While inventing clever ways to snag an invite to the members-only Magic Castle is an amusing parlor game, there's no shame in buying your way past the door. The Magic Castle Open Sesame Membership gives you and a guest 30 days of admission to the mysterious Hollywood landmark for a reasonable $100 (you can bring more guests, but they'll have to pay a cover), allowing you a monthlong taste of the country-club lifestyle of stopping by your private club for a gimlet from the cute bartender with the playing-card tattoos. Pass an evening plying Irma the ghost piano player with your requests, confident you can return another night for some legerdemain at your leisure. Once you're freed from the manic pressure to take it all in, the Castle becomes an elegant and relaxing indulgence, the grace notes and hidden details revealing themselves. No need to rush or splurge on dinner each visit — the Magic Castle is your castle, at least for a month, after which time you can apply the c-note toward full membership, should you decide prestidigitation is your pastime. 7001 Franklin Ave., Hlywd. (323) 851-3313, magiccastle.com.

—Devin Flanigan

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