LA Fun Events

Palms residents Raghu and Ashley Turner started Los Angeles Fun Events to help people to form friendships while also lending much-needed support to small businesses in the community. (Chris Mortenson/Staff Photographer)

Husband-and-wife duo started Los Angeles Fun Events to help others meet and connect

When Palms resident Ashley Turner decided to go on a group hike organized on the social media platform Meetup, she wasn’t expecting to meet the love of her life. One year after that “magical” day, she and her husband, Raghu, created Los Angeles Fun Events to help others meet and connect with one another.

“It was a way to keep that spirit of community and meeting new people going,” Turner said. “We’ve had this group for about five years now, and only in the past year have we really started to take it to the next level. It’s a platform. It’s a way to help people connect with one another and get off the couch, get off the computer, get out and get interacting with your fellow Angelenos.”

For the past five years, the couple has hosted events including beach days, hikes, camping, museum trips, outdoor games, movie nights and dinner clubs. Their goal is to help people form meaningful connections with one another all while helping to support local businesses.

Last month, Los Angeles Fun Events hosted a new night market concept built from scratch at HiDef Brewing in DTLA. The event included food pop-ups, art, a DJ, social games, a scavenger hunt and prizes. 

“It’s a way to get people reengaged with the city and at the same time to support small businesses in the process,” Turner said. “I’ve gone to so many night markets and I just love the atmosphere. It’s at night. It’s cool. You don’t have the sun beating down on you. There was something kind of magical about it. I feel like that’s when the city really comes to life.

“We’ve done many events so far with HiDef Brewing. In the past we’ve gone there and set up outdoor games. We bring tons of board games and card games, giant Jenga, and just ways for people to naturally and organically talk, interact and get to mingle with each other.”

Turner explained that she doesn’t just want to be a producer of events where people simply buy tickets and only interact with their own parties. With the night market concept, she wants to create an experience that promotes interaction between attendees and with the vendors as well.

“We’ve designed this whole scavenger hunt related to all the businesses and the vendors that are going to be there,” Turner explained. “It’s a way to get people up and moving, working together and traveling throughout the market interacting with everything that’s there.”

While Turner described their last night market that ran on Aug. 13 as a success, she is also excited about other new event concepts on the horizon, such as aerial yoga with a rooftop dinner.

“I feel like we are just in a constant state of exploring different types of events to offer,” Turner said. “It’s a constant experimentation. We’re looking for really cool, interesting and new things to feature. I’m also really excited to eventually start incorporating more travel. I love nothing more than traveling, experiencing other cultures and being able to share that with people.”

Whether it’s a night market in the heart of town or a journey outside of the city, Turner believes that consistency is key to fostering a community around the events.

“We’re all about establishing a regular, consistent presence,” Turner said. “I think that in us being consistent with what we deliver, it allows everyone that attends to also be consistent and become regulars who get to interact with each other repeatedly over time. I strongly believe that’s how relationships and friendships form. It’s repeated exposure.”

Events are for ages 21 and over. Upcoming events include singles salsa dancing, an outdoor social mixer at Sorry, Not Sorry in West LA on the first and third Sunday of every month from 1 to 4 p.m., and a group lunch at Lobster and Beer on Motor Avenue near Palms on Oct. 30.

In the wake of the pandemic and its ensuing social distancing requirements, in-person social interaction is as important as ever for improving mental health and generating a sense of connectedness. With Los Angeles Fun Events, the Turners hope to share the joy they’ve found participating in Meetup events with others throughout LA County. 

Los Angeles Fun Events