a tall glass of milk please.

So you’re 18. You’re trapped in the limbo between state-authorized “young adulthood” and “adulthood”.

You may well have been married for 4 years, have 3 kids, be a practicing medical doctor, and fly your own personal jet, but you still aren’t legally permitted to a bar to see Jody Richardson or Mark Bragg sing into a microphone.

It’s duh law.

Thankfully—unlike herpes—your malady is temporary. And since St. John’s is a cultural hotbed, there are plenty of things to do to keep your evenings active without goin’ on the load.

By Elling Lien

Young people adapt to change easily, which is why I’m throwing my Miscellaneous card at you first. You’ll never know until you try.

For instance, some people might think renting out a bowling lane at your local alley is weird, but you? You know better. Especially when there’s 10-pin glow bowling to be had. Check it out St. Pat’s Bowling Lanes (45 Blackmarsh Road, 754-1124) You think I’m joking, but I’m not joking. Dead serious.

If for some ridiculous reason bowling doesn’t strike you, maybe rock climbing will. Wallnuts Climbing Centre (57 Old Pennywell Road, 579-9255) has a student half-price night on Monday.

Internet gaming café-spot Hooked Up is a great late night option, especially if you are one who enjoys fragging the occasional n00b in Halo 3. On weekdays they’re open till midnight, and on weekends they’re open till 2 am, and they’ve got plenty of computers, so bring a crowd.

If you’re wracking your brain for date ideas, I’ve got a crazy romantic one for you: Craft Council’s Clay Studio (753-2534) has a drop-in,  open pottery session on Fridays from  6:30 pm—9:30 pm, and it’s available to anyone who wants to drop in and be creative. Remember the movie Ghost? Oh yeah, you do.

Late night eats
After all those miscellaneous activities, it will be time to eat something.

Celtic Hearth (298-300 Water Street, 576-2880) is a downtown tradition, open 24 hours. It’s likely the only place you’ll ever spot a moose burger at 4:30 am. Rustler’s Country Grill (Fall River Plaza, Torbay Road, 576-5782) is open all night from Friday at 9 am to Sunday night, and they serve all-day breakfasts.

Culture’s Finer side
If you’re into high culture and Havarti on crackers, then you should definitely start going to opening receptions at The Rooms. (757-8000) They’re generally free, they’re generally fun, and in addition to mixing and mingling with Newfoundland’s high society, you’re steeping yourself in art and local heritage.

If you miss the reception, you can get in for free on Wednesday nights from 6pm to 9pm.

Free culture! How can you go wrong?

Of course, opening receptions happen at plenty of other galleries in town, and there’s often just as much snack food—occasionally better snack food—available.

St. John’s has an active theatre scene, and there’s a healthy mix of stuff out there to choose from. Go out to a few shows and you’re pretty well guaranteed to happen on something you enjoy. As an added bonus, shows often have a pay-what-you-can night which usually happens the night before official opening night—also known as ironing-out-the-kinks night.

Rabbittown Theatre (Linscott and Merrymeeting Roads, 739-8220) is the home of some of the city’s more adventurous productions—last season there was a series of short plays which all used a real bathtub filled with real water as a central prop. People got splashed.

Following in the traditions of cabaret, dinner theatre is more of an all-encompassing experience than your typical resto meal or theatre show. There are two companies running shows regularly in town: Spirit of Newfoundland (now located at the Masonic Temple, 579-3023), and The Majestic theatre (390 Duckworth, 722-8642.)

Very much better than eating sloppy nachos at the Empire.

There’s no reason to spend your evening stuck inside weeping with your headphones on. You should be weeping in public listening to live music…

If you’re into the (musical) hard stuff, you’re in luck, because you can usually bank on there being a handful of all-ages punk or metal (or various permutations thereof) shows organized in town every month. These often happen earlier on in the afternoon, and happen at a number of locations, some of which transform magically into bars at night—like Distortion (Holdsworth Court, 738-8833 ) and Turner’s Tavern (110 Water, 739-0456), for instance. The Rock House (George Street, 579-6823) is another shape-shifting venue, where several  bands who regularly play the bar circuit have been throwing CD release parties with all-ages components.

Too big for you? Too loud? The newly-opened Anchorage Coffee (106 Water Street) has started hosting live jazz performances. Or maybe Hava Java‘s (216 Water Street, 753-5282) open mic night is what you’re looking for. Local singer-songwriter Natalie Noseworthy hosts this event every Sunday from 7pm.

And hey, if you fancy yourself a musician and want to show off your chops, you can get up and do your thing.