Party Scene

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Party Scene


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4 College Junior

Party Scene: No real social pressure to go out, and lots of options if you do, although things can get a bit creepy for girls at some locations.

7 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Party Scene: Not as exclusive as other ivies, but not as intense as state schools.Yalies are chill.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Party Scene: Yale has a pretty lenient drug and alcohol policy, so the party scene in dorms and party suites is not bad. Larger parties are usually at fraternities or house parties, and sometimes at bars. The student experience's relationship to partying is generally positive - I know a lot of people who see it as a good way to let loose after a long and difficult week.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Student

Party Scene: If you want to go out, there's plenty of options. And there's always toads when all your plans fall through

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Party Scene: Parties are really fun and safe. There are options for everyone.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Starting Thursday night, there are many parties ranging from room parties to frat parties to organized campus-wide dances. The room and frat parties are pretty much comprised of people densely crowded around a warm keg listening to Lady Gaga, similar to what you'd find at many colleges. You can frequent these until you graduate (free alcohol?), but most students choose to mix up their social life with theater performances, college-sponsored dances with live DJs, comedy shows, a cappella jams with afterparties, and intimite wine and cheese parties.

While frats can be moderately fun at best, Yale is known for its campus-wide parties sponsored by organizations or residential colleges. Themes such as Prohibition, Trolley Night (Mardi Gras), Safety Dance, and seasonal dances abound. Cultural organizations such as the African American house host events and the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Co-Op holds several dances a year (for both straight and gay students) that draw a crowd.

As for bars and clubs, students are generally limited to places near campus, most notably Toad’s Place. Toad’s has Yale party nights with free drinks and free admission, and sometimes it offers student discounts for concerts.

Overall, Yale's hallmark holds true for nightlife. There is an abundance of anything and everything and it's up to you how you spend your evenings. Whether chilling at a wine and cheese party with your closest friends or owning the dance floor at Toad's, you'll be sure to have a variety of options and opportunities.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Downtown New Haven (blocks near Chapel and Church streets)
  • Residential college-sponsored parties
Student Favorites
  • Alchemy
  • BAR
  • Rudy's Restaurant
  • Toad's Place
  • Viva Zapata's
Other Places to Check Out
  • Black Bear Saloon
  • El Amigo Felix
  • The GPSCY
  • Hot Tomato's
  • Miya's Sushi
  • Viva Zapata
Local Specialties
St. A's Sour: A specialty at the 483 College Street bar, home of one of Yale's "secret" societies.
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer Pong
  • Flip Cup
  • Kings
Useful Resources for Nightlife
  • The Advocate
  • other Yalies
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Frat parties or room parties (free!)
Organization Parties
After-parties are held after a cappalla jams, commedy performances, dance recitals, theater shows, choral concerts, you name it. If there is a show, there is a party. There are also cultural parties. Whether you are part of a given cultural heritage or not, you are welcome to attend everything from sushi nights to Gospel Choir concerts.
Did You Know?
New Haven is home to some of the world's greatest minds, so why not check out New Haven's "intelligent nightlife" at to discover evening activities that engage your mind, such as Insomnia Theater at local Criterion Cinemas.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Gotham Citi Café

Gotham Citi Cafe was originally geared toward the gay and lesbian crowd but has become a popular place for all sorts of people, including college students. Thursday is College night, Friday is Latin night, and Saturday is Gay/Lesbian night. Look for drink specials.

130 Crown St.

New Haven

(203) 498-CITI

Toad's Place

Toad's Place has been rockin' since 1975, establishing itself as one of the premiere music halls in the country. Besides hosting incredible concerts, Toad's hosts Wednesday and Saturday night dance parties specifically geared toward college students. You must be 19+ to party and 21+ to drink. THE place for dancing, partying Yalies. Also look out for foam parties (you've never experienced anything like it...really).

300 York St.

New Haven

(203) 624-8623

Alchemy Nightclub

Alchemy has three incredible clubs under one roof. One room is dedicated to the best of hip-hop on vinyl (yes, real vinyl). The second section is home to Connecticut's largest dance floor and a 30-foot-wide waterfall. The third section is Elevate Lounge and Event Space, located upstairs. Alchemy is easily one of the coolest places to dance in New Haven.

223 College St.

New Haven

(203) 777-9400


Elevate boasts the subtitle, "Connecticut nightlife just grew up," and it's true. This lounge is more sophisticated and luxurious than its fellows and is a popular venue for college dances and Screws. It has a great dance floor and comfortable settees to settle on when those four-inch heels become a little too much. Also check out their podcast!

215 Crown St.

New Haven

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Oz After Hours

With no specified closing time, Oz after Hours is designed to take in those patrons who get kicked out of other clubs at 2 a.m. but aren't ready to call it a night. Located at Gotham Citi Café.

130 Crown St.

New Haven

(203) 498-CITI

Richter's Café

Richter's is New Haven's oldest bar. While space can be a bit tight, it may be well worth the squeeze to sit back with one of Richter's legendary half-yard-tall glasses of beer. The food can be a bit pricey, but the Scotch and whiskey selection are very good. A great place to catch a game, too.

990 Chapel St.

New Haven

(203) 777-0400

Rudy's Restaurant

Rudy's is more of a New Haven bar than a Yale bar. Expect to rub elbows with nostalgic hippies and Yale-grads-turned-state-governors alike. The beer selection is great, but Rudy's is especially well-known for its Belgian-style frites (like french fries) and huge selection of dipping sauces. Yum!

372 Elm St.

New Haven

(203) 865-1242

Diesel Lounge

Established in 1998, this new candlelit bar is at once cozy and energetic.

944 State St.

New Haven

(203) 776-9899

168 York Street Café

168 York Street Café is New Haven's only gay owned and operated bar, as well as one of the oldest gay bars in Connecticut. It generally caters to an older crowd but has a great Sunday brunch!

168 York St.

New Haven

(203) 789-1915

The Anchor

The Anchor is one of New Haven's classic seedy bars and was reportedly one of Jodi Foster's favorite hangouts when she was a student. The food and drink are basic but pretty good (and budget friendly). It's really the atmosphere you're after: the crusty locals, mediocre waitstaff, and inexpensive fare equal your new favorite local place.

272 College St.

New Haven

(203) 865-1512


BAR's BruRoom specializes in brick oven pizzas and micro-brew beers. Its BARtropolis Room is a high-energy dance club playing everything from hip-hop to tribal. Check out Thursday's "College Night" with popular dance music by DJ Noelle and $2 drinks.

254 Crown St.

New Haven

(203) 495-1111

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

Toad's Place

If you are 19+, you are welcome at Toad's to party, but you must be 21+ to drink. Concerts are open to everyone (and they're GOOD concerts).

On campus parties!

Dance parties, campus-wide themed events (Safety Dance, Trolley Night, Prohibition, etc.), after-parties for shows, secret society bar nights, and room parties. Yalies LOVE to have fun.

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 60 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 59 responses

  • 0% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
  • 71% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 22% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 0% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 7% Parties? What parties?

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 28 responses

  • 82% Spring Fling
  • 14% Safety Dance
  • 4% Tang


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