As a Grinnell student, you'll start the day in your dorm room. From there, you'll take your first steps out into the larger Grinnell community--and beyond.
Free concerts, readings, workshops, and performances
Grinnell College brings a wide range of artistic and cultural activities to campus every week. On any given day, night, or weekend, you may enjoy a breakdancing workshop or a concert from your favorite musician. Recent performances include Kurt Elling, The Mountain Goats, Funkadesi, Jandek, The Blow, Spoon, Andrew Bird, Ghostface Killah, Le Tigre, Cake, Gomez, Dar Williams, the Prazak String Quartet, Herbie Hancock (a Grinnell alumnus), the Bolshoi Ballet, the Afro-Cuban All Stars, the Ailey II dance troupe, Urban Bushwomen, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Joan Baez. Check out Grinnell Concerts!
Speakers, lectures, symposia
Campus is buzzing with intellectual activity, including speakers that deliver public lectures on everything from foreign policy to health care reform. The Rosenfield Program is particularly well-known for its public affairs symposia, and Writers @ Grinnell consistently brings renowned authors to campus for public readings.
One of the best ways to meet new people in college! Grinnell has over 200 student groups, ranging from the serious to the silly. Groups meet daily, weekly, or monthly. If you don't see a group you like on the list, make one!
Resources for LGBTQ Students
Grinnell College has diversity as one of its institutional core values, and students embody that diversity in countless ways. A large part of this diversity includes a celebration of its queer community. The Princeton Review consistently ranks Grinnell College as one of the top 15 most queer-friendly school in the country, and the college generously supports this community from an institutional level. The Office of Student Affairs oversees a student-run Stonewall Resource Center which serves the LGBTQ and allied communities on campus. This is a spacious lounge and meeting space for queer groups, some of which include the Stonewall Coalition, Queer People of Color (QPOC), Transgender Action Group (TAG), Feminist Action Coalition, Bi-Focal, Queer Rainbow Super Team (QRST), All Boys Cinema (ABC) and Lesbian Movie Night: Organized Procrastination (LMNOP). Additionally, Grinnell is a leader in higher education as a college committed to gender neutrality. Over 10% of dorm rooms on campus are designated as "gender neutral" in order to accommodate transgender and gender-queer students.
Whether you're an athlete or spectator, the 20 Pioneer teams offer great entertainment every weekend. Sports include baseball, cross country, football, basketball, soccer, golf, swimming, tennis, track, softball, and volleyball. Visit Athletics for more.
The Marketplace, Grinnell's dining hall, serves made-to-order meals in an exquisite facility. At every dinner, students have the option of freshly cooked pizza, pasta, stir-fry, or deli-style sandwiches, as well as vegan and religious choices. Grinnell Dining is committed to the local foods movement, bringing in fresh foods from local farms.
There are tons of great study spaces at Grinnell. Enjoy the resources and near-silence of Burling Library, Kistle Science Library, or the Creative Computing Lab. Study spaces that double as hang-out spots are the Laurel Leaf Lounge, the Spencer Grille, and plenty of nooks in the Rosenfield Center, as well as the Stonewall Resource Center, Bob's Underground Cafe, and the numerous wireless-equipped dorm lounges.
Grinnell sustains communities from every major religious denomination: various sects of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Paganism. For more information, visit the Chaplain's Office and for information on specific groups, visit Spiritual Groups.
Grinnell commits itself to celebrating diversity of all kinds. The multicultural suites in the new Joe Rosenfield '25 Campus Center house offices for Student Organization of Latinos (SOL), Asian Students in Alliance (ASIA), and a kosher kitchen for the Jewish community. The Black Cultural Center houses students who oversee groups and activist organizations serving students of color. The college’s commitment to accessibility for handicapped students includes the accessible new Cowles dorms. The college links to it's Nondiscrimination policy at the bottom of every web page.
Keep that student body in good condition by using Grinnell's brand-new Athletic and Fitness Center. Tons of great workout equipment, TVs, and a sound system make Grinnell's community strong!
Grinnell College's Annual Security Report includes statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred on campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Grinnell College; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report by contacting Grinnell College Security Office, Crime Prevention Unit, 1432 East Street, Grinnell, Iowa, 50112, 641-269-4600 or online at Campus Security Report.
Movies at the Strand
The recently restored Strand Theatre on Main Street shows three films at a time. Nestled in the heart of downtown Grinnell, the theatre is a great stop-off after dinner at Lonnski's Pub & Deli.
Fun spots to hang out
Bring some homework or just some reading and grab a cup of coffee at Saints Rest or Yumi's. Order a sandwich or a beer and enjoy good company at Lonnski's Pub and Deli. Assemble a team and join in the fun at the Bowladrome. Curl up for an afternoon at the Drake Library. Spend a night on the town at Rabbitt's, the Down Under Pub, or State Street Bar.
When the weather is warm, you can buy the very freshest produce from local farmers. Every Thursday and Saturday, they crowd 4th Avenue with stalls full of ripe veggies, fresh-baked breads, homemade pastries, and local wine tasting. Afterwards, enjoy Thursday Music in the Park as the entire community pulls up lawn chairs to listen to local musicians.
A variety of local business cater to the town's needs. Clothes, shoes, groceries, books, coffee, furniture, bikes, arts-and-crafts supplies and more (four pizza parlors!) can be purchased in town. Check out this Chronicle of Higher Education "postcard" on Grinnell's local bike shop to get a sense of vibrant small-town life! You can also visit the Grinnell, Iowa websitefor more information on local businesses.
Sports & Recreation
Grinnell was recently named an Iowa Sports Authority District! Only one of ten communities in Iowa to be so honored (and the smallest town to be given the designation!) Grinnell boasts some wonderful recreational sports venues, including those found at Ahrens Park, in the City of Grinnell, in the Grinnell-Newburg School District, and on the Grinnell College campus.
The capitol of Iowa, this city is only 45 minutes from Grinnell. Students enjoy traveling to Des Moines for lectures at Drake University, shopping at the many stores and Jordan Creek Mall, as well as the wide range of restaurants.
The quintessential Big 10 college town, Iowa City is a popular getaway for Grinnell students. Prairie Lights bookstore and the highly respected Iowa Writers' Workshop are a hub of intellectual activity. Coral Ridge Mall and tons of shops make for a fun afternoon.