Party Scene

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Party Scene


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3 College Freshman

Party Scene: Public parties get a little repetitive. Most people stay on campus for nightlife, especially if they're underage.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Party Scene: There's usually one or two public parties every weekend, and they're all fairly similar.

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: The party scene is good but there are strict rules about alcohol.

3 College Freshman

Party Scene: There are parties around campus which can be fun.

1 College Junior

Party Scene: Vibe on campus: contrived, forced, and overplanned fun. For me, fun should have an element of spontaneity and joy. It's hard to have that when everything is planned out weeks in advance, talked up by virgins, and filled with the same virgins who are desperately trying to lose their virginity week after week and failing.

Imagine frats with social anxiety, mild depression, and sexual frustration out the roof. Oh, and cops standing around and freshmen pouring you beer.

6 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The biggest perk of having a wet campus (e.g., alcohol allowed) is that in addition to the two pubs on campus, parties are frequent and well attended. Rice students like themed parties, especially with costumes, and they also like their beer and liquor, so expect to find all of these in abundance. Despite the great potential for creativity, Rice students tend to cling more to tradition when it comes to parties. Each college has a number of public parties that they traditionally host, which are more or less the same every year. Private parties (e.g., advertised only by word of mouth; less likely to be themed; more your idea of a regular college party with music, dancing, and booze) are more spontaneous. The Rice Alcohol Policy allows students that are under 21 to drink at private parties, as long as the alcohol stays behind closed doors. Students that are over 21 can take their open containers all around campus if they so choose.

Off-campus house parties are not unheard of, but they tend to be associated with groups that are more isolated from the mainstream social scene (e.g., athletic teams, music or architecture students, disgruntled upperclassmen). Club hopping is more popular with underclassmen, but by senior year, the off-campus bar scene is the preferred option.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Downtown
  • Montrose
  • Rice Village
  • Richmond Strip
Other Places to Check Out
  • Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club
  • Brian O'Neill's Irish Pub
  • Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar
  • Chapultepec Lupita
  • Dark Horse Tavern
  • Houston Area Traditional Dance Society
  • Katz's Deli & Bar
  • Kelvin Arms Scottish Pub
  • Little Woodrow's
  • Marquis
  • Pearl Bar
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer cart
  • Beer golf
  • Beer pong
  • Card games
  • Kings
  • Movie drinking games
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
Closing Time
2 a.m.-3 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Campus parties Valhalla
Organization Parties
Most campus parties are sponsored by the different residential colleges. Small private parties might also be associated with different clubs, theatrical presentations (cast parties), sports teams (usually off-campus parties), and more.
Did You Know?
  • Each college sponsors its own public party every semester, ranging from raves to near-naked debauchery. You can get involved and earn freshman service points by working security (e.g., keeping people under control and out of trouble).
  • Good news for incoming freshmen: most clubs in Houston are 18 and older! Just bring a valid ID, and you shouldn't have a problem, although your cover charge might be slightly higher because you won't be forking out the dough for alcohol.
  • If drinking isn't your thing, Houston has tons of things to offer that don't require an over-21 ID. Check out the theater or museum districts, live concerts, sporting events, nearby Galveston Beach, or get involved on campus!

Club ListingsWhat's This?


Although many heterosexual females (and occasional heterosexual males) sometimes frequent Rich's to avoid sleazy come-ons and just have the opportunity to dance, the target crowd of this two-story club is Houston's young gay and lesbian population. Rich's is the home of Texas's largest dance floor on its main level. Many people use the upper level lounge area to take a break, watch the action happening on the dance floor below, enjoy a drink, or check out the decorations (artwork done by local artists). This is an intense club with a lively crowd. Dress to impress; 18 and older. While many club-goers (gay and straight) would call this one of their favorite spots, a word of caution is to use the restroom before you go. The restrooms in the club are commonly used for "recreational activities" that make actually using the facilities an unpleasant experience!

2401 San Jacinto St.


(713) 759-9606

Wild West

Wild West is considered the best two-stepping country club and bar in Houston. With a motto like "Two-Steppin and Longneckin'," you know you are in for a good time! In addition to the good times on the dance floor, you can shoot pool, play blackjack, or get your boots shined (no kidding!). The atmosphere is to die for-solid oak floor, lady bartenders in scandalous cowgirl outfits, and a large number of people of all ages wearing cowboy hats, boots, belt buckles! Don't worry if it is your first time; country/Texan attire is not required, and the DJs will break up the line dances and two-stepping with an occasional "booty break" of regular club music-at which time the dance floor usually clears of cowboys and is taken over by college students.

6101 Richmond Ave.


(713) 266-3455

Club Roxy

Located near the galleria, The Roxy is one of the more popular clubs in the area, and is open to anyone 18 or older, with lots of special deals for ladies or people 21-and-up. Most nights have themes (hip hop, Latin, retro, etc.), and the attire is dressier for some nights than others (check out the dress code online). The Roxy also hosts occasional concerts and contests, as well as special events such as foam parties.

5351 W. Alabama St.


(713) 850-7699 (ROXY)


One of the most well-known clubs in Houston, Numbers opened in 1978 and has hosted concerts with big-name stars such as The Village People, Nine Inch Nails, Elliot Smith, Snoop Dogg, and Paul Oakenfold, as well as a variety of great local bands. Numbers caters to all ages and musical interests. Check out its website to learn about theme nights and events. If you get tired of dancing, you can take a break to play pool, a video game, watch either of the two giant video screens playing flash remix videos, or chill out and enjoy a drink at the second floor bar, which overlooks the dance floor below.

300 Westheimer Road


(713) 526-6551

Bar ListingsWhat's This?


Perhaps the most laid-back pub that you can possibly imagine, Valhalla is the graduate student pub, although it is also used by faculty, alumni, and upperclassmen that are over 21. The inside space is cozy, and it looks snazzier recently thanks to an awesome mural of Norse mythology in the entranceway. Valhalla is a non-profit organization, staffed entirely by volunteers, and the beer is cheap, my friends. The cool thing to do is go down into Valhalla (it is located beneath the old Chemistry Lecture Hall), buy your drinks, and bring them outside where you can drink leisurely on the steps of the Chem Lec building or the neighboring benches.

6100 Main St.

On campus

(713) 348-3258

West Alabama Ice House

West Alabama features exclusively outdoor seating, a very casual atmosphere, and a basketball court in the back!

1919 W. Alabama St.


(713) 528-6874

Willy's Pub

The undergraduate campus pub, Willy's Pub, is a great place to hang out, grab a drink or a bite to eat (smoothies, pizza, subs, popcorn, chips), or play pool or darts. Every Thursday night is "Pub Night," and the place gets crowded. The individual residential colleges will usually sponsor one pub night per semester for their college specifically, and on those nights college members can usually get free or discounted food and drinks, and karaoke is available. There are specials Monday through Thursday nights.

Rice Student Center, basement


(713) 348-4056

Under the Volcano

Another very popular place to ring in your 21st, this bar is located within walking distance from campus and has a great atmosphere with original decorations, outdoor seating, a tasty food menu, and delicious (but slightly pricey) mixed drinks. The beer selection isn't bad, but it's highly recommended to try the mojitos, frozen screwdrivers, or strawberry basil margaritas.

2349 Bissonnet St.


(713) 526-5282

Etta's Lounge

Bored on a Sunday night? Want something to do that is off the beaten track? Etta's Lounge is a gold mine hidden away on Scott Street, and it is frequented by very few college students. This jazz and blues lounge also features greasy-but-tasty grill food and buckets of cold beer, but the highlight is definitely the live music. Every Sunday night, there is an incredible lineup of soulful singers and bands. A small percentage of the crowd will sometimes take to the dance floor, but many choose to just listen.

5120 Scott St.


(713) 528-2611

Ginger Man

If you are looking for a laid-back atmosphere and a pub that specializes in making beers, wines, and ciders, check out the Ginger Man. Usually not too crowded on weekdays, and within walking distance of Rice campus, this bar has a covered outdoor seating area with long wooden benches that make it a great place to go with a group of any size. It's never too noisy to have a good conversation at the Ginger Man, which makes it a popular spot with Rice students.

5607 Morningside Dr.


(713) 526-2770


Perfect for a romantic or potentially scandalous night out, this cozy lounge bar is hidden away behind an unmarked and inconspicuous blue door in the River Oaks district. This two-floor bar has a good selection of wines and champagne (the bubbly is brought out in fireman buckets, which is a very cool touch. However, if you try to swipe one, the management will get fairly upset). The downstairs is dimly lit, offers bar or table seating, and is used by the groups of platonic patrons. Upstairs, the lighting gets dimmer still, and faded couches are filled with couples getting comfortable. Venture further down the upstairs hallway and you will come to a room that is pitch black. What goes on in this room shall be left up to the imagination. Enter at your own risk.

2006 Peden St.


(713) 528-0083

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

Galveston Beach/Galveston Island

Galveston Island and Galveston Beach are a lot of fun for students of all ages.


(409) 737-3131

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 68 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 69 responses

  • 4% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 70% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 17% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 6% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 3% Parties? What parties?

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 40 responses

  • 95% Beer Bike
  • 2% NOD
  • 2% Architectronica
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