Our Picks For Pasadena’s Best Food & Drink
July 23, 2018
Admiring An Italian Renaissance Revival On Pasadena’s West Green Street
July 31, 2018

Pasadena’s Best Things To See and Do

BEST USE OF GRAFFITI AS ART
PMCA’s Kosmic Krylon Garage
490 E. Union St. Pasadena
As much as we love the historic works at The Huntington and Norton Simon, the Pasadena Museum of California Art’s contemporary graffiti mural by artist Kenny Scharf, housed in the PMCA parking garage for all to enjoy (no museum admission necessary), will forever brighten our days with its colorful compositions and energy. Born in Los Angeles, Scharf rose to prominence in the New York art scene in the 1980s along with the likes of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His permanent installation, “Kosmic Krylon Garage,” is on view during regular museum hours.

BEST PLACE TO LET YOUR KIDS’ IMAGINATION RUN WILD
Kidspace Children’s Museum
480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
Offering more than 40 hands-on, interactive exhibits, activities and programs, Kidspace Children’s Museum provides a nurturing learning environment for little ones ages 10 and younger. Engaging programs and experiences include the museum’s newest feature, “Arroyo Adventure,” designed to connect children with nature and inspire imaginative play outdoors.

BEST LEISURELY SUNDAY STROLL
Garfield Park
1000 Park Ave., South Pasadena,
With its 7 acres of grassland and various amenities, Garfield Park offers a calm atmosphere for those looking for a peaceful place to relax before embarking on a new workweek. There are picnic tables and tennis courts, but mostly we love the vast greenery, not to mention the walking path and Healing Garden.

BEST ICONIC PHOTO FOR INSTAGRAM
Pasadena City Hall
100 Garfield Ave., Pasadena
If you’re looking for an aesthetic photo to share with your friends on social media, then Pasadena City Hall serves as the perfect backdrop. Showcased in NBC’s Parks & Recreation for seven seasons as well as in The Big Bang Theory, this building has become a recognizable landmark that is sure to get noticed on your Instagram feed. The inside of City Hall boasts a rose garden and fountain, great for shots that are up close and personal.

BEST PLACE TO FEEL LIKE AN NHL’R OR THE NEXT MIRAI NAGASU
Pasadena Ice Skating Center
300 E. Green St., Pasadena
You can indulge your inner hockey star or practice to be the next Olympic skating champion at the Pasadena Ice Rink. Public skate hours attract a mix of newbies and more seasoned skaters. Classes in figure skating and hockey range from beginning to advanced.

BEST BET
Santa Anita Park
285 Huntington Drive, Arcadia
If you’re looking for a mix of fast paced horse racing and a bit of high stakes gambling, Santa Anita Park is the place to be. Affectionately known as “The Great Race Place,” the park holds live horse racing at 12:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. On weekends after the sun sets, the parking lot transforms into the renowned 626 Market, the largest Asian-inspired night market in the U.S., featuring 250-plus food and merchandise vendors, as well as crafts and games for the kids.

A DELUXE MOVIEGOING EXPERIENCE
iPic
3643, 42 Miller Alley, Pasadena
What’s better than watching a movie in your favorite chair at home? Watching a movie where your needs are consistently catered to, or as iPic’s philosophy promises: “Your Night, Your Way.” It’s a great one stop shop for date night—or any occasion—with delicious food and a full bar to go along with your film of choice. Simply settle down in your ultra-comfy sofa recliner, get cozy with the provided blanket and pillow, take a deep breath and relax. This is how A-list movie watching should be.

BEST PLACE TO BEAT THE SUMMER HEAT
Rose Bowl Aquatics Center
360 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
Home to two of Pasadena’s finest Olympic-size pools, the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center is a great spot to bask in the SoCal sunshine while staying cool at the same time. Just south of the Rose Bowl, this world class facility offers year-round aquatic and fitness for all ages. You can also lounge in the therapy pool; its 91-degree water eases muscles and relieves pain.

BEST PLACE TO LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series, California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena
The belief that one should never stop learning is interwoven into so much of our city, and nowhere is it more apparent than at Cal Tech’s ongoing Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series. Typically held every other Wednesday in Beckman Auditorium, the series features some of the institution’s brightest minds, as both students and professors take the stage to discuss the latest breakthroughs and discoveries in their research. Lectures are always engaging, covering topics from microorganisms at the bottom of the ocean to satellites soaring through our solar system and everything in between. Admission is free and open to the public.

BEST 100 YEARS
The Pasadena Playhouse
39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena
The Playhouse stage has hosted a variety of performances, from classics to new works to family-friendly programs— making it a go-to staple for any cultured Pasadenan. This year, the Pasadena Playhouse is celebrating its centennial as one of the most prolific drama producing organizations in the history of American theater, having commissioned more than 550 new works, produced upward of 1,200 shows, spearheaded more than 500 world premieres, developed several shows that went on to Broadway and welcomed more than 1 million audience members. Suffice to say, we look forward to the next 100 years of groundbreaking and inspiring work.

BEST PLACE TO FIND ADVENTURE
Game Empire
1795 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
If you think board games are limited to sinking battleships, buying boardwalks and solving murders in the conservatory, then we’ve got some great news for you. We’re living in a board game renaissance, with new and innovative offerings ready to replace those dusty boxes stuffed in the back of your closet. If you’re new to modern tabletop gaming, head over to Newbie Night at Game Empire, held every Tuesday, when friendly employees teach new games at tables spread throughout the store. With board games for every age and experience level, you’re sure to find an adventure to suit your style.

CHEAPEST SEATS
Regency Academy Cinemas
1003 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Do you miss the days when movie theaters didn’t have stadium seating and the chairs were small and creaky? OK, maybe not. But what if we told you the price of a ticket is only $3.50? The Academy theater on Colorado shows second-run films (a month or two after their first release) for a steal. Head to a matinee (before 6 p.m.) and save even more: The price of admission is a mere $2.50.

BEST PLACE TO BEAT THE HIGH SCORE
Neon Retro Arcade
28 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
For many of us, summer days once meant hiding from the harsh sun amid the flashing lights and 8-bit graphics of the local arcade. If you can relate and you’re looking to relive those button-mashing glory days, Neon Retro Arcade in Old Town has you covered. And these days, you can leave your quarters at home: $10 gets you an hour of unlimited play on all games, and for $25 you can spend the whole day chasing ghosts, blasting asteroids and cruis’n the world. Once you dust off the cobwebs, you’ll be posting your initials atop the high-score list.

INDULGE YOUR INNER INDIE FILM BUFF
Laemmle’s Playhouse 7
673 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
For the latest independent, foreign and art fi lms, Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 offers an intimate viewing experience. “Student Sundays” offer discounts tailored to a starving student’s budget, while moviegoers of all ages can enjoy “Free Popcorn Thursdays” with a Premiere Card.

BEST PLACE TO PET A PEACOCK
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
Disclaimer: We don’t actually recommend trying to pet one of the pretty peafowl that reside here, though they do wander close enough to tempt visitors. Best to keep your hands to yourself while taking in all the beauty this botanical garden has to offer, including the soothing sounds of the Meyberg Waterfall. Walk to the top of the hill and sit right next to it, watching the water cascade down. Spectacular.

A DAY OF CULTURE
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, established in 1919 by railroad tycoon Henry Edwards Huntington and his wife, Arabella, is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. The Huntington is home to a vast library of archives and a rare book collection that includes printed works from the 15th through the 20th centuries. One of its most famous artifacts is Johann Gutenberg’s Bible (on permanent display), the earliest full-scale book printed with movable type in the West. The Huntington’s art collections focus on two distinct areas—European art from the 15th to the early 20th century, and American art from the late 17th to the mid-20th century—and houses impressive works including a world-renowned oil painting by Thomas Gainsborough, “The Blue Boy.” No trip to The Huntington would be complete without taking the time to wander through its expansive grounds, boasting more than a dozen gardens spread across 120 acres. Relax and take in the tranquility of the Japanese Garden or the Garden of Flowering Fragrance, which features a 1.5-acre lake, a complex of pavilions, a tea house and tea shop, stone bridges and waterfalls.

 

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