Get cultured at a museum after-hours
Many of LA’s most magnificent museums stay open late at least one night a week, so you can swap your usual after-work happy hour for something actually educational.
UCLA’s art and cultural center Hammer Museum remains open until 8pm Tuesday through Friday, is free to everyone, and has a pretty robust schedule of programming, including many evening options.
Contemporary art headquarters LACMA welcomes visitors until 8pm on Friday nights, and also hosts its Friday night live-on-the-plaza music series Jazz at LACMA starting at 6pm every Friday from April through November.
With tons of outdoor space, amazing views, and 110-acres, The Getty is a great spot to let a Saturday afternoon roll into evening. It stays open until 9pm on Saturday nights and puts on its free monthly outdoor concert series Off the 405 in the summer, along with some shows inside its auditorium come winter.
Downtown’s architectural masterpiece The Broad (home of the oft-Instagrammed Infinity Mirror Rooms) remains open until 8pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays; while admission is free, it’s best to reserve a ticket ahead of time, if you can.
Cheer on the badass ladies of roller derby
Shake up your Saturday night as a spectator of Derby Dolls: a non-profit all-female, banked roller derby league comprised of 150 junior and adult members spread out among multiple teams with don’t-mess-with-us monikers.
Beat writers’ block with booze
We all know the repercussions of drinking and texting, but imbibing while thoughtfully writing a letter the old-fashioned way is a totally different story. An organization called Pen2Paper Project, which holds social workshops on the art of letter-writing and journaling, just launched the series A Nourished Spirit at the Hotel Palomar. Each workshop will have a theme and multiple cocktail pairings meant to give you a little inspiration and liquid courage to start writing.
See a puppet show (seriously)
Founded in the ‘60s by late puppeteer and marionette maker Bob Baker, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, unveiled its new home in Highland Park in 2018 after decades spent at its original Downtown theater. Before you scroll right on by and insist that puppet shows are for children, know this: The kitschy shows, costumed puppeteers, and 2,000+ handmade marionettes really do equal fun for all ages. Saturday evening shows are even geared towards adults.
Hike by moonlight
We Angelenos love our bright-and-early hikes — just try to find parking at 8am on a weekend at Runyon Canyon. Even if you’re a serious morning person, though, it’s worth giving a post-twilight trek a go; you can make the hike up Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood since the park is open to the public until 10pm. Better yet, hook up with the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter which leads evening hikes on Tuesdays and Thursdays with multiple hikes running around two hours targeted at different skill levels.
Have a tech-heavy carnival game night
Whether you’re an old-school arcade fan or all about the latest and greatest gaming technology, the Arts District’s 38,000-square-foot “micro amusement park” Two Bit Circus will be able to keep you entertained with its wild wonderland of interactive action. The place is filled with competition games like Skee-Ball and balloon pop (real ball, virtual balloons), along with classic video games. Entrance is free, and you pay to play. If you’ve got a crew in tow you can go in on a private gaming cabana rented in 90-minute blocks.
Catch a concert under the stars (while you still can)
Few amphitheaters are more magical than The Hollywood Bowl nestled in the Hollywood Hills. Yes, getting in and out is never fun, but once you get there as the sun is setting, indulge in a gourmet picnic and a few bottles of wine, and then catch an amazing act, you’ll have forgotten all about that LA traffic… until it’s time to head home, at least. Though the Bowl is synonymous with summer around here, the season runs all the way through October.