The Rose Bowl will be one of the biggest events of 2017 for Penn Staters in Pasadena, and those 21 and older will surely celebrate it as such. With tons of bars, clubs, and events to explore and enjoy, the area will be crawling with Penn Staters looking for a good time.
If you’re not 21 just yet, it’ll be a little more challenging to find something to do — especially on New Year’s Eve. It’s not impossible to have a good time, though. If you want to explore the city beyond the confinements of your hotel, we put together a list of things to do in Pasadena for underagers. In order to estimate approximate travel times, we entered Rose Bowl Stadium as the starting point.
Hit Up A Hookah Bar
From the looks of it, there are two hookah bars within driving distance of the stadium that make no mention of age restrictions. Isis Lounge & Restaurant is a 12-minute drive from Rose Bowl Drive and is open until 2 a.m. every night, making it a perfect place for New Year’s Eve. The lounge serves food and coffee, and takes both reservations and walk-ins.
Cloud 99 Hookah is just a 10-minute drive from the stadium and is also open until 2 a.m. each night. The bar takes cash only, but the Facebook page for Cloud 99 says that drinks and snacks start at $1 and that it offers free Wi-fi and “diverse music.”
Explore Old Pasadena
Old Pasadena sits right next to the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, about a 7-minute drive from Rose Bowl Stadium. The historic area is home to tons of restaurants and shops, including a chocolate and coffee shop, a cigar shop, a nail salon, and a cupcake shop.
If you’re looking to stay out late, Peruvian restaurant Choza 96 stays open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays for music and dancing, but hours may differ on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The restaurant takes reservations and has outdoor seating available so you can enjoy that beautiful California weather.
Enjoy The Great Outdoors
Instead of spending your time out west inside shops and restaurants, you could get out and see some of Pasadena’s most beautiful landmarks. Just a 12-minute drive from Rose Bowl Drive is the Eaton Canyon Nature Center, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Eaton Canyon offers family nature walks every Saturday morning, as well as live animal displays in the Nature Center Building. The center’s website offers a map of hiking trails and detailed descriptions of each one (Bonus: Somewhere along the trails is a scenic waterfall, perfect for your first California Instagram post).
You can also visit the Arlington Garden, Pasadena’s only dedicate public garden. Its described as an “urban open space” on its website and features beautiful scenery and greenery, all free of charge.
Ring In The New Year at Grand Park
Grand Park isn’t exactly walking distance from Rose Bowl Stadium, but it’ll be well worth the price of an Uber or Lyft to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles. The huge venue, a 20-minute drive south of the area, will host N.Y.E.L.A. this year from 8 p.m. on December 31 to 1 a.m. on January 1, free to all attendees. Although there is a strict no alcohol policy (so don’t even try to sneak in that water bottle of Vlad), the event will feature delicious eats, photo booths, inflatable art, and live music.