Party Scene

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Party Scene


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5 College Freshman

Party Scene: Amidst the back drop of New York city, the world is your oyster. There isn't a thing that is at your fingertips.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Party Scene: Its not a party school, but with New York city as our playground it is easy to have an active social life and find what ever activity it is that one is interested in.

4 people found this useful Report
2 Recent Alumnus

Party Scene: There's nothing in the area. You have to travel somewhere for it to really be worth it.

5 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Party Scene: I'm not into the party scene.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Party Scene: Columbia students study hard, but know how to have fun!

3 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

View student contributors

New York is known for its incredible nightlife. Students have a ton of options all over the city for things to fill their weekend nights. Additionally, Morningside Heights provides some entertainment, with a handful of bars, clubs, and dives for fun-seekers who don't want to deal with spotty weekend subway service. Bars and clubs in New York range from fairly cheap to ridiculously expensive, and access to top-tier clubs is often limited by who you know and what you're wearing.

The weekend begins on Thursday nights at Columbia (which has few if any Friday classes). There always seems to be party-goers stumbling around campus and Morningside Heights every night of the weekend. Parties are often held in private dorms and fraternity houses, with occasional organization or independent parties thrown at clubs in the neighborhood. Underage students generally opt for on-campus parties, as many clubs card, and most people wouldn't want to deal with a 30-minute subway ride just to be served with rejection at the door of a downtown club.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Chelsea
  • Midtown
  • NYU Area
  • The Village
Other Places to Check Out
  • Dive 75
  • The Heights Bar & Grill
  • Horus Too
  • Il Cibreo
  • Jake's Dilemma
  • Lion's Head Tavern
  • Mel's Burger Bar
  • O'Connells Pub
  • Sun-Chan
  • Village Pourhouse
Local Specialties
  • Cosmopolitan: Popularized by "Sex and the City," this cocktail blends cranberry juice with vodka, triple sec, and a splash of lime juice.
  • The PrezBo: Named after Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger (affectionately known as PrezBo), the Prezbo consists of vodka and club soda.
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Flip cup
  • Most students don't play drinking games unless they are at fraternity parties.
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • Inside New York
  • Time Out New York
Closing Time
4 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Unless it's happy hour, plan on paying $4 or $5 for a pint just about anywhere you go, except of course, upscale places, where cocktails can run from $6 or $7 all the way to $15. A cheaper option would be buying your booze from a deli and drinking in your room.
Organization Parties
Every year, ADP (Alpha Delta Phi), the literary society/alternative coed fraternity, sponsors a formal.

Club ListingsWhat's This?


One of New York's hottest clubs with 30,000 square feet of party space divided into four levels. Sound system and lighting are just as impressive as the famous DJs that keep the club packed well into the morning on weekends.

618 W. 46th St.

Between Hudson River and Hell's Kitchen

(212) 209-7500


Two-level midtown dance club

240 W. 52nd St.

Midtown West

(347) 413-4069


This is a house/EDM (electronic dance music) dance club.

289 10th Ave.


(646) 473-0202


Electronic music dance club in the West Village.

18 Little W. 12th St.

West Village

(212) 645-5700


"A Downtown vibe with an Uptown sensibility."

39 E. 58th St.

Midtown East

(212) 584-2700

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Ding Dong Lounge

The indie-rock undergrads at Columbia rejoiced when this dingy, punk-rock dive bar moved to town. But all drinkers agree, the Ding Dong is an unpretentious place to drink cheaply and listen to something other than pop radio (live DJs help keep the music interesting). No cover charge.

929 Columbus Ave.

(212) 663-2600

Havana Central

There's hardly anything you can say about a bar whose slogan is, "Where Columbia had its first beer," except that everybody goes there. It's the closest bar to the main gates of campus and most residence halls, so everyone is familiar with it, making it a popular place to assemble for a study lunch or a night out. Fortunately, the place is as big as a barn, so there's room for all who are thirsty and a lounge in the basement is often a spot for local and campus bands to play. No cover charge.

2911 Broadway

Upper West Side

(212) 662-8830

1020 Bar

1020 is the favorite among upperclassmen and some graduate students. The pool table in the back also draws neighborhood folk who just want to shoot a few rounds and drink a few pints. A big screen in the back plays the big game or whatever movie is on TBS or AMC. No cover charge.

1020 Amsterdam Ave.

Morningside Heights

(212) 531-3468

Abbey Pub

The 10-block walk to the Abbey can be hard to handle on a very cold night, but the table service and friendly, laid-back atmosphere can be worth it. The Abbey Pub used to be known for serving alcohol to anyone, including those entering the bar in strollers, but recent crackdowns have changed the rules. No cover charge.

237 W. 105th St.

Manhattan Valley

(212) 222-8713

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

Webster Hall

New York is full of great 18-and-up music venues, with Webster Hall being one of the most notable. A large venue which books a variety acts, Webster Hall is a great place to see your favorite band or DJ.

125 E. 11th St.

East Village

(212) 353-1600


Caroline's is a great comedy club at Times Square that books class acts.

1626 Broadway

(212) 757-4100

Amsterdam Billiard Club

This is a good place to play pool. Plus, there's foosball, darts, and pingpong.

344 Amsterdam Ave.

Union Square

(212) 995-0333

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 74 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 75 responses

  • 5% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 28% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 25% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 19% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 23% Parties? What parties?

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 20 responses

  • 100% Bachannal


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