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Picnicking in Pasadena

Did you know that Monday, June 18th is International Picnic Day? So before the summer heat arrives in July and August, take your friends and family on a picnic! It’s the perfect way to bask in the sun, enjoy the great outdoors, and share delicious, homemade food and drinks (it isn’t truly a picnic unless it’s homemade!). It really brings back the feelings of nostalgia when I went on picnics growing up where I would spend hours at a park playing and exploring. It was during a time where we had no iPhones or iPads and even though technology is the premier way of entertaining today, picnicking is a great break from all that.

Here are some of my favorite parks in and near Pasadena to go on a picnic:

Lacy Park
1485 Virginia Road, San Marino

This park is one of my absolute favorites. If you enter from Virginia Road, you are greeted with a stunning rose garden. There is plenty of green space to picnic, but if you forget to bring a blanket, there are many tables available as well. A great park for playing frisbee or catch too! Lacy Park is quite picturesque, so if you feel the need to Instagram your picnic, take some shots and then put your phone away and soak in the experience! There is a small fee on the weekends but FREE Mondays through Fridays.

Arlington Garden
275 Arlington Drive, Pasadena

Although there is no grass to sit on and picnic, there are some small tables and chairs scattered throughout the gardens.  What I especially love about coming here are the different trails you can walk while checking out the abundance of flowers and trees planted there. Some areas of the gardens feel private so it is almost like being in your own Secret Garden (such a great film)! To read more on the Arlington Garden and see some pictures, check out an earlier blog I did here.

Central Park
275 S Raymond Ave., Pasadena

If you like that “city” feel, Central Park is the perfect spot for a picnic. It’s adjacent to Old Town where you have access to a few local coffee shops if you need a pick-me-up before, during, or after your picnic. I highly recommend Copa Vida (at the corner of Raymond Ave. and Green St.). Or if you’re in a more celebratory kind of mood, grab a cold beer from Kings Row Gastropub’s outdoor patio. Central Park also has a park with swings and slides if you bring along your kiddos. Parking may be an issue, but a great option if it’s a last-minute thing or you’re only looking to picnic for a couple of hours.

McDonald Park
1000 E Mountain St., Pasadena

A smaller park located in the residential neighborhood of Bungalow Heaven, but one of my favorites to go to, particularly during the week when there are less people. There are two playgrounds for kids, a tennis court, sand volleyball court, basketball court, and a baseball field, but still a lot of grass to picnic on. This is a great park to go to if you’re looking to be more active than relaxed on your picnic.

Garfield Park
1000 Park Ave., South Pasadena

This park is ideal for little ones who want to scooter on a small slope. A great park to feel secluded and away from the busyness of the city! Lots of hilly grassy areas to have your picnic and it also comes with a dog park, so bring your furry ones along! It can get a bit busy on weekends, but I really enjoy going to their movie nights and summer concerts. For more information on dates and times, click here. We had Finn’s 1st birthday party here and if you’re lucky the “Bubble Man” will show up!

You can also do evening picnics on movie nights at Victory Park, another favorite of mine. Located at 2641 Paloma St., it is a huge park with plenty of space to picnic. It has some stunning views of the mountains and comes with large soccer and baseball fields as well as a playground for the kids. Click on each date below to purchase movie night tickets at Victory Park:

June 30th, The Sandlot

August 4th, The Mask

August 18th, Casablanca

September 22nd, Mean Girls

October 6th, Corpse Bride

October 27th, Coco

Location: Lacy Park, San Marino, Ca.
Photography: Allison Maginn, Pasadena, Ca.

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