Beyond the Tournament of Roses
10 additional ways to welcome the New Year in Pasadena
The Rose Bowl Game isn’t the only game in town when it comes to kicking off the New Year right in Pasadena. There’s so much to see and do in addition to the many official parade and football game festivities and ancillary activities. While you’re here, visit leading cultural attractions, see the sights and take time to recharge your batteries. Whether you’re attending official Tournament of Roses events or simply want to bask in the rosy glow of “America’s New Year Celebration,” here are 10 ways to make your New Year in Pasadena even more memorable.
Hit the trail for an invigorating New Year’s Day hike at Eaton Canyon. Reap the benefits of “Forest Bathing” and set your intentions for the year ahead while enjoying the peace and serenity of the nature preserve.
Take an informative docent-led architectural tour of the 1908 Gamble House, a premier example of Craftsman style and a designated National Historic Landmark. With the original furnishings in place, you can imagine life here in the early 20th century. Ticketed tours are offered every 20 minutes on December 31st beginning at 11:00 a.m., with the last tour starting at 2:00 p.m. The property is closed January 1st, with the full slate of tours available again January 2nd.
If you have little ones, bring the whole family to the Kidspace Children’s Museum for their Noon Year’s Eve event December 31st. The museum is open 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and the big ball drop festivities take place at 12:00 p.m.—complete with sparkling cider, party hats and DIY noisemakers. (The museum will be closed New Year’s Day.)
Browse for inspiring reads and broaden your horizons at Vroman’s Bookstore, Southern California’s oldest and largest independent bookseller. The store closes at 4:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and, after the Rose Parade January 1st, they’ll be open from 1:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Explore the off-the-beaten-path and up-and-coming East Washington neighborhood. Home to artisanal coffee houses, ice cream shops and hole-in-the-wall eateries beloved by locals, East Washington Boulevard is an eclectic, multi-cultural zone between Holliston Avenue and Altadena Drive.
The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens is closed Tuesdays (December 31st falls on a Tuesday) but will be open New Year’s Day from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Explore the art collections and see what’s in bloom on a stroll through the 12 thematic gardens.
Norton Simon Museum isn’t open New Year’s Day, but you can visit the stellar art museum from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. December 31st. The intimate size of the museum makes it perfect for a one or two-hour visit to explore the impressive permanent collections. This is also an opportune time to see the temporary exhibitions on display through early spring: By Day & by Night: Paris in the Belle Époque and Beyond the World We Know: Abstraction in Photography.
Book one of the pampering holiday treatments at Chuan Spa at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena. The seasonal treatments are only available through January 11th and include a Deck the Hot Stones massage and Winter Wonderland Facial. Stay for a meal in The Tap Room to further enjoy the hotel’s lush, luxurious grounds and sweeping views.
Get perspective from the elevated vantage of Mount Wilson Observatory perched more than 5,700 feet (1.74 km) above Pasadena. You can take a self-guided tour of the grounds and access the surrounding trails between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Find more serenity and renew your spirit at the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden. The two-acre garden is a restored gem from the 1930s complete with a 15-foot waterfall and teahouse. Garden hop to neighboring Arlington Garden, a three-acre Mediterranean-style garden that’s free and open to the public daily.
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