Aside from being the time of year when I plan family-friendly vacations requiring the least amount of travel, summer time is also the season for embarking on fun adventures after dark in Wine Country. Since the sun sets late, you’ll find me trying things out I normally wouldn’t during the winter months (when I turn into a pumpkin by 9 p.m.). In celebration of summer, allow me to share some ideas for having evening fun in Wine Country this summer.
Have some evening fun at a drag show
I love a good drag show. And in Wine Country, the R3 Hotel in Guerneville is the place to go for your summer drag show fix. Call them for upcoming summer dates – they’ll be hosting a bunch of drag shows through the month of July on their outdoor stage. If you want to stay overnight, the R3 Hotel has a relaxing pool and farm-to-table restaurant, Betty Spaghetti, onsight.
Drag shows don’t need to be a spectator sport. Why not indulge yourself in a colorful evening of bingo hosted by The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence? This order of drag-nuns raise money for a variety of Russian River area beneficiaries, including schools, senior centers, and homeless shelters. Each month features a different bingo theme. July’s is “Call of Duty,” raising money for Sonoma County Vet Connect. So dress in your combat-best, and you might just win the costume contest! Remember, you’ll also be competing with Sister Sorenda da Booty and Sister Coppah Feel. Meaning competition could be steep!
Get dramatic together
I’ve been a thespian since childhood. While other middle-school couples were getting into mischief, the only thing I was doing with my boyfriend was reading scenes from A Streetcar Named Desire. Years later, my sweet husband now puts up with my expressive antics. I’ve just discovered that The Occidental Center for the Arts Reader’s Theater group meets the second and fourth Thursday of each month. That gives my husband not one, but two Thursdays in July to pretend he’s sick! Yeah, I’ll probably be going alone. But I’m not going to pass up this opportunity to read plays, poetry, and stories aloud with no memorization or rehearsal time.
Put on your dancing shoes
I’m lucky to have married a man who likes to dance. The retro Lounge at Flamingo Hotel features monthly live salsa bands and swing bands, as well as 80’s bands, rock, soul, and funk. One of the salsa nights and the west coast swing night includes optional dance lessons. So even if you have not perfected your moves, you have no excuse not to go have a bit of evening fun at the Flamingo Hotel!
You have probably already heard of the Flamingo Hotel. But did you realize tired parents have been gathering for fun after dark at Monroe Hall since 1922? This historic Santa Rosa social hall hosts Scottish Dance, Square Dance, International Folk Dancing, North Bay Contra Dance, and a variety of themed evening dance parties with DJ Steve Luther, as well as live bands.
Have fun exploring nature after dark
It might be tough to beat your memories of romantic moonlight swims. How about kayaking by the glow of the full moon? On the evening of July 27th, Sonoma County Regional Parks invites you to Spring Lake to experience the magic of the water after dark at their Full Moon Paddle.
Rather sit back and relax? Then you can attend one of the weekly Saturday night Beachside Campfire Programs. Mingle and enjoy some evening fun on Doran Beach while you explore topics from local animal habitats to the areas cultural history.