Whether you want make a killer first impression or break free from your steadfast routine with whom you’re going steady, Los Angeles is host to an array of unique romantic experiences. For many, an expensive dinner may seem like the only plausible option to dazzle a date. Yet, this city offers so much more than just pricey grub (although the restaurants are, without a doubt, top-notch). If you wish to spice up your love life, you’ll fall head over heels for our vetted selection of distinct date night ideas. We’re all for romantic spontaneity — just as long it’s carefully planned.
Go Along For The Ride
A purely innocent one, of course. The Passage Ride is an unusual date night experience for those who want to take the road less traveled — literally. The program’s bike ride begins every Wednesday at 8:45 p.m. from a donut shop in Koreatown and guides you through the ins and outs of L.A.’s most unexplored gems. The beauty of the ride, though, is that it’s full of surprises: you may wander off road, discover old pool halls, sing some karaoke, have a full moon picnic. For a weirdly enjoyable diversion from reality, you and yours should most certainly make the passage. If your special someone needs any convincing, just emphasize those late night “victory” donuts.
Cook Up Something Nice
Delight in a tasteful night out on the town while enjoying the fruits of your own labor. Sign up for a super sweet and savory Hipcooks class, even if cooking isn’t either of your fortés (there’s booze involved, don’t worry). Set within a beautiful urban kitchen, the class is both hands-on yet wholly entertaining and, using fresh and organic ingredients, you’ll learn to prepare whatever your palate pleases. But, the best part? The class ends with a dinner party and wine pairing. Whether you want a solo, double or triple date, the classes comfortably fit 14 people. While we’d love to join you, it’s time you cook up your own ideas from here.
Start Playing Games
While that may be a contradictory “play” on words, we really mean it. We’re not talkin’ games with your heart here; we mean fun, old-school games like bowling. Highland Park Bowl (L.A.’s oldest bowling alley) is the perfect spot for you and yours to take a trip down memory lane, both literally and figuratively. The joint opened in the midst of Prohibition in 1927 and later acquired a music permit that added yet another cultural layer to its historical base. Today, the alley stands as a revamped version of its beautiful past, complete with vintage leather couches, pin-setter chandeliers, a recovered mural from the 1930s and — to boot — a refined menu with epic wood-fired pizzas and craft cocktails. So, yes, we really mean it — start playing games with your loved one.
Don’t Speak of It
Or, in other words, seek out L.A.’s best and most hidden speakeasies. There’s nothing more thrilling than discovering a secret — especially when liquor is the prize. Los Angeles is home to some of the most sophisticated and enigmatic bars, which are sure to transport you and your date to an era of prohibitive indulgence. Check out Old Lighting, a mid-century, tiki-inspired speakeasy located just behind Scopa where they’ll away your phones upon entering (so you can actually talk to each other). Or, consider The Varnish, L.A.’s oldest speakeasy that operated during Prohibition. Located behind Cole’s (you can grab a delish French dip prior), The Varnish features a lustful list of libations and live jazz after 9 p.m. See where the night takes you — just remember you didn’t hear this from us.
Get Electric at Dusk
Some of the greatest teenage memories are bringing your date to the movies, right? Well, it’s time to rediscover that youthful innocence and head to L.A.’s Electric Dusk Drive-In for a romantic blast from the past. From the comfort of your own car, you and your special someone can delight in classic and independent films whilst feeling transported to the sprightly days when you first met. Nosh on time-honored movie treats from the Snack Shack, including bacon hot dogs, cheeseburgers and a variety of candy, popcorn and beverages, while you kick back and watch your favorite romance flick on the big screen. If you want to feel young and in love, this drive-in is the answer.
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