Best Late-Night Activities Beyond Bars In The East Bay

May 30, 2013 5:00 AM
There is so much to do in the evenings for couples and friends beyond the bars in the San Francisco Bay Area. Look no further than the East Bay for top-notch spots to enjoy nighttime activities away form the bar scene.

Chabot Space & Science Center

10000 Skyline Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 336-7373

Treat your honey right with an evening that is literally out of this world. Enjoy the perfect date night at Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center. Dinner, a Movie & The Universe is part of Chabot’s Summer Series events. This unique after-dark option offers a full-course dinner at the center’s Skyline Bistro, along with a live-narrated Planetarium show, Cosmos 360, with an expert guide and the latest astronomical visuals. Surrounded by Redwoods, stars in the sky and within the center’s beautiful facility, DMU is a fun nighttime activity away from the everyday bar scene. Reservations are not required but advised. Visit the Chabot website for reservations and full details.

Friday Nights at OMCA
Oakland Museum of Art
1000 Oak St.
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 318-8400

Join in each Friday at OMCA for a family friendly-style festive night. Indulge in fare from Off the Grid food trucks, sample California wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages around the museum’s Koi Pond at the Blue Oak café beer garden and enjoy live music and dance lessons to get you started. There is a lot to do each Friday, including a Customizer-in-Residence Open Studios Series from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with demonstrations and hands-on creative projects for all ages. The Makers & Tasters Series is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with coffee roasters, beer brewers, jam makers, organic farmers and more for talks and demonstrations, tastings and how-tos, with something new every week. Enjoy live music, DJs and family friendly dance lessons as part of the fun.

Rialto Cinemas Cerrito
10070 San Pablo Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94530
(510) 273-9104

Try a different take on the dinner and movie theme at the Rialto Cinemas in El Cerrito. This beautiful theater is a community meeting place and vibrant destination. More than a movie theater, the Rialto features a perfect mix of classic, foreign and independent films, special events, exhibits and theater play encores, plus much more. Also, the theater serves food, wine and beer delivered right to your seat. With a full kitchen serving pizzas, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches and salads, plus a selection of beer and wine, the movie and events viewing experience is taken to a new, comfortable level. Check the theater website for schedules and complete information.

Related: Unique Nights Out In The East Bay Area

Gondola Servizio
1520 Lakeside Drive
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 663-6603

Authentic gondola rides in Oakland? Yes, thanks to Gondola Servizio, the local company that has been offering authentic Venetian gondola cruises on Lake Merritt since 1999. The gondola tours for couples and groups come in a variety of delightful mostly 30- and 50-minute tour packages, with something-for-everyone options. Gondola Servizio owners April Quinn and Angelino Sandri met on a romantic gondola ride, and invite you to experience an inspiring, romantic or relaxing lake tour day or night. Something wonderful happens as the gondolier serenades you with Italian songs and perhaps an informative talk tour as well. Night tours are very popular, with the lovely lake illuminated with a string of lights. Most tours have a base price for two, with $10 per each additional person. With so many choices available, visit the website for complete tour details, prices and to book your ride.

First Friday Concert Series
The Uptown Nightclub
1928 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94612

Take advantage of weekly free entertainment in the heart of Oakland’s arts and entertainment district. Each Friday evening following Oakland Art Murmur, the 30 galleries with coordinated openings on the first Friday of each month, wander over to The Uptown for its free First Friday Concert Series. Loosen up to the sounds of mostly local musicians covering the favorites: indie rock, hip-hop, electronica and other beats. The Uptown Nightclub has been awarded the title ”The East Bay’s Best Rock Club” by the East Bay Express newspaper, so you know you are in for something special. There is no cover, doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Check the Uptown Nightclub website for scheduled entertainment.

Related: Best East Bay Places To Go On A Romantic Date

Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at

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