35 Fun Things To Do with Kids around Pasadena

Arroyo Adventure. Photo courtesy of Kidspace Children’s Museum
Arroyo Adventure. Photo courtesy of Kidspace Children’s Museum
10/18/17 - By Martha Hall

If you're working your way down our bucket list of 100 things to do before your LA kids grow up, you might start to notice how many of those things are in Pasadena—and we're not just talking Rose Parade. The inland community rivals Santa Monica for family friendly, walkable streets and variety of arts and entertainment. It's also one of the oldest communities in the LA area, which gave it a head start on collecting cool stuff. Let the tourists spend their days in Hollywood; we know there's more going on most weekends in Pasadena, a city so bursting with kid and family-friendly activities that we couldn't stop at just 25. Read on for 35 things to do around Pasadena.


Outdoor Fun in Pasadena

1. Eaton Canyon Natural Area

Explore the trails, trees, waterfalls, and wildlife. The Junior Nature Trail is especially suited for little ones, as is the Nature Center.

2. Victory Park

Enjoy a game of frisbee and a picnic for a fun day.

3. Reese's Retreat

It's ships ahoy, matey, all day every day at this universally accessible playground.

4. Arlington Garden

Delight in the sights and smells of Pasadena's only dedicated public garden.

5. Pasadena Roving Archers

Sling some arrows at this archery range.

6. Arroyo Seco Golf Course

Play a round of mini golf.

Photo courtesy of Norton Simon Museum

Museums Kids Love in Pasadena

7. The Huntington

Wander through 120 acres of botanical gardens, soaking in the breathtaking views of 15,000 plant varieties in more than a dozen gardens, including the children's Gardens (complete with water features).

8. USC Pacific Asia Museum

Take a stroll through and drink in the culture and arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

9. Gamble House

Take a tour of the American Arts and Crafts style house  (children 12 and under get in free).

10. Norton Simon Museum

This museum offers more than just an array of glorious paintings. Your little ones might also enjoy the museum's Family Days,Young Artists Workshops, and more.

11. Kidspace Children's Museum

Head over to Kidspace  for a day of play and exploration (or a Free Family Night).

12. Wrigley Gardens

Wake up and smell the roses at the tournament house.

13. NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab

Launch your imaginations into space.

Photo courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Activities Kids Love in Pasadena

14. Pasadena Ice Skating Center.

Whirl and twirl in your skates at this indoor rink.

15. Bowlmor Pasadena

And... strike! Go bowling with friends.

16. Magical Playground

If inclement weather has you stumped for things to do, visit the this indoor playground.

17. Rose Bowl Loop

Walk, run, ride, or stroll around the Rose Bowl or come on a Flea Market Sunday.

18. Pasadena Public Library

Check out a book, settle into a storytime, or watch a movie.

19. Neon Retro Arcade

Play a few rounds of old-fashioned pinball.

20. CATZ Pasadena

Go play!  They'll get your kids running, jumping, and skipping through their Youth Performance program for kids ages seven and up.

Photo courtesy of Magical Playground

Kids Classes in Pasadena

21. Anderson Adventure Camp H20 and Rose Bowl Aquatics Center

Enroll the kids in a swim or diving class.

22. Yoga Kingdom

Namaste - take a children's yoga class

Arts Kids love in Pasadena

23. Armory Center for the Arts

Cruise the many exhibitions, or take a class.

24. Art Center for Kids

For bigger kids, try an art class (grades 4-8).

25. Theatre 360

Audition for a play or be a theatergoer at this "award winning children's theater."

26. Pasadena Playhouse

See a show—especially a holiday panto—at this historic theater.

27. Levitt Pavilion

Take in a summer concert.

Photo courtesy of Carmela Ice Cream/Facebook

Food Kids Love in Pasadena

28. Little Flower Candy Co

Grab some breakfast, lunch, or dinner (or some melt-in-your-mouth caramels).

29. Dots Cupcakes

Devour a cupcake (or four).

30. Pie 'n' Burger

Stop in for, well, pie and a burger...and so much more.

31. Carmela's Artisan Creamery

Skip over for a scoop of small-batch organic dairy ice cream.

32. Melting Pot Food Tours

Take a walking tour of Old Pasadena sampling food along the way.

Shopping Kids Love in Pasadena

33. Pasadena Certified Farmers' Market

Fill your bags with fresh and local produce.

34. Dinosaur Farm

Browse and shop at Pasadena's uniquely entertaining independent toy and book shop. 

35. ​Vroman's Books

Listen to a story or two at one of  regular storytimes.

This post was originally published February 4, 2014.