Being away from home for college is fun, no doubt about it. But mid-semester, when exams loom large and spring break still seems a long way off, it's totally natural to feel a little bit homesick. Even if she's from the big city, it's possible that the girl of your dreams is fed up with Boulder's high-energy, highfalutin, and/or high-as-a-kite social scenery.
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Ever been to old-town Louisville? It's a veritable treasure trove of cute restaurants and date-worthy streets to roam post dinner. The whole several-block area suggests Springfield, USA -- even moreso when you pair it with a meal at Lulu's BBQ (701 B Main St., Louisville; lulus-bbq.com). If the vibe of the town doesn't get her in a hometown mood, this recent addition to the restaurant lineup will: Start with a helping of golden-fried, cheesy sweet potato tots and follow up with a pairing of green-bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, and a pile of smoky meat. Finish off with an ice-cream-smothered cobbler -- just like mom would make.
It might not be what they do in your hometown, but Nederland's annual Frozen Dead Guy Days (Fri. 3 to 8 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Sun. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; frozendeadguydays.org) has all the elements of a classic small-town festival. The event lasts through the weekend with beer-guzzling and almost-non-stop live music at the event's two tents. But Saturday's the big day to head up-canyon. Get an early start -- the RTD busses from the Transit Center (Walnut St. & 14th St.) start filling up by the 10:10 a.m. departure -- and you'll want to arrive before the big parade gets going at noon. Line up on Lakeview Drive to watch the gaggle of zombie lookalikes and hearse-inspired floats and wander over to Chipeta Park as soon as they're past. You'll want to snag a good spectator spot on the north-facing hillside before the coffin races start at 2 p.m. And what community festival would be complete without a speed-consumption contest? Instead of stuffing your face with a pie, impress her by sucking down a frozen drink -- and surviving the headache -- at the "Brain Freeze" contest outside the Front-Street tent (Sat., 3 to 4 p.m.; Sun., 2 to 3 p.m.).
Remember the arcade? Instead of Dance-Dance-Revolution or the shoot-'em-up deer-hunting video game at the Dark Horse, go a little out of your way for some old-fashioned classic arcade games. Lyons Classic Pinball (339-A Main St., Lyons; lyonspinball.com) houses 37 blinking, buzzing, and binging pinball machines dating back to 1961. Three-, four- and five-ball games cost between 50 and 75 cents, so you can spend a long time in a sweetly competitive clash you're your lady friend, but without blowing the bank. If you're hungry after a few rounds, head next door to Oskar Blues, which houses the majority of the pinball-company's classic video game collection on the bottom floor.
Kristy Holland writes about dating once a week for the Colorado Daily. Tell her about your date-night ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.