Who said you can’t have a date during this pandemic? The hubby and I headed over to Improv Live Comedy Drive-In at the Irvine Spectrum. Read on to hear about our experience and some tips to make the most of yours if you head out for some laughs! The Improv Live Comedy Drive-In at the Irvine Spectrum is on no through October 3rd!
This is NOT a sponsored post. I simply want to share a fun and different date idea that allows you to have the rare and safe date night in the middle of a pandemic.
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What is Improv Live Comedy Drive-In?
The Improv Live Comedy Drive-in is like a drive-in, but for stand up comedy. A headlining comic performs live on stage for an audience on top of the Irvine Regal parking deck. Each car pulls up to a spot, and gets a view of the large screen projecting the comic performing standup live. The comic is in fact on a stage at the front, but unless you are at the very front row or two, you will have a hard time seeing him or her. You can hear the comic by tuning into the radio station provided at the event. Everything is live, and in real time.
The show starts at 8pm and lasts until around 9:30p.m. A few comics start off the show, until the headliner comic is ready to start. You can find a full list of the upcoming comics by checking out the Improv Live Comedy Drive-In site HERE.
Why have a date at Improv Live Comedy?
The Improv Live Comedy Drive-In provides you with the opportunity to have a safe adult date night out in the age of ‘Rona. This was our first date out alone since before the entire Corona virus quarantine started. We really wanted to get out to celebrate our wedding anniversary, but still were not comfortable sitting in a restaurant or being around too many people. One of our favorite things to do on dates is head out to comedy clubs. This has been impossible to do for a while now.
This drive-in event requires everyone to stay in their own car during the entire event unless purchasing food or heading out to the Spectrum. Everyone is also required to wear a mask when they are outside of their vehicle and walking around. This is my idea of a safe pandemic-era date!
The list of headlining comedians are great. We got to see Craig Robinson and were super excited to be able to watch him live.
This was also a great date because was something we’ve never done before. Everyone was just so HAPPY to be there and the cheer was infectious. I can imagine it’s tough for the comedians since they can’t hear all of the audience laughing. Everyone honked their horns and flashed their lights to let the comedians know they were having fun.
Tips for an awesome night:
What tips could I possibly give you? Just like any other event, there are always a few things to be in the know about. These are things we figured out on our own after we went and would like to pass it on to you for a super fun date-night.
Buy your tickets in advance.
These tickets do sell out. We went to watch Craig Robinson (“Darryl” from “The Office”) and the tickets were sold out by the time the show came around. You are also required to present your ticket code for scanning before you are allowed into the parking lot.
You can even make it a double date if you like. Ticket cost is per vehicle, not per person.
Leave your kids at home!
First of all, this is a date. Second, would you take your kid to a stand up comedy place indoors? I hope you answered, “No.” Trust me, the jokes are meant for the 18 and over crowd.
Parking is first come, first served. The event parking opens at 6 p.m. even though the show does not start until 8 p.m. Do not make the mistake of assuming that others will not show up early. We arrived at 5:55 p.m. (thinking we’d catch dinner beforehand) only to find that there was already a huge line in the parking lot with frustrated drivers.
You want to get toward the front so that you get a good view of the screen. The screen is large enough for all to see, however, it is definitely better up close.
Decide on which way you want to park.
You have the option of sitting in your car seats facing forward, or sitting in the back of your SUV or car bed. The parking attendants will tell you where to park based upon what you tell them.
WARNING: If you opt to sit in the back of your SUV or truck to watch the show, you are likely to be placed behind other cars that are facing forward. Although it was a nice, cool night the day we went, the car in front of us had the windows rolled up and was running the air conditioning. Needless to say, I was more concerned about inhaling the fumes from that car than contracting the ‘Rona. Regardless, we still had a great time.
Prepare your car for a cozy experience.
We opted to sit in the bed of our SUV because we felt it gave it more of a picnic and date feel. I took a few picnic blankets, bed rest lounger pillows, and a picnic bag. I have provided some Amazon links below to products that are similar to what we used. Let me add that these are all things that you can use at home and in future outings. Bed rest pillows? We use them regularly during class Zoom calls and while doing work on a lazy day.
Take a battery operated radio if you have one.
You absolutely do not HAVE to take a radio, but it is nice not to worry about having to restart your car throughout the show to avoid a dead car battery. This is especially true if you are sitting in the bed of your truck or SUV 😉
If you’re worried that you won’t be using this radio ever again, you’re wrong! You need a radio for your emergency stash, AND it’s great to use when everyone in the house is using the wifi and you don’t want to slow down the connection by streaming music.
Here’s a link to a portable radio that is well-rated on Amazon:
Start your car occasionally to avoid a bad end to the date.
If you opt not to take a radio (or forget to take one like we did), make sure to start your car periodically throughout the show. You don’t want to drain the battery and have an unexpectedly late end to your night.
Order curbside food pickup or take your own food to avoid crowds.
Ok, time to get very real here. We came to the Irvine Spectrum a few weekends ago when it first opened. It was very spacious and there were not crazy crowds.
HOWEVER, last Saturday we were shocked and appalled to find a very crowded shopping area at Irvine Spectrum. Yes, people are still required to wear masks (although there were still some people that did not), and the stores themselves still require you to wait in line to get in. If you are waiting in line to get into a store though, don’t be surprised if you have quite a few people walking past you and not socially distancing. When we went to stand in line at one food establishment, we found that they did not only NOT limit people standing inside (the line was huge too), people in line were not socially distancing. This was a huge no for me and we left that establishment. We went a little further down to a different restaurant that DID limit people coming in and people were socially distancing as they waited in line to order and get their food.
Please be aware that ordering food ahead via apps might not go as smoothly as you’d expect either. Our plan was to order food via app and pick up food to eat at our car. It turns out that it was so busy that night, the app would not allow us to place our order.
If you do not wish to be in that situation, I strongly recommend that you take your own food. We packed some dessert and water in our picnic basket, but did not bring food. You can always do curbside pickup on your way in if you do not want to prepare food at home.
If you walk through the Spectrum to buy food, may we recommend…
We wound up standing in line and getting food at Top Round. The food was delicious and I highly recommend the tater tots!
We also grabbed dessert at Honey and Butter on a whim and did not regret it.
Both of these establishments took social distancing seriously and we thought we would pass along the information to our readers.
Tickets and Line-Up
Purchase tickets online and find the line up online at the Improv Live Comedy Drive-In Site located HERE.
Improv Live Comedy Drive-In shows are running now through October 3rd.
$125-$150 per car. Charge is per vehicle, not per person.
670 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618
Regal Parking Lot, Top level
Take a mask and wear it when outside your car.
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