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Published January 3, 2024

The Best Unexpected Date Ideas in LA

21 Date ideas that aren't just dinner and a movie.❤️‍🔥

by Los Angeles Bucket List


Looking for the perfect spot for a first date? Stuck in an endless cycle of Netflix and chill? Don't worry, we're here to help rescue you from the same old boring date ideas. Los Angeles is jam-packed with exciting things to do, from horseback rides through the Hollywood hills to underground comedy shows. Lucky for you, we've compiled all the best ideas into one handy list that will keep your date nights fun all year long!


20+ Unique Date Ideas in LA

Reserve a Private Gondola in Newport Beach

Picture this: You and your special someone, a platter of appetizers, and a romantic gondola ride through Newport Harbor. Choose an Antipasto or Dessert cruise—both include wine or champagne or go more casual with a pizza cruise that includes a slice of gourmet cheesecake for dessert! The tours are hosted by a charming gondolier who will be happy to tell you about the history of gondolas or serenade you with a traditional Venetian tune.

Where: 200 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach
More information.


Visit The Crushed Heartbreak Bar

Put old flames behind you and take your new crush to Crushed: Singalong Piano Bar, a limited-time pop-up with themed cocktails/mocktails, photo ops, and activities like adding to the Crush List, taking photos on Cloud 9, and getting a tarot card reading to see if you and your new love interest are meant to be. Enjoy a welcome shot when you arrive, then get ready to let loose and sing your heart out with a live pianist.

Where: Three Clubs: 1123 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA
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1123 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038, USA
Crushed: Singalong Piano Heartbreak Bar
Starting at $23

Book now


Take a Ride on Santa Monica's Iconic Ferris Wheel

Soar high in the sky together as you take in unbeatable ocean views and the Santa Monica Pier with your date on this iconic Ferris Wheel. Try to time your visit so you can catch the sunset for an extra romantic touch, and then stroll down the boardwalk and try your luck at a few games to end the evening. If it was romantic enough for Paris Hilton's wedding carnival, it should work for your SO too.

Where: 380 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
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Transport Yourselves to the Mediterranean at Santuari

Flying to a coastal city on the Mediterranean may not be an option, but dinner and drinks at Santuari is. When you step through the doors of this chic spot and into its Mediterranean-inspired dining room, you and your date will wonder if you’re even still in LA. Specializing in Angeleno cuisine, the menu features handpicked ingredients from local farmers markets and blends the diverse flavors, cooking styles, and ingredients found in the melting pot of Los Angeles. Pair your meal with a unique cocktail like the "I Gochu Babe" or "Main Squeeze"—both refreshing and aptly named for date night drinks.

Where: 6711 Forest Lawn Dr, Los Angeles, CA
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Grab Drinks at Sparkling Pink

This exclusive all-pink pop-up in the heart of West Hollywood is open every day in February. The intimate space is lavishly adorned with floor-to-ceiling windows, glittering garlands, and an array of dazzling pink decor, creating the perfect rosy backdrop for a dreamy date night. Tickets include a 90-minute reservation and a welcome cocktail. They also have brunch every Saturday!

Where: E.P. & L.P.: 603 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA
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603 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA
Sparkling Pink LA
Starting at $25

Book now


Customize Your Kicks

Stylish couples will love this custom sneaker-decorating class, where you can create a unique work of art that you can wear! In this workshop, a pro from Majorwavez Lab will guide you through the process of sewing or painting your sneaks to create a one-of-a-kind design. The best part? Once you’re done, you can think of your date every time you rock your new kicks with your favorite outfit!

Where: Nesquik: 1457 Colorado Blvd. unit 102, Los Angeles, CA, 90041
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Check Into LA's Scariest Hotel for an Escape Game

Show off how brave you are and see if you and your date have the chemistry to work as a team at the world's largest multi-themed escape room. Located in Hollywood, Escape Hotel features multiple escape game rooms with various themes and difficulty levels to choose from. From the moment you step in, you'll be transported into a 1920s hotel where all the dead souls are still around to haunt you—and it's not just inside the game. From the grand lobby to the eerie hallways, you'll find haunting surprises around every corner.

Where: 6633 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
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Go Hydrobiking in Long Beach

You know what they say: the couple that Hydrobikes together stays together...or something like that. Regardless, getting active and spending a day on the water makes for a fun time and a memorable date. Choose daytime, sunset, or evening glow rides—where the Hydrobike fleet is lit up with LED lights. Along the way, you'll pedal past stunning sandy beaches, glimpse the occasional wildlife and soak up beautiful views of scenic Alamitos Bay.

Where: Long Beach Waterbikes: 164 N. Marina Dr., Long Beach, CA
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164 N Marina Dr, Long Beach, CA 90803, USA
Hydrobiking in Long Beach, California | Day, Sunset or Night Glow Rides
Starting at $25

Book now


Sample World Cuisine at Grand Central Market

This one-of-a-kind food market has everything you can dream of, from piping hot pupusas to fresh handmade pasta and more. Come hungry and roam the stalls with your date, sampling everything the market has to offer. There’s even a vintage photobooth on-site for you to snag some photos of your visit!

Where: 317 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA
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Go on a Vintage VW Bus Tour Through Malibu

No basic happy hour dates allowed! Instead, channel your inner hippy together while riding in style on a retro-chic VW bus to tour some of Malibu’s best vineyards. On this adventure, you’ll sample wines and nosh on snacks at several wineries along the way, plus take in the views from Malibu’s gorgeous canyons and cliffs. Each tour also comes with two bottles of wine to take home, so you can keep the fun going!

Where: 32111 Mulholland Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
More information.

32111 Mulholland Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265, USA
Vintage VW Bus Wine Tour
Starting at $625

Book now


Wander the Sprawling Los Angeles Flower Market

You and your date can wander the stalls and shops together at this historic flower market as you admire row upon row of fresh, unique flowers. Stop here in the morning before heading out to brunch nearby for a perfect weekend date. As a bonus, you can pick up a romantic bouquet on the spot!

Where: 754 Wall St. (between 7th and 8th), Los Angeles, CA 90014
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Rent Swan Boats in Echo Park

An afternoon spent paddling around Echo Park Lake in a swan boat is the stuff rom-com dreams are made of. A welcome break from the hustle and bustle of downtown LA, these boats allow for a fun-filled and relaxing day on one of the city’s most well-known lakes. Pack a picnic and make a day of it, or go after the sun sets for a romantic glow boat experience.

Where: 751 Echo Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA
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Get Lost in the Getty Villa Museum

While you may not be able to hop on a plane with your beau and jet off to Italy, you can head to the Getty Villa Museum for your own Italian adventure right in LA. This museum is located in a recreated Roman country house with stunning gardens to stroll through, plus an impressive collection of classical art to peruse with your date. Entry is free, but reservations are required.

Where: 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
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Hike the Park to Playa Trail

The Park to Playa trail connects a network of trails and open spaces to the Pacific Ocean at Playa del Ray. Starting at Baldwin Hills Parklands, there are multiple trail access points in six segments: Stocker Corridor, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, Blair Hills – Segment C, Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, Culver City Park, and Ballona Creek Bike Path. The gorgeous trail opened in 2021 and offers a lower elevation with peaceful views.  

Hiked it already? Check out the Bucket Listers LA hiking guide for a list of the most scenic trails in the area.

Trailhead address: 34°00'57.6"N 118°22'55.4"W.
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Experience a Wine Tasting for Two

Have fun sipping your way through a variety of wines during an exclusive tasting experience at Malibu Beer & Wine! Each experience includes a pre-set flight for two with a tasting note sheet so you can remember your favorite sips, plus a cheese and charcuterie board to nibble on and branded glassware to take home. It’ll be a day to remember, and you might even find a new favorite wine to share on future date nights!

Where: 23130 Sherman Way, West Hills, CA 91307
More information.

23130 Sherman Way, West Hills, Los Angeles, CA 91307, USA
Wine & Cheese Pairing for 2
Starting at $49

Book now


Take a Ride on the Angels Flight Railway

LA’s Angel’s Flight puts the “fun” in funicular. The historic landmark is located in Downtown Los Angeles and boasts the title “world’s shortest railway.” The fare is $1 each way, making it the perfect cheap (but fun) date. If you're a LaLa Land fan, you’ll recognize Angels Flight from a romantic scene in the movie!

Where: 350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071
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Go on a Guided Horse Trail Ride

Take a guided horseback ride with your boo through the Hollywood Hills and see some of LA's most iconic landmarks, like the Griffith Observatory and Hollywood Sign. Schedule an evening tour to catch sunset views and romantic vibes, or go on a Saturday or Sunday morning and round out your day date at one of LA's best brunch spots.

Where: Sunset Ranch Hollywood: 3400 N Beachwood Dr, Los Angeles, CA
More information.


Sunset Ranch Hollywood, North Beachwood Drive, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Horse Trail Rides with Sunset Ranch Hollywood
Starting at $63

Book now


Experience the Mosaic Tile House

The Mosaic Tile House is an epic celebration of art and color right in the heart of Venice. Almost every inch of this unique space is covered in vibrant tiles, and the mix-matched shards provide a unique backdrop for photos and exploring the property. With eye-catching pieces of art to investigate everywhere you turn, you can definitely get lost in this labyrinth. 

Where: 1116 Palms Blvd Venice CA 90291
More information.


Fly Above LA on a Sunset Flight Tour

Watch your love soar to new heights! Experience the city from a new perspective as the sunset flight tour flies you above Downtown Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium, Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Sign, and much more!. The 45-minute flight can include champagne for a $60 add-on.

Where: Sunset Flights 4015 Santa Anita Ave, El Monte, CA 91731
More information.

Sunset Flights, Santa Anita Avenue, El Monte, CA, USA
Sunset Airplane Flight Tours (+ Day & Night!)
Starting at $99

Book now


Visit The LAB Anti-Mall

The LAB Anti-Mall is the perfect indoor-outdoor hangout spot, packed with a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes to peruse. “LAB” stands for “Little American Business,” as the retail center aims to support artisans and local businesses. With a ton of art around and live music often on the agenda, you wouldn't get bored with your date here.

Where: 2930 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
More information.


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