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Transport yourself back in time by taking afternoon tea at the Pasadena Langham Huntington Hotel.
The Huntington Gardens (In adjacent San Marino, not the hotel) has extensive botanical displays, Japanese and Chinese gardens, Rose Garden, Cactus Garden, Scultpure Garden, a fine art gallery in the Huntington mansion, and a fine high tea as well, and occasional chamber concerts.
The most off-beat wine shop ever is the hip, hidden Chronicle Wine Cellar, a small hole-in-the-wall directly adjacent/behind Pie 'n Burger (a famous diner in itself,) at 919 W. California Ave. The Chronicle Restaurant (1974-1998) had int'l award winning wine lists each year, and still sells old chestnuts from its famous cellar, as well as new finds from well off the beaten track. Just come to chat about wine with real pros. It's hard to find, and fun to visit!
Every New Year's Day, the city hosts the nationally-televised Rose Bowl Parade. If you're in the local area during the holidays, you can help decorate the floats by gluing flower petals onto the floats. The floats are housed in warehouses in Pasadena and local community groups and schoolchildren work around the clock to decorate them in December. The announcement of the Rose Parade Court (always made up of local high school girls) is also an event of note each year.
Watch the zany Doo Dah Parade (usually the Saturday after Thanksgiving) in downtown Pasadena.
Pasadena hosts a city-wide music festival, Make Music Pasadena, on a Saturday in the month of June. Featuring many free events in a variety of venues, the all-day festival showcases a variety of artists and genres . This event was inspired by the French festival known as Fete de la Musique, a country-wide music festival held on the Summer Solstice.