Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Courtney's Beat The Heat Cheat Sheet

I love Pasadena, but the summer heat sucks. I'm compiling a list of places I can take Pippa so we can stay cool and still have fun this summer. If you are a regular reader, this is a good post to skip. If you are a stay-at-home mom in Pasadena looking for things to do this summer, welcome!

Libraries: Even though she is only fifteen months old, I signed Pippa up for Pasadena's Summer Reading Program. I'd like to visit all the local libraries with her this summer - except there are so many! Maybe by the end of 2014. Right now, every freaking storytime happens during Pippa's morning nap, but she will not take a morning nap forever and one day, by Jove, we will make it to storytime!
  • Central Library - Opens 9 a.m. every day but Sunday.
  • Allendale - 1130 South Marengo Avenue Pasadena, CA; Monday-Thursday, 10-6; Fridays 2-6; Saturday, 10-6; closed Sundays.  Preschool storytime Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.
  • Hastings (our closest branch!) - opens 10 a.m. everyday but Sunday, opens Sunday at 1; preschool storytime at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesdays.
  • Hill Avenue -55 South Hill Avenue Pasadena, CA; 10-6, Mon-Thurs, 10-2 Fridays, 10-6 Saturdays, closed Sundays. Preschool storytime Tuesdays at 10:30
  • La Pintoresca - 1355 North Raymond Avenue Pasadena, CA  91103 - Mon-Sat, 9-6, closed Sundays. Preschool storytime Thursdays at 10:30.
  • Lamanda Park - 140 South Altadena Drive Pasadena, CA 91107 - M-Th, 10-6, Fridays 2-6, Saturdays 10-6, closed Sundays. Preschool storytime Tuesdays at 10:30. Infant and toddler storytime, Thursdays at 10:30.  Family storytime Thursdays at 3:30.
  • Linda Vista - 1281 Bryant Street Pasadena, CA 91103 - M-Th, 10-6, F 10-2, Sat 10-6, Sundays closed.
  • San Rafael - 1240 Nithsdale Road Pasadena, CA 91105 - M-Th 10-6, F 10-2, Sat 10-6, Sundays closed. Preschool storytime Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
  • Santa Catalina - 999 East Washington Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91104 - M-Th 10-6, F 2-6, Sat 10-6, Sundays closed.
  • Villa Parke - 363 East Villa Street Pasadena, CA 91101 - M-F, 10-1 and 2-6, Sat 10-2, closed Fridays. Preschool storytime, Tuesdays at 10:30.
  • South Pasadena Public Library - 363 East Villa Street Pasadena, CA 91101 - 1100 Oxley Street
    South Pasadena, CA 91030 - M-W, 11-9, Th-F, 10-6, Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5. Lots of storytimes
  • Crowell Public Library - 1890 Huntington Drive, San Marino, 91108 - M-Th, 10-9, Fr-Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5.
  • La Canada Flintridge Library - 4545 N. Oakwood Ave. La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011. M-W 10-8, Th 10-6, F-Sat 10-5, Sun closed.
  • Altadena Main Library - 600 East Mariposa St. - Altadena, CA 91001 - M-Tues, 10-9pm, W-Sat 10-6, Sunday closed.
  • Arcadia Public Library - 20 West Duarte Road, Arcadia 91006.  M-Th 10-9, F-Sat 10-6, closed Sundays. 20 West Duarte Road, Arcadia, CA  91006
    20 West Duarte Ro
ad, Arcadia, CA  91006
Indoor Playgrounds: Why didn't I come up with this business model first?

  • Magical Playground: Many indoor playgrounds are brightly lit with brand new toys and a cheerful pleasant vibe. Not Magical Playground! The toys must have been purchased at garage sales and the lighting is depressing. But Pippa loves it. There's a big climbing structure with tube slides, moon bounce, play houses, etc. The place wears down her endless toddler energy. We just bought a month long pass from Groupon, so we will be living here until mid-July. Open Play is M-F, 9-6:30 p.m, with some limited playtime on weekends, depending on whether the place is booked for a party or not. Tots under 2 are $7, check website for other pricing info.
  • Baby Polka Dot: Our current fave. Pippa plays independently for at least an hour whenever we come here, usually more, and then she plays with me as well. I get to relax and do some writing or read. The floor is cushioned, the toys are clean, and there is a small ball pit with a slide that Pippa adores. I bought two discounted passes in May, so we will be here a ton this summer. M-F, 10-6, sometimes open on the weekends depending on party schedules.
  • Amy's Playground: I love this place, and so does Roo. Skylights make the place feel airy and cheerful. Open play, M-Th, 10-6, F 10-5, the place sometimes closes at 3 on Mondays. 2 and under are $7.
  • Caterpillar Kids Place: M-Th, 9:30-6, F 9:30-5. Free parking in rear. $12, kids 1-8. Ouch! That's a bit steep, but it's an all day pass. I will certainly check it out at least once. 965 Foothill Blvd., La Canada.
  • Peekaboo Playland: Open play M-Th, 10-6, F 10-5. $9 for ages 1 and up. We have never been but definitely going to check this one out soon. Located in Eagle Rock on the corner of Colorado and Maywood Ave. 
  • The Awesome Playground:  Open play, M-F 10-6. $8 all day pass. They have water play Fridays from 2-5.  Two hour street parking is available on Avenue 52. All day street parking is available on Lincoln Avenue (one block south of York Blvd.) and Avenue 52 south of Lincoln Ave.  5158 York Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90042. We have never been but this is high on our Must Visit list.
  • Jump n Jammin at the mall
Kidspace Children's Museum: Oh, Kidspace! Glorious, glorious Kidspace. We are members and will go here at least once a week all summer long. A lot of the exhibits are outdoors, true, but there is plenty of fun to be had in the air conditioned buildings. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Kidspace is open M-F 9:30-6, weekends 10-5.

The Huntington Library: This is a great place to visit when it is hot but not brutally hot. Pippa loves the children's gardens, especially the fountain areas. She would play there all day until she fell asleep if I let her. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, open 10:30-4 every day except Tuesdays.

California Science Center: Free! Air Conditioned! Free! With Three Play Rooms! And it's free! (Unless you want to see the Endeavour Shuttle or an exhibit.) Open daily, 10-5, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. There is so much to do here. So much. It's a bit of a schlep, but definitely worth the drive.

Natural History Museum: Another worthwhile schlep, although this one costs money. Adults $12, 2 and under free. Open daily 9:30-5. The butterfly pavilion is open all summer, and I hope to visit that soon.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Another free gem for the kiddos. Children 18 and under can become Nexgen members for FREE and each child gets to bring one adult to the museum for FREE. There is a children's gallery where they can paint and make a mess on someone else's floor. (Parents can paint, too!) When Pippa was a pre-crawler, she happily looked at the art. Now she loves to run around and there is plenty of art she is allowed to touch. The best art for tots is outside, so this is good on a hot but not sweltering hot sort of day.

Splash Pads and Water Play: (oh hey, this section is under construction - not certain how close all these places are, so will delete if they are ridiculously far from Pasadena! I know, I'm such an amateur)
  • Kidspace (see above) has a splash pad and water table. I always visit Kidspace with a towel and Pippa's swimsuit.
  • Dalton Park in Azusa: This is about 15-30 minutes from home, depending on traffic. 18867 E. Armstead Street, Azusa, CA 91702. We have not been yet but from the photos, it looks awesome. Not certain when the splash pad turns on, but there is an adjacent playground.
  • Splash Zone in Rosemead: This looks like a 15-20 minute drive from East Pasadena.
  • Grand Park in downtown L.A.
  • Santa Fe recreation dam
  • Park in Alhambra has one
  • Santa Monica has one
  • The Cove Waterpark in Riverside - Riverside sounds like its on the other side of the moon, but really not that far
  • Raging Waters in San Dimas for a fun splurge
  • Universal City Walk
  • also a water feature now at Universal Studios - could be worthwhile, but a total production to get there
  • Garvey Park in Rosemead - how far is that?
More coming soon soon soon! Museums with play rooms! Splash pads! But Pippa just woke up and its cuddle time!