Things to Do

Annual Events & Festivals

Pasadena knows how to throw a party, and its annual events are the talk of the town. Whether you're a local or a visitor, there are plenty of music festivals, food festivals, and city-wide celebrations to go around. Don't worry, we'll start with the granddaddy of them all – the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.

December - January

Tournament of Roses

Winter in Pasadena is a wonderful time of year, and ringing in the New Year in Pasadena is an American tradition over 100 years old. This iconic New Year's Day celebration showcases magnificent floats adorned with vibrant flowers, marching bands, and equestrian units, all parading down Colorado Boulevard. Plan ahead with the following guides. After you've viewed the flowers on the floats, be sure to visit Pasadena's botanical gardens to experience the beautiful winter gardens - only in Pasadena.


Pasadena Cheeseburger Week

Lionel Sternberger invented the cheeseburger at the Rite Spot in Pasadena in 1924 (yes, we are coming up on 100 years). The accidental story of trying to hide a burnt patty with a slice of cheese became the cheeseburger served around the world. Each year, Pasadena Cheeseburger Week is a celebration of Pasadena's restaurants, where cheeseburger lovers can enjoy special creations and great cheesy deals. There's even a cheeseburger challenge.


Rose Bowl Flea Market

The Rose Bowl Flea Market is a must-visit destination for visitors looking for a unique shopping experience in Pasadena. Held on the second Sunday of every month, this renowned flea market boasts a vast selection of vintage treasures, antiques, collectibles, and one-of-a-kind finds. With over 2,500 vendors spread across the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium, it's a treasure hunter's paradise. Visitors can expect to discover everything from retro clothing and accessories to antique furniture, rare books, vinyl records, and much more. It's not just about shopping, though; the flea market also offers delicious food vendors and a lively atmosphere, making it a perfect outing for families, friends, and vintage enthusiasts alike.


Black History Parade & Festival

One of the biggest and longest-running Black history parades in California, Pasadena's Black History Parade and Festival is organized by the City of Pasadena and the Black History Planning Committee. The parade begins at Fair Oaks Avenue and Mountain View Street and ends at Robinson Park, where the festival takes place from noon to 4 p.m.


Bungalow Heaven Home Tour

Since 1990, the Bungalow Heaven Home Tour has been giving an inside look into beautifully maintained and restored homes within the Bungalow Heaven Historic District, Pasadena’s original Historic Landmark District. An architectural fanatic's dream, the tour features seven homes on a walking tour, with volunteer docents on hand to explain the history and architectural highlights of each tour.

Craftsman Home


Brookside at the Rose Bowl Music Festivals

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena plays host to some epic music festivals, including the Just Like Heaven and Cruel World events. With multiple stages, energetic performances, the Rose Bowl's expansive outdoor venue provides the perfect backdrop for these festivals, offering ample space for dancing, singing along, and immersing oneself in the contagious energy of the crowd.


Pasadena Chalk Festival

Over 500 skilled chalk artists from all over the world will come together to celebrate the Pasadena Chalk Festival. The festival allows visitors to experience art on the convention center's beautiful plaza for free. During the weekend, the Pasadena Police will also showcase their Annual Pasadena Police Classic Car Show across the Paseo at Pasadena City Hall.


Colorado Bridge Party

For the first time back after a five year hiatus, the Colorado Bridge Party is the "Best Party in Town." Located on the historic Colorado Street Bridge, this event is held by Pasadena Heritage to celebrate preservation with music, dancing, delicious food, cocktails, children's activities, and more.


Carved at Descanso Gardens

Carved at Descanso Gardens is a truly enchanting event that brings together art, nature, and the Halloween spirit in a whimsical celebration. Nestled within the picturesque Descanso Gardens, this annual event showcases a mesmerizing display of intricately carved pumpkins that will leave you in awe. s you wander through the garden paths, you'll encounter larger-than-life sculptures, bringing to life creatures, characters, and captivating scenes.


Preservation Pasadena

Pasadena Heritage puts on the annual Preservation Pasadena event in November, celebrating the city's rich architectural heritage. This event offers a unique opportunity to explore and appreciate Pasadena's historic buildings, showcasing the importance of preservation. Visitors can participate in guided tours, walking through charming neighborhoods and admiring the stunning architecture that has been carefully preserved over the years. Preservation Pasadena also features lectures, exhibitions, and interactive experiences that delve into the history and significance of these architectural treasures. It's a chance to learn, connect, and gain a deeper appreciation for the preservation efforts that contribute to the unique charm and character of Pasadena.


Enchanted at Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens transforms into a captivating wonderland during the "Enchanted" event. As night falls, the gardens come alive with a mesmerizing display of lights, creating a magical atmosphere. Visitors are treated to enchanting illuminated pathways, stunning light installations, and hidden surprises around every corner. The combination of nature's beauty and the artistic brilliance of the light displays creates a truly captivating experience. It's a must-see event that transports visitors into a world of wonder and leaves them with unforgettable memories of the enchantment found at Descanso Gardens.

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