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Explore Pasadena, Los Angeles, and Beyond

Pasadena, Los Angeles and Beyond offer a wide range of distractions, through family events, amusement parks, zoos and aquariums, gardens, museums, entertainments and outdoor activities.   

For more information about what is going on this week, visit Pasadena Weekly, LA Weekly and LA Parent Magazine.

General Information about Los Angeles and Pasadena

Lonely Planet offers an overview of Los Angeles as a starting point to exploring the L.A. area. 

The Pasadena Blog, the City of Pasadena and the Pasadena Visitors Center provide comprehensive information about the everyday life in Pasadena

The Rose Parade. Pasadena's most famous, annual event is the New Year’s Day Rose Parade, which can be viewed along Colorado Boulevard or on television.

Libraries. There are libraries on the Caltech campus and in Pasadena.
Caltech libraries are available to Caltech and JPL students and scholars, including family members. There is a large choice of sciences books, also movies and fiction books.

Local libraries allow you to borrow books, eBooks, DVDs, and audio CD’s at no cost.  Libraries offer free, weekly story times for children ages 6 months and older.

Altadena Library

Pasadena Central Library 

Pasadena Hill Avenue Branch Library

Crowell Library 

South Pasadena Library 

Children’s activities and family events in and around Pasadena



Vroman’s Bookstore

Local libraries

Kidspace Children’s Museum

Zimmer Children’s Museum

Amusement Parks


Knott’s Berry Farm

Universal Studios

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Pacific Park


Raging Waters

Zoos and Aquariums

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Aquarium of the Pacific

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

San Diego Sea World

San Diego Wild Animal Park

 San Diego Zoo


The Arboretum

The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

Descanso Gardens


Most museums charge an admission fee or require a donation.  An annual membership may be a cheaper option.

In Pasadena. Most of the museums are art museums.

Gamble House

The Huntington Library

Norton Simon

Pacific Asia Museum

In Los Angeles. As in Pasadena,most museums charge an admission fee or require a donation.  An annual membership may be a cheaper option (and tax deductible). Miracle Mile, on Wilshire Boulevard, is home to many other institutions worth visiting. 

Art Museums

African American Museum,

Autry National Center

The Broad

Getty Center and Getty Villa

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Museum of Latin American Art

American Culture and Heritage

Grammy Museum

Heritage Square Museum

Hollywood Wax Museum

Queen Mary

Science, Natural History and History Museums

California Science Center

Griffith Observatory

Museum of Tolerance

Natural History Museum

Page Museum/La Brea Tar Pits

Skirball Cultural Center.  

Entertainment and Calendars

Caltech Public Events


Goldstar Discounted Tickets to Local Events  

Los Angeles Times Calendar

LA Weekly

Not For Tourists

Pasadena CultureNet

Pasadena Weekly

Outdoor Activities

A quotation says that if you live in Pasadena, you can go skiing in the morning in Mount Baldy and go surfing in the afternoon in Santa Monica. Pasadena and around offer a comprehensive range of outdoor activities, for everyone tastes and all ages.

Beaches and Surfing are all along the Pacific coast, from San Diego up to San Francisco and above.

Hiking trails in the Angeles National Forest, California State Parks and the National Park Service. Each park system has its own reservation process and some have entrance fees.   An annual membership is usually beneficial if you are going to visit multiple national parks in one year.  The National Park Reservations is usually booked far in advance. 

Camping. There are campgrounds located in county parks, state parks and national parks and forests. The Caltech Y rents camping equipment at a nominal fee to the Caltech community.  

Skiing and other snow sports are also possible at nearby locations such as Mount Baldy, Big Bear Lake, Mountain High, and Mammoth.


DISCLAIMER:  The information provided on this website is for general information only.  Caltech does not endorse or recommend any of the organizations listed.