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It’s a Kid-Friendly Summer in the City

If you know where to look in Pasadena, there’s a bounty of ways to keep your kids busy and engaged all summer long

Published on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 | 5:42 am

Summer is percolating along, and while Pasadena offers an obvious wealth of summer options for adults, unknown to many parents there’s an equal number of events and activities for those with smaller pants and shoes,  and even smaller wallets.

Next week, the City will hold its annual National Night Out at Memorial Park 5 to 7pm on August 7, followed by  a Pasadena Police Department (PPD) Open House on August 11, from 10am to 2pm. This years’ PPD Kid Safety Academy will be held from  September 2018 to Oct 2018. There are also ongoing Police Athletic league (PAL) activities and the summer-long Parks After Dark program.

Also, given that Pasadena is a supernova in the scientific universe, there is a wide-ranging collection of science, technology, engineering and math activities from JPL’s online catalog available for for kids and whole families.

Parents and children can find projects and activities for school-age kids, at

“These collections provide kids and families opportunities to engage in STEM activities, not just over the summer, but throughout the school year,” said Lyle Tavernier, educational technology specialist, at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Back on earth, the City’s Human Services and Recreation Department offers six full day summer day camps and six partial day specialty camps that cater to all interests at the Villa-Parke Community Center, according to Kellee M. O’Rourke, Human Services and Recreation Department Management Analyst.  The department serves between 750-1,000 youth program participants Monday-Friday.

Added O’Rourke, “We provide a variety of high-quality, affordable programming. Much of our youth programming, such as recreational swim, Parks After Dark and various activities are free or low-cost.”

The Recreation and Human Services Department offers more up-to-date youth and teen programming information at

One of Pasadena’s most bountiful sources of youth activities, of course, is Pasadena’s public library system, which centers, of course, on books and reading.

The Central Library offers summer reading assistance and homework help, along with a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) program for budding pre-school engineers and chemists.

More information on library programs is available at

At the same time, the goal of the Pasadena Police Department every summer is to “Keep kids active in the summer, have them pick up the books and put down the tablet full of games,” said Pasadena Police Department’s Public Information Officer  Lt. Jason Clawson Tuesday.

“Prevention and intervention at a young age develops character, gives them a sense of being makes for a safer community,” Clawson added.

“The Pasadena Police Department has the five-week Kids Safety Project which Community Services hosts four times a year and kids and their parents highly enjoy it,” Clauson continued.

Lieutenant Tracey J. Ibarra, of the Pasadena Police Department, Community Services Section, also pointed out that the City of Pasadena and the two Boys and Girls Club in Pasadena, along with several church summer camps, provide an enormous array of activities to keep kids engaged, develop their minds and bodies through sports, and build a strong sense of community and support from Pasadena.

Ibarra also noted, however, that, “Youth crime rates haven’t gone up, but it is often not the younger youth getting themselves into difficulties,” adding that, “Youth drivers can be a challenge, and parents allowing older teens to be unsupervised at night (regardless of the season) can tend to get themselves in trouble.”

In terms of general summer safety, Ibarra notes,  “Parents should know where (the) kids are at all times, and monitor their cell phones and computers for inappropriate interactions.”

Parents should also download software programs, said Ibarra, such as Life360, “so phones can be tracked down to a specific location when needed,” said Ibarra.

Over at Day One Pasadena, a nine-day celebration of well-planned youth events for teens called “Block 9” is starting today.

The events read like vacation brochures or resort events: Fit Fest, Pachanga Pasadena, Bike in Movie Night, Hawaiian Luau, Metro Adventure, Magic Mountain and Beach Party!

“We hold these events because there very few low-cost activities for families to engage in” explained Christy Zamani, Executive Director of Day One, “the families and the community that we serve don’t have the resources to engage in high-cost activities. In order to fill that gap, our team comes together to identify events that we think could be interesting and exciting to the people we serve, with no costs attached.”

For all the information about the Block 9 line-up, click here or visit

And of course, Pasadena Now Calendar Editor Candice Merrill says, parents should religiously read the Pasadena Now Calendar of events, with daily lists of events and activities.

Over 100 children’s events can be found by clicking here.

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