Party Scene

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Party Scene


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4 College Freshman

Party Scene: parties are a blast, and you can always find one.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Party Scene: Always one parties during the weekends.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Party Scene: Most parties occur at frat houses.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Party Scene: Always something to do if you want to

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Party Scene: There are frat parties, apartment and house parties.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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East Lansing is a bar town, and until you hit 21, most of the city’s popular nightclubs will be pretty much off-limits. Don’t fret, though—there are still plenty of options out there for the under-21 crowd. If you can’t find the good parties your freshman year, you’re in the same predicament as everyone else your age. Most freshmen, because they are new to campus and aren’t allowed to have cars, spend their Saturday nights walking up and down Grand River on the prowl for parties. However, most of these efforts are fruitless because police will have broken up most parties by the time it takes to get there on foot. The party scene usually doesn’t pick up until sophomore year, when students have a lot more party connections.

Frat parties are always an option for girls interested in basement dancing and theme nights. Guys, however, tend to have a more difficult time gaining access to frat parties unless they bring a few girls. There are a lot of house parties off campus, but those are usually quite exclusive and you have to rely on pretty strong connections to gain admittance. As a last resort for meeting new people or hitting the dance floor, some students go for the nightclub scene. The Whiskey Barrel is a good choice for clubbing and has college night on Wednesdays. By junior and senior year, most students have turned 21 and can bypass the tiresome search for house parties to settle down at one of the many East Lansing bars. The best advice to having a good time in East Lansing is to make a list of party contacts, wear some comfortable walking shoes, and be prepared to do a lot of hiking and party-hopping on your weekends.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
Downtown East Lansing on Grand River
Other Places to Check Out
  • Dagwood's
  • Mac's
  • Spiral
  • Trippers
Local Specialties
  • Harper’s American Wheat Beer:
  • Peanut Barrel Long Islands:
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games
  • Century Club
  • Flip cup
  • Power Hour
  • Quarters
  • Spoons
Useful Resources for Nightlife
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Whiskey Barrel Saloon

Greatest country bar around! Line dancing, country karaoke, and a mechanical bull-this is a very popular spot for many MSU students. Open Tuesday-Saturday 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Check the Web site for great drink specials.

410 South Clippert

(517) 351-5690

The Dollar

Located across from the Brody Complex, the Dollar is usually a 21-and-over club but offers college nights every Thursday. The 18,000-square-foot club boasts a 740-square-foot dance floor, five pool tables, and 10 televisions including a large projection TV (about 80 inches), which on Tuesdays plays videos as the DJ simultaneously spins the song.

3411 E. Michigan

(517) 351-2451

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Reno's East Side Sportsbar & Grill

A decent sports bar, Reno's has many big screens, and the enthusiastic crowds are great. Free popcorn is an added plus.

1310 Abbott St.

(517) 337-2333

PT O'Malleys

This is the bar most frequented by Greeks. But it's cool in that it's Irish-themed and the drinks are pretty cheap. The best night of the year is St. Patrick's day when green beer and green eggs and ham are served all day.

210 Abbott St.

(517) 332-2959

The Peanut Barrel

The Peanut Barrel is a no-nonsense bar with a couple of TVs, a great juke box, two pool tables, a couple dart boards and video games-and, of course, peanuts. Come check it out. It's a student favorite.

521 E. Grand River Ave.

(517) 351-0608

Rick's American Café

The best place in town to hear live music, Rick's can really pack students in with the large standing room area and huge downstairs. If someone good is playing, be prepared for long lines.

224 Abbott St.

(517) 351-2285

Spartan Sports Den

Located off the beaten path, the Den isn't really busy, but it's worth checking out.

1227 E. Grand River Ave.

(517) 333-1944

Roadhouse Pub

The Roadhouse Pub, located next door to the Harrison Roadhouse, is a cool little watering hole where the beer's always cold, the popcorn's usually fresh, and somebody's always willing to test your skills on the dartboard or the pool table. Nightly drink specials and a nifty patio area make the Pub a hard place to leave. Just ask the loyal "Roadies" who scramble to get back to these cozy quarters whenever they can.

720 Michigan St.

(517) 337-0200

The Riv

One of the more spacious bars on campus, the Riv is a place that many students add to their bar-hopping stops, shooting some pool, watching sports on the big screen, and then continuing on to the next bar.

231 M.A.C. Ave.

(517) 351-5855

The Landshark

The ambience of this bar is a basement college hangout. The food is fantastic for your typical bar fare, and the scene is lively and driven usually by a talented DJ. Get there early on Thursdays or during home games `cause the place is jumping!

101 E. Grand River Ave.

(517) 351-8973


With pool tables, darts, trivia games, and giant TVs, Buffalo Wild Wings is a cool place to watch a game or just lay low. And you can do either while eating wings dipped in 12 different sauces and sipping on domestic, imported, or specialty brews or your favorite cocktail.

306 Albert

(517) 333-2999

Bistro 37

Located in the Marriot, and open until midnight each night, Bistro 37 is a nice place to sip wine and order a few appetizers, but definately not a place to get rowdy.

300 M.A.C. Ave.

(517) 337-4440

Beggar's Banquet

Open until 1 a.m. Monday-Thursday, 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 12 a.m. on Sunday, Beggar's has weekly specials, such as half-off wine and appetizers on Wednesdays, $2 Coronas, Dos Equis, and margaritas on Thursdays, pitcher and jager bomb deals on Friday, and $3 flavored vodka martinis on Saturdays.

218 Abbott

(517) 351-4540


Crunchy's is every MSU student's first exploration into binge drinking, thanks to the Buckets of Beer. The inside has painted green walls adorned with old framed Spartan photos and paraphanalia. The bar is very small, but the fun is to try and pack as many people into the tiny booths as possible.

254 W. Grand River

(517) 351-2506

KC's Lounge

KC's is your typical, aniseptic hotel lobby bar. The style is modern, with lots of gray metal and glass. There are a couple TVs behind the bar and a seating area that has about six tables. But the service is outstanding, and it's next to the front desk. If you want a quick drink before a game or event at the Breslin Center, get one here and you'll be at Breslin within five minutes.

55 S. Harrison St.

(517) 432-4000

Harper's Brewpub

This is East Lansing's first brewpub, and they got it right the first time! It's a great place to come and watch the game, shoot pool, or try a sampling of their brews. All-in-all, students rarely are disappointed, and the brewpub supports MSU by proudly displaying green and white.

137 Albert Ave.

(517) 333-4040

El Azteco

The rooftop deck is definately a reason MSU students come here and order a pitcher of margaritas and watch passerby's below. There's good Mexican food here, and the restaurant is always trying to get a bigger crowd by offering cheaper deals to students.

225 Ann St.

(517) 351-9111

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

House parties are big at MSU. You can find many parties going on every weekend at many of the fraternities, or you can find big block parties on Gunson Street. The trick is to ask around and get on an e-mail list that can give you weekly updates on all the latest events. Some MSU house parties charge a small cover (around $5) since they provide you with beer and a cup, although if you're female you usually don't have to pay.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 269 responses

Very poor
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 159 responses

  • 36% MSU vs UofM Home Games
  • 31% There are a major number of parties around
  • 16% Halloween
  • 7% St. Patrick's Day
  • 6% I don't attend parties
  • 4% Homecoming

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 279 responses

  • 14% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 62% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 15% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 3% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 6% Parties? What parties?


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