Party Scene

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Party Scene


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4 College Freshman

Party Scene: You can find parties easily but also avoid them if you want to. IU is a party school and a lot of people partake.

5 College Student

Party Scene: There are a lot of parties to be had everywhere.

5 College Freshman

Party Scene: The best parties take place in the apartment buildings.

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: There are a lot of parties during the weekend, but really they are not that great most of the time. They are okay just to chill or do something different but they are not necessarily great.

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5 College Sophomore

Party Scene: There are so many different types of people you can meet at the parties, it definitely helped as a stress reliever.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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There's never a lack of things to do on the weekends when you just want to have a good time . . . as long as you're 21 or older. The bar scene is pretty complete, with different places to see music, dance, chat and mingle, or play drinking games. Most of the popular bars are close enough together to eliminate the need for driving, which is probably a good thing.

Don't stress too much about the lack of underage clubs. If Rhino's music and all the other Bloomington attractions aren't enough for your under-21-but-still-partying spirit, there is always a good number of house parties, frat parties, or other off-campus parties going on. Campus clubs and organizations are not to be overlooked, either. There's something for everyone, but underagers may need to look a little harder.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Kirkwood Avenue
  • Town Square Area
Student Favorites
  • Bluebird
  • Kilroy's on Kirkwood
  • Kilroy's Sports Bar
Local Specialties
  • Upland Brews:
  • Wine from Oliver Winery:
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer Pong
  • Card games
  • Century Club
  • Flip Cup
  • Power Hour
  • Quarters
  • Sink the Biz
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • The Indiana Daily Studen's weekend magazine
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
The Cue, has beer from around the world for $1 A lot of places have 15 cent drafts on Wednesdays
Organization Parties
Many of the clubs and organizations at IU will rent out a space to have a party in, sometimes even on campus. These events are good fun and happen frequently. Check out on-campus sidewalk chalking, announcements left on chalkboards in classes, or one of the many flier-covered kiosks on campus for more information.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Rhino's All Ages Music Club

Bloomington's only under-21 nightclub. The laid-back atmosphere and low cover charge makes Rhino's a great place to see local indie, rock, and punk bands perform. There's no food, no drinking (except from the Coke machine) and no smoking, but there's plenty of dancing.

325 ½ S. Walnut St.

(812) 333-3430

Second Story

A club-like atmosphere makes this home to a slightly older crowd-a lot of grad students or older undergrads frequent Second Story. The bar is cheap, and the dance floor is open. This is the place to see live music you may not see anywhere else.

201 S. College Ave.

(812) 336-CLUB

Cellar Lounge

Although you won't find much dancing here, you will find a cozy little spot to hear live music, much of it local. Drink, play pool, and groove. Cover charge applies (usually around $5).

123 S. Walnut St.

(812) 333-4874

Axis Nightclub

Axis features several local bands each week, and has "Nickel Nights" and "Hot Body Contests," as well as the occasional "Retro Night," karaoke, and ladies' nights.

419 N. Walnut St.

(812) 332-0402


This 21-and-over gay dance club is not a quiet place to get to know someone, but it is a great place to hear techno/dance music, play pool, and see the occasional drag show. The crowd tends to be mostly younger. Cover charge is typically $4.

201 S. College Ave.

(812) 334-3232

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Upstairs Pub

Known as a good place to watch an IU game, get rid of the munchies, or play pool, Upstairs is conveniently located in the central vicinity of several other bars.

430 E. Kirkwood Ave.

(812) 333-3003

Scotty's Brewhouse

Scotty's is a popular sports bar, featuring an extensive beer list (both on tap and bottled); patrons can join the "Round the World Club" by trying every beer Scotty's offers, and are rewarded with an engraved plaque along the bar.

302 N. Walnut St.

(812) 333-5151

Yogi's City Grille

Yogi's used to have dining available for all ages in the dining room separate from the bar, but recently changed their policy; now you must be 21 to enjoy the food. Most people go to Yogi's for the 26 beers on tap or the 25 televisions around the bar-it's a popular spot for a night out.

519 E. 10th St.

(812) 323-9644

Video Saloon

Big screen TVs and music dominate this bar. The Vid is a favorite of students trying to escape the familiar bar scene, thanks to its local flavor. This watering hole is more a hangout for townsfolk than for IU students.

105 W. 7th St.

(812) 333-0064

Kilroy's on Kirkwood

Kilroy's on Kirkwood offers daily specials, and those under 21 can dine in before it turns exclusive at night. This bar has one of the largest shooter lists in the midwest; many shots are made up by the bartenders. Kilroy's on Kirkwood has a sister bar, Kilroy's Sports bar.

502 E. Kirkwood Ave.

(812) 339-3006

The Bluebird

This bar is known primarily for its reputation as a fantastic live music venue and Wednesday night 15-cent drafts. Recently expanded to add a new bar and more seating, there's plenty of room near the stage for dancing. If you want to see a good show, chances are you should go to the Bird.

216 N. Walnut St.

(812) 336-3984

Nick's English Hut

Nick's is a Bloomington tradition dating back to the 1920s. More laid-back than the average just-turned-21-bar-hopper-crowd may be used to, alumni and older students frequent this bar for the atmosphere and the tradition. Nick's is most well known for "Sink the Biz," a drinking game involving a bucket, two to ten players, and a whole lot of beer. If there was only one bar associated with Bloomington, Nick's would be it.

423 E. Kirkwood Ave.

(812) 332-4040

Kilroy's Sports Bar

Both Kilroy's locations have something for the bar-hopper. With a pretty extensive menu and daily happy hours, Kilroy's Sports is a gathering place for many students to take in athletic events along with a couple beers or a game of pool.

319 N. Walnut St. (Corner of Walnut & Dunn)

(812) 333-6006

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

Rhino's All Ages Music Club

Bloomington's only under-21 nightclub.

325 ½ S. Walnut St.

(812) 333-3430

Musical Arts Center

Catch an opera, a ballet, or a symphony. Ticket prices are lower for students, and there are shows here throughout the year.

Jordan Avenue

(812) 855-1583


Watch for Union Board Late Night events, movies, bowling, billiards, and more. Added bonus: you never even have to leave campus.

900 E. 7th St.

(812) 856-6381

Student Polls

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 86 responses

  • 28% Greek Houses
  • 26% There are forums and also word of mouth
  • 26% Everywhere
  • 10% SwissList
  • 5% Facebook
  • 2% Literally walk anywhere
  • 2% Bars

What is the best day of the week for nightlife on your college campus?    Based on 60 responses

  • 0% Sunday
  • 0% Monday
  • 0% Tuesday
  • 0% Wednesday
  • 13% Thursday
  • 52% Friday
  • 35% Saturday

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 168 responses

Very poor
  • 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 112 responses

  • 47% Walk.
  • 2% Taxis.
  • 8% Public transportation.
  • 24% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 18% Use a designated driver.
  • 1% There are no good options.

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 98 responses

  • 80% Little 5 and the upcoming week
  • 14% Little 5
  • 3% Halloween
  • 2% Little 500 & Quals
  • 1% Homecoming

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 164 responses

  • 25% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 60% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 9% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 4% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 2% Parties? What parties?


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