alexandra sieh

Gone are the days of finals and essays, thrown off with the caps of thousands at graduation last weekend.

A sigh of relief, a six pack and a couple nights of much-needed sleep later, and the summer is yours.

About time.

So while some of you say goodbye to lingering relatives, indulge in the afternoon wake-up call and begin the search for optimal tanning spots and the elusive summer job, take the time this weekend to get out and "celebrate" away this year's learnin'.

But how to start ...

BINGO!

B-6, G-44 or N-32 could be all that stands between you and some extra cash -- to be used responsibly on bills or rent, I'm sure -- Friday night.

And while the thought of playing a game typically associated with folks whose hair isn't blue by choice may make you cringe, bingo at the Dark Horse Bar could be just the ticket for laid-back drinks with those friends who survived the initial end-of-school merriment.

Earning 25 bucks has never been so easy. And at 9:30 p.m., the ability to recognize letters and numbers through the alcohol buzz is still well in the realm of possibilities, leaving the rest of the night yours to enjoy the winnings elsewhere downtown.

It's not just the cash. Snag yourself Boulder Beer gift certificates and other swag as you enjoy the discounted libations Friday has to offer. $3 Long Islands? Enough said.

Info: BINGO night Friday at the Dark Horse, 2922 Baseline Rd.; 9:30 p.m.; 303-442-8162

Speaking of Boulder Beer ...

Without those pesky classes in the way, it can be 5 o'clock whenever you want. Of course, for those less concerned with conventional time tables, this may already have been the case ...

Regardless, what better way to start your Saturday than with an afternoon of brews in the sun? Closing the taps of American Craft Beer Week, Boulder Beer is indulging in the innovative.

By noon, their cups will be overflowing with only pilot and barrel-aged ales, leaving taste buds happily surprised by original flavors, only available as long as they last.

As if that's not enough, patio-goers' ears will also get a treat, with Grateful Dead cover band All Dead playing live in the afternoon.

Music. Beer. And that's just until 6 p.m. Not too bad for what I imagine will be just a pre-game delight for some.

Summer's here, and whether it's spent at a desk, in the mountains or on your couch, at the end of the week, it's still time to act your age by enjoying the nightlife with a youthful liver and that lack-of-a-real-sleep schedule can bring.

Cheers.

Info: Saturday at noon; Innovation Celebration Tap Takeover, featuring new brews at Boulder Beer brewery, 2880 Wilderness Pl.; VIP tickets available for $10 admission at 11 a.m.; 303-444-8448