By Juliet Bennett Rylah
Jumbo’s Clown Room
Jumbo’s has all the allure of a strip club (although local liquor laws do prevent the dancers from performing nude or topless), but the crowd is comprised of all genders and walks of life. Groups of women will feel comfortable in this red-and-black East Hollywood haunt, sipping on reasonably priced drinks and showering the talented women performers with tips. Music skews 90s alt rock, metal, and indie.
5153 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA +1 323 666 1187
An educational visit with furry friends is the perfect start to any day. Animal Tracks is an animal sanctuary located in Agua Dulce (the exact address is provided after reservations are made). A two-hour tour is just $35/person, and allows guests the opportunity to meet and learn about critters such as fennec foxes, monkeys, baboons, servals, kinkajous, armadillos and wallabies. You could also spring for a private tour, or their monkey experience, in which guests are allowed to interact with friendly primates.
The Hollywood Men
If a bride-to-be must have scantily clad men make an appearance, then it’s off to The Hollywood Men for LA’s own Magic Mike experience. Strapping, muscle-bound men, shirtless gyrating, and themed stripteases will abound. Admission begins at $25, with optional lap dance add-ons available on site.
The Hollywood Men, 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA, USA +1 818 845 6636
The Institute for Art and Olfaction
Guests can learn how to blend their own perfumes at The Institute for Art and Olfaction (IAO). Open sessions are $45/person (or $8.50 for returning students), and include five materials, plus the resulting fragrance. Private sessions are also available, in which each group typically sniffs up to about 20 materials, then uses the various materials to blend their own custom formulas. Guests might also learn about the history of perfume, making it not just fun, but educational. IAO can accommodate up to 16 people at a time in their space for a one- to three-hour session, although they also can also host classes in alternative spaces.
Go to the spa
For a relaxing entry into a raucous night, an indulgent day spa does the trick. The Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles offers an “Urban Zen Escape” in their tranquil and pristine spa, a hidden oasis in downtown L.A. Each guest will receive one spa treatment, and every four guests will receive a bottle of Prosecco to share. Treatments include a mani/pedi, facials, massages, scrubs, and more. Add-ons include poolside cabana service, braid or blow-out bars, yoga, and makeup applications. Guests might also enjoy WP24, the hotel’s rooftop bar where cocktails and Asian fusion goodies can be ordered poolside, and take in the sweeping views from its location on the 24th floor. Prices are $149/person for four to seven guests, or $139/person for eight guests or more. Parking is included.
The Spa at Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills offers a “targeted toning” package for groups up to six. Rates start at $5,000 and include a poolside cabana, lunch, services at the spa’s nail bar, and a toning treatment that works to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and cellulite. Guests can provide photos of their wedding outfits prior to their reservation to customize their areas of treatment.
Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, 900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA +1 213 763 4400
The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena offers Afternoon Tea served in Wedgwood every day from noon to 4:00 p.m. It’s a Langham hotels’ tradition, as they began offering the service at their very first hotel in London in 1865. They serve Wedgwood teas and use custom “Langham Rose” teaware, which presents as white cups, saucers, and accoutrement patterned with delicate magenta roses. Tea is served in the hotel’s lobby lounge, where garden views add to the serene nature of the experience. Edibles include finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and lemon curd, French pastries, and other desserts. Tea is $46/person, or $56 to add a glass of Graham Beck Brut Rose.
The Langham Huntington, 1401 S Oak Knoll Ave, Pasadena, CA, USA +1 626 568 3900
E.P. & L.P. Restaurant
E.P. & L.P. is both an incredible Thai restaurant and rooftop bar with craft cocktails and beautiful views of the city. Groups of six or more may make reservations at E.P.’s chef’s table for a prix-fixe menu starting at $50/person. The party can then move upstairs for dancing and drinks. Private space can also be reserved on the rooftop. It is best to book at least two to three weeks in advance to ensure availability.
603 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA, USA +1 310 855 9955
This club was once the Hollywood Athletic Club, but opened as Boulevard3 in 2006. It’s a massive space, with a dance floor where the athletic club’s pool used to be, as well as more intimate areas for tucking away from the crowds. DJs spin hip-hop, house, and top 40 tunes, and surprise appearances from fire-breathing bartenders, aerialists, and other performers aim to captivate. Bachelorette parties may request bottle service, which will score them a table with views of the dance floor and bar. Brides-to-be are greeted with confetti, a feather boa, and a shot at the door.
Boulevard3, 6523 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA +1 323 466 2144
Glen Ivy Hot Springs
Although a bit of a trek from Los Angeles, this outdoor day spa offers a full itinerary and is great for groups. The grounds feature 19 thermal pools, saunas, natural red clay mud baths, cafes, and spa treatments. There’s also the Grotto, which is a secluded underground cave where guests are painted with a full-body mask of aloe vera, coconut oil, shea butter, eucalyptus, and lavender. The mask is then allowed to settle into and moisturize the skin before being rinsed away. The Cabana Celebration package includes The Grotto, a 50-minute spa treatment, a free robe rental, and admission. This package is $165 through the week and $170 on weekends and holidays. Otherwise, general admission begins at $49.
Glen Ivy Hot Springs, 25000 Glen Ivy Rd, Corona, CA, USA +1 888 453 6489
The wine safari at the Saddlerock Ranch is hard to top. Guests tour the vineyard via open-air vehicles, learn about the history of the property and the winemaking process, and taste various wines along the way. Guests will also encounter several rescue animals, including a zebra and a giraffe. Various tour options allow guests to add on lunch, swap wine for mimosas, or spend time with Stanley (he’s the giraffe). Prices begin at $65/person. Make a day of it by visiting the nearby tasting room and market, openly daily until 7:00 p.m.
Brunch and a movie
A movie may sound like a relatively mundane thing to do on such a special day, but iPic Theaters in Westwood is a luxury experience. Guests can start by enjoying a meal at award-winning Chef Sherry Yard’s Tuck Room Tavern. Tuck Room offers a Brunch Box, which includes an entree plus coffee or a cocktail for $19.99. Entree choices include chicken and waffles, french toast, and a flavorful short rib and slow poached egg in mascarpone polenta. Add bottomless mimosas for an additional $10. After brunch, head over to iPic and enjoy a film in one of their spacious and cushy seats. Premium seats come with in-theater service, which can include adult beverages.