Here is something fun for your whole family to do this New Year weekend - go take a look at the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade floats up close. You can see the floats on New Year's Day from 1-5pm for the general public. On January 2nd the floats are available for viewing from 7am - 9am for seniors and people with disabilities and from 9am-5pm for the general public. Tickets are $10, children under 5 are free. Ticket sales end at 2:30. Depending on the age of your children you can expect to spend 1-2 hours seeing the floats. Full information and float location is available here.
I highly recommend making the pilgrimage to see the floats. Your kids will enjoy themselves because the floats are huge and some of them have animals or aliens or other kid friendly things. For those of us who can appreciate all the creativity and the work that went into building them, the sight is really wonderful.
The website recommends that you park in one of the listed parking lots and take one of the continuously running shuttles. Now, typically, I hate doing that and I will park blocks and blocks away from something so as not to have to ride a shuttle. But I recommend the shuttle in this case. There really is very little parking and, as the display area is quite large, you will do plenty of walking as it is. The shuttle is $3 per rider, round-trip. Children under 5 ride for free.
Since you've gone all the way over there, why not continue your adventure and take in one of the great Chinese restaurants in the area? This part of Los Angeles is home to some of the best cooking in a wide variety of Chinese styles, from vegetarian to Hunan. And remember, a long noodle is lucky on New Year's Day (I know this is for Chinese New Year but why not borrow the tradition and eat a lucky noodle or two?) Click here for Yelp's most highly recommended Chinese restaurants in Pasadena.
Wishing each of you a wonderful, healthy and prosperous New Year!