Party Scene

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Party Scene


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2 College Senior

Party Scene: The party scene at Bowdoin is pretty terrible (with an occasional fun party), so don't get your hopes up and think this is a party school.

5 people found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Party Scene: The parties at Bowdoin have the same 50 people at them every weekend and they are far from fun, but it is what you make of it.

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Party Scene: There are no clubs around. The parties are fun though.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Party Scene: Epicuria and the Cold War party are the two biggest parties on campus.

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: There aren't really any clubs nearby. People just go to social house parties.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Brunswick isn't the liveliest town when it comes to nightlife, but the places that do exist are pretty popular with Bowdoin students. Common spots that students frequent are the Sea Dog Brewing Company, Joshua’s Tavern, and the on-campus pub. Most students don’t travel far for nighttime entertainment—there are usually parties going on at the on-campus social houses, or students can just walk downtown. The club scene in Brunswick is weak to nonexistent, but many Bowdoin students don’t really enjoy that scene to begin with. There is access to a much more vibrant nighttime scene in Portland, about a half-hour drive from campus.

However, students don’t usually need to travel far because there is generally a lot happening on campus Thursday through Saturday. There are plenty of parties, but students who do not want to drink can still feel comfortable attending because there is no pressure to drink. The African-American Society also holds a popular dance party at Russwurm House where no alcohol is served. Upperclassmen generally don’t attend parties at the social houses, but private room parties grow in size as word gets around. The campus pub also has bands and DJs on Thursday and a few Saturday nights. For one week in April, nightlife becomes “daylife” during Ivies, which is a celebration of the fact that it is finally nice out again in Maine. During this time, there are constant parties and concerts, and everyone hangs out on the quad. For underage students, the on-campus parties are a possibility, but they can also go to Gelato Fiasco or bowling. Despite the lack of variety and options in regards to clubs and bars, students still manage to have fun in their weekend antics.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Maine Street, Brunswick
  • Old Port area, Portland
Other Places to Check Out
  • 51 Wharf Restaurant & Ultra Lounge (Portland)
  • Bowling Bowl (bowling lanes near campus)
  • The Frosty Pint (Portland)
  • Spare Time (bowling in Brunswick)
  • Three Dollar Deweys (Portland)
Local Specialties
Sea Dog's beer:
Favorite Drinking Games
  • 21 Cup
  • Beer Pong/Beirut
  • Flip Cup
  • Kings
  • Power Hour
  • Quarters
  • Stump
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • The Portland Phoenix
Closing Time
1 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Jack Magee's Pub on campus
Organization Parties
Without the existence of frats, organization parties rule at Bowdoin and are usually held at a social or athletic team's house. In general, Ladd House reigns supreme for hosting the most fun and all-out parties on campus-they generally have good themes and a good upperclassman turnout. The other social houses attract a strong first-year and sophomore crowd, but juniors and seniors would rather party in their more apartment-like domains. Notable house parties are the Ladd Luau, Baxter Graffiti Party, and Ladd Toga. The `80s party is also popular. The lacrosse team owns a house off campus, known as the "Crack House," and parties there are considered dirty but fun. Red Brick is filled with members from various sports teams and is another off-campus alternative. Other organizations might have parties, but they will be in the residential buildings.
Did You Know?
  • Hard liquor is forbidden on campus, but it still has a small presence on campus. Drinking games are also not permitted, but they occur anyway.
  • All kegs must be registered with the College.
  • According to policy, alcohol may not be served before 7:30 p.m., unless given special permission by the College, and according to town ordinance, may not be served after 1 a.m.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

The Pavilion

The Pavilion feels a little more like a big-city club than most around here.

188 Middle St.


(207) 773-6422

The Big Easy

This is Portland's closest thing to a portal to Louisiana, focusing on good ol' smoky blues. An assortment of local and national blues, rock, and funk acts play all through the week. The cover varies from $3 to $7.

55 Market St.


(207) 775-2266

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

MJ's Grille & Tavern

MJ's is directly across the street from Joshua's, so it is equally convenient for students to walk to from campus. MJ's also includes a nice restaurant if you're looking for a good dinner and then a night out.

94 Maine St.


(207) 729-6574

Sea Dog Brewing Company

Sea Dog is enjoyed by faculty, students, alumni, and parents. It offers something for every desired taste. It brews its own authentic ales and offers creative pub fare with flair on a scenic spot that looks onto the Androscoggin River.

1 Bowdoin Mill Island


(207) 725-0162

Lion's Pride

Lion's Pride has good food, a wide variety of beverage options, and great service. There are 35 beers on taps, including several that aren't available at many other bars. Customers comment on the great atmosphere and decor, as well as the welcome they get from the employees.

112 Pleasant St.


(207) 373-1840

Jack Magee's Pub & Grill

The on-campus pub offers beer and wine for students 21 or older. There is also live music, as well as DJs.

Smith Union

Bowdoin campus

Joshua's Restaurant and Tavern

Joshua's is a favorite for seniors. With 21 beers on tap, live entertainment on weekends, excellent food, a full bar, pool, foosball, and darts, Joshua's offers any student a fun time away from campus.

121 Maine St.


(207) 725-7981

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

Most students who are under 21 don't need to leave campus to have fun. There are many things to do, including athletic competitions, comedy shows, or, if they wish, parties on the weekend where they can dance and hang out.

Gelato Fiasco

The Gelato Fiasco is a hip little shop downtown that serves gelato, sorbetto, and espresso. It is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. In the winter, for every degree below zero it is outside, there is a 1 percent discount on gelato.

74 Maine St.


(207) 607-4002

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 53 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 49 responses

  • 0% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 33% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 59% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 6% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 2% Parties? What parties?

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 25 responses

  • 100% Ivies
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