Top 5 Fun Things to Do in Downtown LA

Sparrow Italia Staff

11 min read

Overview of Downtown Los Angeles

If you happen to visit Downtown Los Angeles and you're searching for fun attractions to do, you’ll be in for a treat. Downtown LA, or DTLA, comprises neighborhoods and districts, including the central business district and surrounding environs, as well as a diverse residential area.

DTLA covers approximately 15 square kilometers, which is roughly 1% of Los Angeles. However, it is home to some of the best art and entertainment spots like museums, theatres, and concert halls. It also offers the best fine dining restaurant experience in LA and has different historic buildings that are worth the hype.

Today's Downtown LA began in the early 2000s with arena anchors on the south end, like the arena. The area has many pre-war buildings being restored for use as luxury condos, high-end retail, and co-working space. DTLA is also home to a historic landmark district.

We’ve done all the work for you and discussed the 5 most fun things to do in Downtown Los Angeles for an above-average magical experience. Let’s get started!

1. Attend Exciting Events at the Arena

Let's begin with a fun and exciting event experience at the arena (formerly staples center). Since being opened in 1999, the arena has hosted numerous music and sports events. In fact, it is the current home venue for many renowned sporting teams like the Los Angeles Lakers (basketball team), Los Angeles Clippers (another basketball team), Los Angeles Kings (hockey team), and more.

  • If sporting events are your idea of fun, you'll want to grab tickets for upcoming dates and head over to the crypto arena. You could also attend other numerous events like award shows, celebrity memorials, concerts, and more. Arena hosts over 250 events yearly attended by 4 million+ guests.
  • If energetic crowds excite you, an event at the arena is bound to be fun and memorable. You can even combine a fun event like a basketball game (premium courtside tickets, if you like) and then walk around the area to see where the night takes you.

2. Have a Delicious Meal at Sparrow Italia

Luxurious dinners don’t get better than Sparrow Italia, located at the heart of Downtown LA in the Hotel Figueroa near LA's fashion district. Best of all, it is just a three-minute walk away from the arena on Figueroa Street.

Since Sparrow Italia and the Crypto Arena are approximately half-a-mile apart, this can be the perfect ending to a fun and exciting night in Downtown Los Angeles.

Sparrow Italia is a modern luxurious Italian restaurant with a Mediterranean influence. Indulge in classic Italian and Mediterranean delicacies with a creative twist i.e., rustic pizzas, handcrafted pastas, and wood-fired creations made using the best organic ingredients.

Most importantly, enjoy a luxurious Hollywood-star dinner with an immersive experience that transports you to the most romantic Italian metropolis. Sparrow Italia has been crafted with glass doors, seductive lighting, marble, and woods that honor Italian roots, decor, and lifestyle while still offering a luxurious twist.

  • Ambiance aside, guests get to enjoy carefully curated beverages that are fresh and artfully presented.
  • The cocktail menu is packed with classics with a twist and fit for a fun night.
  • The dinner menu will satisfy the pickiest fine dining eater, including vegans.
  • Enjoy up to seven delicious pasta offerings, up to four or more INSALATA (salad) offerings, and multiple main courses (Ultima Corsa) offerings with some fine dining staples like Wagyu beef (ribeye and top cap), grilled fish and more.

The restaurant also serves delicious sides and has a dessert menu to top the fun, luxurious dining experience. Make a reservation to have a fun high-end dining experience at Sparrow Italia. The restaurant is highly sought after for its unique mix of Italian cuisine and Mediterranean influences in a luxurious chic space, making it a great downtown experience you will not want to miss.

3. Visit the Arts District

You can also check out the Arts District, which happens to be among the most favorite places to drink, play and do some shopping in Downtown LA. The Arts District (stretching from L.A. River to Little Tokyo & 101 freeway to 7th Street) can easily qualify as LA's trendiest neighborhood. However, it began as an industrial zone and an affordable heaven for practicing artists. Today, the Arts District is a trendy and burgeoning urban hub loved by professional creatives, creative professionals, and everyone in between.

  • There's no shortage of galleries, breweries, and daytime popular attractions. If shopping is your ideal fun, you'll enjoy visiting designer and local boutiques. There are also swanky lofts and many creative spaces (formerly factories) acting as rich cultural pockets.
  • For the ultimate brewery experience, you can visit Angel City Brewery for some casual hangout fun, or Arts District Brewing Company for a laidback weekend.
  • For some art-filled fun, you can head over to Hauser & Wirth, an international Swiss-based gallery with rotating exhibitions showcasing modern masters and contemporary art. The gallery has hosted many renowned names, including Amry Sherald and Jason Rhoades.
  • If you love contemporary art museums, head over to the Institute of Contemporary Art (formerly Santa Monica Museum of Art). The museum offers tiny but excellently curated exhibitions for contemporary artists.
  • The Arts District also has an arcade hangout, Two Bit Circus, which offers "mini-amusement park" fun. There is everything from virtual reality to escape rooms, old-school arcade games, motion-sensing attractions, and more.
  • For a fun and unforgettable shopping experience, head over to ROW DTLA, an upscale outdoor mall packed with specialty clothing stores and picturesque floral boutiques, among other highbrow artisan outlets specifically targeting affluent shoppers with expensive tastes.

4. Visit Walt Disney Concert Hall

Downtown LA also has incredible architecture to admire and explore. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is among DTLA’s most iconic landmarks and astonishing pieces of architecture. It is also part of the Music Center, The architectural landmark hall was designed by architect Frank Gehry. His intention was to optimize sound inside the hall without using straight walls. The result was a hall that made people feel as if they were inside a giant violin.

Sound benefits aside, the concert hall also stands out for its steel façade and curvy shape that is impossible to ignore. The bold angles and steel reflect the blue sky creating a visual spectacle worth anyone's time. But that’s not all, the Walt Disney concert hall is a highly sought-after event location and currently hosts American Orchestra Los Angeles Philharmonic, with concerts running from October to June.

  • The concert hall accommodates 2,200 during performances, but there's much more guests can do, including going for tours. There's a year-round self-guided audio tour daily from 10 am-3 pm. Guided tours are also available and take visitors through the interior and gardens.
  • Guests can also engage in augmented reality experiences and indulge in some history in the Library of Congress located on the 2nd floor. This hidden gem has a collection that is rotated biannually and is available to visitors touring the concert hall and those attending performances.
  • A tour and orchestra performance would be a fun, exciting experience at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Since the high-end Italian fine dining restaurant Sparrow Italia is just 7 minutes away (approximately 1.2 miles away), a high-end dinner would be a perfect ending to a fun orchestra experience.
  • Also in its vicinity is the Broad Museum, a museum of contemporary art that has featured artists such as Andy Warhol,  Roy Lichtenstein, and Jeff Koons.

5. Tour Little Tokyo

Last but not least, Little Tokyo is another great DTLA location to visit for those keen on a cultural experience. The Japanese American District is home to the largest population of Japanese Americans in North America. Little Tokyo is a Historic Landmark District spanning 2 hectares with notable attractions like museums and galleries.

  • For instance, the Japanese American National Museum is in Little Tokyo as well as an extension of Geffen Contemporary Museum (formerly Temporary Contemporary Museum).
  • Renowned arts non-profit organization LAArtcore also has a presence in Little Tokyo and hosts 24 exhibitions every year to create awareness about visual arts.
  • Little Tokyo also has an abundance of public art and festivals, such as the Nisei Week, held every August. The festival includes a pageant, large parade, athletic events, Japanese art and cultural exhibits, and more.
  • You can also venture into the two Japanese gardens, namely; James Irvine Garden and the rooftop garden at Kyoto Grand Hotel & Gardens.
  • Little Tokyo offers fun cultural activities for anyone interested in Pan Asia American culture and Pacific Islander artists.
  • The historic landmark district is best visited during festivals like Nisei Week, with exciting and fun activities like a grand parade with dancers, floats, and musicians.

Ready To Start Your DTLA Adventure?

There are many attractions in Downtown Los Angeles from beautiful buildings to historic streets and delicious foods. A good place to start would be with a fine dining experience in a modern high-end restaurant. For such culinary experience Sparrow Italia has you covered. After all, no great adventure ever started with an empty stomach. Start planning your best day in downtown Los Angeles now!

Keep Reading

  1. Published:

    10 min read

    Sunday Dining is now available at Sparrow Italia in Mayfair. Come join us!

  2. Published:

    11 min read

    Delight in an exclusive experience at Sparrow's Cigar Lounge in London