Finding places to blow your paycheck is easy in Los Angeles. From date night to bars, it’s easy to drop hundreds in less than 24 hours. But knowing how to keep your cash and still enjoy yourself takes real skill. So, if you’re fresh out of ideas, we’ve got you covered. From hidden gardens to dance parties, check out the 35 free events we found happening in your town:
Free Things to Do for LA Couples
Experience Sunset Strip
This 1.5-mile strip on Sunset Boulevard is like no other. Snugly located between Doheny Drive and Crescent Heights, this iconic strip is not only the setting for rock and roll decadence but also now a place for the elite to play. Best of all, it’s free for you to admire in all of its glory.
Where: Runs between Crescent Heights and Doheny Drive.
Cruise Mulholland Drive
Hit the open road on one of the world’s most scenic drives. Mulholland Drive takes you through the Hollywood Hills and across the Santa Monica Mountains. Whether you long for a bit of solitude or want to go off the beaten path, this inland drive in LA has something for couples, young and old.
Where: From Interstate 405 to Cahuenga Drive
Travel Through Time
Since the 1920s, the Chinese Theatre has been one of the most popular attractions in Los Angeles. Here, you snap pictures of famous handprints and footprints of your favorite movie stars.
Where: 6925 Hollywood Blvd. | tclchinesetheatres.com
Window Shop on Rodeo
Deep in the heart of Beverly Hills lies LA's premier shopping mecca. Embrace the epicenter fashion and luxury lifestyle all within a three-block radius while shady palm trees look on.
Where: Beverly Hills
Head to Venice
The boardwalk in Venice is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Whether you’re looking for an eclectic piece to add to your art collection or just want to hand out and catch some rays, you can’t go wrong here.
Where: 1800 Ocean Front Walk, Venice | venicebeach.com
Watch a Game Show
If you love watching people spin the big wheel on television, now is your chance to see it live and for free! Game shows like Wheel of Fortune offer free tickets, but you have to get them in advance. If you and your better half are feeling lucky, why not try out to be a contestant?
Where: Check out the details here: wheeloffortune.com
Follow the Paparazzi
It’s impossible to live in here and not witness the paparazzi in action. If you’re up for an adventure, grab your sweetie and hightail it behind some of the most famous paparazzi. Just remember to wear sensible shoes. Here's a link to some of the best places to catch them in action.
Where: Citywide | discoverlosangeles.com/blog/following-paparazzi-12-places-spot-celebrity-la
Plant a Tree
Spend the afternoon helping locals plant and care for trees in the city. Treepeople is a non-profit organization, which has been protecting the environment for more than 30 years.
Where: Citywide | treepeople.org
Explore the Fashion District
The Fashion District is grand. It's so grand that it occupies over 100 blocks, which are filled with locally owned businesses selling clothing, footwear and accessories for both you and bae. Open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., it's the perfect place for an afternoon rendezvous.
Fun fact: There are always free events going on inside where you can taste test or even try on some designer threads.
Where: Check out this map for specifics: fashiondistrict.org/visitor-information/map/
Walk in the Park
With five cultural expositions within one another, you can explore Exposition Park on a free walking tour. Open 24 hours a day, you can stroll through exquisite rose gardens day or night. Just watch out for the thorns!
Where: 700 Exposition Park Dr. | laparks.org/park/exposition-rose-garden
Go Stargazing at the Observatory
If astronomy makes your heart skip a beat, head over to the Griffin Observatory. Opened every day except Mondays, you can stargaze until 10:00 p.m. with your better half. You can watch live shows and also get a bird's-eye view of the Hollywood sign.
Where: 2800 E Observatory Rd | griffithobservatory.org
Get Down and Boogie
Who says you need to pay a cover charge get to bust a move? Hollywood is full of dance spots where you can cut a rug, get jiggy or salsa until dawn for free. You just need to know where to look.
Check out this link for the details: discoverlosangeles.com/blog/best-nightclubs-hollywood
This one-of-a-kind building consists of a five-story atrium with wrought-iron grills, which includes a cage elevator where you can smooch on the ride up. Don’t be surprised if you have a feeling of Deja Vu since filmmakers make the most out of this spot.
Where: 304 S Broadway | bradburybuilding.blogspot.in
Appreciate a Mural
Founded in 1979, MOCA is the only museum in town whose collections focus solely on contemporary art. You can admire the work of contemporary artists like Roy Lichtenstein every Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m for free.
Where: 250 S. Grand Ave | www.moca.org
Check out a Cathedral
Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady Angels where you can stroll around the grounds and admire the master craftsmanship of this regal place of worship.
Where: 555 W Temple St. | olacathedral.org
Explore a Haunted Zoo
Thrillseekers will love exploring this haunted zoo in Griffin Park. Even though the zoo was abandoned years ago, the spooky cages still remain.
Where:4730 Crystal Springs Dr. | californiathroughmylens.com/old-la-zoo-griffith-park
Explore Little Tokyo
Since the late 19thh century, Little Tokyo has stood the test of time in this unique space. With cultural landmarks beautiful botanical gardens, everything is within walking distance of one another.
Get to Know NoHo
How does one describe NoHo? Think of it as an urban cocktail of yuppies and bohemians with an edgy twist. In the heart of NoHo, you’ll find over 20 live theaters, art galleries and tons of shops for window shopping.
Where: Lankershim Blvd. | nohoartsdistrict.com
Visit Watts Tower
Designed by an Italian immigrant, the Watts Tower represents 33 years of dedication. In many ways, this magnificent piece of architecture shows what a little determination can do. Seventeen interconnected towers and mosaics come together to create one of what's now known as Nuestro Pueblo.
Where: 727 E 107th St, Los Angeles | en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watts_Towers
See San Pedro Walk
Discover San Pedro on foot! Located in one of the most historic areas of the city, San Pedro is an eclectic blend of old-world charm and cultural attractions.
Where: San Pedro | sanpedro.com
Hike the Hollywood Sign
Strap on your sneakers and hit the open trail! Hiking to the Hollywood sign is a rite of passage. Everyone and anyone who lives or visits this beautiful city has done it. Pack a camera and capture stunning views of the city once you make it to the top! TRains are open from early morning until dusk.
Where: Mount Hollywood Trail | hollywoodsign.org/hiking-to-the-sign/
Free Things to do with Your Girlfriend in LA
Hit the Farmer's Market
For the girlfriend who swears by the food pyramid, take her to the outdoor market where she can get her fill her basket with fruit and vegetables. From tasty food stalls to bountiful produce, you'll be glad you came.
Where: 6333 W 3rd St. | farmersmarketla.com
Walk Hollywood's Walk of Fame
Over 2,600 terrazzos line the 15 blocks that make up this infamous sidewalk. Open 24 hours, you can step into the lifestyle of the rich and famous and walk along the street your favorite celebrities do.
Where: North Highland Ave and Hollywood Boulevard | walkoffame.com
Visit the Korean Bell of Friendship
Forget about happy hour and head to the Korean Bell before it closes at 7:00 p.m. This enormous bronzed bell calls San Pedro its home, weighs 17 tons and is only struck five times a year.
Where: 3601 S Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731 | sanpedro.com/san-pedro-area-points-interest/korean-bell-friendship/
Tour the Venice Canals
Nestled between the Venice Boardwalk and Abbot Kinney, the Venice Canals offer you a different perspective of this infamous beachfront neighborhood. Stroll along the canal-lined blocks while admiring arched bridges, quaint beach homes and more than a few passing ducks along the route.
Where: Venice, CA | reddit.com/r/LosAngeles/comments/4wwpkd/view_of_the_venice_canals_at_night
Tour the Walt Disney Concert Hall
You can take a self-guided tour in Walt Disney's Music Hall and learn about the history behind this majestic place.
Where: 111 S Grand Ave | www.laphil.com
Free Things to Do with Your Boyfriend in LA
Build a Beach Body
Summer is right around the corner, so it’s time to chisel your middle. Head back to Venice Beach where you lift, pull and push your way to a hot bod just in time for bathing suit season.
Where: Venice Beach | venicebeach.com/muscle-beach-gym/
Be Self-Centered Together
Down dog your way into togetherness with free yoga. Ditch the designer duds and get your zen on at Runyon Canyon. This 160-acre park offers free yoga classes at dusk and dawn, has killer views of the city and you can even bring your dog.
Run with Rover
The City of Angels eats, breathes and lives fitness, so why not take rover out for a run? There are nine dog parks throughout the city where you can spend time with your bae and get fit with Fido.
Where: Citywide | rover.com/blog/top-7-dog-parks-los-angeles/
Find a Fossil
If your boyfriend loves to dig in the dirt, take him to La Brea Tar Pit. Both of you can discover the Ice Ages in Hancock Park. Home to more than 100 tons of fossils, you can view over 200 species of birds, reptiles, fish and mammals on this exploration.
Where: 5801 Wilshire Blvd. | tarpits.org
Hit the Skate Park
Grab your helmet and learn how to skateboard together! With over 21 skate parks throughout the city, you can ride the wood or call out posers.
Where: Citywide | parks.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dpr/Parks/Belvedere_Community_Regional_Park
Learn to Swim
It's never too late to learn how to do the backstroke! Head over to the YMCA where you can your better half can take a free adult swimming class, day or night.
Where: Various YMCA locations | ymcala.org/metro/classes/adult-swim-lessons
Sail to Catalina Island
If it's your birthday, hop on the Catalina Express and sail the high seas gratis. Once there, spend the day or evening relaxing and watching the boats sail by.
Where: Boats depart from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point. | catalinaexpress.com
Visit a Stone Castle
You don't need to be royalty to visit a castle. Built in 1908, this majestic castle is the home base for the Academy of Magic Arts. Open from 5 p.m. until 2:00 a.m, you might even get invited to watch a private magic show.
Where: 7001 Franklin Ave. | magiccastle.com
See a Free Comedy Show
Bust a stitch at a free comedy show. Sans a cover charge, you can laugh until hurts with this schedule below.
Free Date Night Ideas in LA
Stroll on a Pier
Santa Monica Pier is a great place to watch the world go by. Sure, it might be kind of cheesy, but hey, a little never hurt anybody. The stroll is free but if you want to smooch on the Ferris wheel, you're going to have to pony up.
Where: 200 Santa Monica Pier | santamonicapier.org
See a Show
Sing along and dance like no one's watching together. Echo is home to some of the top free shows in the city, including techno, indie and dub. It can get pretty hot in there, so dress to impress.
Where: 1822 Sunset Blvd. | spacelandpresents.com/events/the-echo/
Picnic by the Lake
Picture it: You and your main squeeze are sipping wine and nibbling on cheese by a beautiful blue lake? Sounds good, doesn't it? Best of all, it's free. Pack a picnic basket and head over to Echo Park where you can spend quality time together while watching the sunset.
Where: 751 Echo Park Ave. | laparks.org/aquatic/lake/echo-park-lake
All Hands on Deck
Hop off on the 27th floor in City Hall and check out the breathtaking views the city. Open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., it's the perfect reason to sneak out of work early.
Where: 200 N Spring St. | lacity.org
Learn the tricks of the trade as you watch the taping of Top Chef. If you're lucky, you may even learn how to flambe your way into your date's heart.
Have a Quickie
No, it's not that kind of quickie. Sephora offers mini makeover sessions for both men and women, so you can get your brows a did while your dame learns how to contour.
Where: Various locations | sephora.com
Have a bonfire at Dockweiler
Grab some firewood and hightail it to the only place you can legally build a bonfire on the beach. If you are truly short of cash, park on the street and you won’t have to pay for parking.
Where: 12001 Vista Del Mar | beaches.lacounty.gov/dockweiler-beach/
Climb Some Steps
If you're up to it, head to Silver Lake and climb 133 steps, which were made famous by Laurel and Hardy. Just make you wear your trainers.
Where: Sunset Blvd And Parkman Ave.
Hang in a Japanese Garden
This hidden gem is the perfect spot for a midday date. Brown bag it and enjoy the ambiance. Open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on the weekends.
Where: 244 South San Pedro St. | jaccc.org/jamesirvinejapanesegarden/
Play Trivia at a Dive Bar
Geek out and win some dough at a dive bar. Trivia night doesn't have to cost a cent. Who needs booze when you got to stay sharp? Check out this schedule to find local listings.
Where: Various locations | geekswhodrink.com/schedulefilter
Dating doesn't have to take you into the negative. With a little planning and intuitiveness, you can play the dating game and still be able to eat tomorrow!