Getting out for family fun after dark just feels extra special somehow. Whether your family are a bunch of night owls or no longer beholden to early bedtimes, scroll through for fresh ideas of things to do in LA by moonlight, carnival lights, and even neon lights!
Marina del Rey: Marina Drive-In
This summer, every Fri. and Sat. night, head to the westside and catch a classic flick for just $20 per car. Two movies play per night (the first at 5 p.m. and the second at 8 p.m.) so you are bound to find one that everyone will love. Family favorites Honey I Shrunk the Kids & Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle are showing Jul. 23 and the movie list just keeps getting better and better with Grease, Moana, Coco, LaLa Land, Toy Story and more through Sept. 5.
Don't worry about packing a dinner—the marina is full of dining options you can stop at pre or post-show, or check out the food trucks that will be on-site. Pack an extra blanket—we can't imagine a better way to spend the night than with the family all cozied up in the car.
Hours: 5 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Rate: $20 per car
Public Boat Launch
13477 Fiji Way
Marina del Rey
DTLA: Amusement Park
Run away with the whole family to the fully re-opened Two Bit Circus—a high-tech, micro-amusement park in DTL.A. Their ticketed experience gives you access to the whole park, including their Story Rooms (a fresh take on escape rooms), virtual reality play space, and futuristic arcade games. Top off the fun by refueling at their new outdoor dining patio.
Night Owl Tip: Sun. are Family Fun Nights. Be sure to check out "Dr. Botchers" Story Room—it's like a life-sized game of Operation!.
Good to Know: Same-day reservations close at 4 p.m. each day.
Hours: Thurs.-Fri., 6 p.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 5 p.m.-midnight, Sun., 1 p.m.-7 p.m.
Rates: $70 package includes park access for 2 guests & a $70 playing card (valid for attractions & food/drink)
634 Mateo St.
SoCal Beaches: Run With the Grunion
Stake a spot on a flat, sandy beach (like Cabrillo Beach and Malibu Beach) late at night with your family to witness a uniquely Southern Californian experience—the "grunion run." These small silvery fish come ashore between Mar.-Aug. on the days following new and full moons to spawn at night after high tide. To learn more about when it's best to see this phenom, visit wildlife.ca.gov.
Night Owl Tip: Shhhhh...too much noise and light can scare them away!
Hours: Around 10 p.m.-midnight
Anaheim: Watch Disneyland Fireworks for Free
Did you know that you can catch an incredible Disney-provided fireworks show, without stepping foot in the park?
Step 1: Go to Anaheim at night.
Step 2: Look up into sky.
Step 3: Ooh and aah with your kids as you watch Disneyland fireworks light up the sky from outside the park!
Make it "dinner and a show" by dining along Harbor Blvd. near Disneyland or in the trendy Anaheim Packing District. You can also eat at Downtown Disney and walk to the Disneyland Esplanade (the area in between Disneyland Park and California Adventures) for a really up-close view.
Time: 9:30 p.m. on select nights. Check the Disney calendar for details.
The Packing House
440 S. Anaheim Blvd.
1580 Disneyland Dr.
Hit the Lanes
Calling all ages: Strap on your bowling shoes and get ready for epic fun! Whether you go for the neon cosmic bowling or lane-side noshing (crispy chicken sandwiches with cauliflower tots, anyone?), the bowling alleys at Bowlero and Back Alley Bowling are two favorite places for a little family-friendly competition.
Back Alley Bowling
135 S. Glendale Ave.
12125 Venice Ave.
Movie Nights are Back
Movie Nights are back at our favorite kid-friendly movie theaters! Now's the time to splurge on your favorite concession snacks!
Glendale: Roll into Skate Night
Go back in time and show your kids how you partied in the 80s by heading to Moonlight Rollaway roller skating rink in Glendale. Expect disco lights, great music and lots of laughs.
Night Owl Tip: On-site coaches are available for skating lessons.
5110 San Fernando Rd.
Hollywood: Take a Starline Tour
Play tourist aboard a Starline Tours double-decker bus. From classic Hollywood haunts to stunning coastal vistas, get amped about the "City of Angels" and afterward, stop at one of LA's iconic eateries.
6925 Hollywood Blvd.
Dine Al Fresco
Kids will get a kick out of getting to eat in streets, sidewalks and parking lots like never before thanks to the County's Outdoor Dining Program. Enjoy the great weather and fresh air at your neighborhood eats or try our favorite outdoor dining spots for dining with kids.
Santa Monica: Play at the Pier
Dazzle the young ones by bringing them to the Santa Monica Pier at night—it's a bustling carnival at the beach! Ride the glowing ferris wheel, play games and grab a bite as ocean waves lap the shoreline below you.
Night Owl Tip: The sea air can get a little chilly at night so be sure to dress everyone in layers.
200 Santa Monica Pier
Hit the Links
Windmills and castles and volcanoes...oh my! Pick a putter and challenge your mini-me to some mini golf at night. Here are top picks for miniature golfing with the family.
Indoor go-kart racetracks are the perfect thrill for kids who live life in the fast lane. Getting kids behind the wheel at outdoor tracks like Speed Zone has the added perk of racing under the stars with the wind in their faces.
17871 Castleton St.
City of Industry
17871 Castleton St.
City of Industry
To see what Red Tricycle Editors are up to this weekend, follow us on Instagram!
—Andie Huber & Mary J. Lim
feature image: Lukas Schroeder via Unsplash