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

There's a new craze sweeping the nation, or actually, the backyards of the nation. It doesn't involve a million little rubber bands scattered all over the floor or hours in front of a screen building imaginary worlds, and it's not a drain on the wallet. It involves gardening, but you don't have to have a green thumb-just a little imagination and some time to mess around in the dirt. It's all about gardening on a tiny scale. Fairy gardens are a great way to get outdoors, spend a little time hanging out with the kids, and create a tiny world with materials you might already have at home.


Now, gardening in miniature is nothing new. Take one look at a Japanese Bonsai tree, and you'll see that gardeners have been fascinated by all things tiny for centuries. You can visit Huntington Gardens to see some beautiful examples of Bonsai trees in the Japanese and the Chinese Gardens. With their graceful bridges and winding paths, these perfectly ordered gardens can also serve as inspiration for your own miniature gardens.


Fairy gardens don't need much room. First, find a spot in your yard for your miniature garden. It can be nestled into a planting bed, tucked into a corner of the porch, or live on top of a table. You don't have to go out and buy a special pot for your garden; just look around your house for a shallow container. A basket, a small oval aluminum pail, a wide teacup, even a pot with a broken lip, or an old birdbath can be used.


Next, find a focal point. Head down to the aquarium section at the pet store for a figurine – a tiny castle or a miniature red bridge like the life-sized one at the Huntington Garden. Use a tiny cottage or birdhouse from the dollar store. Dig through the kids' toy bin, or scour a thrift shop for tiny houses, bridges, or figurines to showcase in your garden.


Next, take a trip to the garden center for soil, plants, and pebbles. Choose plants that will have the same water and sunlight needs. So, for example, do not put a shade-loving plant like a violet next to a sun-worshipping succulent. And take your location into consideration as well. That shade-loving plant will become a shrinking violet in the hot sun! Durable, low water plants like herbs and succulents make great trees and bushes to surround your focal point. You can also use miniature roses – the tiny rose bushes sold at Trader Joe's are a perfect size. Miniature conifers are also great for adding structure – but you'll have to wait until the holidays to find them in abundance around town. (Wouldn't a festive garden in miniature look perfect as a holiday centerpiece?) Irish mosses make lush fairy lawns, and small ground covers add greenery, spilling over the lip of your pot as they grow. Finally, pick up a bag of polished pebbles for creek beds and pathways.


Once all your supplies are gathered, fill your container about 2/3rds full of potting soil. Place your focal point and plants on the soil. Arrange them until you have the perfect landscaping scheme. Tall plants in the back, tiny plants in front, mosses as grass. Small succulents become rosettes alongside a stream or spiky bushes lining a path. Once your plants are in place, tuck them into the soil and add more as needed to fill in. 


Finally, add your hardscape. Tumble pebbles from the front door of a tiny castle or cottage to create a walkway. Use blue-grey stones under a bridge to create a stream. Add finishing touches like a row of twigs for a fence or tiny flags. Then, be sure to water your garden before putting it into place…and watch carefully. You never know, a fairy might want to take up residence! 


Julie Ward

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Summer Reading Kickoff Celebration

All ages and families are welcome to join the Altadena librarians in kicking off the summer reading program on June 4, from 2:00 PM till 3:00 PM. Enjoy music, and a fantastic performance by Ballet Folclórico do Brasil. In addition, every child who signs up for the summer reading program will receive a free book while supplies last.


Teen Zine Dream Team

During Pride Month, the Altadena Zine Library and Teen Services are looking for a dream team of teen creatives to join the editorial board for the upcoming zine, "A Queer Teen's Guide to the San Gabriel Valley." (It's a working title.) If your teen is interested, they can learn more here. Board selection happens on June 7, from 4:00 PM till 5:00 PM.


D&D Rising with Satine Phoenix

Your D&D-loving teen (grades 8-12) can join professional game master Satine Phoenix for cosplay and character-building fun on June 14, from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Cosplay is encouraged, and there will be prizes!
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the orange cat bookshop
Marshmallow and Jordan and other great books featured in our events are available from our online book shop. And, if that wasn't good enough, every purchase supports a local, independent book store.

Take & Make: Pride and Friendship Bracelet

Everyone in your family can show their Pride or share their friendship with a colorful woven bracelet. Reservations for craft kits open June 1, and kits can be picked up from the Hill Avenue Branch Library starting June 6. Kits are available through June or while supplies last.


L-G-B-T-Q Extravaganza

Your whole family can join the Altadena librarians on the front lawn of the Main Library for some BINGO-style fun in celebration of Pride Month on June 11, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM.


Pride and Prejudice and Scorpions

Your teens can join the LA County librarians and entomologist Lauren Esposito on June 7, from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Lauren will discuss scorpion research and the impact the network they created, 500 Queer Scientists, has had on the queer scientific community.
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One Colorado Summer Concerts

Starting June 4 and running through August 20, One Colorado hosts Saturday evening concerts for everyone from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. No reservation is required. See the concert schedule online.

Music Under the Stars

Join the Pasadena Symphony and POPS for a free concert under the stars with Pasadena City Hall as the backdrop on June 4, starting at 6:00 PM. In addition, there will be food trucks and a Kids Korner with activities. The Bob Baker Marionette Theater performs at 7:00 PM, with the music beginning at 8:00 PM.


Santa "Camp-alina" Storytime and Critter Craft

Your family can join the Santa Catalina Branch librarians for a wilderness storytime around a "campfire" followed by crafts on June 4, from 10:30 AM till 11:30 AM.

Writing Party: Toy Stories

Your young kids (grades K and 1st) are invited to bring their favorite toy and imagination to the Lamanda Park Branch Library for some creative play and writing. The fun happens on June 4, from 2:00 PM till 3:00 PM. Registration is required.


Dr. Rusty's Dinosaur Safari

Your family can join the Linda Vista Branch librarians for a fun puppet, music, and role-playing show featuring Ty the Tyrannosaurus. He explores his world with a bit of help from his friends on June 4, from 2:30 PM till 3:30 PM. 


Take & Make: Tissue Paper Painting

Your family can bring in the colors of summer with a crayon and tissue paper painting. Craft kit reservations open on June 7 and continue through June 30 or while supplies last. Kits can be picked up at the Santa Cataline Branch Library.


Bob Baker Marionette Theater presents "The Circus."

Sign up to watch "the greatest show on strings" on Zoom on June 13, from 7:00 PM till 8:00 PM. Your whole family will love how the world of a classic traveling circus is brought to life with puppets. Registrations are limited.


Baila Baila Bilingual Concert

You and your little ones (ages 0-2) can join the Lamanda Park Branch librarians for an hour of energy-filled interactive fun with the Baila Baila band on June 14, from 10:30 AM till 11:30 AM. 


Code Your Own Maze Game from Scratch, Literally

Your Tweens (ages 9-12) can join the Lamanda Park Branch librarians in using the web-based programming language, Scratch, to make their own game on June 14, from 4:30 PM till 5:30 PM. Registration is required, and spots are limited.


Take & Make: Funtime Science Lab! Grow Your Own Food!

Your kids (ages 5-12) can join Dr. Mr. Science Man and Dr. Tibia in learning how to grow your own food at home. Kit registration opens on June 15 and continues until June 30 or while supplies last. 


Earth Tales by We Tell Stories

You and your kids (up to 5th grade) can join We Tell Stories in Charles White Park on June 11, from 11:00 AM till 12:30 PM. They will tell a fun story that explores the relationship between Mother Earth and her children.



Indoor Movie Night: The Parent Trap

Your whole family can join the Altadena librarians for some popcorn, s'mores, and a family-friendly movie on June 13, from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Space is limited. Registration is required.

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the orange cat bookshop
THE ANTI-BOOK and other great books featured in our events 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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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 Storytimes

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



Preschool Storytime - Pasadena Public Libraries

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

Santa Catalina Branch - Wednesday, 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM

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

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

Linda Vista Branch - Thursday, 10:30 AM till 11:00 AM

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



Chocolate Storytime

Your family can join Dr. Ayesha Randall and the La Pintoresca Branch librarians for storytelling and community building with stories written by and/or about African-Americans.

Last Friday of the Month through August 26, 4:00 PM till 5:00 PM



Storytimes in the Park - Monrovia Public Library

Your kids (ages 0-5) can join the Monrovia librarians in Library Park near the Rotary Bandshell for two different storytimes:


Enjoy active and engaging stories and songs on Wednesdays from 10:00 AM till 10:45 AM through July 27. The book fun is followed up with a sensory activity or craft project. Everyone is welcome. See the event listing for more details.


Share stories, music, and movement by getting your little ones dancing, singing, and learning on Saturdays from 10:00 AM till 10:30 AM through July 30. See the event listing for more details.



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.


Art Lab

Your Teens (grades 8-12) with an artistic streak can visit the Altadena Library's Art Lab every Friday this summer (through July 29) from 3:00 PM till 5:00 PM. They can get inspired, learn new techniques, get help finishing a project, or collaborate with a fellow artist on a fantastic new project. The sky is the limit!



Teen Gardening Club

The Altadena Library is looking for Teens (grades 8-12) of all skill levels to help grow and care for the library's gardens and plants on Saturdays this summer (through July 30), from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Teens will learn about vegetable gardens, flower beds, and indoor plants while earning volunteer service hours. Registration is required.

Chess Night

Your whole chess-loving family can join the Altadena librarians on Tuesdays this summer (through July 26), from 5:30 PM till 7:30 PM to learn new skills, practice, and share tactics with other players. All skill levels are welcome!

Teen Anime Club

Your Teens (ages 13-17) can join the Altadena Library's Anime club to chat about their favorite anime shows and movies while enjoying some Japanese snacks on Mondays this summer (through July 25), from 5:00 PM till 6:00 PM. Registration is required.



Outdoor Family Storytime

Families with younger children and their siblings are invited to join the Altadena librarians for stories, songs, and rhymes at Charles White Park on Tuesdays this summer (through July 26), from 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM.

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