Top Things to Do in Pasadena for People of All Ages

Huntington Library, Pasadena travel
The gardens at the Huntington Library. – Courtesy photo / Pamla J. Eisenberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you happen to spend your vacations in sunny California, give the city of Pasadena a try. It may not be as glamorous as Los Angeles or as beautiful as San Francisco but it may surprise you with the number of activities you can do, regardless of your age. Here are some of the things you don’t want to miss out next time you’re in town.

Take a stroll in Huntington Library

Who said you cannot mix culture with pleasure? The Huntington Library boasts 120 acres of landscaped gardens that are breathtaking. There is an admission fee but if you’re a tourist, you should look for the “Free Days” on the first Thursday of each month. Make sure to book your visit in advance to prevent a sellout as this attraction is quite popular amongst tourists and locals alike.

There are also four dining options for when your feet need a rest, including The Cafe that is the perfect venue for lunch with the family. There are plenty of kids menus and quick food options like quesadillas, tacos, and sandwiches.

So, forget about browsing through affordable options for lift chairs and start walking. It will take you a few long hours to go through the most important parts of the gardens but walking is good for your heart, feet, and mind no matter your age.

Visit the Norton Simon Museum

Located in the city, the Norton Simon Museum boasts one of the most remarkable private art collections and artifacts collected from all over the world in the past 100 years. The permanent collection of the museum counts for over 12,000 objects but you should also keep an eye out for special events.

Unlike most museums where there’s a common “look but don’t touch policy,” here you have the chance to take a closer look at some of the artifacts and even participate in one of the many programs, lectures, and classes held regularly. You can improve your drawing skills or even learn to make art.

Wander in Old Pasadena

Those who are looking for an authentic downtown experience, Old Pasadena is the perfect place to explore. Located only 10 miles away from downtown LA, the place boasts with activities for people of all ages – from movies and galleries to museums, restaurants, and plenty of shopping places.

Apart from enjoying the beautiful architecture and taking pictures, you can also indulge in one of the many scheduled outdoor and musical events that occur throughout the year. From the delicious Old Pasadena Food Tasting Tour to antique fairs and street exhibitions, there is never a dull moment around.

Visit the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

If you’re a science aficionado, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the perfect place to spend a full day. It is managed by Caltech for NASA and is responsible for the construction of deep space objects, robotic spacecraft, and astronomy missions.

You can take a tour of the facilities and see the NuSTAR X-ray telescope or watch live demonstrations of technology and JPL science. Make sure to book your ticket in advance as this place is crowded throughout the year. Children from all over the country plan school field trips here so you might want to consider visiting during the weekdays.

Explore the Eaton Canyon Nature Center

If you love spending time outdoors, the Eaton Canyon Nature Center is the perfect place for you. Located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, this natural reservation counts for 190 acres of botanical, geological, and zoological wonders.

You can explore the rocks, minerals, streams, habitats, native plants or the wildlife in the area but you can also book a tour to make the most of your visit. The best time to visit the canyon is in late spring, from April to May, as you can also see thousands of migratory birds.

March 12, 2020

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