8/29/2012

The Ultimate Guide To Date Night At The Griffith Observatory

categories: Date Idea, Dates With Kids, Los Angeles Dates, Romantic Ideas

With the help of our trusty guide, you’ll enjoy an evening at the Griffith Observatory and end up being your date’s biggest star.

Step 1: Nail Down The Logistics –  We’ve done the research for you so you won’t hit any snags :)

  • Lowdown – Griffith Observatory is a L.A. landmark. It’s located on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, just above the Los Feliz neighborhood
  • Location - 2800 East Observatory Road; Los Angeles, CA 90027; (213) 473-0800
  • Hours - Closed Monday and Tuesday; Open Wednesday-Friday: Noon-10pm; Saturday-Sunday: 10am-10pm.
  • Parking – There is a parking lot, but on busy nights, be prepared to park on the road outside the lot and then walk up the hill to the observatory.  Note that traffic can be a nightmare on nights where there is an event at the Greek Theatre so make sure you check the Greek’s schedule here first and plan accordingly.
  • Cost – Admission to the grounds and the Observatory itself is FREE.  However, there is a $7 charge to see one of the 3 rotating shows in the recently-renovated Planetarium.  Tickets can be purchased only at the Observatory, and only for that day’s shows.
  • Other Questions? – For more information, check out the Griffith Observatory website here.

Step 2: Have a Blast! 

You’re at the Observatory.  Now it’s time to have some fun!  Here are some astronomy-related trivia and jokes you can bust out as you take your date on a tour of the Observatory.

Impress With Your Astronomical Knowledge

  • Home to the most trafficked telescope in the world! – Since the Observatory’s opening in 1935, more than 7 million people have put an eye to the Observatory’s original 12-inch Zeiss refracting telescope (which you’ll find if you take the elevators to the roof of the Observatory).
  • You’re in Hollywood, so drop some Hollywood Trivia.  On the west lawn as you approach the Observatory from the parking lot, you’ll see a bust of Hollywood icon James Dean.  Why, your date might ask?  You’ll explain that the Observatory was prominently featured in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), starring Dean (consider renting the movie before or after your date!).   The Observatory can also be seen in The Terminator, The People v Larry Flynt, Yes Man, Transformers, and countless other blockbusters and TV shows.
  • The origin of the saying “Once in a blue moon” — The saying “once in a blue moon” refers to the rare occurrence of two full moons during one calendar month.  The last time that occurred was in March 2010.  The next time is in August 2012.
  • Apps for Stargazing – In addition to the 1935 Zeiss telescope, the Observatory often has telescopes set up in the front lawn that you can glance through.   These telescopes are incredibly powerful and worth the wait even if there is a line.  There are also some incredible smart phone apps for stargazing (I use Star Walk on the iPhone).  If you haven’t already, download one of them before you go to the Observatory and then use it as an excuse to get cozy with your date and locate constellations :)

Crack some Astronomy Jokes – If you’re a cheeseball like me, then you might try your hand at one of these corny astronomy jokes.

  • Did you hear about the great new restaurant on the moon? The food is excellent, but there’s no atmosphere.
  • How do you know when the moon is going broke? When it’s down to its last quarter.
  • What is an astronomical unit? The biggest apartment you’ve ever seen.
  • An alien traveling around the universe calls up his travel agent to request a hotel room on the moon.  The travel agent sadly informs the alien that that there are no hotel rooms available because the moon is full.  [This joke is from Ali G’s interview of Buzz Aldrin.  If you haven’t seen it, check it out here.  Hilarious!]
  • Nicolaus Copernicus was a mischievous teenager.  One day his father got angry when Nicolaus was causing trouble, and screamed at him: “One of these days you’ll realize that the world does not revolve around you!”  [Note: If your date gives you a blank stare, you have an opportunity to wow her with those brains again....  Nicolas Copernicus is widely credited with the heliocentric model that displaced the earth as the center of the universe.]

Step 3: Keep Your Date Going 

If after the observatory, you’re not ready to call it a night quite yet, consider checking out one of these nearby joints in Los Feliz.

  • Covell for a glass of wine (or two) – Covell is one of the best wine bars in all of Los Angeles County, and it happens to be just down the street from the Observatory.  If you are not a wine connoisseur, the expert bartenders will help you find the perfect glass of wine for you and your date’s palette.  Their cheeses and food are fantastic too!

Bar Covell
4628 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

(323) 660-4400

  • Bru for coffee – if you are not in the mood for alcohol, stop by Bru Coffee Bar for artistan coffee, teas, and pastries.  The baristas are pros (and super friendly), and the atmosphere is modern and hip.  Note that Bru closes at 10pm so make sure to check the time before you head over.

Bru Coffee Bar
1866 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

(323) 664-7500

Thanks for reading.  I hope you have as much fun at the Griffith Observatory as we did!   Note that the Griffith Observatory is a featured venue in our ebook Epic Dates Los Angeles: A Complete Guide To 10 Epic Dates in Los Angeles.  You can claim your copy at the bottom of the this post, or for more information, visit http://epicdatesbook.com

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8/08/2012

7 Reasons Why We Love Detroit

categories: Date Idea, Getaway Dates

The Detroit Skyline

Detroit  is best known for its tremendous contributions to the music landscape and the auto industry, but many people are unfamiliar with all the beauty and culture the city also has to offer. Here, we give you an inside look on some of the hot spots in Detroit, and share our top picks for a date night in and around Motown:

1. Bike Ride in Kensington Metropark (2240 West Buno Road, Milford) - Eight miles of paved trails will wind you through beautiful scenery, and the hilly landscape is just enough to help you work up a sweat. There are plenty of picnic tables set throughout the park, perfect for a picnic with your favorite guy or gal. Bring your own bike, or rent from nearby Trails Edge in downtown Milford. Just be sure to pack a helmet – you won’t be allowed to ride without one. Check out the park website here for details.

2. Tigers Game at Comerica Park (2100 Woodward Avenue, Detroit) - With a few months left in the regular MLB season, there are still plenty of opportunities to take your date out to the ballgame. Head downtown early and grab a bite to eat at nearby Hockeytown Cafe Cheli’s Chili, or one of the other fantastic options around the stadium. Nothing beats a summer night downtown!

3. Dinner at Coach Insignia, top of the Renaissance Center (71st & 72nd Floor, 100 Renaissance Center,  Detroit) - This contemporary steakhouse offers breathtaking views of the city (and Windsor!) from the top of the Renaissance Center. For the 21 and over crowd, the wine list at Coach Insignia is also superb. Details at their website, here.

4. Catch a concert at DTE Energy Music Theater (7774 Sashabaw Rd., Clarkston) – Set beside the beautiful hills of Pine Knob ski resort, this venue is perfect for catching a concert on a hot summer night. Check the website here to see which acts will be making an appearance soon.

5. Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit) – If a cultural date is more your style, you will love the DIA. Having been around for more than a century (the museum was founded in 1885!) their collection is among the top six in the United States. Aside from their more than 100-galleries, the DIA also has plenty of special events, like Friday Night Live! and Sunday Music Bar. For a complete listing of  events, and museum hours, visit the Detroit Institute of Arts website, here.

6. Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village (20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn) - With a diverse offering of exhibits, demonstrations, programs and reenactments, The Henry Ford celebrates yesterday’s traditions as well as today’s innovations. Attractions include the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and the Henry Ford IMAX Theater. Also running now through September 30th is the Titanic Artifact Exhibition, 10,000 square feet of more than 300 artifacts, room re-creations and tributes to the passengers on board the ship. Visit the Henry Ford website here for more information.

8. Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle (310 South Troy St., Royal Oak) - Stand-up comics like Tim Allen and Dave Coulier got their start at Mark Ridley’s comedy castle, and the venue has also seen acts such as Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Jay Leno and Kevin James come through its doors. Today, Mark still hand-picks the club’s talent, combing the entire country and Canada for the very best talent available. We encourage you to make an evening of downtown Royal Oak, and grab dinner before the show (the cuisine is delicious!) Check the venue’s website  for details.

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If so, let us hook you up with our free eBook, Epic Dates Los Angeles - A Complete Guide To 10 Epic Dates in L.A. Just enter your email and zip below:
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