Take to The Golden State for the Rose Parade
Upon arriving in sunny California, guests of the Rose Parade will want to pick up a Los Angeles rental car to make their way to Pasadena easily. The event first took place in the winter of 1890, when it consisted of only chariot races, polo matches and other sports. It was early on that the parade came to include floats and marching bands. Today, guests will find elaborate, motorized floats and, most importantly, the Tournament of Roses football game, which first took place in 1902.
Attending the Rose Parade
California visitors who plan to attend the parade can purchase grandstand tickets from Sharp Seating Company - generally prices range from $48 to $95. If you want to test your luck, consider driving your California car rental to Pasadena early, and you might be lucky enough to grab a curbside view - this seating is limited on a first-come, first-serve basis. Admission to the Bandfest costs $15, and tickets may be purchased in advance or the day of the event at the stadium box office.
In addition to watching the football game, 5.5-mile parade and Bandfest, you can enjoy a number of other Pasadena events while in town for the New Year holiday. Since the Rose Parade is always held on January 1, it makes a great way to ring in the year. However, if New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, the events will be pushed back to January 2. Your friends and family at home can watch the festivities on ABC, the Hallmark Channel, HGTV, KTLA, NBC, Univision or RFD-TV - just make sure to watch for the cameras and wave as they pan by.
Other Pasadena attractions
If you've never been to Pasadena in January, you might be surprised by the weather - the average high is 68 degrees Fahrenheit, while tempts only drop to 43 degrees Fahrenheit as the average low. While in the city, take a trip in your Rose Parade rental car downtown to Old Pasadena, where you'll find a variety of shopping, dining, arts and entertainment options to enjoy.
Families who make their way to town may also want to check out the Kidspace Children's Museum, located at 480 North Arroyo Blvd. In January, the museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Exhibits include an imagination workshop, outdoor play area and much more for just $11 per person - children under age 1 are admitted free of charge.
If you're looking to take in some fine art during a trip to Pasadena, stop by The Gamble House. This outstanding piece of architecture is a prime sample of American Arts and Crafts style work, and was built in 1908 by Charles and Henry Greene. One-hour tours are available Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Admission costs $13.75 for adults, $11 for seniors and students, while children younger than age 12 get in for free when accompanied by an adult.