JJ Keith shares some fun-filled toddler and preschooler activities to keep mom having fun in and around Pasadena, CA. She writes the JJust Kidding blog about raising babies in Hollywood (without raising Hollywood babies).
Monday: Explore the Arroyo
Go for a walk in the jog stroller-friendly watershed of the Arroyo Seco (entrance at Norwood Drive and South Arroyo Boulevard) and skip down the 110 to the Audubon Center at Debs Park (4700 North Griffin Avenue; FREE) where they have a miniature arroyo for kids to explore and learn about watersheds. You might want to bring a change of clothes because there’s ample opportunity for romping in the mud.
Drive a few minutes east of Pasadena to join Mothersong, a family music class in American Legion Hall in Eagle Rock (2109 Merton Ave), where toddlers are free to bang on drums and sing their little hearts out (suggested $5-10 donation, classes are at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.). Afterwards dip on down the street for brunch at the Coffee Table, which features a $5 kids menu and a staff heroically tolerant of toddlers.
Wednesday: Romp in the Park
Garfield Park in South Pasadena (park on Park Street at Mission Street) has a large well-shaded playground with a variety of structures suitable for crawlers through school kids. When the kids have swung and slided themselves out, dip over to Wild Thyme Cafe and Bakery (805 Fair Oaks Avenue) for a crepe or a seared ahi sandwich.
Thursday: Farmer’s Market
The South Pasadena Farmers Market (Meridian Avenue and El Centro Street, Thursdays from 4-8 p.m.) is mecca for kids. Check out the roasted sweet potatoes, corn, ice cream, and nearby train watching for your junior engineer.
Friday: Story Time
South Pasadena Public Library (1100 Oxley Street) has a famously great Friday story toddler time at 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. Once your toddler is storied out you can wear him or her down at Amy’s Playground (1115 Mission Street, $7-9 per child). And bonus: you can get your kid’s hair cut at Amy’s as well.
Descanso Gardens, just northeast of Pasadena on the 210 in La Cañada Flintridge (1418 Descanso Drive; $8 for adults, $5 for children 5-12), is the ideal place to let your toddler roll around in the leaves. In addition to 150 acres of gardens, woodlands and chaparral, there’s a yummy café and gift shop loaded with kid-friendly goodies.
Sunday: Children’s Museum
KidSpace, located in the west end of Brookside Park (480 North Arroyo Boulevard; $10 per person, children under 12 months free), is the kind of place where you can let your kid go bananas without having to do too much supervision. In addition to indoor play structures and exhibits appropriate for even the wee-est of wee ones, there’s a slew of outdoor water features for sunny day mayhem. You can even bring a swim suit and water shoes and let your kid get soaked the bone in the play pond.
Thanks so much to JJ for sharing her great ideas and adorable pictures. Read more from her at jjustkidding.blogspot.com.
If Hollywood is not in your neck of the woods, find your hometown in our Staycation guides for new moms.