7 Things to Do on an LA Night Out Other Than Clubbing

7 Things to Do on an LA Night Out Other Than Clubbing

By Sondra Morris

What is your ideal night out? Picture it: you’ve got some money in your pocket, the day off from work tomorrow, and you’re feeling social. Where do you go and what do you do with your night of freedom?

If you’re looking for something other than turning up in the club but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. Here are seven unique ideas for a perfect night out whether you’re planning a night with friends, you need a place to take a date, or you just want to get out of the house.

1. Eat, Drink, and Meet Your Neighbors at a Night Market

Yamashiro Night Market

An LA staple, night markets are primarily a summer occurrence. Food trucks are on hand to offer great food, vendors sell crafty and creative wares, and there’s usually some sort of family-friendly entertainment. Though fall is coming up soon, the Yamashiro Night Market still has two nights left on its summer 2018 schedule: September 20 & 27. Plan a visit to experience a great community along with amazing views of the city. And don’t forget to mark your calendar for next year’s other notable night markets: the Asian inspired 626 Night Market offers an annual cosplay contest and the KTown Night Market is a once a year festival that takes over the Robert F Kennedy Community Schools complex for a whole weekend.

Six Flags Fright Fest


2. Scare Yourself Silly

Fall is coming up, which means browning palm trees, pumpkin patches, and–of course– Halloween! So grab a pumpkin spice latte and prepare to explore LA’s large expanse of horror-themed goodness. All of the area theme parks offer mazes, rides, shows, and food for the season: Universal Studios transforms for Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s has its infamous Scary Farm, Disneyland embraces Halloween Time, and Six Flags produces scares with Fright Fest. The allegedly haunted Queen Mary is my personal favorite attraction of the season with Dark Harbor, which features dancers, aerialists, mazes, and nightly shows. If you’re looking for something on a smaller scale, numerous haunted houses pop up across LA county during the season, museums offer haunting tours of area cemeteries, and old theaters screen horror classics, so check out Google to find something near you.

UCB Comedy

3. Dress Up and See a Show

The beauty of living in a thriving metropolis like Los Angeles is that there are a variety of shows happening around the city almost every night of the week. And, because you can find something at almost every price point, there’s bound to be something for everyone. If you’re looking for the Broadway experience, the Pantages and the Ahmanson have your back. Big fan of comedy shows? Check out the Comedy Store on Sunset 365 days a year for stand up, or visit Groundlings or the UCB for a more low-key show. Drag shows are so common that Explore Los Angeles has a list of options. And if you’re into creative burlesque, Jumbo’s Clown Room keeps it real (don’t forget ones to tip the dancers!) and Lucha VaVOOM marries burlesque and wrestling.

Rooftop Cinema Club

4. Have an unconventional movie night

Living in the mecca of the film industry, you can catch a stellar movie in a bevy of creative venues. Why not shake-up movie night with a film viewing on a rooftop, at an old school drive in, or among the dearly departed at Hollywood Forever? Vintage theaters like the Vista, the Los Feliz, the Nuart, and Disney’s El Capitan offer new and classic screenings. If you’re into picnics Street Food Cinema pairs food trucks and movies for an easy night out!

5. Get cultured at an art walk

Whether you need just the right thing to put on that empty wall space or you simply love art, the art walks around the city can meet your needs. Art Walks are fabulous because you usually get to meet the artists, prices tend to be affordable, local artists are crazy creative, and some galleries offer sips and snacks. These events make a great date night or night out with friends because you can always stop for dinner before or after visiting galleries. Monthly art walks can be found in downtown Los Angeles, North Hollywood, Abbot Kinney, and Culver City. Pasadena offers a yearly art walk in October.

6. Holiday lights

If you thought LA turned out for Halloween, winter holidays are on a whole other level. Thanks to Tinseltown’s need to film content for national broadcast in December, LA’s winter festivities start as early as October. There’s ice skating, snow tubing in a onesie, festive zoo visits with hot cocoa (and Bailey’s if you want it!), train rides, snow at the Grove, and Christmas Tree Lane. If the crowds are too much for you, you can always grab a peppermint mocha, play sweet tunes, and drive around to look at everyone’s Christmas and Hanukkah lights. It’s what my girlfriend and I did for our first Christmas together, and it was a mega cute date.

Paint Nite

7. Paint Nite

If you’ve never attended a sip & paint night, you are missing out! Not only do you get to get mad creative with a glass of wine in hand, but it’s also a social setting where you don’t have to take anything too seriously. If you don’t feel very creative, instructors make it simple to follow along and create a masterpiece with step-by-step guidance. On the flip side, your canvas is yours alone, so you can depart from the group project at any point and go into your own creative space. The crowd is usually friendly and easy to talk to, and you can pick out your project ahead of time on the Paint Nite website. Don’t forget to tip your instructor!

And there you have it: whether you’re just taking a night off from the club scene or it was never your scene to start with, you’re now armed with alternative options for a great night out! These are only the tip of the iceberg, so get out there and get exploring: you have more options than you realize!


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