Dr. Adalbert and Eva Fenyes’s 1906 Beaux-Arts mansion served as a haven and gathering place for local musicians, artists, writers, and scientists for decades. In 1970, in an effort to ensure this salon atmosphere would live on, their descendants transferred the family mansion, its gardens, and scores of original furnishings and artwork to the Pasadena Museum of History. Today, the more than 85-year-old museum fills the Fenyes Estate with tours, exhibits, and a range of events as part of its mission to preserve and display Pasadena's history and culture.
Docents lead tours through the rooms of the National and California Historic Landmark mansion, which once served as the Finnish Consulate. (Nearby, the Finnish Folk Art Museum resides in the estate’s former sauna and guesthouse.) The history experts also conduct regular spotlight tours of specific collections that embody local high-society life at the turn of the 20th century.
In the History Center Galleries, the staff curates rotating exhibits on local history. Outside, visitors can wander the verdant landscaped gardens that separate the History Center Galleries from the Finnish Folk Art Museum and prevent staff members from reaching each other with volleys of water balloons.
What was once the personal collection of Pasadena residents Bob and Arlene Oltman is now a three-story institution with more than 10,000 square feet of gallery space. The Pasadena Museum of California Art features art, architecture, and design from all over the state and aims to explore cultural issues that are unique to California.
Showcasing some 60,650 time-treasured titles, Warner Bros. Studios boasts one of the largest libraries of feature films, television, and animated pictures. Cozy up with a maternal maven this Mom's Day for a four-movie marathon of Blu-ray flicks designed to jerk tears and reveal stories about actual jerks she once dated in college. Uncover shared high-school experiences with a screening of 17 Again, a magical, life-swapping jaunt starring Zac Efron and Matthew Perry, or collectively swoon as Nights in Rodanthe smolders with on-screen chemistry between Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Comedy-loving creators and their cubs can crack up amid the capering crusades of Jim Carrey in Yes Man, and a spontaneous viewing of He's Just Not That Into You can help explain the Easter Bunny's prolonged tardiness to a curious college student.
Martial Arts History Museum's exhibits chronicle martial arts' role in two stories: the histories of prominent Asian countries, and the cultural influence of Asian countries on America. Through paintings, musical instruments, and theatrical displays, the nonprofit organization's exhibits cover the origins and growth of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines. As they trace those histories, they also zoom in on major events such as the Boxer Rebellion and the relationship between martial arts and Asian arts such as Chinese opera and Japanese Taiko drumming.
Fittingly for a museum whose designers included artists from Disney and The Simpsons, the space also contains a media section. Portions of this section analyze pop-culture staples such as Kung Fu Panda and Avatar: The Last Airbender, and other parts display movie memorabilia such as Ralph Macchio's headband from The Karate Kid, though his socks are kept in a hidden location known only to the world's three richest kings. The museum also hosts frequent events and classes that range from sushi seminars to sword-cutting performances.
Nestled in the historic Rancho Santa Anita?a homestead originally inhabited by the Gabrieleno Tongva tribe?Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden houses wildlife and plants from all over the globe on 127 acres. Its creators opened the Arboretum in 1947 to promote environmental awareness in a sanctuary that reflects the distinct history, flora, and culture of southern California. The grounds reflect the founders' aim?hummingbirds flutter among the colorful blooms in the Grace Kallam Perennial Garden, and wildflowers, herbs, and veggies spring to life at the hands of community volunteers in the educational Garden for All Seasons. Tropical and temperate blossoms embellish the Meyberg waterfall's sun-drenched stone face and blue-gum trees stand guard in front of the Queen Anne cottage, one of several historic sites that was constructed in 1885 to encapsulate Victorian opulence. Peacocks and great egrets strut among living plant collections, which explode into flowery canopies whenever the right garden sprites are available to aid in pollination.
Members often gain exclusive access to the Arboretum's slate of events, which includes workshops, tours, Yoga in the Garden, and live music performances in the summer months. The Arboretum Summer Nights series kicks off with David Correa and Cascada on July 11, followed by Sour Mash Hug Band on July 25, Ooks of Hazzard on August 1, and closes out with Steve Rushingwind on August 8. Summer camps reawaken brains that usually hibernate until September, and Bookworms Story Time captures attention year-round. Members can also take advantage of free tram rides during SpringTopia on May 3?4.
Moving picture began by depicting a horse running at full gallop, and has now evolved into visually stimulating films like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Planet of the Apes, which can all be seen at The Hollywood Museum. Visitors meander through a 35,000-square-foot, four-floor maze of more than 10,000 authentic movie props, costumes, and memorabilia. Previously a Prohibition-era speakeasy, the subterranean floor beckons patrons down Hannibal Lecter's The Silence of the Lambs jail corridor into the full cell used in the film, storing spine-tingling treasures such as his muzzling mask. First-floor doors open into Max Factor's restored makeup rooms, which border Cary Grant's Rolls-Royce and The Wizard of Oz's ruby slippers, which tempt visitors to slip them on and teleport to Kansas. Costumes, props, awards, and photos crowd the upper two floors, where Sylvester Stallone's Razzie for Worst Actor of the Century finds a home next to threads that once hugged Marilyn Monroe's legendary curves. In the past, rotating exhibits have showcased such items as a script and autographed poster from Slumdog Millionaire, duds modeled by the quick-stepping cast of High School Musical 3, and rows of awards for TV shows and particularly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious spelling-bee performances.