Picnics in Pasadena

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Things to Do

Where To Go For a Picnic in Pasadena

July 24, 2023 | Posted in Food

BYOB turns into BYO picnic this summer in Pasadena, where you can enjoy gourmet picnic box selections from local restaurants and eateries. Experience Pasadena's best picnic spots, including outdoor concerts, in the gardens, under the trees, and at beautifully landscaped parks.

Pasadena Museum of...

A Picnic Tradition

Like many things in Pasadena, picnics are a special tradition that date back to the city's early beginnings. Those who relocated from the colder states to Pasadena were told that this is a city “where one can plan a picnic in the summer and be sure it will not rain.” Picnicking became a very popular form of entertainment, but they were not limited to summer. The Pasadena Museum of History has an archive of photographs of these picnics, which reveal that black tie was the proper picnic etiquette for the nineteenth century. Many of these picnics happened in the Arroyo Seco and at Devil's Gate.

Picnic at The Tournament of Roses House

Grab some cheeses, tinned fish, and wine from the marketplace at Agnes Restaurant and head to the Tournament of Roses House and Wrigley Gardens for a delightful picnic in the four and a half acres of gardens.

Tournament House
Tournament of Roses

Every New Year's Celebration since 1890 has been a grand affair in Pasadena, where visitors from all over the world have experienced the Tournament of Roses' Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. It was in 1958 that the Wrigley family donated their Italian Renaissance-style mansion to the City of Pasadena with one important stipulation - that it would become the permanent headquarters for the Tournament of Roses. Surrounding the Tournament house are the Wrigley Gardens that span four and a half acres with more than 1,500 varietals of roses, camellias, and annuals.

Picnic at The Rose Bowl Stadium

Head to Little Flower, a candy confectionary, market, and café on the edge of town, and gather some freshly baked pastries, delicious sandwiches, housemade granola, and quiche for a well packed picnic. Head on over to the Rose Bowl Stadium, where you can enjoy the sunshine next to this legendary landmark.

stadium entrance at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA
Rose Bowl Stadium

There are grassy areas all around the Rose Bowl Stadium, which is situated within the Arroyo Seco. Be sure to check out the statues surrounding the stadium to get a primer on some of the most iconic moments in sports history. Nearby, Brookside Park has plenty of picnic tables to enjoy.

Picnic in the botanical gardens

Pasadena's botanical gardens are just begging for picnickers to enjoy the year-long blooms and enchanting landscaping. Descanso Gardens doesn't allow outside food, but there are amazing picnic basket selections at the Descanso Café.

descanso gardens, roses, rose garden, garden
Descanso Gardens

At The Huntington, experience the over a dozen botanical gardens throughout the property. When you first arrive, be sure to grab some snacks and coffee at Red Car Coffee Shop, which you can enjoy at the tables and seating areas provided throughout the gardens.

A Central Park Picnic

Head over to the Luggage Room and La Grande Orange to grab some delicious pizzas, sandwiches, and other offerings to go. Then, walk on over across the street to the picturesque Central Park, with the Castle Green in the backdrop.

Field of grass with a variety of trees at Central Park in Pasadena, CA.
Central Park

Central Park is also home to a clubhouse that is home to the Pasadena Lawn Bowling and Croquet Club. If you're looking to splurge on a picnic extravaganza, get in touch with Pasadena Picnic Co. to book a lavish picnic package with decor, floral arrangements, and more.

Picnic at music events

Music and grassy knolls in charming little neighborhoods is the "it" summer activity in Pasadena. Pack yourself a picnic and head on over to the shows that Pasadena Symphony & POPs put on, often at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanical Garden. MUSE/IQUE is another musical group that performs in various venues throughout the city, including The Huntington.

MUSE/IQUE at The...

Keep an eye out for One Colorado's event calendar for outdoor celebrations where you can also pack a picnic. There are free movie nights, concert series, and more.

Picnic in The Arroyo Seco

The Arroyo Seco is a beautiful ravine which is home to the Rose Bowl Stadium, Kidspace, NASA's JPL, and more. Grab some snacks from Porta Via Italian Foods, which is a European deli, market and cafe. Head over to the Lower Arroyo Seco Park Area or Central Arroyo for charming strolls and beautiful picnic-able areas.

The Arroyo Seco is an area that carries a stream from near Mount Wilson all the way to the Pacific Ocean, creating a lush urban forest in Pasadena that feels a world away. The multi-terrain ecosystem has 22 miles of trails, perfect for flying a kite, picnicking, or throwing a baseball around.