On the whole, none of us in the mensch family particularly mind living in a town that rolls up its sidewalks at 9 pm. Considering the fact that on most nights, you'll find all three of us mensches sacked out by 8:30 pm, a bustling nightlife is not one of our requirements for a great place to live.
The only problem with the smallness of our town occurs when J and I plan a date night. Each month, the Y where LO goes to daycare offers a Parents' Night Out program. We drop our kiddos off at 6:00 pm on a Friday night, where they will eat pizza, watch movies, and wear themsevles out for three hours--or, in the case of my son, push the Y's baby walker back and forth across the floor of the daycare for three straight hours. The Y does this wonderful program for a mere $8 per kid.
The problem occurs when J and I try to decide what to do with our freed-up time. Dinner out is nice, but it hardly takes three hours. Movies are out, since none of the local movie theaters have Parents' Night Out in mind and therefore offer no showings early enough in the 6:00 hour for us to actually see the whole thing before needing to pick up the kid. Live music would be wonderful, but generally those shows start later--like at 9:00 pm--to fit in with the go-go-go lifestyles of the Purdue students who are more likely to show up than tired parents are.
We have actually used Parents' Night Out to clean the house in the past, which I am not proud of.
Tonight is February's PNO, and I've been wracking my brains trying to think of what to do with our free three hours. My original suggestion of Dave & Buster's was met with enthusiasm from J, until we discovered that there is no Dave & Buster's in a 50 mile radius of Lafayette. (J then suggested we go to Chuck E. Cheese instead, since there is one of those bad boys in town, but I don't think we're allowed to do that without being accompanied by a minor. And the prizes are better at Dave & Buster's anyway). When checking the events calendar at the local newspaper, I found again that the live music was either playing too late in the evening, or family-oriented.
I suggested to J that maybe we could drive halfway to Chicago and back for PNO. He laughed, but I wasn't entirely kidding.
When the weather gets nice again, I'm sure we'll find plenty of outdoor fun to be had during our monthly date night. But for tonight, I suspect Redbox or Netflix will provide our wild-and-crazy activity.
But I draw the line at going to Bed Bath and Beyond for date night. I have some standards.