Peach Pit Pop Up in Los Angeles
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9 Nerdy Things to Do in Los Angeles

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Pop-ups in Los Angeles are “popping up” so fast that it’s hard to keep track! In the last month, I’ve gone to one for Stranger Things and last night to the Peach Pit 90210 in celebration of the return of Beverly Hills 90210. The Stranger Things exhibit was only temporary, but the Beverly Hills 90210 location is here till September 30! However, some of our Los Angeles local pop-ups like Scum and Villainy Cantina and the Beetle House LA have become permanent, making them great nerdy things to do in Los Angeles. Let’s explore a few that have come and sometimes stayed in Los Angeles this past year.

Permanent Nerdy Things to Do in Los Angeles

Scum and Villainy Cantina

The Scum and Villainy Cantina, located in Hollywood, CA was originally a temporary exhibit; however, it has now become a fixture on Hollywood Blvd. Self-proclaimed “friendly, neighborhood geek bar located in Hollywood, CA! All fandoms welcomed and cosplay is always encouraged.” Featuring several events which include themed trivia nights, game nights, special guest events, karaoke, and more.

I visited the Scum and Villainy Cantina back when it was a pop-up, and it definitely makes you feel like you’re in a galaxy far, far away. Since I went early on, I got a challenge coin. These challenge coins can be shown to the bartender for 10% off your entire tab. You can now buy these for $50 from the bartenders.

The prices are pretty good for a themed geek bar, but the extra 10% off is an extra dose of star power. It’s definitely one of the best and most fun nerdy things to do in Los Angeles! And here are even more fun and cheap things to do in Los Angeles.

Beetle House LA

Just across the street from Scum and Villainy, you can find Beetle House LA. It’s a restaurant and bar that pays tribute through food and drink to all things dark, lovely, and Tim Burton. It’s like Halloween every day at Beetle House LA. Their drinks are really amazing; try the Big Fish Bowl if you’re going with a few friends, as it’s too much for one person. Several characters come to interact with you around the bar. If you’re not in Los Angeles, they also have a New York City location.

Edit: Apparently this awesome nerdy things to do in Los Angeles has moved! But not too far, so you can still hit up Beetle House LA and Scum and Villainy Cantina in the same night!

Looking for more Halloween inspired things to do in California? Check out this list of Halloween Attractions in California!

Temporary Nerdy Things to Do in Los Angeles

Peach Pit 90210

You likely heard about the opening of the Peach Pit a week or so ago. But at that time, it was only open for a short time, merely two days! Well, guess what!?! It was so popular that they brought it back with the same folks who put together the Saved By The Bell and Good Burger pop-ups.

The new and improved Peach Pit charges patrons for the privilege of entering. Please note that when we were seated on the patio outside, I heard a couple next to us who clearly didn’t see that on the site when they booked the tickets. Food and drinks are extra!

However, the Peach Pit 90210 now offers a food selection instead of the small catered bites that the 2-day run had. The menu is small, but for someone like me who’s trying to be more vegetarian, there were even some options. It featured the Mega Burger (which can be swapped with a vegetarian patty), Steve’s Grilled Cheese, the Brandon (Veggie) SandWalsh, the Martin House Salad, and other options and sides. There were also several dessert options, including pie, Peach Pie floats, and milkshakes.

Reserve Your Seat at Peach Pit 90210

If you were lucky enough to have made it during the 2-day run, you should know that they have since built out more photo ops as well. The photo ops include the Peach Pit 90210 After Dark nightclub, Wildcats Class of ’93 graduation, a jukebox, a phone booth, and a mini dining area. It’s one of the most compact but well-coordinated pop-ups I’ve been to in Los Angeles.

As it’s only open for six weeks, make sure to book your tickets now! They include a 45-minute reservation seated inside the Peach Pit 90210 or on the patio. Only reservation holders are allowed in, so you won’t be able to access the location without one. You can reserve for parties of 2-6 people at $25 per person inside and $20 outside on the patio. There was also merch for sale; my friend got one of the Peach Pit T-shirts for her friend.

I have to note that the staff there was wonderful! Everyone had a great attitude, even though I’m sure it was rough churning out a constant flow of people every 45 minutes.

Of course, as I’m sure you noticed, I was wearing my Riverdale Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe shirt in honor of Mr. Luke Perry ❤️.

Pop-Ups in Los Angeles

Stranger Things Pop Up

Let me start with, this was the LONGEST line I’ve ever been in for any of pop-ups in Los Angeles I’ve been to! And we had an ACTUAL reservation! I get it when there are no reservations and you just have to wait, but we had a real reservation and still had to wait an hour and a half outside in the sun.

Luckily it was towards the end of the day so the sun wasn’t too much of an issue, but I imagine from noon to 3 p.m. it was awful for those in line for the Stranger Things pop up! This by itself made it one of my least favorite nerdy things to do in Los Angeles.

The Starcourt Mall Experience

The Stranger Things popup for season 3 was fashioned to look like Starcourt Mall. Since we got there late in the day, the ice cream was already gone, but we were still able to see this adorable Scoops Ahoy ice cream truck!

The inside of the Stranger Things pop-up was a blast from the 80s past! Entering in, you first land in the Flash Studio covered in neon, scrunchies, and jean jackets. We were able to dress up in these items and then shoot Polaroids as well as our own photos.

Stranger Things Happening in Hawkins

From there, you journey into the Hawkins pool and are greeted by a male and female lifeguard. Well not actually greeting, more like shouting about no running or splashing. Onward from there, you enter into Eleven’s bedroom. Moving forward you head into a dark room with a bathtub, meant to look like what’s inside Eleven’s head.

Then, I went into a room with Russians, a laboratory with men dressed up as scientists speaking what I can only assume is real Russian (since I don’t actually know any Russian). They even snatched my friend’s phone and took that lovely photo with a lot of teeth. I crossed over dead and mutated rats, through a mirrored hallway, and then onto an overlook of the town of Hawkins.

This was the best photo op the Stranger Things pop-up experience had to offer! It’s a lovely photo as they really put the money behind the set, lights, and camera. They even had someone directing where to look and stand, which really helped make it pop!

Ready Player One Challenge

During the premiere of Ready Player One, they set up a pop-up where fans could enter the OASIS. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to experience this in person as the tickets went fast! However, I did have some friends who were able to get in. The photos of Ready Player One Challenge are courtesy of Kari Lane.

Fans got a chance to step into Parzival’s shoes at a pop-up exhibit called The Ready Player One Challenge. The immersive experience included video clues to three hidden keys, the ability to walk around the “stacks,” and finally, a secret entrance into the OASIS. With a DeLorean on the property, you could make all your ’80s dreams come true. They also had actors living in the stacks, playing IOI agents, and various pop culture icons. Unfortunately, this exhibit is no longer up, but it was definitely memorable as one of the coolest nerdy things to do in Los Angeles.

Spellman House

Some of these pop-ups in Los Angeles are short-lived, such as the Spellman House exhibit promoting the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV series on Netflix. Spellman House only lasted two days but was also used as the location of the premiere party before opening up to the public. Attendees could participate in an immersive experience by putting themselves into Sabrina’s world.

Choosing between the Path of Light or the Path of Night, the experience started off with a witchy makeover brought to you by Teen Vogue. Witches and warlocks could sign the Book of the Beast or visit the Altar Room in the Spellman House. The exterior was even part of the exhibit as it had a projected image that changed with characters like Sabrina and Salem moving through the Baxter High windows. The best part of the experience was the video they took while walking through Baxter High, which looked straight out of The Craft. It’s really one of the coolest nerdy things to do in Los Angeles I’ve done!

Mermaid Museum

Mermaid Museum

Another pop-up dedicated to bringing awareness to a TV series was the Mermaid Museum. Freeform and PopSugar teamed up to celebrate the premiere of Freeform’s series, Siren. Featuring a live mermaid, a speakeasy-inspired fishing store, photo ops, and giveaways. I loved the fishing store the most because it really felt like you were part of the show.

Actors played along to bring you into the Bristol Cove world. The other parts of the pop-up were more general in mermaid theme, which was still cool, just not really Siren entrenched.

Legion

For the return of LEGION, a pop-up at the same location as the Mermaid Museum (Goya Studios in Hollywood) was opened. A 360-video installation, “Fracture,” took guests inside David Haller’s (Dan Stevens) mind.

“Our aim was to create an experience that would take the viewer through multiple levels of Haller’s altered states of schizophrenic consciousness,” said New York-based artist Marco Brambilla who created the installation. “A flood of moments, thoughts, and memories are reflected into fragmented mirrored surfaces, these kaleidoscopic reflections completely surround us and we have the sense of assuming the characters’ psychological [point of view].” 

The photos of Legion are courtesy of Kari Lane.

Breakup Bar

Finally, our most current pop-up in Los Angeles is the Breakup Bar. Though not mentioned on its website, the Breakup Bar was created to support another Netflix series, The Breaker Uppers. The pop-up took over the space next to Severance Wine Bar on Melrose.

You can add to the 8-foot wall of broken relationships while watching classic breakup movies. The menu features champagne, punches, and wine-based cocktails. Cakes, fondues, macaroons, and an awesome gelato cake are available! I bet you can guess which one I had! It was delicious! A ticket to the Breakup Bar includes a complimentary cocktail or sparkling wine flight. Space was very limited there, so I suggest getting a ticket in advance. We had tickets and still had a bit of a wait to get in.

Edit: It seems they’ve been bringing this back somewhat regularly around Valentine’s Day, so make sure to look into it in February!

Nerdy Things to do in Los Angeles

What’s been your favorite on this list of the nerdy things to do in Los Angeles? Mine was definitely the Spellman House and Scum and Villainy!

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