If you’ve run your brain in circles trying to decide how to impress the beautiful barista you’ve had your eye on for the last few months, we have a list of creative date night ideas in Los Angeles to try out.
It’s easy to fall into a rut when it comes to date nights, especially if you and your partner have lived and dated in La La Land for a while. Whether it’s your first date or your hundredth, you’ll find something for everyone in LA.
From poetry readings and speak-easies to bookstores and hikes, we’ve compiled a list for romantic duos of all interests. Read on for some of the best creative date night ideas in Los Angeles.
Explore breweries and arcades in Downtown Los Angeles Arts District
The Downtown LA Arts District gives off a bohemian industrial vibe, filled with vintage brick-and-mortar institutions that serve up a stiff drink and display avant-garde artwork among tucked away antique arcade games in dark corners.
Angel City Brewery is an essential LA bucket list item for those who savor craft beer, as any self-respecting Southern Californian does. For video game lovers, check out EightyTwo, a retro arcade equipped with a full bar and live music.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to Two Bit Circus, an entertainment center with escape rooms, indie arcades and multi-person virtual reality. It’s the perfect place to test your ability to work as a team and have fun.
Get to know each other at The Last Bookstore
What bibliophile wouldn’t want a romantic kiss underneath The Last Bookstore’s iconic book tunnel? This LA staple steals the spot for California’s biggest used and new book store (and don’t forget all the vinyl records). Its name arose from an ironic observation of the digital age’s impact on indie bookstores, and it has only become more relevant.
Come and support The Last Bookstore and its efforts to provide the City of Angels with stellar reading and listening material. Bring your date along and get to know them with some bookish questions. You might even discover a red flag if they choose Thoreau as their favorite writer. You dodged a bullet with that one.
Dress up for a Gatsby party at Pour Vous
Where else could you find Parisian vintage speakeasies that evoke old Hollywood? Maybe San Francisco, but only LA could birth places like Pour Vous or The Varnish. While the majority of these locations are temporarily closed due to the pandemic, it’s never too early to start planning a night out in a flapper costume or an old tuxedo.
Put your best foot forward with 3rd Street Dance or The Warehouse
Dancing presents a challenge for many people, but it’s a fun road to familiarize yourself with your partner’s body and how they move. Step out of your comfort zone and head over to 3rd Street Dance or The Warehouse for an evening of salsa or ballroom dance. You might find a new favorite way to spend your Friday nights.
Angels Flight Railway
This isn’t so much a date idea as a stop to make along the way – unless you’d like your date to last one minute. Hop on the shortest train ride in the world as an excuse to kiss your partner and feel like a spoiled socialite after a long afternoon of shopping. Or dupe your insufferable date into thinking Angels Flight is the plan for the night, and then ditch them afterward. You’ll win the award for the most creative way to escape an unpleasant date.
Find a spooky walking tour
The amount of creepy walking tours dedicated to LA ghost stories and true crime will astound you. What big city doesn’t have its fair share of scary stories, whether supernatural or otherwise? The City of Angels (or demons?) is no exception. Check out LA Ghost Tours in October for prime spooky season.
Take a sunset hike
Whether you abscond from the city or climb the hills for views of famous landmarks, a sunset hike will take you and your partner on a romantic outdoor adventure. Try the Mt. Hollywood Trail or the Bush Canyon Trail for a hike within city limits. The hillsides of Chaparral combined with the unparalleled views of the Hollywood sign make for an ideal introduction to dating in LA. If you’d prefer more of a stroll, drive over to Malibu Creek State Park for a variety of trails to explore.
Enjoy a night of poetry or comedy
Improv isn’t for everyone, but if you’re an avid fan of Saturday Night Live check out The Groundlings, a sketch and comedy troupe that often funnels members directly to the SNL cast. Visit their website for a full list of shows and events.
If you’re more of a poetry nerd, head over to Da Poetry Lounge for a night of open-mic performances. It could be embarrassing and disastrous whether or not you choose to perform, but that’s part of the fun.
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