Love Land

Love Land

Greater Pasadena helps couples think outside the box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day

By Carl Kozlowski 02/13/2014

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Spending Valentine’s Day in one of the most beautiful cities in America means that Pasadena residents and other area locals have plenty of terrific options to plan an original outing with their sweetheart. This year, think outside the box of chocolates and the bouquet of roses you normally bore that special someone with, and give them a day or night to remember instead by following these tips.   

Take a tour
The Pasadena area is so blessed with beauty that there are three major destinations for foliage fans to frolic in. First, the LA County Arboretum and Botanic Garden offers Valentine’s Day Love Potion Tram Tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in which Frank McDonough, the Arboretum’s botanical information consultant, will talk about love potions from the garden. Reservations are required, and cost $8 on top of the usual admission fees of $9 for adults, $6 for students and seniors and $4 for kids ages 5 to 12. .Call (626) 821-4623 or visit arboretum.org. 

Meanwhile, Descanso Gardens offers the chance to stroll through its own spacious gardens as well as enjoy the option of a picnic lunch with sandwiches and soups from its walk-up café. There are plenty of  literal birds and bees located there and waiting to be spotted. The Descanso Gardens are located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge. Tickets are just $9 per person. Call (818) 949-4200 or visit descansogardens.org. 

Finally, the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens offers three distinctive ways to have a romantic day to remember. You can stroll through its 14,000 plants on 120 acres, or soak up history and art in its world-famous library of great works and astounding artworks. It may only be open from noon to 4:30 p.m., but you’ll have no problem filling a few hours with memories. The Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens is 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors age 65 and over and $8 for students ages 12-18. 

Never too young
There is perhaps no more awkward time in life to deal with romance and budding love than the teenage years, but area libraries are trying to help save the day with a couple of events designed to help teens overcome their shyness and make a move. 

The Altadena Library District and Friends of the Library will help young bookworms connect through their “DIY Club: Valentine’s Day!” event at 4 p.m., where kids ages 11 to 17 are invited to make Hershey Kiss Rose Bouquets. Other crafts and projects are welcome, as the official invite says “Make what you love, share what you know, and learn something new!” We’re certain it’s entirely wholesome, since it’s in the Altadena Main Library, 600 E. Mariposa St., Altadena. Admission is free. Call (626) 798-0833 or visit altadenalibrary.org. 
 
Meanwhile, Pasadena’s bright minds are invited to the Valentine’s Day Festival at the La Pintoresca Teen Education Center, located at 1415 N. Raymond Avenue in Pasadena. There will be Valentine’s Day bingo, friendship bracelet stations, a photobooth and delicious yogurt-filled strawberries. All the fun is free from 4 to 6 p.m. Call (626) 345-0708.  

You’re never too old
The Pasadena Senior Center is known for its Friday afternoon Movie Matinees, and this week’s movie is Woody Allen’s Oscar-nominated “Blue Jasmine.” The story of a rich socialite (Cate Blanchett) who’s slowly losing her mind in both comic and serious fashion isn’t romantic on the surface, but its San Francisco locations and impeccable writing should set a relaxing mood to share a movie with that special someone. The Pasadena Senior Center is located at 85 E. Holly St., Pasadena. Admission is free. Call (626) 795-4331 or visit pasadenaseniorcenter.org. . 

Focus on great art
Head over to one of Pasadena’s world-class museums, the Norton Simon Museum, from 6 to 9 p.m. to enjoy “A Night in Focus,” as Chief Curator Carol Togneri of leads an overview of the museum’s collection of works by Francisco de Goya and its exhibition “Unflinching Vision: Goya’s Rare Prints,” which demonstrates the artist’s mastery of printmaking and his ability to represent the spirit of his time. 
 
Art-making activities throughout the evening will allow visitors to make their own original artworks, while a special wine and tapas menu is available at the café. The museum is located at  411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Call (626) 449-6840 or visit nortonsimon.org. 

Dance the night away
Nightlife promoters Sherpa are offering an intriguing evening, complete with dancing, drinks and live appetizers, with “Dance with the Stars” from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at War Memorial, 435 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena. Admission is $25. Call (626) 270-3800 or visit sherpalife.com. 
 
Of course, there are still plenty of other places to have a great meal and one-on-one time together, but these are some terrific tips to get you on your way to romance. 

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