Summer is in full swing and with the weather heating up and staying hot into dusk, it’s nice to get outdoors and enjoy the warm evening air. While a good ol’ fashioned outdoor bbq and a beach bonfire are always enjoyable on a summer’s night, here are a few other ideas that I’m itching to try out for Summer evenings in LA and beyond. You just may want to add them to your summer to-do list too!
Drive-in movie Theaters or Cemetery Screenings~
For me, going out to see a movie is all about the experience. For a fresh twist on a typical movie outing, try attending an old-fashion drive-in theater or a cemetery screening. This is a very trendy event in Los Angeles lately! On weekends, The Hollywood Forever Cemetery and the Devil’s Night Drive-in in Downtown LA screen classics and cult-favorites such as “Chinatown,” “The Big Lebowski” and “16 Candles.” You can bring a picnic dinner, drinks (alcohol is permitted), pillows and blankets. Tickets are $10 pre-sale, $12 at the door. Check out Cinespia’s website for more details.
Star-Gaze at your city’s Observatory~
Visiting an Observatory or Planetarium is perfect for an inexpensive, but romantic summer excursion. LA’s Griffith Observatory is open six days a week, Tuesday-Friday from noon to 10pm and 10am-10pm on Saturdays and Sundays. It sits atop the Hollywood Hills and boasts a paramount view of the city especially at twilight. Admission and access to the telescopes are free, and the cafe is also open till 9pm. But even if you don’t have a local observatory, plan an evening out under the stars in your backyard or at a local park! All you need is a blanket, a thermos of coffee and place away from the city lights. Download one of these free Star Charts and start scanning the skies!
Outdoor concerts and music festivals~
These are all the rage this time of year. If you missed the big ones like Coachella or Bonnaroo, you can still catch Lollapalooza in August and many more in the upcoming months. Check out this website for a list of festivals and dates. Or you can see what’s lining up at your local outdoor concert hall. I can easily say that one of my favorite concerts in combination with one of my favorite venues ever was Incubus at the Hollywood Bowl last year. The Bowl is absolutely beautiful and the energy and atmosphere feels like you’re anywhere other than the smoggy, concrete jungle that is LA. For most events, you can also bring in your own food and drinks!
Instead of spending an insane amount of money at those commercial theme parks, spend a night at your local amusement park or carnival. At the Santa Monica Pier, you can play games, ride the coaster, take in the view of the Southern California beach line, attend a free concert or take a trapeze class ($35/class with TSNY Los Angeles http://losangeles.trapezeschool.com/).
I’m not the biggest baseball fan, but I always have a great time at Dodger Stadium where I can buy a ticket for as low as $5!, Dress down (or dress up like the SATC girls in the photo below), enjoy a hot dog and people-watch with friends.
Hope this gave you a little inspiration, have a happy summer!