There a million reasons why Pasadena, California is a great family destination. From the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl, to the fun restaurants, and the ability to enjoy the mild, California weather and outdoor recreation all year-it is a fabulous place to visit!
Where to go:
*The Norton Simon- A fantastic private collection with everything from Monet and Rodin to the more current works of Bonnard. My oldest daughter was very excited to see Monet, as they have been learning about him at school. To make visits with the kids a bit easier, they offer a kid friendly audio tour for $3. Admission costs $12 for adults and is free for active duty military and children.
*Kidspace- Kidspace is a fantastic day of fun for the kids. They have newly renovated, and you can TELL by the quality and the fun! With everything from climbing structures that span the height of the building to outdoor water play areas and rock climbing walls, there is something for every age group. Kidspace can get very crowded, so it might be best to plan an afternoon visit when the school groups leave. Admission is $11.00 for everyone ages one and older.
*The Wrigley House- The Wrigley Mansion is the official headquarters of the Tournament of Roses Parade. Owned by the chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley Jr, it was donated to the city in 1958. Tours are free of charge and offered each Thursday at 2 pm and 3 pm.
Wander in a Park!
But not just any park...The Huntington.
*The Huntington Museum and Gardens were my unexpected favorites and our Pasadena MUST DO! The Gardens have everything from a Children's Garden with water features and kid sized plant hideaways, to indoor tropical gardens, and a Japanese Garden that was simply breathtaking. The gardens offer something for everyone. Plan to spend most of the day and enjoy lunch in one of the cafes.
Head over to Old Pasadena for a great outdoor shopping experience. There are many choices from the hard to find and fun like Madewell, to the ever popular H&M, and even some pop up clothing shops. You can browse in one of the biggest Anthopologie stores I have ever seen!
Just a couple of blocks away from the shopping mecca in Old Pasadena, you will find one of my favorite restaurants in Pasadena- La Grande Orange. Set in a train station built in 1934, this charming cafe is extremely family friendly. If you eat in the cafe, I highly recommend the shrimp ceviche. Along with the cafe, LGO also boasts an excellent olive wood fired pizza kitchen. You must try it!
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