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STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE '07: Having fun when you're underage

Engaged and underaged. How to have some fun if you’re under 21 in Rochester

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by Jillian Stevenson

Who says you need a 12-pack to have fun? There's plenty to do around Rochester without an ID or a hangover. Whether you're all about muscles, music, or mochas, there's an abundance of opportunities for the under-21 crowd.

            Rochester is a sports town, and Rochester Red Wings baseball season continues into early September. Frontier Field, located in the HighFalls district, runs tons of promotions to reel in the fans. There's nothing like taking in a game under the lights with a gang of your friends, stuffing your face with a hot dog, and coming home to a sweet mustard stain on your shirt. Call 423-9464 for tickets or visit www.redwingsbaseball.com.

            Soccer fans rejoice, because this city also has its own team with its own stadium. The Rochester Rhinos play downtown at PAETECPark, and games run through early September. Call 454-5424 for tickets or visit www.rhinosoccer.com.

            Fall/winter sports are headlined by our hockey team, the Rochester Americans -- or Amerks, as we like to call them -- who shoot the puck downtown at Blue Cross starting in October. Visit www.amerks.com or call 454-5335 for tickets. Blue Cross Arena is also home to indoor lacrosse team the Knighthawks; the team's season starts in December. For ticket information call 232-1900 or visit www.knighthawks.net.

            Athletics move into spring with the Rochester Raiders, the arena football team that plays at the Main Street Armory, located on East Main Street. Call 427-0020 x517 or visit www.rochesterraiders.com for more information.

            The Rochester Razorsharks play basketball downtown at Blue Cross Arena -- if they can find somebody to compete with. The team withdrew from the American Basketball Association last season and has hooked up with the new Premier Basketball League. No season information is available yet, but keep checking www.razorsharks.com or call 232-9190.

            And don't forget Western New York's repeat heartbreakers, the Buffalo Bills. There are big bragging rights associated with making it through a December game, with the snowflakes tickling your nose and your feet nowhere to be felt. Tickets can be purchased online at www.buffalobills.com.

If you want to be the one getting the exercise, or need to get out a little aggression, you can get in all the aerobic activity you want and pretend to annihilate people with laser tag, the forgotten amusement of wannabe snipers everywhere. Laser Quest (2833 Ridge Road West, 225-0505) will provide you with the equipment and the combat zone, or you can pound the pavement with your own equipment available at most toy stores.

            If your anger-management issues are already under control, consider giving rock climbing a go. RockVentures (1044 University Avenue, 442-5462) bills itself as "North America's largest indoor climbing, ropes course, and recreation facility," and offers affordable packages to get you started. You can also check out what the die-hards call "bouldering" at the RIT's Red Barn (475-2628). Get a group of your laziest friends together, and have a good laugh at how unathletic you all really are.

            You can also get all the eight ball action you want at one of Rochester's billiard parlors. Pool is cheap, and god knows you're gonna have to get better at it if you want to battle it out at the bar some day. Check out Brockport Billiards (222 Main Street, 637-4215), Classic Billiards (3400 Ridge Road West, 227-7400) or Six Pockets Bar and Grill (716 East Ridge Road, 266-1440). There are pool tables in the basement of Java's (16 Gibbs Street, 232-4820), too.

Maybe you're more into drama, in which case Rochester is home to several live theater troupes and playhouses. Plus, it's fun to say in your worst British accent, "I'm off to the theatre!" Blackfriars Theatre (28 Lawn Street, 454-1260, www.blackfriars.org) stages a mix of familiar and more edgy fare; Downstairs Cabaret Theatre (540 E. Main Street, 172 W. Main Street, and 20 Windsor Street, 325-4370, www.downstairscabaret.com) is a good place to go for musical shows; Geva Theatre (75 Woodbury Boulevard, 232-4382, www.gevatheatre.org) is the biggest theater fish in Rochester's pond; and Shipping Dock Theater (3690 East Avenue, 385-8400, www.shippingdocktheatre.org) specializes in interesting, alternative fare. Meanwhile the Rochester Broadway Theatre League brings traveling shows like "Wicked" and "Avenue Q" to the Auditorium Theatre (885 E. Main Street, 222-5000, www.rbtl.org).

            Love film, but sick of multiplexes? Cinema Theatre (957 S. Clinton Avenue, 271-1785) runs movies that leave the first-run theaters a little too quickly, and with $3 student tickets for a double feature, you can't beat the price. The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Avenue, 271-4090, http://dryden.eastmanhouse.org) shows all kinds of classic, independent, and foreign films, and sometimes moviemakers visit to introduce their work. The Little (240 East Avenue, 258-0444, www.thelittle.org) specializes in indie and art-house movies, and runs several film festivals throughout the year. Student tickets are $5 Sunday through Thursday. If you have friends, gather three of them for Family Night at Movies 10 (2609 W. Henrietta Road, 292-5840) on Mondays, when tickets are only 50 cents. Other times it'll cost you up to $2.25 per flick -- still a pittance.

You might be a Communist if you don't like live music. If you do, your options aren't limited to the arena shows that roll through and near town. Sure, there's always going to be some later-night shows that are limited to those who can swig. But a lot of the local venues are open to all ages.

            MontageMusic Hall (50 Chestnut Street, 232-1520, www.myspace.com/themontagemusichall) and High Fidelity (170 East Avenue, 325-6490) are neighbors in the East End, and both regularly open their doors to the 18-and-over crowd. The Penny Arcade (4785 Lake Avenue, 621-ROCK, www.thepennyarcade.com) has been a Rochester standby for years, and basically schedules music every night it's open. WaterStreetMusic Hall (204 N. Water Street, 546-3887, www.waterstreetmusic.com) hosts national acts, and has two separate stages. The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Avenue, 454-2966, www.bugjar.com) is a local favorite, but also features bands from around the country. It also hosts DJ'd dance parties several nights a week.

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