good idea to party hop because if you limit your plans to one specific place, it is quite possible that particular party will turn out to be a dud because parties here can range from “quite awesome” to “some-drunken-kid-doing-the-robot-all-by-himself-on-the-dance-floor.” Although Swarthmore may have the best party scene of the Tri-Co family of colleges due to the relaxed Public Safety policy, don't forget to visit Bryn Mawr or Haverford also, and if you can, head to University of Pennsylvania, Villanova, or any of the other bigger colleges in the area for larger parties.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Delaware Avenue
  • Old City
  • Queens Village
  • South Street
Other Places to Check Out
  • Electric Factory
  • Kimmel Center
  • Theatre of the Living Arts
  • Tower Theatre
Local Specialties
Iron Hill Brewery:
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer die
  • Beirut (aka beer pong)
Useful Resources for Nightlife
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Swarthmore! It is free. Or, you can pay $4 dollars to drink beer at pub night on Thursday at Paces.
Organization Parties
Student Activities Committee (SAC) hosts free parties.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Solo Nightclub

Solo has three different rooms-a main room that plays house, dance, and hip-hop, the old school room, and a 21-and-over lounge that plays hip hop, reggae, funk, and soul.

520 N. Columbus Blvd.


(215) 627-3030

Woody's Bar & Nightclub

Woody's is Philly's premier gay club and a Swattie favorite. Stop in on Wednesday night when tons of gay college students pour in.

202 S 13th St.


(215) 545-1893


Shampoo features eight bars, several dance floors, and an outdoor dance area. Saturdays host guest DJs who spin until the wee hours of the morning.

417 N. 8th St.


(215) 922-7500

Fluid Nightclub

Fluid combines a Mediterranean décor with an authentically Philly, urban feel.

613 S. 4th St.


(215) 629-3686

The Roxxy

Some celebrities do visit The Roxxy. It's 17 to enter, 21 to drink.

939 N. Delaware Ave.


(215) 931-0101

Bar ListingsWhat's This?


Pod is the coolest place in town for sci-fi lovers. Get your sushi on a conveyor belt while you sit in a restaurant straight out of a 1950s sci-fi movie.

3636 Sansom St.


(215) 387-1803

Smokey Joe's Tavern

Smokey Joe's is the hot spot in University City, and it's a great place to meet Penn students.

210 S. 40th St.


(215) 222-0770

Monk's Café

Monk's offers a good selection of beer and decent food, although it can get a little pricey for the average college student. It is rated among the 10 best Philly bars.

264 S. 16th St.


(215) 545-7005

Alma de Cuba

Alma is a very chic, very trendy bar with a Latin flavor. Drink prices here are quite cheap.

1623 Walnut St.


(215) 988-1799

The Continental

The martini bar here has been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Playboy, and MTV's Sex in the 90s.

134 Market St.


(215) 923-6069

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

Game Pit

Play video games in the Swarthmore College Computer Society (SCCS) game Git. People are usually playing Rock Band or FIFA.

Tarble Basement

Swarthmore Campus

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 19 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 17 responses

  • 12% There are no good options.
  • 0% Use a designated driver.
  • 6% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 29% Public transportation.
  • 0% Taxis.
  • 53% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 18 responses

  • 0% Parties? What parties?
  • 11% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 78% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 11% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 0% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
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