A Night Out with ArtNight Pasadena

Traveling with our children is a great way to help them develop into the well-rounded individuals we hope they will become, but, sometimes, a little extra nudging doesn’t hurt. Planning a little extra art exposure into family vacations is a great way to help the process along.

Pasadena, in the foothills of Southern California just outside of Los Angeles, is giving families a great way to do just that. Commonly thought of as the home to the Rose Parade and the setting for the popular television show The Big Bang Theory, Pasadena is actually a prominent player in the L.A. art scene with almost a dozen museums to explore and as many cultural and performing art centers.

With so many options, picking a place to start can be a daunting task so the city is making it easy. On March 8, ArtNight Pasadena will make Pasadena’s art scene free, fun and accessible for the family. From 6–10 p.m., all participating venues, which include museums, libraries, performing art centers and even a publishing house, will open their doors free of charge to put their works on display. Artists featured will range from classical masters to up-and-coming talent from local elementary schools and many venues will host musical and dance performances.

To sweeten the pot, the event also includes many of L.A.’s most popular food trucks to further entice current and would-be art lovers. Vendors will include Dina’s Dumplings, Vchos Tacos, Tokyo Doggie Style, Dreamy Creations and Pie ‘n Burger, just to name a few. Unlike museum admissions, food truck offerings will not be free for ArtNight but all vendors will donate a portion of proceeds to fund future ArtNight events.

The Thinker of Auguste Rodin in the Norton Simon Museum

The Thinker of Auguste Rodin in the Norton Simon Museum © Biansho | Dreamstime.com

To take part in this unique art festival, simply choose any of the locations featured during ArtNight and enjoy the exhibits. When you are ready to move on, take one of the convenient shuttles provided by the event to any of the other participating locations. The Norton Simon Museum, perhaps one of the most well-known museums on the ArtNight roster and home to an impressive collection of works by Edgar Degas, will showcase Titian’s “Lady in White,” currently on loan from Dresden and Henri Matisse’s “Odalisque” exhibit. The Pasadena Museum of History will feature the second phase of a must-see exhibit of California women artists that has been much applauded by the art world.

Be sure to make time for a stop at Pasadena City Hall during your ArtNight experience. While this government building isn’t a museum, it is putting its cultural foot forward by providing New Orleans-style music and fun activities, like making your own Mardi Gras mask.

Other venues will include the iconic American Craftsman home, Gamble House, the unique musical experience of Muse/Ique, Kidspace Children’s Museum, the Armory Center for the Arts, the Williamson Gallery at the Artcenter College of Design and many more.

Each venue will feature its own unique artwork and art forms covering a wide array of mediums, as well as a variety of entertainment. With so much variety and so many great food choices, every member of the family will be sure to find something to entertain them and get them excited about the wonderful world of art.