You decided to play hooky and take a day off work to reset, recharge and relax. If you are looking for some fun activities to do with your new found spare time, we’ve got you covered. Whether you are an active person, urban adventurer or want a one-of-a-kind experience, there is more than enough things to do in LA to keep your busy. Here is a list of the top 15 fun activities, places and things to do on your day off.
(credit: Glen Ivy Hot Springs)
Glen Ivy Hot Springs
25000 Glen Ivy Rd.
Corona, CA 92883
An hour drive Southeast of DTLA, Glen Ivy Hot Springs has been a mecca for wellness seekers for over a century. Once you arrive you will feel as if you’ve been transported to another land as you can experience the magic of some of their many amenities. Some of their top include: their natural hot springs, take in the waters of the 17 pools on property, indulge in the Grotto and Club Mud signature experiences, receive a facial or warm stone massage, and enjoy an al fresco lunch surrounded by the beauty of nature.
(credit: Heidi Ryder)
Take a cooking class
While you may not have time during your busy work week to cook a delicious home-cooked meal, when playing hooky, taking a cooking class will teach you how to change your game. The Gourmandise School at Santa Monica Place is a top-rated recreational cooking school in downtown Santa Monica offering three-hour cooking or baking classes for people of any skill level. With classes offered 10am, 2pm or 6:30pm, seven days a week, choose between a wide variety of hands-on classes and cuisines. Another great option is Cozymeal, the No. 1 service for cooking classes, corporate team building activities and catering with local professional chefs. Guests can easily browse a variety of menus spanning a range of global cuisines and party sizes from corporate parties to intimate gatherings held at the customer’s home, chef’s venue or other unique local venues.
(credit: Jill O’Brien)
Helicopter sunset tour with FlyNYON
Long Beach Airport
For those not afraid of heights or open doors at 1,000 ft, FlyNYON is the ultimate doors off aerial experience. FlyNYON LA allows plenty of time to capture everything the City of Angels has to offer with their 42 minute custom photo flight. Dependent on the time of day, seasons, weather, each photo flight is tailored to what you would like to see. Have your camera ready to snap one of the many iconic sites like the Hollywood sign, Getty Museum, Dodgers Stadium or take a shoe selfie above the Pacific Ocean.
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Day in Malibu
In Malibu, you can spend the day at some of Los Angeles’ more pristine and private beaches, go wine tasting, to a museum and eat great food all in the same beachside location. Start your day at popular Point Dume, El Matador State Beach or Zuma Beach and then head to the Malibu Pier for some great fresh food and wonderful views or Malibu Seafood for the best catch. Head to the Getty Villa to see what’s on display and then swing on over to Malibu Wines or Rosenthal Wine Bar & Patio to sip some vino while hearing the crashing of the waves. Cap your evening off at one of the many top-notch iconic restaurants like: Geoffrey’s, Nobu, Moonshadows or Taverna Tony.
(credit: Sari Sari Store)
Explore and Dine at Grand Central Market
317 S Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Celebrating its 100th year in Los Angeles, the historic Grand Central Market has been a reflection of the population and city around it. At the market you can experience the true flavors of LA (and some of the best cuisine in the city at great prices), plus you can go across the street and take a ride on the newly reopened Angels Flight. Along with newcomers like the popular Sari Sari Stone and Eggslut, stop by seven days a week from 8am-10pm. Here is our food guide to DTLA’s Grand Central Market for those looking for the best eats.
Boatsetter, is the leading boat sharing community, making boating more affordable and accessible by connecting boat owners and licensed captains to pre-screened, qualified renters to a worldwide fleet of boats. With the Live Like a Starboat experience in LA, passengers receive complimentary hors d’oeuvres, water, sodas, and a life jacket while exploring famous beach landmarks in the world – surfing meccas, iconic piers, and celebrity homes, all while coasting across west LA by boat! Cruising along the Malibu coast on a 63-foot yacht, the Duchess. With all the amenities of a luxury home – staterooms, salons, satellite TV, wet bar, and more, guests will settle in and live the high life onboard as you cruise from Marina del Ray up the coast to Malibu.
CarHopper is a first-of-its-kind online booking platform for luxury and exotic car rentals. Through their iOS and Android apps and website, users simply have to search by date, destination and the car you want to drive, and in 60 seconds book your luxury car. Car options continually change and range from a Ford Mustang – $97/day, Tesla Model X – $481/day, Rolls Royce Dawn – $2099/day and many in between.
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Golf at LA public courses
Los Angeles is ideal for golf nearly every day of the year and as such has a numerous amount of private and actually some good public courses as well. From 3-par to full 18-hole courses, there are a multitude of challenging and fun courses to play across the city. Centrally located in Cheviot Hills, Rancho Park Golf Course has both a full 18-hole and short 9-hole 3-par for the more novice golfer. Off the 210 freeway is the Angeles National Golf Club, the only course that Jack Nicklaus designed in L.A. County, while the Woodley Lakes Golf Course in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area contains six scattered lakes, sparse trees, and plenty of wildlife. Put on your best plaid and find someone else to play hooky with you for a few hours and enjoy these and many more courses all across town.
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Take a photo against every great painted wall in L.A.
It’s an “Insta-phenomenon”! Locals and tourists alike are flocking towards the painted walls around L.A. to showcase on their Instagram or Facebook feed. Everyone knows that you have to get that coveted shot in front of the pink wall, the love wall, and don’t forget those angel wings! Located on the exterior of the Paul Smith store on Melrose Avenue, the Pink Wall attracts tourists and has become an iconic symbol in L.A. Just a few blocks away from the Pink Wall on the side of the Paul Smith store is Cisco Home’s Made in LA Wall, the perfect backdrop for locals to show their hometown pride. Other great spots include the Heart Stairs in Silver Lake, the RETNA Wall outside the West Hollywood Library and many others which can be found at this link, Where to Find Los Angeles’ Best Painted Walls. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/08/20/where-to-find-l-a-s-most-instagrammed-walls/
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Bike ride from Santa Monica to the South Bay
Beautiful weather and the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop make Santa Monica an ideal destination to start your two-wheeled adventure. Rent a bike at one of the many vendors along the beach, or bring your own, and ride as far South as you would like. Pack a bag with some water, sunscreen and snacks and take a break along the way on the sand and enjoy a small picnic. Or if your heart desires, stop in Manhattan Beach or even farther in Redondo Beach and enjoy brunch or lunch at one of the many oceanfront restaurants.
(credit: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens)
Huntington Library and Gardens
1151 Oxford Rd.
San Marino, CA 91108
With more than 120-acres of gardens and galleries to explore, and eight special exhibitions on view this fall, The Huntington has something for everyone. Located in San Marino (adjacent to Pasadena), The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens affords guests the opportunity to see masterpieces ranging from Gainsborough’s famed portrait of The Blue Boy to Warhol’s iconic Brillo Box. Wander through a classical-style Chinese garden, explore the natural history of Latin America, and view rare works on early astronomy, all in one place.
(credit: Peter Stanislaus)
Sip at one of the many LA breweries
Over the past several years, LA has experienced a tremendous craft beer boom with new breweries popping up all over town every few months. New breweries are opening their own spaces with extended taprooms, event or game spaces, or even with full-on restaurants. Changing the game in the DTLA drinking landscape is Arts District Brewing Company. The on-site, 15-barrel brewhouse offers 30+ types of beer ranging from golden ales to stouts to IPAs. The 17,000 square-foot space also features a full bar, sprawling main room, outdoor patio and a private room with its own bar and patio. The brewpub also includes an expansive entertainment area with a photobooth and multiple classic bar games available, including pinball and 15 restored vintage Skeeball machines. Bar snacks from chef Neal Fraser’s Fritzi Coop are also available via a take-out window connected to the restaurant.
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Go on a Studio Tour
Los Angeles is the place to be for movie and television buffs. Locals and tourists can go behind the scenes on public tours of well-known film studio back-lots. Learn behind the scene facts, view cool props and sets and possibly get a glimpse of a celebrity. Head to Culver City and to Sony Pictures Studio and take the walking tour, which treats visitors to the Yellow Brick Road and maybe even see Vanna White as the “Wheel of Fortune” is taped there. Stop by Burbank and the Warner Brothers Studios, who will treat guests to a great studio tour, home to TV shows such as “Friends,” “Gilmore Girls” and “Big Bang Theory.” In Hollywood, check out either the Paramount Studio Tour or Universal Studio Hollywood Tour, and walk through these historic studios, see props and sets from iconic shows and movies, and maybe see celebs walking on the lot.
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You can pretty much count on lots of sunshine and comfortable temperatures nearly year-round in LA which makes it a city ideal for a multitude of outdoor exercise activities. Instead of spending your day in the gym, head outside and acquaint yourself with the beautiful landscape and geography of Los Angeles. Check out the steep and popular Santa Monica Stairs, which have a choice of two sets of stairs: the wide wooden stairs or the narrow concrete stairs. Head over to Griffith Park and make your way to the observatory and then find the path to hike to the iconic sign for unbelievable views of the city.
(credit: Architecture Tours L.A)
Take an Architectural tour of L.A.
LA has always been at the forefront of both residential home design while also having unique business and commercial buildings. If you are looking to see the fascinating and unique architecture of Los Angeles, Architecture Tours L.A. is for you. Guests are driven in their tour van and guided by an architectural historian and cover various neighborhoods in the city. Tours offered daily at 9:30AM and 1:30PM and guests can select from tours through either: Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Hollywood, DTLA, Silver Lake, Pasadena and more.
Jarone Ashkenazi is a freelance writer who covers restaurants, bars, dating, relationships, sports and other lifestyle topics. View his work at www.jaroneashkenazi.com, or connect with him on Twitter: @JaroneAsh.