Young and restless

If your fake ID just doesn’t cut it, don’t despair: there are plenty of booze-free activities around town for you to enjoy.

Ah, sweet Halifax: a city known for its sturdy pubs, lively nightlife, bustling music scene and fine local breweries (and delightfully booze-soaked brewery tours). But Halifax is also a university town. Each year, bright-eyed frosh pile into the city, many of them boasting IDs branded with that dreaded scarlet number: 18. If this sounds tragically familiar, and you're looking to see more of the city at night but are legally prevented from seeing it through beer goggles, then this guide's for you.

Artful planning

Yeah, you're not allowed in The Palace. That just means you need to get a little creative with your activity planning. On Friday nights, Clay Cafe (6413 Quinpool Road, 429-2994) is open until midnight, with live (usually acoustic) entertainment starting at 9pm. So drop in, and start painting some pottery—no ID required. Similarly, The Loop Craft Cafe (1547 Barrington Street, 429-5667) is open extended hours on Thursday evenings (6-9pm), so interested knitters can drop in with their projects and take part in the cafe's informal "loop group." Plus, they offer a student discount on supplies.

All-ages? All awesome

And being temporarily underage doesn't completely exclude you from taking part in the city's music scene, either. All-ages venues like The Pavilion (5816 Cogswell Street, 422-4716) and One World Cafe (2412 Agricola Street, 404-REST) have shows happening most weekends. In the past, The Pavilion hosted Joel Plaskett and Risky Business; One World showcased Julie Doiron and Dog Day, and has a few Halifax Pop Explosion shows scheduled in October. Oddly enough, the beautiful St. Matthew's United Church (1479 Barrington Street...yep, it's a church) is home to a number of remarkably hip all-ages shows—upcoming concerts include indie darlings Tegan and Sara and Final Fantasy.

A full plate

The city has an active theatre community, so keeping an eye on The Coast's listings is a pretty reliable way to find non-age-restricted theatrical activities. If you're looking for dinner and a play (and you're a fan of one-stop shopping), Grafton Street Dinner Theatre (1741 Grafton Street, 425-1961) and Halifax Feast Dinner Theatre (1505 Barrington Street, 420-1840) don't have age restrictions. Both venues suggest booking tickets ahead of time, and will cost you around $40 for an entire evening's-worth of entertainment and grub.

The play's the thing

As well, the very first Tuesday evening performance of each play running at Neptune Theatre (1593 Argyle Street, 429-7300) is designated as a "pay-what-you-can" showing, so those who show up on the first Tuesday can cheaply get into the theatre's usually pricey shows. Seating is first come, first served, so arrive early to line up—doors open at 7:30pm. This season's first night is September 18, when The Miracle Worker opens. Check out to find out the details.

Feed your appetites

Looking for a late-night bite? Head to Pizza Corner. Or, if being around all the bar denizens depresses your underage sensibilities, Perks on the waterfront (1781 Lower Water Street, 429-9386) is open 24/7 (mmm! butter-pecan coffee!), and Freeman's Little New York (6092 Quinpool Road, 429-0241) lets the under-19 crowd grab some 'za on their restaurant side until they close at 5am.

Get them doggies bowling

And finally (but perhaps most importantly): you can book the bowling alley on the Stadacona military base. That's right, the whole bowling alley. And they have glow-in-the-dark bowling balls. The space is available for rent on Thursday evening from 6:30pm to 9:30pm, and Friday from around 6:30pm to 10pm. It costs $48 to rent for an hour (shoes and tax included). Who needs booze when you have cosmic bowling?

You bet $5 on a bowling game. And won. If you’re saving for a Wii, click here.

If you’re going to use your bowling bet spoils to buy a gift for your psycho roommate, click here. Or, consult the Table of Contents.

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