Nightlife

Location
Champaign, IL
Undergrads
31,118
Tuition (in-state)
$28,664 ($14,522)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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4 College Junior

Nightlife: It's good if you go to the right places. A lot of the times the bars will get over packed and the lines are insane. But once you get in it's fun.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: I dont go out much, but hear it is good.

Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: I'm not a partier at all. The 217 is a great website for a getting a feel for daily activities in the area. I'm sure there were plenty of opportunities to make a drunken fool of myself. I chose not to capitalize.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There's always something to do at night.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: I don't participate much, and the school is strict during unofficial.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 5th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 43rd
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1368th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Emily Thiersch
Hometown
Wilmette, Ill.
View all previous student authors

Nightlife at U of I is very popular. The bar and club scene is crowded every weekend, and they tend to be just as busy during the week. Specials like Tuesday Wine Night tell you that the party gets started early around here. Closing time is 2 a.m., but parties here do not start or end in bars for most students. There is generally “pre-gaming” in students’ apartments or dorm rooms. (But remember, the dorms are alcohol free, and we do not encourage you to be stupid. Still, it happens.) Once the bars close, people often pour out to either an after-party at a frat or an apartment. Of course, everyone has their own habits; some go out four or five nights a week, others just once, or not at all.

When choosing a bar or club, you need to feel a few places out. Even those that cater to a young crowd do not always appeal to younger students, and those that cater to an older crowd do not always appeal to older students. If you want to dance, go to a place that has a dance floor, but if you want to chill and just hear some good live music, then avoid places that only play hip-hop for the dancing crowd. U of I has so many options that you are sure to find half a dozen places that you love. If you are looking to avoid the bar scene you can always catch a show at Krannert, a game at the Union, or a concert at Assembly Hall.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Daniel Street
  • Downtown Champaign
  • Green Street
  • Wright Street
Student Favorites
  • Highdive
  • Kam's
  • Murphy's Pub
  • Station 211
Other Places to Check Out
The Union
Local Specialties
  • Boone’s,:
  • Miller Lite:
Favorite Drinking Games
  • *sshole
  • Beer Pong
  • Circle of Death
  • Flippy Cup
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • Buzz magazine
  • C-U CitiView
  • Daily Illini newspaper
  • www.cucalendar.com
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Kam’s

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Elmer's Club 45

Elmer's is host to live music and dancing. It is not as close to campus as other bars, but it's still fun. However, it is generally not popular with the younger, mainstream set.

3525 N. Cunningham Ave.

(217) 344-3101

Highdive

The Highdive is one of the most popular off-campus clubs. It is 19-and-up, and there is a dress code, which prohibits hats for men. There is a huge dance floor and they generally host a variety of live music. There is a DJ every Friday and Saturday night. The cover ranges from five to ten dollars, depending on the event. Metered parking.

51 Main St.

(217) 356-2337

Cowboy Monkey

Cowboy Monkey is a 19-and-up restaurant/club. There is live music almost every night, and the cover is generally never more than five dollars. Cowboy Monkey caters to an older crowd, and students often run into their TAs here. Wednesday night Salsa Night is popular, for experienced and novice dancers alike. They have occasional live music, from rock to reggae to hip-hop. Metered parking.

6 Taylor St.

(217) 398-2688

Canopy Club

The Canopy Club is host to live music almost every day of the week, including some relatively big-name artists. Murals on the wall give it a "rainforest" feel. Ages 18 and up, making it one of the few bars/clubs accessible to 18-year-olds. They have 15 different beers on tap. If you are looking for a good place to check out new bands, or just to hear music and chill, this is the place for you.

708 S. Goodwin Ave.

(217) 367-3140

Chester Street (C Street)

C Street is a popular dance club and gay bar, mostly frequented by upperclassmen and graduate students. It is cleaner and more upscale than most of the campus bars with dance floors, making it a favorite for private parties. C Street hosts occasional holiday parties and drag shows and plays mostly top-40 hits during the week. Cover is generally cheap. Ages 19-and-up, and they always check IDs.

63 E. Chester St.

Champaign

(217) 356-5607

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Murphy's Pub

Murphy's is popular with the older crowd, primarily because it offers an easy-going atmosphere. There are darts, pool tables and a jukebox. Little to no dancing goes on; people generally sit at the big wooden tables and order beers with friends. You can also get a meal until 10 p.m. So if you want to avoid the insanity that inevitably comes with dance clubs and Justin Timberlake music, check out Murphy's. No cover any day of the week.

604 E. Green St.

(217) 352-7275

Legends

Located right in the heart of Green Street, Legends is one of the more popular campus bars. There is a beer garden and an inside area with pool tables where you can lounge. Ages 19-and-up. This is not much of a place to dance; it is more a place to chill, like Murphy's, also on Green. Thursday night is Logo Night, when bar patrons get to bring home the cup that their favorite beer was served in.

522 E. Green St.

(217) 355-7674

Kam's

Kam's is one of the most popular bars on campus, and one of the most laid-back. It has two floors, a beer garden, and a dance floor. It is almost always packed on the weekends. Ages 19-and-up. Kam's is host to events like "CatFights," and they generally have MTV celebrities from Real World and Road rules stop by throughout the year. A karaoke machine also makes appearances.

618 E. Daniel St.

(217) 337-3300

White Horse

White Horse, or "White Ho," is a popular spot to sit and hang out. Occasional live music. White Horse is moderately busy throughout the weekend. 19-and-up.

112½ E. Green St.

(217) 352-5945

Station 211

Station 211 is a favorite hangout of the young and single crowd, especially freshmen. It is sometimes thought of as a Greek bar. It is essentially one huge bar in the center of a huge floor for dancing with an adjoining beer garden. Actually, there is no real dance floor; it is essentially a cement floor that is often covered in little shot cups and coated in beer.

211 E. Green St.

(217) 367-9915

Rose Bowl Tavern

Rose Bowl is host to frequent live music, typically country. It's a fun place to escape the never-ending hip-hop club music, not to mention it is one of the few excellent country music bars in the area.

106 N. Race St.

(217) 367-7031

Clybourne

Clybourne is legendary on campus for its Tuesday Wine Night. Nearly everyone that goes out on Tuesday inevitably stops by Clybourne for a bottle of wine. However, even though it stays busy on the weekends, it is not one of the most popular dance spots. There is no dance floor, as it is more of a bar/grill. They do have a DJ, and some night the line goes down the street. 19-and-up, and you may have to wait to get in, especially on Tuesday.

708 S. Sixth St.

(217) 383-1008

C.O. Daniels

C.O. Daniels is a smaller bar, with only one big room and little dance space. Most people stand around-there are few places to sit-or dance; the music is generally too loud for good conversation. There is a mechanical bull, and contests are common. Wednesday night Bomb Night, with $3 (huge) Ice Bombs, is a favorite. Cover is generally cheap, and it is sometimes crowded on weekends. 19-and-up.

608 E. Daniel St.

(217) 337-7411

Barfly

The Barfly has a large beer garden and inside lounge. There is also generally a DJ. It's not a hot bar with the younger crowd, but it is still fun and popular. They generally play hip-hop music.

120 N. Neil St.

(217) 352-9756

Joe's Brewery

Joe's is really two bars in one. The front rooms are very laid-back with pool tables and lounges. Joe's has three floors, but most of the action happens on the main level. The back room is darker and used almost exclusively as a dance floor. There is also a large outdoor patio perfect for escaping the hot, steamy back room. 19-and-up. There are usually a wide variety of ages and people here, and the music ranges from techno to hip-hop. There is generally a DJ on the weekends. Tuesday night is 90's night, a favorite for all ages.

706 S. Fifth St.

(217) 384-1790

It's Brothers Bar and Grill

It's Brothers, called simply "Brothers," is a popular campus bar, usually pretty crowded on weekends and notorious for lines that sometimes stretch to the end of the block down Green Street. 19-and-up. They serve great wings, so people often stop by just for that. Brothers is one of the few bars on campus that is popular with all of the students but never gets too crazy. There are tables to sit and chill, as well as a dance floor upstairs; bar-goers go up and downstairs depending on whether they want to dance like crazy or take a break.

613 E. Green St.

(217) 328-5531

Iron Post

The Iron Post is located in Downtown Urbana, and it is not very popular with most University students. It is more of a community bar.

120 S. Race

(217) 337-7678

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

If you are not 21, you can still have fun at U of I. If you are looking for a bar/club atmosphere, most are 19-and-up. Frat parties are always popular, as are apartment parties. If you are looking to escape the drinking scene, there is always something happening.

Student Polls

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 155 responses

  • 2% There are no good options.
  • 5% Use a designated driver.
  • 17% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 31% Public transportation.
  • 0% Taxis.
  • 45% Walk.

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 154 responses

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

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 156 responses

  • 0% Parties? What parties?
  • 2% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 13% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 54% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 31% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 7 responses

  • 50% Frats
  • 20% Marching Band parties!
  • 10% Wookie Camp
  • 10% Apartments
  • 10% Bars

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 13 responses

  • 92% Unoffical
  • 8% St. Patrick's Day

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