By EW Staff
Updated September 24, 2012 at 03:40 PM EDT
Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The California sun is like a mythical creature that sucks the soul out of you. And after three hours on an outdoor red carpet and another three hours sitting through a largely predictable Emmy ceremony, the celebs and all their friends were ready for a little fun last night. EW hit up two of the hottest spots in town: Fox’s post-Emmys soirée and the legendary HBO afterparty.

First stop: Fox post-Emmys bash, held at Soleto

Located just minutes from the site of the Emmys — but a trek still worthy of a car ride, especially in heels — word is that this Fox bash was the first major event to be held at Soleto, a 3,000+ square foot space that opened this summer. By day it’s a pizza bar; by night, it’s a swanky maze of a venue that provided a nice mix of larger open spaces and slightly darkened corners for more intimate socializing. Spotted in a cranny? The pint-sized half of Modern Family‘s cast, who were all generally spotted in pairs. There was no breaking up that Emmy-adorned family.

Though, of everyone, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who plays Lily, seemed to be having the most fun. When she wasn’t running barefoot and sneaking snuggles from fellow cast members and her mom, she was climbing some of the small trees that poked through the carpeted floor. (Oh, LA.) Hey, if you’re going to be up past your bedtime, make the most of it. We weren’t alone in not being able to take out eyes off the rambunctious tyke. Overheard? “She’s the cutest one here!” Other notables:

Most popular non-honoree: Glee‘s Harry Shum, who seemed to have no trouble talking with anyone and everyone — a refreshing sight since many stars tend to choose a corner with fellow cast members and limit movement throughout the night.

Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Most non-Emmy winner Emmy winner: By the way Julie Bowen was casually chatting with fellow party attendees, you’d never know the actress picked up major gold last night. In a bathroom encounter, she bonded with a group of ladies over blotting pads and spilled secrets about the post-ceremony shoes hiding underneath her dress. (Goodbye fancy heels; hello comfy wedges!)

Worst traffic jam: Zooey Deschanel’s blue dress made her hard to miss — good for the starlet, bad for anyone trying to make it past the crowd that quickly surrounded her after she made her way inside the party. Even worst, the actress got stuck entertaining well wishers in the middle of a small opening between two sides of the party, creating a bottle neck one would likely only ever see at 5 p.m. on the 405.

Random act of kindness: Mindy Kaling stopping in the middle of said traffic jam to take a picture with a girl who was attending the party as part of Make-a-Wish.

Low-key presence: While his cast members were living it up inside, Ed O’Neill meanwhile didn’t seem to make it far from the entrance. The veteran actor perched himself on a couch away from the noisy interior of the shindig and chatted with a small group. Total boss.

Mental snapshot: Max Greenfield, standing with one hand inside his pocket and his bow-tie undone. If you’re going to party, do it while looking like a GQ cover.

Second stop: HBO’s Post-Emmy Party, Pacific Design Center

HBO’s Emmy bash is arguably the night’s most coveted invite for two reasons: 1) Stars, stars, stars, stars, stars. 2) The late-running bash is a perfect last stop for any post-Emmy party hopper. In fact, many from the Fox party were seen here, too. Among the transfers: Greenfield, Emmy winner Claire Danes, and Sofia Vergara.

Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Held at Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, the sprawling space has 100 percent of what guests would want from the Hollywood party scene — no-hassle parking, plenty of room to mingle, an abundance of seating, and even a little space to dance. (Few stars take advantage, but we did spot Amanda Peet and Sarah Paulson getting their groove on by their table.) The one unexpected twist to the night? The visually overwhelming ’60s acid-trip theme, which was probably best enjoyed through drunk goggles. Alas, we were working and, as a result, sober. Oh, well. That’s our misstep. Notables from this bash:

Stars are just like us moment: Giancarlo Esposito lining up at the buffet with his beautiful daughter, who reportedly was one of the people who fainted on the red carpet from the heat.

Most random crossover: Girls Adam Driver talking to Peter Dinklage. Mind = blown

Most unsurprising sight: Alexander Skarsgard… surrounded by female party guests. He graciously schmoozed and smiled for a bit before moving on. We love him for doing even that, considering the drooling crowd around him. He’s a man, not a porkchop!

Head-turner: Of all the lovely ladies in attendance, the night’s Christine Baranski turned the most heads with her short, gold number. A simple walk to the bathroom turned heads and won the actress accolades. “She looks so awesome,” murmured one party-goer.

Train troubles: Ginnifer Goodwin’s Monique Lhuillier was stunning in person and, if you ask us, totally worth the trouble the train gave the Once Upon a Time actress. Also, she avoided a few possibly devastating rips with the help of her fellow attendees, including her boss, Once EP Adam Horowitz. They have your back, Ginny!

Rule of life: Don’t use flash while taking a covert photo of a celebrity — especially when you are a celebrity. Awkward.

Random act of kindness: Elementary star Lucy Liu posing for pics with Marines.

Read more: