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Best Activities You Wouldn’t Think To Do In Los Angeles

August 21, 2010 7:38 PM

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Artists salute after the rehearsal of the Cirque Berzek's show in Los Angeles, California

Artists salute after the rehearsal of the Cirque Berzek’s show in Los Angeles, Calif. (photo credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Consider Los Angeles and you might think of beaches, museums and your typical tourist traps. But if you’re tired of the usual and want to try your hand at something different for a change, here’s a list of some off-the-beaten path activities you can check out to shake things up. – Nicola A. Menzie
luchalibre Best Activities You Wouldnt Think To Do In Los Angeles


Lucha Libre

Lucha VaVOOM

The Mayan 1038 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 746-4674

Remember that silly movie – Nacho Libre – staring Jack Black, playing a less-than-apt monk with big dreams of making it big as a Mexican wrestler? Well, you too can get a taste of free wrestling (or free fighting as lucha libre is translated) — but from the outside of the ring. Similar to American wrestlers, luchadores wear masks and often highly complex costumes and carry some of the strangest names, which all sticks to the nature of the sport — simply to have fun. You can see folks like Lil’ Chicken, Chocolate Caliente, Shamu Jr. and more in action, and maybe you can even catch a little comedy and a striptease — all at Lucha VaVaoom, described as “a non-stop, action-packed scream-a-thon, where Mexican Masked wrestlers flip and fly, performing breathtaking acrobatic feats.”

The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show

The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Dinner Show (photo credit:

Themed Dinner

The Dinner Detective

Multiple Locations
Los Angeles, Orange County and Long Beach Locations, CA
(866) 496-0535

The butler did it! Everyone likes a good mystery, right? Well, The Dinner Detective offers an interactive murder mystery dinner show for the curious, hungry and those who want to walk in the shoes of Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple. The show unfolds during a four-course meal at the Courtyard Marriott. It might be rather difficult to tell who is apart of the show and who is just a ticket-holder since there are no costumes. The $64.95 ticket price includes a full meal, free refills on non-alcoholic beverages, gratuity for the waitstaff, and more. Shows sell out fast  so get cracking, private eye.

Amazing Los Angeles Race

Amazing Los Angeles Race (credit:

Scavenger Hunt

The Amazing Los Angeles Race

Multiple Locations
Los Angeles, CA
(818) 942-3134

Can you imagine running around Los Angeles with a smile on your face and giggling like an idiot? Well, a little sight-seeing scavenger hunt might change that. But what do you need a sight-seeing tour for when you’ve lived in Los Angeles forver? You just might learn something new about LA, make some friends and win some cool prizes (beside bragging rights). Plus, it’s an excellent excuse to get off your butt and lose yourself for about five hours — all you need is $69 and some comfortable shoes and clothes.

Former gang member Alfred Lomas speaks to customers on a tour through south central Los Angeles during one of the LA Gang Tours

Former gang member Alfred Lomas speaks to customers on a tour through south central Los Angeles during one of the LA Gang Tours. (photo credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Gang Tours

The Dream Center

2301 Bellevue Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 265-4950

The Los Angeles Gang Tours are definitely not about glamorizing the violent gang culture across south central LA, but is more about fostering awareness and improving the community. The organization was founded by a former gang member who also conducts tours throughout the area, making stops at the LA County Jail, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party, the Hall of Justice Jail and nearly a dozen other, historic places. Tours are conducted via a coach bus from about 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and cost $65.

Drive-In Theater

Who wants to be cooped up inside a smelly movie theater surrounded by obnoxious strangers trying to convince yourself you’re having a good time and getting your money’s worth when you can do the exact same thing in the comfort of your car in the fresh night air? The following list of drive-in theaters offers great deals and a cool way to re-enact that scene from “Grease” or “The Outsiders” or any scene from a movie that takes place at a drive-in.

Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre

Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre (photo credit:

Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre

10798 Ramona Avenue
Montclair, CA 91763
(909) 628-0511

This may be a bit out of the way, but that’s why you’re driving, right? The two-for-one screening deal is unbeatable with tickets only costing $7 for adults and $1 for kids ages 5-9. New releases are always in the lineup, and there’s an occasional Classic Movie Night which runs at $1 per car load.

Devil's Night Drive-In

Devil's Night Drive-In (photo credit:

Devil's Night Drive-In

240 West 4th Street (@ Broadway)
Second Floor Roof Parking Lot
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(310) 584-1086

The Devil’s Night movie nights cost $10 and you don’t even really need a car — a lawn chair and pillow will work just fine. Patrons are welcome to bring their own beer, are served by car hops and are treated to a DJ set before the feature film.

Cinespia Cemetery Screenings

Cinespia Cemetery Screenings (photo credit:

Cinespia Cemetery Screenings

6000 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles , CA 90038
(323) 469-1181

Unfortunately, the Cinespia Cemetery Screenings don’t always show flicks that match the setting, but viewers get a kick out of watching a movie surrounded by the dead anyway. And, of course, this isn’t a drive-in, but you can park on the cemetery grounds for $5. Make sure you bring a towel, chair, pillows, beer, food, whatever — but not your dog and no tall chairs. Movies usually start at 8 p.m. and $10 donation tickets are sold at the gate.

The Museum of Death in Los Angeles

The Museum of Death (photo credit:

Museum Of Death

6031 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 466-8011

Hours: Sunday through Friday – 11am-8pm, Saturday – 11am-10pm

Want to put life in perspective? Take a trip to the Museum of Death in Hollywood where, for $15, you can ponder artwork by serial murders, photos from the Charles Manson crime scenes and gawk at the the guillotined-severed head of Henri Landru and more.

Drivers prepare to drag race down a pit lane

Drivers prepare to drag race down a pit lane. (photo credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Toyota Drag Strip

500 Speedway Drive
Irwindale, CA 91706
(626) 358-1100

You probably do it anyway on abandon roads during the wee hours of the morning, so why not satisfy your need for speed legally in front of a much larger crowd during more lively hours of the day? Toyota’s dragstrip at Irwindale is open to all types of vehicles (snowmobiles and motorcycles included). All you need is a valid driver’s license (of course), a signed waiver and release form, and $20.

Members of the Tough Cookies team (blue uniforms) compete against the Varsity Brawlers (purple uniforms) during the L.A. Derby Dolls women's banked track roller derby event in Los Angeles, California

Members of the Tough Cookies team (blue uniforms) compete against the Varsity Brawlers (purple uniforms) during the L.A. Derby Dolls women's banked track roller derby event. (photo credit: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Roller Derby

L.A. Derby Dolls

The Doll Factory 1910 Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Cost: $17 – $40

Aggressive women on skates talking trash and throwing elbows — sound like your idea of a good time? If so, there are a few roller derby teams you can follow to catch some of the action — for the 21 and over crowd. Here’s one to get you started.

DJ Scratch Academy

DJ Scratch Academy (photo credit:

DJ School

Scratch DJ Academy

2324 Cotner Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(888) 725-5557

Want to learn how to make killer beats and rock the party right? Check out the Scratch DJ Academy in downtown Los Angeles. Students use state of the art equipment and are guided by top notch professionals with substantial credits. Some six-week classes include Introduction to DJing ($350), Mixing ($350), Beat Making ($125), and more.

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