By Michele E. Buttelman
The pandemic put a crimp in many fun activities, including one looked forward to by many couples… date night.
However, date night is back and now is the time to add some magic to the routine.
Falling into the “date night rut’ of visiting the same restaurant or bar on a weekly basis turns date night into just another routine.
Date night is important in keeping relationships on track and giving couples special time together. Regular date nights can improve intimacy and communication.
Keeping date night fresh and exciting is as important as couples finding a way to escape the daily grind.
It’s important to step out of the routine, especially with date night. Make date night magical again.
The Magic Castle
7001 Franklin Ave.,
Hollywood, CA 90028
A great place to start spicing up date night is to literally bring real magic into your weekly outing.
Since 1963, this century-old Victorian mansion in Hollywood has served as the home base for the Academy of Magical Arts.
Reservations and formal dress are required, and no photos are allowed.
Inside you’ll find a number of bars, fine dining, performance parlors, secret doors, mysterious illusions and rare magical memorabilia and magnificent posters on the walls.
The Magic Castle is an exclusive private club. Guests must be invited or accompanied by a member.
However, there are several ways to score an invite to the Magic Castle if you aren’t a magician.
Join the Club
You do not need to be a magician to join as an Associate member. Click the “membership” tab on the Magic Castle website for information on how to join.
Know a Member
In the Santa Clarita Valley you might be surprised to learn there are many members of the Magic Castle. Members can pass out guest passes with ease. Ask around in your circle of friends and you’ll likely find a friend of a friend’s second cousin who is a member and will gladly hand you a guest pass.
Stay at the Magic Castle Hotel
For a truly memorable date night book a room at the Magic Castle Hotel located next door to the club. The Magic Castle Hotel can book a reservation at the club for you, based on availability. It’s best to plan ahead and consider staying mid-week.
Email a Magician
Magicians are a friendly group. Visit the Magic Castle’s show schedule available on the website and view the weekly list of magicians performing at the club. Try emailing a performer and ask if they have a future date booked at the club and ask to be added to the guest list. You can make dinner reservations up to 12 weeks in advance.
Date Night or Day
Sometimes Date Night might become Date Day. Be flexible, try a Date Day, or Date Weekend to add variety to your routine.
El Matador State Beach, Malibu
32200 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
El Matador Beach is one of three beaches within Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach. El Matador is the most popular of the three and the closest to Malibu.
The parking lot for El Matador is easy to spot as you drive along Pacific Coast Highway in western Malibu and is on the bluff with picnic tables that look out over the Pacific Ocean.
A trail descends through unique eroding formations on the face of the bluff then stairs take you the rest of the way to the beach.
With cliff-top views, crashing waves and craggy caves, El Matador Beach is an adventurous couple’s ideal beach day.
The breath-taking beach is ideal for scenic strolling, taking in the surf and exploring towering arches and shallow caves.
Pack a picnic lunch, but leave the wine at home. As with most state and local parks El Matador doesn’t allow alcohol.
However, there are a number of nearby restaurants that have amazing ocean views if you want to forgo your own private picnic.
West Wind Drive-in, Santa Barbara
907 S Kellogg Ave.,
Goleta, CA 93117
The drive-in theater experience began June 6, 1933 in Pennsauken Township, New Jersey. A few others quickly followed but the trend only truly took off with the advent of in-car speakers in the 1940s.
The Mustang Drive-In Theater in the Santa Clarita Valley is long gone, as are most drive-ins throughout SoCal, but a trip to the West Wind in Santa Barbara can be a fun special date night treat to view a first-run film.
The West Wind is a family owned and operated business opened in 1952. The company, which is the largest drive-in theater chain in the world has four drive-ins in California, one in Arizona and two in Nevada. The Santa Barbara Drive-In in Goleta was recently opened and renovated after being shuttered for years.
West Wind Drive-Ins operate the largest digital projectors available. Audio is beamed straight to your car stereo.
Picnic at Vasquez Rocks
10700 Escondido Canyon Road,
Agua Dulce, CA 91390
We often take for granted the amazing beauty to be found right in our own backyard.
Vasquez Rocks is hard to beat for spectacular scenery in the SCV. The 932-acre park is known for its rock formations, the result of sedimentary layering and later seismic uplift.
In 1874 Tiburcio Vasquez, one of California’s most notorious bandits, used these rocks to elude capture by law enforcement. His name has since been associated with this geologic feature.
The park is a popular hiking, picnicking and equestrian area and has been used in many hit movies, television shows and commercials.
Pack a picnic to enjoy near the nature center, then head out to explore the park. See if you can find the location where the Gorn battled Captain Kirk in the original “Star Trek” series.