Wheaton, IL
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College Freshman

Nightlife: It depends on the student. There are no bars or clubs near the campus. The campus is a dry campus. So, no drinking occurs on campus. However, the school has multiple great late night opportunities on campus.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Nightlife: You have to travel to the city to get any real choices. The village of Wheaton has few nightlife choices; however, the city is great.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Nightlife: For good nightlife everyone goes to downtown Chicago, not Wheaton.

1 College Senior

Nightlife: There is no Nightlife at Wheaton College. It's a dry campus, and students are under a covenant stating they won't drink while enrolled. There ARE house parties and fun events but there won't be drinking.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: weekends and nights here can be pretty dead, but people find other ways of having fun.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 14th
    Tamest Party Scenes
  • 1307th
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1358th
    Biggest Party Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Debbie Knubley
St. Louis, MO
English Lit with Writing Concentration
View all previous student authors

Honestly, nightlife does not exist in the city of Wheaton. Once a dry city, it still maintains a wholesome atmosphere. But even if there were a crazy nightlife scene, Wheaton students wouldn’t be allowed to participate. The Community Covenant, signed by all students, prohibits drinking, smoking, and the use of other substances, so bars and clubs don’t draw many students. There is a small group of students who frequently break the Covenant, known as the Wheaton Underground, but for the most part, if you’re coming to Wheaton, you probably don’t want to party. As far as under-21 activities go, everything in Wheaton is within walking distance, and the Metra train station is right by campus, providing direct access to Chicago. The only prohibiting factor is that freshman can’t have cars on campus, so unless they befriend upperclassmen, they won’t get off campus much. If you do want a little nightlife action, Chicago is always eventful, especially in the Michigan Avenue, Lincoln Park, and Navy Pier areas. For a closer option, Naperville is home to an energetic nightlife. As far as campus events go, Wheaton’s College Union sponsors several events during the year, most notably the Talent Show and Films Festival. Recently, Wheaton has changed its dancing policy, allowing dancing on campus. Nevertheless, on-campus dancing is confined to College Union sponsored events, prohibiting any other dancing at Wheaton functions.

Off-campus parties are rare, except for the one absurd bash that occurs right after each finals week, when students are not under the Covenant. While attending Wheaton, students are not allowed to consume alcohol, yet this rule does not apply during after-semester breaks. And so, the evening of the last exam day, there is always a crazy, alcohol-driven party involving numerous non-sober Wheaton students. This night is so notorious that the Wheaton City Police patrol the streets all night and look for Wheaton bumper stickers, pulling cars over for the slightest infraction.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Downtown Chicago (Navy Pier, Lincoln Park, Wrigley area, The Loop)
  • Downtown Naperville
  • Downtown Wheaton
  • Glen Ellyn
Other Places to Check Out
Local Specialties
: Wheaton is a dry campus, and drinking is not permitted under the Community Covenant. Needless to say, there are no local specialties. Unless you consider the Shellhammer Shake (a blended ice cream drink with two shots of espresso) a specialty drink.
Favorite Drinking Games
Root beer pong
Useful Resources for Nightlife
Closing Time
2 a.m.-3 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Rock Bottom Brewery
Organization Parties
Many clubs and dorm floors will often throw a campus party for everyone to come to. Anywhere from 200 to 700 people will show up at one of these parties. Some campus favorites are the Hawaiian Luau (roasted pig and all) sponsored by the Hawaiian Club, Party in the Penthouse on the seventh floor of Traber Hall, and the Rootbeer Kegger hosted by the fifth floor of Traber.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

John Barleycorn

John Barleycorn's is the quintessential college bar and club. Students are usually pretty poor, but it doesn't matter here because there's never a cover charge. Additionally, there are tons of people to meet and loud music everywhere. The service is also good, featuring some hunky bar servers for the ladies and hot waitresses for the gentlemen. Basically, this is the place for great dinner and drinks, and in the later hours, a little dancing.

658 W. Belden Ave.


(773) 348-8899

Funky Buddha Lounge

Funky Buddha Lounge is regarded as the best dance club in the area, attracting people from as far as six hours away. If you are a true dance machine, here is where you want to be. The dance music is fabulous, the atmosphere is electric, the people here love to party, and the acoustics in the room are great. You can actually talk to whomever you're dancing with! There is even a rumor that if you can't dance, or just want to sit and talk, you need to stay away from this place. There is no cover charge before 10 p.m., so definitely get there before then, or else it's $20. Drinks are rather expensive, but with good incense in the air and eclectic Buddha-esque d├ęcor, if you have the energy, bring it to the Buddha.

728 W. Grand Ave.


(312) 666-1695

Bar Chicago

Right in the midst of the Rush and Division Streets' nightlife strip, the live DJ gives Bar Chicago some high energy with great dance music and plenty of `80s tunes on the floor. Bar Chicago attracts a large variety of people, from tourists to suburbians to professionals from the surrounding area, and it definitely caters to young partygoers. If you don't feel like taking part in the crazy dancing, the balcony has a good view as the techno lighting illuminates the dance crowd. Wheaton students should be warned that things do get pretty out of hand here, and you will certainly see women dancing on the bar. There is no cover charge before 10:30 p.m., and when 2 a.m. hits, the bars shut down, and the crowd gets absolutely huge. And, not that it would matter because Wheaton students aren't allowed to drink, but the cocktails and pitchers are also pretty cheap.

9 W. Division St.


(312) 654-1120

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

North Beach

North Beach is a sports bar that, in the midst of cold Chicago winters, tries to throw a little summer into the mix. Inside, there are three volleyball courts with real sand, bowling lanes, miniature golf, and a small basketball court. At the bar, there is a good beer selection, and the Wheaton students can enjoy the variety of fruit drinks. There's also a good dance floor with a great DJ and the occasional good band. Overall, it's just a good atmosphere to go to with your buddies.

1551 N. Sheffield Ave.


(312) 266-7842

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Rock Bottom offers the cheapest and largest variety of drinks around, and they're actually brewed in the restaurant. The pub also offers a good menu, with everything from smoked salmon to pasta. The dining experience is pretty casual, nothing high-energy about it. The rooftop deck is the prime spot during the summer to relax and have a drink. The brewery especially caters to the sports fan, as its satellite system is set up to receive all college and professional football, NCAA basketball, and major sporting events.

1 W. Grand Ave.


(312) 755-9339

Shannon's Irish Pub

With great food and friendly service, here's your little Irish cottage in the midst of the suburbs. With an old-fashioned fireplace and aroma in the air, you basically walk in and just feel the anxiety flow out of your head. The bar is stocked with Irish mixes, as well as domestics-that you can drink when you're off the covenant.

428 N. Main St.

Glen Ellyn

(630) 790-9080

Bar Louie

This urban bar is pretty refined, yet also brings a little funk into the Naperville nightlife. Inside, you'll find eclectic wall art, good music, and comfy furniture. Bar Louie has some classic, hometown entrees, including specialty sandwiches, steaks, seafood, and meatloaf. Various martinis make up most of the drink list, such as the favorite "appletini," yet there is also a full bar. On the weekends, Bar Louie actually turns into a club, and if you're in the mood, feel free to dance the night away.

22 E. Chicago Ave.


(630) 983-1600

Howl at the Moon

Howl at the Moon has a crazy and unique attraction complete with dueling pianos. At the above times, the bar has two performers on baby grand pianos who take turns playing sing-along favorites, not to mention classic rock-n-roll. They even take requests and, for a little money, play your song. Later on in the night, a drummer and guitarist are added, and the place just heats up. Although it can get a little rowdy, it is very fun to watch. Additionally, there is a great selection of barbecue ribs, chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, and burgers. And, I've heard, their drinks are pretty good and fairly inexpensive, especially when you're with a group.

26 W. Hubbard St.


(312) 863-7427


Muldoon's is an Irish-American Eatery just minutes away from campus. Here you'll find a warm atmosphere, a fully stocked bar, good food, and live music.

133 W. Front St.


(630) 668-8866

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

Los Buritos

Also mentioned in the Off-Campus Dining section, Los is certainly the primary area for nightlife. The infamous Mexican hub, you will see Wheaton students here every night.

484 Roosevelt Rd.


(630) 942-9802

La Spiaza

Your Wheaton experience isn't complete without stopping into La Spiaza. In fact, some students come two or three times a week. A perfect coffeehouse environment, La Spiaza has great drinks, cozy seating, and sometimes offers live music.

114 S. Main St.


(630) 221-8772

House of Blues

The House of Blues is one of the best venues in Chicago for concerts, featuring all kinds of different music and popular artists, from Billy Idol to Dolly Parton to Eminem to Earth, Wind, and Fire. It's a bit pricey, but it's totally worth it.

329 N. Dearborn St.


(312) 527-2583

Navy Pier

Navy Pier is the classic Chicago-land place to go. Here, you will find an amusement park, boating, children's museum, and various concerts. Make sure you take a spin on the ferris wheel!

600 E. Grand Ave.


(312) 595-5170

Yo Yo Land

A favorite among Wheaton students, Yo Yo Land is a frozen yogurt shop in downtown Wheaton. It's self-service, so you can create your very own concoction by choosing which flavors and toppings you want. Just keep in mind that you pay by the ounce. Fun with friends, perfect for dates!

134 W Front Street


(630) 462-8600

Putting Edge

This is not the normal putt-putt experience. Putting Edge is pretty original, with weird psychedelic, glow-in-the-dark putt-putt. A definite must for a date.

2535 W. Golf Rd.


(847) 229-8833


This auditorium features the one-of-a-kind Neo-Futurists, an improv comedy group. They've put together the longest running show in the history of Chicago, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, a truly unique show. Everyone has to go see it, not to mention you can see it again and again, as the show changes every time!

5153 N. Ashland Ave.


(773) 878-4557

Cheesecake Factory

Ah, the beautiful Cheesecake Factory. No doubt, every Wheaton student has been here at least once. As the name suggests, this restaurant features every kind of cheesecake that you could dream of, and although each slice is around $7, the heavenly bites are worth it. Additionally, the restaurant has a huge menu with numerous entree and lunch specials. On any given night, expect a little bit of a wait to get into this place.

875 N. Michigan Ave.


(312) 337-1101

Caribou Coffee

Caribou has a chill environment with great coffee, smoothie, and dessert selections. Feel free to have a conversation, do some studying, or get to know that special someone. Caribou is perfect for it.

280 Danada Sq. W.


(630) 871-9713

California Pizza Kitchen

Right by AMC Cantera movie theater, this place has a unique environment with its old-school diner ambience. Featuring an open-kitchen arrangement, aromas of every kind of pizza you can imagine permeate through the air. You can definitely come here for a first date.

28258 Diehl Rd.


(630) 393-0852

Coldstone Creamery

Coldstone is the best ice cream place around, and it's right around the corner in Naperville.

23 W. Jefferson St.


(630) 369-5646

Cookie Dough Creations

Cookie Dough Creations combines your favorite ice cream and cookie dough together, and yes, it is as good as it sounds.

22 E. Chicago Ave.


(630) 369-4833

Comedy Sportz Chicago

Wheaton students love Comedy Sportz Chicago, as it has become known as the one "interactive improv experience." This group was even invited to one of the Wheaton formal events, February Formal, a few years back. A very entertaining event, don't miss out on this one.

2851 N. Halstead


(773) 549-8080

Color Me Mine

Okay, this one may be a bit more exciting for the women than for the men, but men, you can certainly take a woman here and impress her with your cultured side. At Color Me Mine, you can create your own hand-painted ceramic piece of pottery-a perfect idea for a date or girls' night out.

125 W. Front St.


(630) 665-1400

Student Polls

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 23 responses

  • 30% There are no good options.
  • 17% Use a designated driver.
  • 0% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 30% Public transportation.
  • 0% Taxis.
  • 22% Walk.

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 24 responses

Very poor
  • 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 28 responses

  • 82% Parties? What parties?
  • 14% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 4% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 0% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 0% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
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