Safe Activities and Things to Do in Pasadena
Staying indoors during the COVID-19 safer at home order can be daunting. Luckily, Pasadena offers plenty of safe outdoor activities that do not require close contact. Grab your mask and have fun while still practicing physical distancing.
Take your time as you explore the many wonders of Pasadena's creative and design history. Our self-guided driving and walking tours allow you to discover some of the city's most notable locations and feats. Many building dating back to the early 1900s, as well as iconic Crasftman-era homes still stand today and their influence has helped shape Pasadena's unique, architectural charm.
GREENE & GREENE NEIGHBORHOOD WALKING TOUR
Hosted by the Friends of the Gamble House, the iconic location of Doc Brown's house in Back to the Future, the Greene & Greene Neighborhood Walking Tours allow visitors to explore the city with a guide of a trained, knowledgeable docent. These guided tours require pre-registration and all guests, staff, and attendees to follow proper COVID-19 practices including wearing of cloth face coverings/masks and maintaining at least 6-feet of physical distancing.
GARDENS & GABLES: EXPLORING THE GAMBLE HOUSE OUTDOORS
Another tour hosted by the Friends of the Gamble House focuses specifically on the craftsman gem. The Gardens and Gables tour is hosted on the property of the Gamble House itself, and delves deep into the life of the Gambles. who used the house as their summer home. Visitors of the Gamble House have been inspired by the home's framework, intricate detail, and landscaping.
MOVIE FILM SPOTTING TOUR
Being this close to Hollywood, Pasadena has helped set the scene for blockbuster hits and binge-worthy tv shows like back to the Future, Father of the Bride, Parks and Rec, and more. The Pasadena Museum of History was even featured in a music video for Queen Bey herself. Beyonce used the property for her Formation's video. If you're a film geek, you definitely need to check these spots out.
Pasadena is known for its amazing architecture and stunning locations. LA photographers and film makers are constantly using our city as the backdrop for their creative projects. Follow their lead and have your own mini photoshoot with your kids or your dog (whoever's better at sitting still). There are plenty of amazing spots with great lines, angles, and pops of color for you to capture some truly Instagram-worthy photos! Get snapping with our photography guide highlighting some of the iconic spots, colorful graffiti walls, and more.
Gardens and Hiking Trails
HUNTINGTON LIBRARY, ART MUSEUM, AND BOTANICAL GARDENS
Probably the most notable botanical garden in the area, commonly abbreviated as "The Huntington", features over 200 acres of gorgeous botanical gardens with 16 different themes. It also includes a library of collectable historic works and paintings. There's plenty to see and enough space to explore without having to worry about overcrowding. Due to COVID, only the gardens are open at the moment, but even still, many say that they could spend a whole day roaming the property and it wouldn't be enough.
If you head to the northwest side of Pasadena, you'll come across another botanical garden. Descanso Gardens offers over 150 acres of botanical gardens for you to explore. The gardens are a great way to spend a day away from the urban landscape and get out to explore. The inviting pathways of the gardens will take you on a journey were you can immerse yourself in nature.
Los Angeles county ARBORETUM
The most unique part of the LA County Arboretum is actually not the folia, but rather the residents who live among them. The LA County Arboretum is home to dozens of natural, wild peacocks that parade around the property, dazzling guests with their beautiful colors and, if you're lucky, a full display of their magnificent tail. The birds can be heard calling as you enter the 127 acre gardens. If you stick around the area, you might even see the peacocks roaming the city as well. They've been known to wander into the nearby neighbors as well.
Arlington Gardens is a quaint little garden in the heart of Pasadena. Though it doesn't cover hundreds of acres, it's unlike other local botanical gardens in that it is completely community-run and maintained by volunteers. The gardens are open 24 hours and are free to the public. What's more, it's also dog-friendly, which means you and your furbabies can stretch your legs and get some fresh air together.
EATON CANYON TRAIL
Head towards the San Gabriel Mountains that cradle Pasadena along its northern border. The Eaton Canyon hiking trail is an easy 3 mile path that is both dog and kid-friendly. The hike is relatively flat and even passes by a stunning waterfall, making the trek all the more worth it. (Reservations are required.)
Places to Eat
Whether you're hoping to have a fancy night out with your significant other, or simply continue on the tradition of family dinners, Pasadena has plenty of dining options to satisfy your taste buds. Ours restaurants are operating under the most stringent procedures, including physically distanced tables, touchless menus, face mask and face shield requirements for restaurant staff and guests, and more to ensure the utmost safety for all. You can find the directory of restaurants that are open for outdoor dining here.
Takeout and DeliverY
For those who would prefer to stay in, plenty of Pasadena restaurants are providing takeout and delivery services. (We have our favorites on speed dial!) Pasadena has over 600 restaurants, so there is plenty of global cuisine offerings to go around. American for breakfast. Thai for lunch. Italian for dinner. Indonesian for dessert. The possibilities are endless. You'll never have to leave your house again! See the takeout and delivery guide for more details.