At Caltech, the nightlife generally involves doing calculus homework until sunrise one night and doing it again for physics the next night. Generally, the nightlife is nonexistent. Pasadena is a small city with mostly older residents. Though it is close to the LA party scene geographically, it in no way resembles an LA atmosphere at night. There are a few bars in Old Pasadena and some in neighboring Alhambra, but no clubs within close walking distance. For students who are intent on going out and clubbing, LA is the closest place, though sometimes transportation can be an issue. Another problem with going clubbing is finding other students interested in going with you on any given night. Also, coordinating schedules can, at times, seem impossible. Pasadena is not a lively place at night.
The nightlife on campus on non-homework days can be amusing from time to time. Students will get together to drink and play cards, or just drink. There are not very many parties on campus. Sometimes, there will be parties at off-campus houses where students live, but these are few and far between. Besides these parties, each of the seven houses has a party once a year. These parties often involve constructing a club-type scene with a theme, and the parties resemble a nightclub, except that they are on Caltech's campus and that they happen infrequently. Drinking games and such happen within the houses and amongst friends. Some houses even have special nights allotted to them, but the campus is usually quiet like the city of Pasadena itself.