Pasadena is an ideal destination for families who are planning a day trip or a much needed weekend getaway. Located right in our backyard, Pasadena is accessible by the Gold Line or a 10 minute drive North East of Downtown Los Angeles, located off the I-110, I-210 and US-134 highways. Three districts – Old Pasadena, Pasadena Playhouse District as well as South Lake Avenue feature a plethora of retailers, restaurants and accommodations to make it a perfect getaway with your family.
If you are a foodie, Pasadena is a great place to indulge yourself. Not only did See’s Candy get its beginnings here, but it is the birthplace of Julia Childs. Additionally, you will be spoiled as some of the best restaurants are found here!
Pasadena is also home to the annual Rose Parade where millions of visitors tune in to watch gorgeous floral floats, as others line up at the corner of Green Street and Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena for an up close and personal look. Looking for a bargain? Two flea markets take place monthly. The first takes place on the grounds of the Rose Bowl whereas the second is held at the Pasadena City College. Admission to either event grants you access to hundreds of vendors and the chance to pick up some one of a kind relics.
Take the kids on a nature walk, visit a museum, try something new to eat, splurge at a retail boutique or take in a movie. We’ve put together a guide to great activities as well as a list of the best places to eat and more.
Kidspace Children’s Museum
480 N Arroyo Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91103
Kidspace Children’s Museum is a must see for families! The museum is an interactive play center filled with hands-on exhibits that will have kids exploring and having fun. Indoor and outdoor activities and exhibits encourage children to explore the environment, science and art and experience being a kid. Enter the museum by way of the Kaleidoscope Tunnel and from there explore the Raindrop Climber and InterAntics!
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Rd
San Marino, CA 91108
Stroll the beautiful landscaped lawns as well as the stellar gardens and find zen at the Huntington Library with your family. The Children’s Garden is a hidden gem on the property as well providing young ones with hands-on experiences that demonstrate principles related to earth, fire, air and water. Youngsters can walk, crawl, and splash in the Helen and Peter Bing Children’s Garden. For additional information, visit the Huntington Library website to find information about Free Day where once a month the library opens its doors for free. But, act fast as tickets sell out quick.
Mix n’ Munch
1005 Mission Street, Unit A
South Pasadena, CA 91030
Who knew that cereal and grilled cheese would be a match made in heaven. This is comfort food at it’s finest located right in South Pasadena. Your kids will love you after a visit to Mix n’ Munch. There are over 25 varieties of cereals to choose from alone or mix your own cereal bowl. Want something other than cereal? Grilled cheeses can be customized with your choice of bread, cheese and mix-ins (veggie, protein toppings). Yogurts, tater tots and potato salad are also on the menu. The Mix n’ Munch environment is ultra-casual, the prices are affordable and there’s no denying how delicious it is!
The Coolhaus Shop
59 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91105
Choose your cookie, chose your ice cream and eat! Coolhaus is the brainchild of Natasha and Freya who founded the brand in 2009 to help customers satisfy their sweet tooth with gourmet ice cream and treats. Their storefront shop is in Old Town Pasadena and ready to serve ice cream combinations such as lychee martini sorbet, blood orange and red velvet. Cookie’s are a little more traditional with chocolate chip, oatmeal and peanut butter to name a few of their choices. Other additions include beverages and other sweets.
Pie ‘n Burger
913 E California Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106
Pie ‘n Burger “exists today as a testament to an era that has not faded away.” Since 1963 Pie ‘n Burger has been serving their recipes and products with the same methods as used 46 years ago. California Blvd, just off South Lake is where you go if you want to experience a little bit of “times gone by” while enjoying the staple of American fast food- Burgers and pie (although they do offer a vegetarian burger, plus fresh fruit and cereal at breakfast). Not much has changed here and you might be waited on one of the original waitresses from opening day. Keep it simple at Pie ‘n Burger.
Courtyard by Marriott Pasadena Hotel
180 N Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103
The Courtyard Marriott located in Old Town Pasadena is within walking distance to many dining and shopping options. The property has 296 deluxe rooms, 18 suites and each room is equipped with a mini fridge and microwave oven with cribs being available upon request. Relax in the bathtub with spray jets and unwind in the luxury bedding after a busy day out on the own. The addition of a pull-out sofa bed is perfect for families as well. The hotel offers a fitness center, outdoor pool and a swimming pool so guests can enjoy a nice swim and workout. If you’re hungry, order breakfast or sandwiches to start your day at The Bistro located in the lobby of the Courtyard. The Courtyard offers key location, onsite parking (fee) friendly service and a pleasant comfortable atmosphere for your family with nightly rates averaging $119!
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