Halleluja! If you’ve reached that point in parenting where you realize you don’t have to rush the kids to bed every night or adhere to strict bedtime schedules, then do we have some fun, post-sun activities for you! There’s so much to do come nightfall in LA, both indoors and out, that you may even remember what life was life before you had kids. Scroll through for our favorite nighttime picks.
photo: Bowlero via Yelp
Hit the Lanes
Whether you hit the lanes and enjoy the neon lights or you take phenomenon known as cosmic bowling, the bowling alley is a great place for a little family-friendly competition all while grabbing a bite to eat.
Night Owl Tips: Some bowling allies, such as Jewel City Bowl, will allow you to make reservations and even order food online days in advance.
Jewel City Bowl
135 S Glendale Ave.
12125 Venice Ave.
Go For A Hike
Known for their once-a-month moonlight hikes, this group offers a fun and unique way to experience Coldwater Canyon and take in amazing views of the Valley, in a whole new (and dimmer) light. Dress in layers and bring water and a flashlight. And be sure to listen for the owls–hearing them is sure to be a hoot.
Night Owl Tips: No need to worry about hiking with little ones; these hikes are designed for everyone in the family (well, almost everyone, as you’ll have to leave Fido at home). Choose the “short/youth” hike option with lots of stops or for more savvy hikers, choose the medium and long options.
12601 Mulholland Dr.
photo: Vineland via Yelp
Vineland Drive-in is proof that drive-in theaters not only still exist but are fun to boot! Pack up dinner or snacks (or opt to visit the concession stand), adjust your car stereo and let your kids see how movies were watched in the good old days.
Night Owl Tips: Vineland Drive-In is known for their double features—two movies in one night?! A cinema loving kid’s dream come true.
443 N. Vineland Ave.
City of Industry
photo: Ultra Zone via Facebook
Laser tag is a fun activity for older kids but even some younger kids like joining in on the excitement. It’s sort of like playing hide and seek amidst fog and laser lights. While some places have a height requirement, others have an age requirement, so be sure to keep that in mind when selecting a place. Parents love Ultra Zone in Sherman Oaks for their great customer service and the arcade. Of course, being located on the boulevard next near tons of great eateries helps, too.
Night Owl Tips: Given the fact that laser tag caters to kids of all ages (and adults) we recommend making it a family affair and joining in on the fun, especially if your kiddo hasn’t played before. Kids who are afraid of the dark may want to hang out in the arcade with mom or dad.
14622 Ventura Blvd.
photo: Lei Han via flickr
Play tourist for the evening and travel around the town by way of a double-decker bus. Visit some of the landmarks the “City of Angels” is known for and afterward, stop at one of LA’s iconic eateries.
6925 Hollywood Blvd.
photo: Dana K. via Yelp
Dine Al Fresco
Thanks to the great weather, many LA restaurants offer year-round patio seating. Despite what television suggests, dinner under the stars isn’t just for romantics. Even kids will get a kick out of eating their favorite foods while people watching and star gazing. Don’t miss our favorite spots for dining al fresco with the kids.
See More Stars
Journey to the Griffith Observatory to get a view that is out of this world. Check out their website to find out what time the sun sets and get there early enough to witness it first hand. Then enjoy an evening filled with exhibit viewings and star gazing. You can also catch a show in the planetarium with older kids (littles are only allowed in the first show of the day).
Night Owl Tips: Parking is free but finding a spot in the lot isn’t easy. Park at the bottom and take an Lyft up or be prepared to take a little trek up the hill.
2800 East Observatory Rd.
A Super Sleepover
The only thing more fun than a sleepover is one that takes place at the museum. A fun blend of education, fun, and even lions, dinosaurs or sharks, these overnight outings often involve more excitement than sleep.
Night Owl Tips: If you aren’t ready to send your precious tike off to a sleepover fret not! Parents are required at these family outings.
photo: William G. via Yelp
Play at the Pier
The Santa Monica Pier is bustling at night and the Ferris wheel is even more fun when ridden against the backdrop of the ocean and city all aglow. Walk along the boardwalk enjoying games, rides, and amusement park foods alongside the soundtrack of ocean waves and happy people.
Night Owl Tips: It can get a little chilly at night especially alongside the ocean so be sure to dress the kiddos in layers.
Santa Monica Pier
200 Santa Monica Pier
Hit the Links
Miniature golf courses come alive at night. Who is up for a family challenge complete with lights, water features, and fun décor? Here are our top picks for mini golfing with the family.
Zoom Around the Track
Indoor go-kart racetracks are a plentiful here in LA and are a great outing for a kid who loves to live life in the fun lane. But outdoor racetracks with bright lights also abound here in So Cal, allowing them to get behind the wheels and feel the wind in their faces, even at night.
SpeedZone Los Angeles
17871 Castleton St.
City of Industry
See A Show
Whether it’s a musical, play or concert there’s something special about seeing a live performance. Here in Los Angeles, a city steeped in the arts, there are a variety of shows that cater to various ages and artistic tastes. Check out our fave places to take the kiddos to have a live theater experience.
Want to know the latest events for kids happening here in Los Angeles (day and night)? Check out our Family Events Calender
—Krishann Briscoe & Andie Huber
featured image: niko si via flickr