Rose Parade Float Viewing

How to See the Floats Up Close

Post Parade Float Viewing in Pasadena
••• Post Parade Float Viewing in Pasadena. Doug Carlson/Flickr/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

If you're dying to see those gorgeous Rose Parade floats up close, don't go to the parade. There's a much better way to get a good look at them and take their photos than standing on the street, trying to hold your camera over everyone else's head.

At the Post Parade viewing,  you can see those artistic creations up close. Here's how it works:

After the Rose Parade ends, all of those fantastic floral masterpieces park along Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards in Pasadena.

To see them, you pay a small admission fee, but you can get close to them and stay as long as you like. If you're curious about how they are made, volunteers will be there to answer questions.

Admission to the float viewing is less expensive than a night at the movies and children age 5 and under get in free. 

When to Go to the Rose Parade Float Viewing

Float viewing starts mid-day after the parade ends —January 1 unless it's a Sunday and then it's January 2 — and continues for the next two days.

The first afternoon is very crowded. If you would prefer not to be packed in with all those other gawkers, get there when they open on the two days after the parade.

You can also avoid crowds by being kind to someone else. Take a senior citizen or a disabled person with you, and you can get in two hours before the general public.

What You Need to Know About Rose Parade Float Viewing: Practical Tips

  • Ticket lines get long on site. You can buy tickets online and avoid that long wait when you're anxious to get in.
  • You can't bring pets into the viewing area. Of course, assistance animals are permitted.
  • You can bike to the gate, but can't take your bicycle inside. You can't go in on roller skates, Segways or skateboards, either.
  • All strollers, backpacks, purses, bags and the like will be searched as you enter.
  • Food and drink options are limited. You can bring small quantities of food and non-alcoholic drinks with you - but no big coolers.
  • Baby strollers can be hard to manage at this event because of crowds and uneven terrain. Wagons are not allowed.
  • If you view all the floats, you'll walk about 2.5 miles, and it will take at least two hours.You'll be happy you wore your comfortable shoes by the time you're done.
  • If you also want to watch the floats being put together, here's how to see the pre-parade float decorating.
  • To find out about options for watching the parade in person or enjoying other Rose Parade events, check the complete guide to the Rose Parade.

How to Get There

The easiest way to get to the viewing area is to take a Park and Ride Shuttle to the viewing area from any of these three Pasadena locations. The ride costs a few dollars per person (kids 5 and under are free), but when you arrive, you get priority entrance.

If you have a car full of people, it may be less expensive to try one of the paid lots near Pasadena High School.

On January 1 and 2, you can also take the Metro Gold Line to the Sierra Madre station, where you can get a shuttle to the viewing area.

If you need more information, you can find it on the Rose Parade website.