The View from My Couch :: A Hyper Local Boston Guide to Friday Nights

My editor says local guides are super popular right now and we should write about local places we love — places other moms might want to visit! So here you go — my guide to my typical (hyper) local Friday night.

To get in the mood for our average Friday night, we always start the night off with dinner and a show. Typically this “show” involves our 5-year-old performing “Defying Gravity” from Wicked at the top of her lungs while head-standing on the couch. Meanwhile, her brothers are usually arguing about why they don’t need to take baths and can they please just play video games for a little bit longer. This “show” has all the elements of musical, drama, comedy, tragedy, and interactive. The price is zero dollars, but the drama is so fresh it might cost you a year or two of your life. Thankfully, curtain call is a pretty firm 8 p.m. every night so we can make it to the next stage of our evening with only about a few (hundred) encores delaying our fun.

Once we’ve exited the theatre, our favorite little juice joint to stop at for refreshments is a hole-in-the-wall place called “The Refrigerator.” Their rosé is delightful. We highly prefer it to “Lukewarm, in the Pantry,” but on some really crazy Friday nights you have to take what’s available. If we’re feeling really crazy, “The Top Shelf” features a lovely Costco brand blended whiskey, which is also a nice little treat.

Most of the time from there, we mosey on over to “The Couch” and settle in for some light entertainment. We recommend sitting together in the middle if you’re game for hanky panky later. But if you’re just looking for a drink holder and footrest, the left side is where you want to be. I suggest avoiding “The Craggen,” located slightly right of center, where the cushions are now separating due to over-bouncing by children who are not supposed to be bouncing at all. The ambiance there is sorely lacking — as is the back support. If you should find yourself stuck (literally, of course) in the craggen, you will discover an abundance of mediocre small plates, from the ever-appetizing “Stale Potato Chips” to the “Mystery Moldy Fruit,” and as well a charcuterie of unidentifiable objects buried there as children were “cleaning up.”

As we all know, a Friday night destination is not just the sum of its seating and bar menu — it also needs to have quality entertainment. Ne’er fear, The Couch has it all. Most evenings, The Couch books a phenomenal little group called “Netflix” or one of its many remarkable cover bands. I prefer their lighter, more playful pieces, but really, their range is without limit. In my experience, Thursday nights and Sundays at The Couch tend to feature a group called “The Patriots,” but on Fridays you can usually count on more variable programming.

Insider tips: The Couch is a bra-free zone, so feel free to let the girls go wild. The dress code is casual; flannel (PJs) is 100% acceptable. It’s a very friendly, low-key place once you’re in, but the list of who gets in is very exclusive. Like one of the most famous bars in Boston, The Couch really is a place where everybody knows your name. In fact, if someone there doesn’t know your name, you should probably discuss it with management.

Fair warning: There are a few theatre regulars who can get a little bit rowdy after hours.  It generally starts with philosophical ramblings and occasionally culminates in crying for their mothers or getting lost on the way to the bathroom. Generally speaking, this is not an issue, but if you want to truly avoid this I recommend trying “The Babysitter” instead.

Hidden gems: One of the little-known perks of visiting The Couch for a crazy Friday night is its proximity to shopping (“Amazon”), overnight accommodations (“The Bedroom”), and prepaid snacks (“The Pantry”) whenever you want them.

Whatever you’re in the mood for, The Couch really does have it all. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for average, yet relaxing Friday night plans. Sure, there are more exciting places to go. But most Friday nights, this is where you’ll find me!

Kristen is Southern by birth but has called Boston home since 2008. Unlike most Boston natives, she still really loves the snow and cold. She and her husband have two energetic and kind sons (2013, 2014) and a sassy, smart baby girl (2016). Kristen jokes that she has a master's degree in laundry and a PhD in child conflict resolution — which she uses far more than her actual physics and politics degrees. After seven years as a stay-at-home mom, Kristen went back to work full-time in 2021 as a program coordinator for a research lab at Boston Children’s Hospital. In her "spare" time, she runs her own business (Murph&Moose), serves on multiple alumni committees for her alma mater, and runs half marathons. Her passion is seeing moms feel comfortable in their own skin and less alone in the chaos that is motherhood. Loves: gardening, science, languages, coffee by the vat, running, time with her girlfriends, and the rare moments of silence when all three children are (finally) in bed Dislikes: daylight saving time, non-washable markers, and noisy neighbors who disrupt her rare moments of silence

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