8 Things to Do in L.A. Instead of Basic Brunch

Create your own succulent display, decorate a cake, or play BINGO with drag queens
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The classic three-hour L.A. brunchsperience is akin to a weekly ritual in this town. It’s how we weekend, and we’ve all accepted it. But should there come a Saturday or Sunday morning when, God help us, the A/C malfunctions at Canelé or the line at Gjelina has finally proven too much to take, grab some coffee and a bagel to go, round up your friends, and have an adventure. Here are some suggestions:

Have a Planting Party at The Juicy Leaf

After eight years on Abbot Kinney, Felix Navarro moved his garden boutique/gallery to Highland Park and took his popular parties with him. After closing time, he’ll open up the joint for groups of up to 20 people, and you can eat, drink, and hang out (there is a buy-out fee and he caters, or you can bring food in). After a how-to by Navarro, he “releases the group” around the store, where he’s provided materials like corals, geodes, mosses, and pebbles that will be used in everyone’s original creations. > 5725 Figueroa Street, 310-907-5019, thejuicyleaf.com


Solve Real Life Puzzles at Escape Room LA

Snag a handful of your smartest friends and try your luck at Escape Room LA, an immersive experience that requires teams to solve logic and numbers puzzles to earn their freedom from a locked room. The company offers four scenarios: The Alchemist (science!), The Theatre (ghosts!), The Cavern (ancient civilizations!) and The Detective (the Mafia!). You get an hour to follow the clues (there’s someone in character in each room to nudge you in the right direction should you need it) that will set you free. Be on time—once the door locks, you’re not getting in or out for 60 minutes. > 120 E. 8th Street / 3rd Floor, 213-689-3229, escaperoomla.com


Decorate Copious Amounts of Cake at Duff’s Cakemix

Make a rez, and Chef Duff Goldman and his team will bake cake or cupcakes for you to bedazzle. You can start with six naked cupcakes or one three-layer cake filled with buttercream and covered in a “fondant canvas.” Decorate with additional colored fondant, scoops of candy from the goodie bar, buttercream frosting, and more. For a few more bucks you can get a pro-helper in-store. The results are very Instagrammable. > 8302 Melrose Ave., 323-650-5555, duffscakemix.com


Take a Bike Tour Through DTLA With Metro Bike-Share

The Metro Bike-Share program features 1,000 bicycles at 65 docks in downtown L.A. Start at Grand Central Market, and rent bikes at Broadway and 3rd ($3.50, or $1.75 with an annual pass, for a 30-minute ride). Use the Metro online map to locate nearby bicycle docks. We even have a tasty itinerary for everyone:

(First Stop) Ricebar’s Filipino Breakfast
Dock: 7th and Broadway

(Second Stop) Chocolate at Mast Bros.
Dock: Imperial and 7th

(Third Stop) Amazebowls
Dock: 3rd and Santa Fe

(Fourth Stop) Coffee at Giorgiporgi
Dock: Main and 4th

(Fifth Stop) Easy’s Burgers
Dock: New High and Ord

(Sixth Stop) Garcons de Café
Dock: 7th and Spring


Play BINGO With Glorious Drag Queens at Legendary BINGO at Hamburger Mary’s

Once you play with BINGO Boy and his Drag Queen Bingo Hostesses and celeb guests, you will never want to play BINGO any other way. Winners generally run around the bar while other players pelt them with crumpled up losing cards, which is worth the price of admission. Plus, the prizes are always fun. There’s a 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. game on Wednesdays and a 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. game on Sundays. A portion of the $20 entry fee is usually played for a charity or good cause, making it an even better investment. Make a reservation for parties over three people. > 8288 Santa Monica Blvd., 323-654-3800, hamburgermarys.com/weho/bingo


Climb Indoor Mountains at LA Boulders

A photo posted by LA Boulders (@laboulders) on


Buy a $20 day pass and take the 30-minute intro class, where staffers give you the layout of 11,500 square foot space. The price also gets you some climbing shoes and a bag of powder to help you stick to the grips (they don’t use harnesses or ropes here). You can all climb together and cheer one another on (there is plenty of room for a cheering section), or split up to try different levels of difficulty. Some climbs go straight up, some go upside down, and some take you over an edge. > 1375 E. 6th Street #8, 323-406-9919, touchstoneclimbing.com/la-boulders


Paint Something Pretty at Glaze Fire

Call ahead and book a table for six to ten painters at Los Feliz’s DIY art studio. Your $25-a-painter fee covers materials and one $20 item just waiting for your artistic direction. For parties up to 40, there is also a buy-out fee for the studio. Cousins Mary and Sarah Loveless aren’t fond of useless tchotchkes, so most of the ceramic items are functional (Ok, these ice cream cone jars are cute). The studio is next to Alcove Cafe, and (bonus!) you can bring in outside food. Once your masterpiece is finished, the gals will glaze and fire it; you can head back four days later to pick up the goods. > 1937 Hillhurst Avenue, 323-522-6775, glazefire.com/party


Play Laser Tag at The Stadium Center

Bad paintball experience? Stick to the light, Skywalker, and make a one-hour reservation at The Stadium Center in Westlake. After coughing up ten bucks, an instructor will give you a tutorial before you gear up and hit the course. You simply need two or more players. > 31293 Via Colinas, 818-889-1175, lasertag.thestadiumcenter.com

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