What useful items should I bring to the Hollywood Bowl? With the great Southern California weather it is almost impossible not to have a great time at the Hollywood Bowl. There are some items however that will make your evening just that much better.
Easy to carry picnic baskets. I’ve seen folks carrying the wicker versions but they struggle going up the steps to their seats. Also there is not that much extra room between bench seats or in the box. Also do yourself a favor…bring non-glass wine glasses. Nothing worst than breaking glass during a quiet classical performance.
At night the Souther California Hills can get pretty chilly…especially if the day was hot. I am not saying you need a Snuggie however it is always smart to pack a sweater and even a travel blanket just in case. Also if you have bench seats nothing goes all night like a seat cushion. If you get there early enough you can rent one but folks also bring their own.
Next up are coolers. I have tried many over the years. I needed to consider the event and number of people attending. There was the all-day Playboy Jazz Festival which required a larger cooler. Then there are the regular 4-person shows where I would being appetizers, dinner and dessert. Finally there are the shows where we have dinner delivered to the seats and just needed to keep our wine chilled.
I am a big fan of coolers from AO Coolers. They are well made, keep things cold all day and come in a variety of sizes. My go-to cooler is the Carbon Soft line. I have a 24-Can and a 36-Can. For shows where we order our meal I use the AO Backpack Cooler. Lots of room and lots of pockets for corkscrew, napkins, etc. Finally for the all-day events I use a cooler on wheels. You have to make sure that the cooler meets the Hollywood Bowl size requirements. Also make sure your cooler has handles so you can lift it over obstacles. Great thing about the Columbia is it has an easy open hatch on the top. Great for getting beer, ice or a cold bottle of wine.
Last we will talk about table presence. It’s outdoor dining at its best. People enjoy making up their dining areas. The Los Angeles City Fire Department has granted permission to use candles that meet very specific fire safety requirements, in the Box Seat sections only. Then again why tempt the powers. Today there are many inexpensive LED-based candles that do a good job of fooling the critics. Flowers also make the grade in many boxes.