The best fall events for those who live in Pasadena—or want to
Fall brings a whirlwind of great Pasadena events, from art and music to food and fun. Get out your calendar! You’ll definitely want to schedule time to explore the city over the next few months. Whether you already live in Pasadena or are looking to learn more about why this city is so ideal, you’re bound to have a great time.
Taste of Pasadena, Rose Bowl Stadium, September 28
Hosted by the Pasadena Chamber, the Taste of Pasadena and SIP-tember Finale offers unlimited food and drink tastings from 24 top Pasadena restaurants as well as cocktails from the finalists in the SIP-tember challenge.
Megan Shung Smith—Faculty Concert, Pasadena Conservatory of Music, October 1
Attend this exciting performance by Megan Shung Smith’s band, Iridas, with a sound that “reaches deep into music history for influences,” including pop, jazz fusion, and alternative rock,” and an accompanying multi-media show.
Mirror—Salastina Music Society, Pasadena Conservatory of Music, October 7
Presented by Salastina Music Society, this event for those who are visiting or for who live in Pasadena comes from award-winning local composer Derrick Spiva, who “wrote American Mirror specifically for Salastina to present in their Sounds Genius format. Resident Host Brian Lauritzen interviews Spiva as the musicians demonstrate the cultural origins of different elements in the work and guide the audience in their musical role in the performance of this timely and outstanding piece.”
Antiquarian Book Fair, Pasadena Convention Center, October 7–8
The 51st annual Antiquarian Book Fair is a great opportunity for both collectors and book lovers to browse and buy. The fair includes: “rare and modern first edition books, prints, posters, vintage photographs, autographs, fine graphics, maps, manuscripts and many unique pieces of ephemera.”
Adam del Monte—Guitar Master Class, Pasadena Conservatory of Music, October 8
Don’t miss this opportunity to watch and learn from one of today’s leading flamenco and classical guitarist/composers.
Art Night Pasadena, October 13
This biannual celebration brings Pasadena’s museums and performance spaces into the spotlight with a free night of art, music, and entertainment. Eighteen local cultural institutions are participating, including the Norton Simon Museum, Pacific Asia Museum, and Pasadena Museum of California Art. Walk or take a free shuttle, and bring your appetite to take advantage of food trucks along the way.
ArtNight Pasadena at PCM, Pasadena Conservatory of Music, October 13
Live in Pasadena or in town visiting? Don’t miss Pasadena Conservatory of Music’s contribution to ArtNight. An “Open House” of sorts allows visitors to explore the campus while enjoying “continuous classical, multicultural, and interactive performances. The evening includes an AVoLA-led West Side Story sing-a-long in the Auditorium, as well as performances by PCM students, faculty, and members of the Salastina Music Society!”
Pasadena ARTWalk, October 14
Stay on your art high and explore the 12th annual urban art fair, which sees attendance of more than 5,000 people who come to enjoy work from some of Southern California’s best visual artists. Expect to see paintings, sculpture, watercolors, photography, mixed media, ceramics, jewelry, drawings, and print making, with a juried art show and sale, and activities and entertainment for the whole family.
Japanese Garden Festival, Descanso Gardens, October 14–15
This family-friendly festival celebrates Japanese art and culture, with opportunities to tour the Japanese Garden, witness a taiko drum performance, view ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, and participate in a talk with Dr. Kendall Brown, professor of Asian art history.
Craftsman Weekend, October 27–29
This is the 26th anniversary of the Craftsman Weekend, “the largest and most comprehensive salute to the Arts & Crafts Movement in the western United States,” said Pasadena Heritage, presenter of the festival. Take a bus or walking tour of Craftsman-era houses, visit the exposition show and sale, take part in a silent auction, and attend the exclusive evening receptions at historic sites.
A Prairie Home Companion, Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Saturday, October 28
This famed folk music variety show broadcasts over 700 public radio stations all over the world with 3.5 million listeners, but only a select few have the opportunity to see it live.
An Evening with Vin Scully , Pasadena Civic Auditorium, November 4
The Distinguished Speaker Series presents an unforgettable night with legendary L.A. Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. The evening will include a pre-party, meet & greet, and photo with Mr. Scully.
Designer Con, Pasadena Convention Center, November 11–12
This annual art and design convention is an opportunity to peruse 90,000 square feet of toys, art, and collectibles, and live demonstrations, panels and presentations among more than 400 different vendors, art shows, and more.
Enchanted: Forest of Light, Descanso Gardens, November 19 to January 9
Those who live in Pasadena or who visited over the holidays know Enchanted: Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens as a new holiday tradition in which the garden grounds are transformed into an enchanted forest with “whimsical lighting displays and interactive exhibitions. A one-mile path, intended for nighttime enjoyment, veers through the Oak Woodland, Camellia Forest, Japanese Garden, and Rose Garden.”
De Yun She, December 1, Pasadena Civic Auditorium
This popular Chinese comedy show features a popular troupe performing the traditional form of performance comedy called “cross talk.”
If you don’t already live in Pasadena, don’t miss the chance to tour Old Town’s most celebrated new-home community, Villas at The Ambassador Gardens, while you’re here. These new luxury townhomes offer spacious floorplans filled with high-end features like gourmet kitchens, private outdoor spaces, four-car garages, and elevators in each unit, and are located in the city’s most exquisite location. The historic Ambassador Gardens offers a century-old wonderland of vast lawns, majestic oaks, lush gardens, meandering walkways, and calming fountains and streams, yet is just minutes by foot to Pasadena’s best shops and restaurants.