Party Scene

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Party Scene

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4 College Freshman

Party Scene: You can find a party practically anywhere. It is not a major party school though.

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: Stereotypical movie frat parties. Pretty cool, I guess?

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: First semester, there were a lot more parties. Second semester, when people could rush, parties were must more exclusive--that is, they were typically bid parties or crushes. I found that if we did go out, it was usually a good time.

2 College Sophomore

Party Scene: Frat parties are not worth it. It's nice to go every now and then just to dance and hang out, maybe meet new people, but to go on a regular would be out of the question. Clubs are much more fun, clean, maybe expensive, but worth it.

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: American takes after most colleges. That is, we kids have to do SOMETHING to fill up the weekends. There are frat parties thursday through Sunday weekly, although at particular times of the year there are parties every night of the week. The party scene at American is almost entirely frat-based, although there are those who venture into Georgetown, George Washington, Howard, or clubs/bars for nightlife. If you like frat parties, American has a five star party scene, but I really think they get repetitive and kind of skeezy, but that's just me. There are very, very rarely any kick back type parties, usually held by upper classmen off campus that require ubering or any other uber-expensive form of travel DC has. So going out actually requires a lot of effort. The frats themselves have enough variation that if you like to party you'll probably find the right one for you: some stoner frats, athletic frats, rich boy frats, and then the total skeezeballs. However, the party scene at some particular frats, official and not, is notorious for sexual assault, so please be careful if you decide to take part.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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D.C. nightlife is active and exciting enough to wear the most energetic students out. Students will never run out of places to explore when it comes to clubbing and bar hopping. The most interesting places require only a short Metro ride, though there are some spots in Tenleytown for AU students. Clubs will usually admit 18-year-olds, but there are a number of spots that are strictly 21-and-up. 

Welcome Week is probably the most fun for nightlife around campus. There are open fraternity parties every night, so take advantage. These parties are a lot of fun and great places to meet people or go with new friends. Later in the semester, a lot of parties become closed admission. Those who aren’t big on dancing and drinking can keep themselves amused, too. Movie theaters, comedy clubs, shows, and concerts abound, as do restaurants and coffeehouses. It is impossible to be bored in the vibrant city of D.C.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Adams Morgan
  • Dupont Circle
  • U Street
Other Places to Check Out
  • The Barking Dog
  • Black Cat
  • Bravo! Bravo!
  • Café Citron
  • The Dancing Crab
  • Eighteenth Street Lounge
  • ESPN Zone
  • Front Page
  • Grand Central
  • Guapo's Restaurant
  • Lotus
  • Madhatter
  • Malt Shop
  • Midtown
  • Murphy's
  • Nanny O'Briens
  • Old Glory
  • Prince Café
  • The Reserve
  • Shadow Room
  • Teaism
  • The Zoo Bar Café
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games (A$$hole)
  • Century club
  • Power hour
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
www.washingtonpost.com/gog
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Recessions Lounge
Organization Parties
Fraternity and sorority parties make up much of the scene for underclassmen, but they are not the iconic frat parties you'll see in the movies. AU organizations don't have houses and may only have a floor in a residence hall. Parties are held off campus in private houses.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Love

Music at Love includes international, hip-hop, and dance; dress is upscale, and the club features several levels, a diverse crowd, and often has theme nights throughout the week.

1350 Okie St. NE

Washington, D.C.

(202) 636-9030

www.lovetheclub.com

Fur

FUR has three rooms-the main room or "the arena," a martini lounge, a mafia room, and the mink lounge. Dress sophisticated and chic-there is a dress code.

33 Patterson St. NE

Washington, D.C.

(202) 842-3401

www.furnightclub.com

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Madam's Organ

One of Adams Morgan's most popular bars, Madam's has cheap drinks, food, pool tables, live music, and a hip, laid-back attitude.

2461 18 St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 667-5370

www.madamsorgan.com

The Improv

The Improv has stand-up comedy acts that attract big-name stars to perform-popular with college students and young people, with lots of good appetizers and a two-drink minimum.

1140 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 296-7008

www.dcimprov.com

Marx Café

This spot attracts young hipsters with its Communist décor, reggae and Spanish rock music, and great tapas.

3203 Mount Pleasant St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 518-7600

www.marxcafemtp.com

Recessions Lounge

Recessions is a very cheap downtown bar in the basement of the Commerce Building-a great after-work spot. Features nightly drink specials and cheap food.

1823 L St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 296-6686

www.recessionsdc.com

Pure Lounge

1326 U St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 290-7058

www.pureloungedc.com

Apex

Located in Dupont Circle, Apex is a popular destination among AU students. Apex is the longest-running gay dance club in the district.

1415 22nd St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 296-0505

www.apex-dc.com

9:30 Club

The 9:30 Club is one of the best venues around to see some of the biggest up-and-coming artists perform.

815 V St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 265-0930

www.930.com

Asylum

Asylum features industrial/metal music, cheap beer, and great burgers and fries.

2471 18 St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 319-9353

Heaven and Hell

A popular college dance spot, Heaven has an `80s night and techno music, and Hell has a more low-key bar scene with theme drinks like the red-hot 666 shot.

2327 18 St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 667-4355

www.clubheavenandhelldc.com

Hawk and Dove

Attracts Capitol Hill staffers and military types; H&D has six rooms, a dance floor, and late-night breakfast and food specials.

329 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Washington, D.C.

(202) 543-3300

www.hawkanddoveonline.com

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

DC Improv

Many bars and clubs, especially in Dupont Circle, are 18-and-up, so even younger students can have a good time out in the city. DC Improv shows are open to those 18-and-up.

1140 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 296-7008

www.dcimprov.com

Student Polls

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 36 responses

  • 14% Any of the fraternities
  • 12% The Berks
  • 11% Clubs
  • 11% Phi Sigma Kappa or Pike Fraternities
  • 8% Rugby House
  • 8% Georgetown
  • 7% Local clubs hosted by frats
  • 6% Frisbee House
  • 5% Zeta Psi
  • 3% EI (not technically a frat)
  • 2% Alpha Sig
  • 2% George Washington
  • 1% ITs online
  • 1% Sammy
  • 1% Local clubs
  • 1% Aepi
  • 1% Apartment parties
  • 1% Beta
  • 1% Sami (they're always throwing a party)
  • 1% Sigma Chi (super nice)

What is the best day of the week for nightlife on your college campus?    Based on 30 responses

  • 3% Sunday
  • 0% Monday
  • 0% Tuesday
  • 0% Wednesday
  • 0% Thursday
  • 63% Friday
  • 33% Saturday

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 99 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • 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 82 responses

  • 6% Walk.
  • 15% Taxis.
  • 65% Public transportation.
  • 11% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 4% Use a designated driver.
  • 0% There are no good options.

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 37 responses

  • 62% Welcome Week!
  • 16% Halloween
  • 8% Homecoming
  • 8% Founder's Day
  • 5% Sig Ep Bid Party

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 109 responses

  • 3% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 28% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 56% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 6% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 7% Parties? What parties?
4
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