20 Ways to Play in Los Angeles

With 20 years of experience in the industry, The Event Team is no stranger to all the exciting activities in Southern California. From the South Bay to The Valley, this week we will explore the diverse possibilities in the sprawling melting pot metropolis of Los Angeles. Roll down the window, put down the top, crank up the Beach Boys, and don’t let the music stop because here are 20 Ways to Play in L.A.  We love it!

1. Play on the Beach:   No trip to Los Angeles would be complete without a walk on the sand and a dip in the water at one of Southern California’s famous beaches. Walking is not the only option though! One can tour along a scenic beach-side path from Malibu to South Bay by bike, surrey, roller skates, or Segway before jumping in to a volleyball game or learning to ride the waves at a surfing lesson. The rides and games of Santa Monica Pier and the eccentric performers of Venice Beach Boardwalk are popular L.A. beach traditions. Of course, all you need is a beach chair and umbrella to enjoy a perfect L.A. day!

Venice Beach Street Performers- image from http://danniroundtheworld.wordpress.com

2. Go to the Movies:  L.A. is the birthplace of the film industry and the diverse options and venues for experiencing them is unlike anywhere else in the world. The latest releases can be viewed in luxurious theaters such as the El Capitan, Arclight, and Landmark. The Downtown Independent hosts more obscure releases as well as rowdy drink-alongs to beloved classics. Movie fans should take advantage of American Cinematheque’s special programing at the Aero and Egyptian theaters which often include Q & A’s with cast and crews. The Cinefamily at The Silent Movie Theater is another group that celebrates all that is weird and wonderful about the moving picture. Cult to classic double-features are screened at The New Beverly revival theater where the owner, Quentin Tarantino, might stop by to enjoy the movie with you!

3. Travel Around the World:  Experience the wonders of Asia in L.A.’s Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, Thai Town, and Filipinotown. Colorful south-of-the-border authenticity comes alive in the old world Mexican marketplace, Olvera Street, at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. British, Russian, Armenian, and Ethiopian enclaves also serve up traditional cuisine within the city. The entire world is represented in some form or another in this cultural tossed salad of a L.A.

Hollywood Bowl- image from http://www.blvdhotels.com

4. Feel the Music:  L.A. is almost as famous for the music industry as it is the film industry. Venues for major musical acts include The Staples Center, Nokia Theater, The Greek Theater, Gibson Amphitheater, and The Hollywood Bowl. Smaller, local, and independent musicians perform at some of rock and roll history’s most famous sites such as The Roxy, The Mint, and The Viper Room. For the classically minded, the magnificent Walt Disney Concert Hall is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Free concerts can even be found throughout the city at places such as Pershing Square, The Getty Center, Hollywood & Highland, and the Santa Monica Pier. From bar to mega-amphitheater, there are literally hundreds of options for live music every night of the week! Audiophiles can be immersed in music history at the brand new Grammy Museum or explore the aisles of Amoeba, the world’s largest independent record store.

5. Artistic Encounters:  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Getty Center house some of the most extensive  collections of masterworks, ancient artifacts, and new pieces found anywhere in the world. Once a month, downtown L.A. becomes a lively showcase of local artists at ArtWalk. The museum itself is a work of art at the mysterious and unique Museum of Jurassic Technology. Just sitting in L.A. traffic you might spot street art by famous artists such as Banksy or Shepard Fairey. If you tire of looking at other people’s art, you can make your own at one of L.A.’s several Color Me Mine locations.

Getty Center - image from www.billsphotooftheday.com

6. Theme Parks!:  As Orlando’s west coast counterpart, families can enjoy days of rides, shows, and attractions at the numerous theme and water parks surrounding the Los Angeles area. World famous Six Flags Magic Mountain is home to one of the largest collection of roller coasters in the world. You can ride the movies at Universal Studios Hollywood or take a step in to the old west at Knott’s Berry Farm, America’s first theme park. Of course, this is the home of Walt Disney and the original Disneyland, as well as the newly remodeled Disney’s California Adventure park. Don’t forget that all of these parks feature special holiday events and celebrations!

7. One with the Animals:  Animal connections are made every day with the over 250 different species at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. For more intimate and interactive animal encounters the Wildlife Learning Center is a great place to take the kids. Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium showcase sea life. And there is no better way to conclude an L.A. day than with a sunset horseback ride along the beaches of Malibu or atop the Hollywood hills!

8. Go Back in Time:  Los Angeles is a city of rich and diverse history full of museums and historic sites. You can tour historic homes before exploring classic movie history at the Hollywood Museum. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits offer glimpses of what the land was like prior to human intervention. Cowboys, Native Americans, and their relationship to Hollywood are the focus at the Museum of the American West in the beautiful Autry National Center. Originally opened in 1901, the historic “funicular” railway, Angel’s Flight, offers one-way scenic trips up and down Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles for fifty cents. These are only a tiny fraction of the many ways one can experience L.A.’s past.

9. Hike and Bike:  There is no shortage of recreation opportunities in and around Los Angeles. Trek the famous trail up to the Hollywood sign at Griffith Park or discover incredible views of the city and ocean at Temescal Gateway Park. The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and Angeles National Forest offer endless possibilities for hiking, biking, fishing, and camping. For city recreation, you can meet up with the popular late-night bicycle group Midnight Ridazz and pedal through downtown en mass.

Hollywood Hike - image from http://guestofaguest.com

10. Sports:  Sports fans rejoice!  The Staples Center is home to the Lakers, Clippers, Sparks, and Kings! The famous Dodger Dogs are grilling and ready to perfect your baseball spectator experience at the classic Dodger Stadium. One of college football’s greatest rivals, USC and UCLA, go head to head in L.A.’s most legendary sports venues, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Rose Bowl.  Don’t forget that David Beckham kicks the “football” around with the MLS Cup champions, the Los Angeles Galaxy, at the Home Depot Center.

11: Extreme Sports:  Southern California practically invented extreme sports! L.A. is the home of the summer X Games and offers numerous outlets for surfing, skate boarding, jet skiing, kayaking, para-gliding, wind surfing, canyoneering, rock climbing, go-kart racing, sky diving, bungee jumping, and more. Indoor skydiving and water jet packing are a few of the more unique thrills found here.  Ever imagine a room made entirely of trampolines for floors and walls?  Well, they’ve got that too!  Sky High Sports fulfills your every bouncing desire.

12. Shop, Shop, and Shop Some More:  From the bargain deals of local swap meets to the extravagant boutiques of Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles is an unrivaled shopper’s paradise. The jewelry, fashion, flower, and toy districts of downtown offer endless blocks of wholesale bargains. Third Street Promenade, Universal City Walk, Hollywood & Highland, the Beverly Center, and The Grove are also popular retail centers for finding the perfect gifts for loved ones (and yourself!).

Rodeo Drive - image from http://www.wikipedia.org/

13. Chase a Food Truck:  Los Angeles is the birthplace of the popular gourmet food truck craze. You will get the true Angelino experience by following one of the famous trucks on Twitter and then queuing up with the lunching locals for one of the tastiest (and affordable) meals of your life.  Buttermilk Truck, The Grilled Cheese Truck, Nom Nom Truck, Coohaus, and Kogi BBQ are among the most popular. Food trucks go where the crowds are, so as a bonus you will likely end up at a cultural event or happening venue on your search for amazing hybrid street food.

14. Hang with Dead People:  Native American burial grounds, mobster history, Great Depression-era tragedies, and celebrity murders make Los Angeles one of the country’s most haunted cities. Famous death and scandals are the highlight of haunted Hollywood tours. Some of the city’s most famous haunted sights include Pantages Theater, Knickerbocker Hotel, the Paul Bern Death House, and Alexandria Hotel. During the summer, Cinespia presents nighttime film screenings among the graves at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Day of the Dead at Hollywood Forever Cemetery- image from http://www.ladayofthedead.com

15. Play with Science:  Over 100 permanent interactive science exhibits await at the California Science Center in Exposition Park. Home of NASA’s Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavor and an IMAX theater, admission to the permanent galleries is FREE!  Overlooking the city on a scenic hillside in Griffith Park, the famed Griffith Observatory offers guests the chance to explore the wonders of astronomy. As seen in the legendary climax of James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause, the observatory’s exhibits and planetarium allow guests to journey in to the depths of outer space.

16. Watch TV:  Joining the audience of a TV show taping is one of L.A.’s most popular tourist activities. While it may take some patience and a little luck, fans can watch a live taping of Conan, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Chelsea Lately, Wheel of Fortune, The Price is Right, or even American Idol. Touring the studio lots where these shows are produced is also a one-of-a-kind L.A. experience.

The Price is Right Studio Audience - image from www.infinitydish.com/

17. Hit Da Clubz:  Hollywood and downtown are loaded with nightclubs where you can dance ‘til you drop (maybe alongside a celebrity). Les Deux, Tower Bar, Greystone Manor, and Supperclub are among L.A.’s hottest venues featuring local and world-renowned DJs.
18. Laugh!: From high profile stand-ups to cult improv groups, Los Angeles is the place for hilarious comedy every night. Acme Comedy Theater and The Comedy Store are among the city’s most well-known comedy clubs, but it is The Groundlings Theater and Upright Citizens Brigade that have the fervent local following. The Largo hosts sold out comedy shows from today’s hippest TV comedians such as Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, and Megan Mullally.

19. Twist Your Body:  Los Angeles is a hotbed of health and wellness, at the center of which is yoga.  This is the perfect place to try out some body warping positions and sweat it out at a hot yoga studio or greet a new day with sunrise yoga on the beach.  For those interested in flipping their body through the air, Trapeze School New York at the Santa Monica Pier may be the ideal afternoon activity.  If you are not in the mood for pushing your body to the limit, you can at least watch someone else do it at Iris, Cirque du Soleil’s tribute to the cinema now in its second of a ten year residency at the Kodak Theater.

Trapeze School - image from http://losangeles.trapezeschool.com/

20. People Watch:  Los Angeles is the ultimate people watching city! From the bizarre inhabitants of Venice Beach Boardwalk to the celebrity lookalikes and furries of Hollywood Blvd., there is no shortage of hilarious photo ops. Following the paparazzi or waiting outside a red carpet event are surefire ways to catch glimpses of Hollywood elite. There are also many places to catch celebs off the job including The Grove, The Arclight, Mort’s Delicatessen, Fred Segal, Gelsons Market, Amoeba, Le Deux, and Trousdale.

Interested in organizing any of these unique adventures for your groups? Contact The Event Team, and we’ll be happy to put together a creative proposal full of fun-filled activities! 888-EVENT-88 or sales@eventteam.com