A guide to Fargo-Moorhead for college students

Every fall, over 25,000 students arrive in Fargo-Moorhead to start a new year of college. 

Whether you’re off to North Dakota State University (NDSU), Moorhead State University Moorhead (MSUM), or Concordia College, sometimes it’s nice to get off-campus and explore the city.

This guide is designed to help everyone from incoming freshmen who are new to town to seasoned students wanting the best student discounts and tips on things to do.

OFF-CAMPUS COLLEGE HANGOUTS

Each university has its own favorite off-campus student hangouts. Here’s where to find fellow scholars.

NDSU student hangouts

Bars: You’ll find students bedecked in green and gold hanging out at The Bison Turf or Herd & Horns.

Coffee Shops: In the Memorial Union, students sit and grab coffee from the Union Coffee Shop to get them through long study sessions or just to meet up with friends.

You’ll also find a crowd at Bully Brew Coffee in the Bison Block on 12th Ave N and at The Bison Beanery inside the “R” Dining Center (where all coffee drinks are included in your meal price once you enter… aka FREE refills!).

If you’re headed further off campus into Downtown Fargo, you’ll find students hanging out at Twenty Below Coffee Co.

MSUM student hangouts

Bar: The unofficially official MSUM hangout is JC Chumley’s in Moorhead, which has karaoke on Fridays and usually has a local band on Saturdays.

Coffee Shops: The on-campus coffee shops are where you’ll find most MSUM students relaxing, but a fair few also hang out at Third Drop Coffee.

Concordia student hangouts

Bar: Also in Moorhead, Concordia College students have their own turf at Mick’s Office (which serves delicious burgers).

Coffee Shops: You’ll find lots of students sitting around Third Drop Coffee in Downtown Moorhead.

COLLEGE DISCOUNTS

Show your college I.D. at any of these places to receive a discount.

Coffee & treats discounts

Babb’s Coffee House: 15% off
Sandy’s Donuts: 10% off
Kroll’s Diner: Shakey Mondays two-for-one shakes
Cherry Berry: 3 oz. free yogurt on Thursdays

Food discounts

Applebee’s: Half-off appetizers after 9 p.m.
Buffalo Wild Wings College Night: 9 p.m. to close on Sundays, receive 50% off food with purchase of a drink
Dempsey’s: $1 taco Wednesdays (must be 21)
Boiler Room: Half-price apps 10 p.m. – midnight every day (must be 21)
Rhombus Guys: 50% off large pizza – Mondays after 8:30 p.m.
Rustica: Half-price starters and pizza 5-6 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday
Spicy Pie: One topping slice and soda for $5
Perkins: 10% off
Sickies Garage: 50% off on Tuesdays with purchase of beverage
Osaka Sushi: 10% off
King House Buffet: 10% off
India Palace: 10% off
Fryn’ Pan: 10% off

Drink specials & college nights

Once you’re 21, finding cheap drinks becomes a top priority.

Mug Nights

The college hangouts mentioned earlier usually have a “Mug Night” where you bring in a reusable mug (you buy this on your first visit) and they’ll top it up with tap beer for less than $5.

The Bison Turf’s mug nights are Wednesdays and Saturdays ($3.75 for mug refills).

Herd & Horn’s mug night is Wednesday from 7 p.m. to close ($3.75 for a refill).

Chub’s Pub near NDSU fills with college students on Thursdays for their $0.50 small mugs of beer.

JC Chumley’s does mug nights on Mondays and Wednesdays with $4 Busch Light fills and $5 fills for all other domestic beers.

Mick’s Office college mug night is Thursday from 8 p.m. to close with $4 domestic mug fills and $3 Busch Light or Old Style mug fills.

Bar drink specials & happy hours

Another event we can’t not mention is ladies’ night at The Windbreak. On Thursdays, ladies drink free from 9 p.m. to midnight while guys can get $2 U-Call-Its from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Windbreak is pretty far south just off of I-29, so make sure you have a sober driver or plan to call an Uber or Lyft to get home.

For a complete list of bar specials, check out this list from Fargo Monthly.

Discounts on things to do

Sports, Active Fun, & Exercise

Fargo Force hockey games: $10 ticket college nights (check website)
Sunset Lanes: $7.25 bowling with college ID starting Thursday at 9:30 PM
The Bowler: Free bowling 9-midnight Monday-Thursday
Ecce Art Gallery: $8 student discount for yoga classes
Spirit Room: $35 unlimited discounted monthly dance/yoga classes
Skyzone Trampoline Park: $10 per hour discounted rate on Thursday’s from 8 p.m. -10 p.m. with ID
YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties: discounted youth rate of $32 a month
Skate City: 2 for 1 admission 8-10 pm on Saturdays

Entertainment & Performing Arts

Marcus Theatres: $5 movies at any Marcus Theatres in town on Tuesdays, $6 movies at any Marcus Theatres in town on Thursdays (if you show your college I.D.)
Theatre B: $10 discount on tickets with ID or $5 student tickets on Thursday
Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre: $8 student tickets on Thursday
The Cellar: $5 off any comedy show with your ID

Major Attractions

Fargo Air Museum: $7 student tickets
Historical and Cultural Society of Cass/Clay County: $9 discounted tickets with Student ID
Rourke/Plains Art Museums: free admission with college ID

Miscellaneous

MATBus: free rides with college ID

Don’t tell your mom, but Almost Famous in West Acres Mall does buy-one-get-one piercings, and Addictions Piercings & Tattoos run specials often, just check out their Facebook page.

21+ INFO

Downtown college bars

A classic bar crawl weaves through Downtown Fargo, and it goes a little like this:
1) Start at Sports Bar or NoBull.
2) Cross the street to the Old Broadway and Sports Zone and dance for awhile to Top 100’s.
3) Drop into Fort Noks before heading up the road to…
4) Rooters
5) No crawl is complete without finishing off the night at The Pickled Parrot with a bottle of Boones Farm and some dancing.

Trivia nights/karaoke/open mic

You can find trivia, karaoke, or open mic nights literally every night of the week.

Check out the official Fargo-Moorhead events calendar to find all of them, but take a quick glance at top places below.

Top places to find open mic nights

Red Raven Espresso Parlor – open to all ages!
Front Street Taproom
Dempsey’s Public House

Top places to find pub trivia

One of Fargo-Moorhead’s eight breweries
Rhombus Guys
Three Lyons
Front Street Taproom
Frank’s Lounge
Red River Trivia’s Facebook page

Top places to find karaoke

Mondays: Rooters or the Downtown VFW
Tuesdays: Dempsey’s
Wednesdays: Rooters
Thursdays: The Bowler or Rooters
Fridays: JC Chumley’s or Tailgators Sports Cafe
Saturdays: Rhombus Guys

UNDER 21 HANGOUTS

Bars (yes, you read that right)

Many bars allow people under 21 to hangout until a certain time in the evening. Here’s a list from A-Z of some of the popular nightlife spots.

The Bison Turfall ages until 8 p.m.
The Boiler Roomall ages until 10 p.m.
Brewtus Brickhouseall ages until 9 p.m.
Frank’s Loungeall ages until 3:30 p.m.
Herd & Hornsall ages until 12 a.m.
HoDo Loungeall ages until 8 p.m.
JC Chumley’s Barall ages until 9 p.m.
Labby’s Bar & Grillall ages until 8 p.m.
Mick’s Officeall ages until 9 p.m.
NoBull Smokehouseall ages until 9:30 p.m.
O’Leary’s Irish Puball ages until 9 p.m.
Old Broadway Grillall ages until 9 p.m.
Poundsall ages until 6 p.m.
Rhombus Guysall ages until 12 a.m.
Shotgun Sally’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Saloonall ages until 9:30 p.m.
Sickies Garageall ages until 12 a.m.
Tailgators Sports Cafeall ages until 9 p.m.
Three Lyons Puball ages until 9 p.m.
Toasted Frogall ages until 3:30 p.m.
Twistall ages until 9 p.m.
Wurst Bier Hallall ages until 9 p.m.

Late-night hotspots

For studying or hanging out away from campus

Black Coffee and Waffle Bar: open until 11 p.m.
Teaberry: Monday to Friday open until 11 p.m., Saturday open until midnight
Red Raven Espresso Parlor: Open until 11 p.m.

For food

24-hour diner options: Denny’s, Perkins, IHOP, Fryn’ Pan, and Kroll’s Diner
Insomnia Cookies: Closes at 3 a.m. every day
Ishtar Mediterranean Cuisine: Closes at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays
Spicy Pie: Closes at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays
Deek’s Pizza: Closes at 3 a.m. every day
Pizza Patrol: Closes at 4 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays

ALL AGES

Things to do off-campus

Check out our post on free things to do in Fargo.

Clay Your Way: Pick a ceramic piece to paint, choose your paint colors, and spend a few hours painting whatever design you want. They’ll fire it for you in the kiln for you to pick up after a few days.

Thunder Road: A great option for early fall, you can ride go-karts, mini-golf, and use the batting cages.

Disc golf: Tons of parks in Fargo and Moorhead have great disc golf courses (and most are within biking distance of the three campuses).

Skateboarding: Head downtown for the city’s best skate park.

Bowling: Check out the discounts section for places to bowl on the cheap.

Hunt for murals: Downtown Fargo is close to all three college campuses and full of fun murals for a picture-taking outing.

Rent a bike: Pick up a Great Rides bike from the NDSU campus or in Downtown Fargo and go for a ride. Here’s a station map so you can find the drop-off points.

Major events not to miss

FALL

Red River Market
Canoe Parade
Homecoming (duh!)
Oktoberfest
Pumpkin patches
Acres of Terror

WINTER

Holiday Lights Parade
Christkindlmarkt
Frostival
Unglued Craft Fest

SPRING

St Patrick’s Day Parade & Pub Crawl
Fargo Film Festival
Moorhead Dairy Queen Opening Day (March 1st!)
Fargo Marathon


There you have it, a guide to help you enjoy Fargo off-campus.