Ahhhh… the old town Pasadena – a back in the days “silicon valley” of California, also known as the Athens of the west. Home to Jet propulsion lab and several other successful start ups that blossomed in this harsh desert like climate. As you have figured – old town pasadena is primarily designed for older crowd. After visiting the little town several times now we wouldn’t say that the city is particularly child oriented.
The Annual Rose Bowl Parade
I got up with my son fairly early had a quick breakfast and drove to Pasadena around 9:00 ish on January 1st. We were obviously late to the party. The Rose bowl parade starts fairly early – at 8:00 am. I’d recommend getting to the parade even earlier since it is extremely difficult to find parking on Jan 1st.
Tip of the day: GO TO THE RESTROOM BEFORE THE PARADE – it’s impossible to find any open establishments during that time in the whole town of Pasadena!
Back to the parade… Many people bring chairs and blankets to come early and save a spot for their family. The parade is pretty long so you might as well get comfortable. My son and I arrived just in time to catch all the awesome action and check out a dragon float (the entire reason why would any child would want to go to a parade).
Overall we both really enjoyed the experience and it’s definitely something you should do with your children while hangoing out in that part of town. Btw you might want to combine the experinece with visit to the Los Angeles Zoo, which we did the same day of the annual rose bowl parade.
The Pasadena City Hall
Of course two things come to mind when we think of Pasadena – the Annual Rose Bowl Parade and the Pasadena City Hall, known around the US as being the city hall site from the Park and Recreation Tv series.
It really is worth to walk around the Spanish inspired styled old quarters of the town, although without your kids. I’m attaching a list at the end of the article of cool things to check out in Pasadena with kids, although probably the Annual Rose Bowl Parade is the highlight of that itinerary.
The entire town has a very slow pace vibe and you will find more of an older crowd there lurking around from shop to shop and dining at fine restaurants.
What else is there to do in Pasadena?
Well besides several restaurants, and an overpriced Norton Simon Art Museum.
You may also check out the The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens – which are also quite overpriced and very seasonal. Going during the spring month will definitely increase your return on an investment.
Of course one of our favorite trails – the Echo Mountain Trail and the Eaton Canyon are located near Pasadena. The story behind echo mountain is simply amazing and I’d recommend entrepreneurs reading this post to find out a bit more about the consequences of following the gut instead of reason.
I personally like to stop by Pasadena any time we are on the way to the Palm Springs and pay my respects to the Robinson brothers. Jesse Owens was a German 1936 Olympics black runner who made history by raising awareness of African American accomplishments in the world of sports with a single arm gesture. Behind him was a lesser known man – Mack Robinson who just as well must be remembered as an extraordinary athletic Olympian. Check out the following website if you’d like to learn more about Mack and his brother Jackie Robinson.
Jesse Owens won the 200-meter dash at the 1936 Summer Games in Olympic-record time, the third of his four gold medals in Berlin. Owens’s dominance will be remembered forever, but the silver and bronze medalists in that race, Matthew Robinson and Martinus Osendarp, also had fascinating life stories.
Robinson, who was known as Mack, also broke the old Olympic mark, with a time of 21.1 seconds. He was overshadowed by Owens, much as his accomplishments have been overshadowed by those of his younger brother, Jackie, the Hall of Famer who broke baseball’s color barrier.
A track star at Pasadena City College in California, Mack Robinson could not afford the trip to New York for the Olympic trials, so a group of local businessmen raised $150 for his train fare. Robinson had no coach, and he qualified for the 200 in the same battered pair of spikes he had worn during the college track season.