kristy holland

Y our college experience is a time to work hard, party and sow some serious wild oats. And what better time or place than the renaissance of this awesome town? Heck, Boulder's topped "best city" lists for being everything from the smartest and healthiest town in America to being the fittest and reefer-friendliest. If that doesn't prove that there's some superlative experience here that you can share with a date -- no matter what interests you -- than I'm not sure what does.

Haven't you had your fill of fraternity welcome-back parties or "romantic" meals of Chinese food on Broadway? I promise you, your lady-friend has. The problem is that as a broke, lazy or just plain unimaginative student, it's easy to get shackled to campus or stuck in your own bubble -- one that's even smaller than this city's limits. Don't start off this semester's social life in a rut. Use a little creativity and find something unconventional (at least, to you) to do in this town. The possibilities are limitless, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

Seen those signs around town warning about the looming traffic fiasco because of the big bike race on the 25th? Well, one man's traffic fiasco is another man's opportunity to party on the sidelines of the state's biggest cycling event. There'll be a super-festive atmosphere along the entire bike route of the Boulder stage of the USA Pro Challenge -- which includes a sprint on 17th that starts at Pearl Street and will get going at around noon. (See the complete route and details at usaprocyclingchallenge.com.) Why is this such a perfect excuse to be out-and-about, hand-in-hand with your woman? You won't have to labor through nine innings or pay $100 for a ticket to a big stadium to enjoy it. Bonus: Comparing you to those skinny, shaved-leg cyclists in spandex, your date will have a new appreciation for your masculinity.

More of a night-owl? Or maybe you love a good show? M. Ward (short for Matthew) is one of my favorite musicians -- he pairs with Zooey Deschanel in She & Him -- and his solo act is scheduled for Saturday night at the Boulder Theater (9 p.m.,; $32; bouldertheater.com). His quirky, folks-y style is fun to listen to and isn't so loud that you can't use it as a background to some snippets of casual conversations. He's also hipster enough that you can fake a mastery of the indie-folks scene that'll impress your gal.

Everyone's gotta eat. Why not combine some good, clean, little-kid-style fun with a gourmet meal? This Friday there's a special food-truck-themed party amid the mini-golf and go-carting at the Gateway Fun Park (4800 North 28th St.; gatewayfunpark.com). You can play the arcade games between snacking on delicacies from eleven of Boulder's best food trucks including Street Eats, Comida, and Verde. When the bluegrass band slows down, take a turn in the batting cage or grab one of Waffle Cakes' sweet creations -- or one with a sprinkling of bacon -- for dessert! The festivities include Avery and Twisted Pine beer, too.

Kristy Holland writes about dating once a week for the Colorado Daily. Tell her about your date-night ideas atboulderdatenight@gmail.com