Fun things to do in Pasadena

  • Rose Parade
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Pasadena

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    Old Pasadena

    by pedersdottir Updated Jul 4, 2004

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    For a traveller who enjoys taking a leisurely stroll, Old Pasadena will rank as a highlight.
    The area of approx. 5 blocks by 4 blocks has been designated as a National Register Historic District. Building facades reflect the gamut of California architectural styles: Spanish Colonial through Victorian and Art Deco. Shop, dine, people watch. Take in a nearby movie. This resurrected downtown district stands as a monument to what can be accomplished by a community that cares enough to save its inner city.

    City Hall by sunset
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    Old Town Pasadena

    by Dabs Updated Nov 15, 2007

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    Like many old towns across the US, Pasadena's had fell into disrepair but fortunately this one was revitalized with many of the original facades still intact. The main stretch features a wide variety of shops such as Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and Banana Republic, a couple of my favorites, a Lush bath products store and a Leonidas Belgian chocolate shop and many restaurants including Italian, Mexican and Spanish cuisine along with a Cheesecake Factory.

    You may have to drive around for a few minutes to find a parking spot but you should be able to find a spot on the street, bring some quarters to feed the meter. Or if you are staying for a short time, I found a garage on Raymond just south of Colorado that had the first 90 minutes free.

    There are some interesting facades along Colorado but the really interesting buildings are off the main street:

    Photo #1 City Hall, 100 N. Garfield, built in 1927, Italian Renaissance and Spanish influenced architecture

    Photo #2 Pasadena Library, 285 E. Walnut

    Photo #3 All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid

    City Hall Pasadena Main Library All Saints Church Colorado Blvd. Colorado Blvd.

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    Wine Tasting

    by GracesTrips Updated Oct 2, 2012

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    One of our favorite things to do in Pasadena is wine tasting at Le Petit Vendome Wine and Spirits. Typical wine tasting opportunities are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Be aware that the Thursday and Friday tastings could be pricey due to special events that they are holding. Usually on Saturdays, the pours are as low as $1. Tastings are held between 5pm and 8pm. The store is open seven days a week. Another store located in La Canada has different hours. Cheese plates are available for purchase to have with your wine tasting. It's usually quite fun and social.

    Please note the new address on Lake Avenue.

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    Be Seen and Hang Out in Old Pasadena!

    by marinarena Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Walk down Colorado Blvd if you like crowds, shopping, walking, unique dining or people watching (one has to enjoy at least one of these things, right)?

    This place is packed on the weekends. Along with Third Street Promenade and others, Old Pasadena is an ultimate hang out and outdoor entertainment/shopping venue in the greater LA area. Unfortunately, the sameness of big chain retail shops and restaurants take away from the original quality of the place. This trend is so prevalent in major town centers throught greater Los Angeles.

    So, what's different about Old Pas? Well, it is probably the best looking city center, architecturally speaking. There is distingusihed style and a harmonizing mix of colors on shop and restuarant exteriors. It is not too bright and flashy like City Walk at Universal Studios, rather more of an opulent and old-fashioned look.

    The greatest problem here is trying to find a place to park especially during the weekend, and, oh yeah, the 4 way diagonal interesections can be tricky also for walking. Well, overall, traffic is not so pretty at all!!

    For an educational walking tour, Pasadena does offer them throughout the year, about 5 times or so. Take website for more information.

    alley area, Pasadena, CA Old Pasadena area, California Old Pasadena shot, Pasadena Old Pasadena shops, California
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    Listen to jazz & more at Summerfest (seasonal)

    by marinarena Written Jun 1, 2005

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    Memorial Day weekend (last weekend of May)is the unofficial start of the summer in the U.S. Here in Pasadena, people know that the sunny season has arrived when jazz musicians toot their horns, grills start sizzling meats and people pack at Summerfest.

    In 2005, Summerfest was held at the world-famous Rose Bowl for the first time, and finally, I attended the fun-in-the-sun event. It was a hot but not severely scorching 3-day party.

    More pics of the event to come!

    Also check out http://www.pasadenasummerfest.com/

    Pasadena Summerfest set-up, California
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    Do Doo- Dah if U delight in the downright oddball!

    by marinarena Updated Jul 2, 2013

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    Well, Pasadena is well known for the Rose Parade but there's another famed annual parade- Doo Dah! Basically, if you want to see a good-natured freak show on parade, do Doo-Dah. The pics on the site tell the story very well. Everyday zany characters walk, prance, cartwheel or find some way down the streets of Old Pasadena and show off their quirk. Mostly, the antics along the parade are in good taste, I mean nothing too bad that the little kids can't view up close. I'll have to capture some shots of my own at last here. I suggest to bring a folding lawn chair to enjoy yourself better. Believe me, Pasadena sidewalk (or that of any city for that matter) is good for just a few minutes for sitting.

    Other Tips:

    Bring your own water and, perhaps, a packed lunch or some munchies. Or, you can choose to dine at a fine Pasadena establishment along the parade route. Just know that many eateries will be extra-busy during the parade and getting something simple as bottled water can be too expensive. It just may be more convenient to have your own food.

    The unofficial post-parade party place after the parade is at Old Towne Pub.

    You may want to make the Doo-Dah parade a rail trip. The parade kicks off just steps away from Memorial Park Gold Line Stop. Parking is available at this station stop but can get packed quickly on weekends, with Doo-Dah parade or not.

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    Go Antiquing!

    by marinarena Updated Jul 2, 2013

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    Pasadena is a wonderland for antique shopping in southern California. There is monthly whole flea market at the Rose Bowl with several antique dealers and wonderful old treasures to discover. More frequently, there is a chance to find some classic old-fashioned and vintage items at several antiques shop throughout the city. Some include:

    Pasadena Antique Mall
    309 E Green St
    Pasadena, CA 91105

    Pasadena Antique Center
    480 S Fair Oaks Ave
    Pasadena, CA 91105

    Art and Antiques on Lake
    60 North Lake Ave

    Pasadena College Antiques Flea Market
    1570 E Colorado Blvd
    Pasadena, CA 91106

    Izzy-B shop
    494 N. Allen Ave.
    Pasadena, CA 91107

    Pasadena Architectural Salvage
    2600 E Foothill Blvd
    Pasadena, CA 91107
    Pasadena, CA 91101

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    Illuminated Fig Leaves Sculpture

    by Yaqui Written Jan 12, 2014

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    Called Illuminated Fig Leaves by Kim Abeles, it is a lighted sculpture located on two buildings across from eachother. It consist of laser-cut steel fig leaves with porcelain enamel finish that frame photography or art relating to the history of Pasadena. A wonderful way to decorate a blank wall with creativity and history.

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    Free Summer Concerts

    by GracesTrips Updated Jun 2, 2008

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    At Memorial Park, the Levitt Pavilion located at 85 E. Holly Street in Old Town Pasadena holds free summer concerts each year. See the venue's website for schedule and artist performing.

    Beginning June 25, 2008 until August 31, 2008.
    On Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings the concert is from 7pm - 10pm.
    On Friday and Saturday evenings the concerts start at 8pm.
    Bring your picnic blanket or low lawn chairs.

    Across the street from the park, on the west side of Raymond, is a wine store that has wine tasting available.

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    iPIC Theatre~Four Star Service

    by Yaqui Updated Jan 12, 2014

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    I thought this was just another simple movie theatre, but nothing as it seems in Old Town Pasadena. This theatre provideds you~ quote "comfy recliner, cozy blanket, and tasty cocktails" if you so wish. They show first run movies and as they put it, a "four star service in a movie theatre!"

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    Go to the Movies

    by GracesTrips Updated Jun 24, 2008

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    If you can't find anything to do, then go to the movies! There are sooo many to choose from, you're bound to find something you would like to watch.

    I always use www.fandango.com to see what's playing. If you're not sure of the movie, they provide movie trailers on the site. Don't order your tickets on fandango unless you know it will be sold out (ie. IMAX theater at Universal City Walk). We like to see movies at the Pacific Paseo Stadium 14 at 333 Colorado Blvd. located at the Paseo Colorado Shopping Center, upper level. There is paid parking structures but make sure to take your parking stub with you and validate the ticket inside the theater. It saves you a few bucks on your parking. At the Pacific Paseo there is a bargain matinee price Monday-Thursdays before 4pm, Friday-Sunday & Holidays before 6pm. Right now you would save $2.25 per adult ticket.

    The weblink provided below will list theaters in the city of Alhambra at first. So, make sure to check the addresses of the theater you're interested in going to.

    There's two Laemmle theaters in Pasadena. One is located in Old Town Pasadena in the Miller Alley. The other is just east of the Paseo Colorado Shopping Center on Colorado Blvd. (north side of the road).

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    Old Pasadena walking tour

    by Dabs Written Oct 16, 2007

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    Pasadena Heritage has a tour of Pasadena’s historic Old Pasadena quarter, a National Register Historic District, on the 1st Saturday of the month. Tours begin at 9:00 am and include a slide presentation and a 90-minute guided walk. Tickets are $10 and reservations are required, you can reserve tickets online.

    I'm not going to be there on the right weekend on this trip but this looked like something I would enjoy.

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    Norton Simon Museum

    by Jim_Eliason Written Jan 27, 2008

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    A very big surprise for me! I had never heard of this place before but it has an impressive collection of European masters. It's all based upon the collection of a private collector, Norton Simon who bequeathed his collection to the city of Pasadena in 1974.

    Norton Simon Museum
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    Old Pasadena, for shopping and eating

    by spgood301 Written May 29, 2005

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    Old Pasadena is a great place to spend a day, especially if you love to shop. Colorado Blvd, and the surrounding streets, abounds in all kinds of shops. Take a break and get a bite to eat or something to drink. There's plenty of restaurants, coffee houses, even places where you can buy chocolate. I had a milk shake at Ghiradellis-yummy.

    Colorado Blvd is also famous as the route of the Tournament of Roses Parade, held each New Years Day. It's the parade with all those beautiful floats-you've probably seen it on TV.

    It seems it's always sunny during the parade-doesn't it make you jealous? :-)

    Colorado Blvd-Pasadena
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    The Huntington Library

    by Jim_Eliason Written Mar 7, 2010

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    This museum is housed on the former mansion grounds of Henry Hunington, a turn of the century Railroad magnate with a penchant for collection. The grounds include art musems, gardens and its speciality, the collection of historic manuscripts held in the library.

    The Hunington Library The Hunington Library The Hunington Library The Hunington Library The Hunington Library
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