Dozens of things to do for you and your whole family.


Well, it's done. The gifts have been opened. The big meal has been served. And the weeks of preparation are over and done. Now it's time to relax by the fire with that big mug of hot cocoa you've been craving for a month.

Yeah, right.

Pent-up holiday excitement, late nights, and the freedom of vacation make for a wicked combo, leaving kids wired and tired and parents desperate for a break. But, hey, the song doesn't say "mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again" for nothing. So plan a few fun activities during these quiet vacation weeks, and before you know it, the kids will be back in school, and you'll be enjoying that mug of hot cocoa in a quiet house.

Yeah, right.

If you're going to be in any city during the week between Christmas and New Year's, Pasadena is the place to be. It's as if the holidays here are extended to include the Tournament of Roses in the annual Hanukkah-Christmas-Kwanzaa-New Year's lineup. So make it a point to join in the festivities: Check out the floats at Floatfest (see below), enjoy the parade at home or along the route, and pick a team (or not) for the big game. You'll find all the details here.

If you've done the Rose Parade and you're looking for something new and different, check out "The Elf on the Shelf's Magical Holiday Journey" at the Fairplex in Pomona (link below). It closes this weekend, so tickets are 50% off, AND it gives you one more dose of Christmas cheer before we call the holiday season a wrap!

Now, we've all seen the tourists in town during the winter holidays, wearing their shorts and t-shirts, basking in the warm California sun. And we all know that the world envies our picture-perfect sunshine on New Year's Day. But sometimes, those of us who live in the land of warm winters just want to put on some mittens and a scarf without sweating. The best way to do that is to hit the ice skating rink. There's nothing like cold air, loud pop music, and a big Zamboni to make eighty degrees feel like winter. Check out the Pasadena Ice Skating Center next to the convention center, or head on over to Burbank, where you'll find great skating at the LA Kings Ice at Pickwick Center. Finally, for an authentic city-in-the-winter experience, lace up your skates at LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live. There's nothing like gliding on the ice in the shadow of downtown LA's skyscrapers, and you can hear some music and get some great food. It's downtown, after all!

If you really want to get into the snow experience, head to Kidspace for Winter Frolic (link below). Build ice forts and go sock skating, all without braving the grapevine or the roads to Big Bear.

If a warm winter is right up your alley, now is the perfect time to hit the beach. The water may be too cold for swimming or surfing. Still, the vacationers are all in Pasadena, so the beaches are deserted. Huntington, Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu…take your pick. Pack a picnic, soak in the sun, and enjoy the fact that you're on the beach in January without needing a plane ticket.

Or, just settle in at home with a slew of movies to watch, a big bucket of popcorn, some sweet treats, and of course, a big mug of cocoa. After all, you are still on vacation!

Happy New Year!

Julie and Rob

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Take & Make: Hot Chocolate Fridge Magnet

Nothing says winter like hot chocolate, and this refrigerator magnet project is the next best thing to the drink. Reserve this all-ages craft kit by calling the Linda Vista Branch at 626-744-7278. Sign-ups open on Monday, January 10, and are available while supplies last. Colors will vary.



"I Have A Dream" Card

Bring the whole family down to the Villa Parke Community Center Branch to make a Martin Luther King, Jr. "I have a dream" card and explore books about Dr. King on January 12, from 3:30 PM till 4:30 PM.


Escape Room: Rebel Revolt

On January 14 at 6:00 PM, your Teen (grades 6-12) can be a rebel in a post-apocalyptic world, thanks to the Monrovia Public Library. Players must solve clues to escape the room and thwart an evil plan to conquer the world! Registration is required, and spots are limited. 



The Rose Parade gives you a chance to get up close to the floats during Floatfest on January 1 and 2. This 2.5-mile stroll is the best way to see how this year's floats are constructed. Tickets are required, and COVID protocols are in place. There is limited food available, so consider bringing a snack for little ones (or yourself, no judgment) and something to drink if it's sunny out.

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the orange cat bookshop
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe and other great books featured in previous issues are available from our online book shop. And, if that wasn't good enough, every purchase supports a local, independent book store.
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Winter Frolic - EXTENDED

The first annual Winter Frolic has been extended through January 17. It's Kidspace's biggest winter celebration ever! Winter Frolic includes some unique activities we haven't seen before. Our favorite is the Sock Skating Rink, a perfect take on a winter tradition for those of us who can't ice skate. Kids can go "ice fishing" in the interpretive Arroyo and build a fantastical winter sculpture with sparkling "ice blocks." 


Festival Floats Workshop

On January 2, from 11:00 AM till 5:00 PM, your kid (ages 5 and up) can build a mini parade float inspired by the Rose Parade in the Kidspace Imagination Workshop! Reservation is required and the activity is included in the admission price.


L.A. Zoo Lights

L.A. Zoo Lights continues through January 9, 2022! The most fun you can have in a zoo after dark features even more glowing animals, the world's largest illuminated pop-up storybook, a disco ball forest, and a twinkling tunnel filled with dynamic, colorful swirls. Tickets are required. See the site for more details.


Nights of Lights and Wonder in Arcadia

The LA County Arboretum in Arcadia hosts the internationally acclaimed Lightscape event through January 16, 2022. Your family can wander through the Winter Cathedral and experience the Fire Garden and more. It's an unforgettable holiday event for everyone. Check out the site for tickets and details.



Last Chance: The Elf on the Shelf's Magical Holiday Journey

This outdoor theatrical holiday journey at the Fairplex in Pomona is about to wrap on January 2. If you want a touch more Christmas spirit before the season is over, now is your chance! Tickets are 50% off.

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These events are regularly scheduled, and many do not require registrations. That said, please check with the event host in case of holidays, weather, COVID, or other reasons to cancel or reschedule.

Afternoon Games

The whole family is invited to the Villa Parke Community Center Branch Library to play games, from board games to giant dominos. The fun happens on Tuesdays, from 2:00 PM till 4:00 PM.



Infant & Toddler Storytime

Your little ones (ages 0-2) and their caregiver can join the Pasadena librarians weekly at 10:30 AM for 20 minutes of reading, rhyming, and singing fun! 

Lamanda Park Branch - Tuesdays

Allendale Branch - Wednesdays

Santa Catalina Branch - Thursdays



Preschool Storytime

Your kids (ages 3-5) can join the Pasadena librarians weekly for a selection of stories, songs, crafts, or a short movie. Activities vary by branch.

Villa Parke Community Center Branch - Tuesdays, 10:30 AM till 11:30 AM

San Rafael Branch - Wednesdays, 11:00 AM till 11:30 AM

Lamanda Park Branch - Thursdays, 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM

Hill Avenue Branch - Saturdays, 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM



Toddler Playtime

Kids ages 2-5 can come to play, color, listen to music and make new friends at the Villa Parke Community Center Branch on Fridays, from 10:30 AM till 12:00 PM.



ASL Storytime

Kids ages 3-5 can join the San Rafael Branch librarians for a fun storytime featuring some American Sign Language signs to learn on select Thursdays from 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM.

January: 6 and 20

February: 3 and 17



Family Films

Villa Parke Community Center Branch hosts a family movie for you on Thursdays, from 3:30 PM till 5:30 PM. Please contact the branch at 626-744-6510 for the movie title. And this is a BYOS (bring your own snacks) event.



Video Game Club

Your Teen (age 14-19) can stop into the Hastings Branch Library Meeting Room on Thursdays, from 4:00 PM till 6:00 PM, for some gaming fun on the Nintendo Switch. They can make new friends and learn fair play every week. No registration is required. Must play well with others.



Crafting with Tish & Tosh

Join the Pasadena Library online for some all-ages crafting fun. You'll learn new crafts all year round. The crafting fun happens on every-other Monday on Instagram Live from 3:00 PM till 3:30 PM.



Book Talk

The Monrovia Library staff encourages a love of stories among young readers by providing engaging summaries of some of their favorite books on the library's YouTube channel. Great for kids five and younger, the series covers both picture and chapter books.

Picture books: January 8 and February 15

Chapter books: January 22 and February 19




You and your little ones (ages 0-5) can join the Monrovia librarians every Saturday at 10:00 AM as they lead you through sharing a story, a little music, and movement, and all-around fun to get your kids dancing and singing.


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