Wellesley, MA
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2 College Sophomore

Nightlife: You almost always have to go off campus to party. It's what you make of it.

2 College Freshman

Nightlife: There are basically no parties on campus. But there is easy access to a lot of parties off campus. You have to get on the bus though.

3 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: Wellesley is in a dry town, so your access to parties and alcohol are within the boundaries of Wellesley, Babson College and Olin College (all in the same town). However there is a nice pub on-campus with good, cheap drinks, and some of the dance and student orgs host parties on-campus. But Wellesley is small, and is a women's college, so going to Cambridge and Boston where the bigger, co-ed universities are is your best bet for having fun and meeting new people.

2 College Freshman

Nightlife: Parties on campus are pretty bad. The Asian orgs throw parties but they're all attended by asians or weird, creepy, very desperate guys from nearby schools. Most people go off campus, but that is just a struggle with the bus and everything. Also Wellesley is a completely dry-town, as in the supermarkets don't even sell beer. Boston is also very strict with the IDs, so you'd have to get someone who's over 21 to buy you drinks. Partying is just such a struggle.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: The night life is all in the city, so you have to get out to really do much. Sometimes there are things in the area, but not consistently.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 278th
    Tamest Party Scenes
  • 968th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1091st
    Biggest Party Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Lauren Foster
Safety Harbor, FL
English & Cinema and Media Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

On any given weekend, there's a registered party on campus—that is, one sanctioned by the College, with tip servers enforcing a 21+ three-drink maximum. There are strict rules prohibiting on-campus entrance fees for Wellesley students, so you can drink and party-hop for free. On-campus parties vary greatly in quality, and it depends on what kind of scene you're looking for. The biggest party of the year is Dyke Ball, a huge gender-bending blowout bringing in students from all over Boston.

Punch's Alley Pub in the Wang Campus Center is a licensed oasis in the dry town of Wellesley and sponsors frequent shows, ranging from folk to punk rock, that are very popular on Thursday nights for "Pub Night." The societies—nerdy versions of sororities that sponsor lectures, cultural events, and, of course, parties—hold several parties a semester. Again, quality varies, though they do tend to attract off-campus frat-boy types. WZLY, the campus radio station, holds several parties a year where indie boys and girls rock out. In terms of private parties, they're usually small. If not, they tend to get broken up early by the ever-vigilant campus police. Some spots for larger, casual parties are Lake House and various clandestine outdoor spots around campus, including the fire pit by the Campus Center. Most students will tell you to head into Boston for good parties, but depending on your group of friends, it's possible to stay on campus and have a good time. The off-campus party scene is usually at Harvard, MIT, or Babson for a more co-ed environment with much looser rules (if any) on drinking and noise levels.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Beacon Street (MIT frats)
  • Central Square
  • Davis Square
  • Landsdowne Street
Other Places to Check Out
  • B-Side Lounge
  • Cactus Club
  • Cuchi Cuchi
  • The Embassy Cinema
  • Grendel's Den
  • Jillian's Boston
  • Lizard Lounge
  • Matt Murphy's
  • Middle East Restaurant & Nightclub
  • The Phoenix Landing
  • T.T. the Bear's Place
  • Tonic
  • The Tribe
  • An Tua Nua
Local Specialties
  • Boston Beer Works' brews:
  • Cambridge Amber:
  • Harpoon:
  • John Harvard's brews:
  • Sam Adams:
Useful Resources for Nightlife
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Punch's Alley
Organization Parties
Clubs and multicultural groups put on parties, with varying levels of success, though they do bring in a significant off-campus contingent. Most weekends there is something going on in Alumnae Hall, Schneider, or even the Fieldhouse (a huge venue used only for the biggest parties).

Club ListingsWhat's This?

The Roxy

The closest thing Boston has to a big-name New York club, the Roxy charges New York prices as well. It's only open three days a week, but it's always packed. The swanky ambiance, hired dancers, and expensive drinks may be too much for some, but for scenesters, it's a must.

279 Tremont St.


(781) 859-9570

Paradise Rock Club

Fans revere Paradise as a chill place to hear good Indie rock bands. Somewhere between trashy and trendy, Paradise is a delightful venue that holds some great dance nights, as well as hosting gallery events and new art releases. The lounge is considered small, but consistently gets great acts.

969 Commonwealth Ave.


(617) 562-8800

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Punch's Alley

PourHouse Bar & Grill

907 Boylston St.


(617) 236-1767

Miracle of Science Bar & Grill

A nerd bar-it shouldn't be a novelty in this city of students, but it is. Yet somehow, like Weezer, this bar manages to make nerdiness cool. Order a tasty meal off of the periodic table chalkboard on the wall, and slide yourself behind one of the few tables in the small, glass-walled space.

321 Massachusetts Ave.


(617) 868-2866

Tommy Doyle's

96 Winthrop St.


(617) 864-0655

Sunset Grill & Tap

A beer fan's dream, this bar offers 112 beers on tap and 400 by the bottle. Popular among Wellesley's beer connoisseurs (there are more than you'd think), Sunset Grill also offers a good menu that is as extensive as its beer list.

130 Brighton Ave.


(617) 254-1331

Russell House Tavern

14 JFK St.


(617) 500-3055

The Burren

247 Elm St.


(617) 776-6896

Boston Beer Works

The self-proclaimed oldest and largest brewpub in Boston boasts great seasonal beers and decent food. The place is always packed during baseball season, but the seasonal beers can be enjoyed in a little more peace at other times of the year.

61 Brookline Ave.


(617) 896-2337

Bill's Bar

Bill's features a mix of music, covering everything from rock to funk. Weekends are for rock, Indie local bands perform on Thursdays, and reggae jams on Sundays.

5 Lansdowne St.


(617) 421-9678

John Harvard's Brew House

A Harvard Square anchor, John Harvard's offers tasty food and good beer. Seasonal specialties are popular, and there's always a good crowd filling up the basement space. Though it attracts mostly college students, it's not a hip place; it's a bar's bar.

33 Dunster St.


(617) 868-3585

The Enormous Room

The Enormous Room is a dimly-lit, high-ceilinged space frequented by hipsters and run by the coolest waitresses in town. It's expensive, but has great food, good music, and the chance to sit on rugs and cushions. It may be hipper-than-thou, but it's also chill, and a nice break from the hard-partying bars and clubs in Central Square.

569 Massachusetts Ave.


(617) 491-5550

Cantab Lounge

The Cantab is as close to a dive as you'll find in Central Square, and a wonderful dive it is. Bluegrass night on Tuesdays draws a mix of preppy college students and grizzly old men, and after a couple visits, you'll know the names of the servers and bartenders. Other nights feature the Cantab's mascot, "Little" Joe Cook, who performs blues and R&B a few nights a week. There are also slam poetry competitions and open mic nights, some going on down in the basement while a band performs upstairs.

738 Massachusetts Ave.


(617) 354-2685

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

College parties

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 31 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 29 responses

  • 7% There are no good options.
  • 0% Use a designated driver.
  • 86% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 3% Public transportation.
  • 0% Taxis.
  • 3% Walk.

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 32 responses

  • 25% Parties? What parties?
  • 44% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 25% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 6% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 0% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
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