16 Fun and Totally Free Date Ideas in Los Angeles

Updated 05/16/19
date ideas los angeles
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Is anything free these days? Rarely, especially in the City of Angels. It can be hard to stay on a budget and plan fun date nights for you and your person (when maybe you’re also saving for a trip or planning to move into a new place together). But just because you don’t want to drop a pretty penny every time you two hang out doesn’t mean you have to hole up at home watching Netflix and drinking Two-Buck Chuck on the couch (unless that’s actually your thing). We’ve uncovered a number of date-night gems in Los Angeles to keep your relationship fun and fresh—and the best part?

All of these options cost zero dollars. Read on for LA-based date night inspiration.

Hike to the Hollywood Sign

When you reach the top, huddle for a selfie (and be sure to check out a map of the best places to take a photo).

Gaze Up At the Stars at Griffith Observatory

Peep through one of the telescopes open to the public every night, as long as the skies are clear—last call for viewings are at 9:30p.m. For a bit of added fun, take part in a star party (they happen one Saturday a month and yes, star parties are free too!)

Explore the Getty Villa

Also known as "The Getty," you'll see everything from an outdoor classical theater, gardens, art, to a building modeled after a first-century Roman country home. The Getty is closed on Tuesdays.

Have a Picnic

At Amir’s Garden in Griffith Park, getting to this hidden spot is part of the fun. Plus, the shade, gorgeous blooms, and benches are prime for picnickers.

Watch Shakespeare in the Park

If you're in LA during the summer, Griffith Park hosts a number of rotating Shakespeare plays each season (you can even pack your own dinner to eat during the performance!). For 2019, choose from Twelfth Night and Pericles—the season begins June 29.

Take a Trip to the Hollywood Bowl Museum

Opt for the free tour to learn all about this historic entertainment landmark where many performers got their start. The Hollywood Bowl has hosted everyone from Barbra Streisand to Lady Gaga. On select days between June and September, you can even request to sit in on a rehearsal by the LA Philharmonic or Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.

People-watch Together

At eclectic, Venice Beach there is no shortage of graffiti art, skateboarders, and street performers to take in and while away an afternoon along the boardwalk.

Go For a Cinematic Night Cruise

Head to famous Mulholland Drive, which winds and stretches for fifty five miles. Note: The views are best after midnight, so rest up—there are a handful of scenic overlooks to stop at too.

Listen to Live Jazz

Grab a grassy patch at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on Friday nights between April and November. Take a peek at the schedule to see who’s up next.

Kayak Along the Venice Canals

Remember, BYOK (bring your own kayak) or other non-motorized vessel. You'll see a different side of Los Angeles; think arched pedestrian walkways and well-appointed beach houses.

Stroll Along the Strand

LA's beach cities, from Torrance, Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan beaches offer miles of walking path to take in eye-catching beachfront views, and separate walking and biking lanes mean you won’t have to worry about getting hit by a cyclist.

Sit in the Audience at a TV Show Taping

Scour 1iota to find complimentary tickets to everything from Jimmy Kimmel Live! to the The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Take a Driving Tour of Celebrity Homes

We’re not suggesting you get super close or invade anyone’s privacy, but taking in the sights of some celebrity abodes is always a fun excursion.

Peruse a Weekend Flea Market

We’re partial to Artists & Fleas in Venice every Saturday, which has no cover charge and whose vendors sell everything from vintage band tees to handcrafted jewelry.

Visit the Chandelier Tree in Silver Lake

This Sycamore is so popular that it even has a documentary based on it. Maybe it's because it's hung with 30 vintage chandeliers—plus it's a prime spot for marriage proposals. 

Ride the Angels Flight at Grand Central Market

Ok, so this activity isn't free, but it's a cool way to explore LA's oldest public market. For $15 every Friday, you can get a flight of food or drink from Grand Central Market's vendors, plus a ticket to ride the Angels Flight Railway.

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