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!
- 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.
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