Top 12 Free Things to do in Glendale

Nestled between the San Gabriel Mountains and Los Angeles, Glendale offers both small-town charm and big-city amenities. While many attractions in the Los Angeles area require expensive tickets, Glendale has numerous free activities and entertainment for visitors on any budget.

Walk Along Brand Boulevard and The Americana at BrandExplore downtown Glendale, window shop, enjoy street performances
Visit the Forest Lawn Memorial ParkVisit the cemetery, museums, art, and gardens
Attend a City-Sponsored Event in Downtown GlendaleParticipate in community events, festivals, and concerts
Hike the Trails of Deukmejian Wilderness ParkHiking in a park with natural landscapes and wildlife
Peruse the Weekly Farmer’s MarketExplore local produce and goods at the farmer’s market
Stroll through the Rose Garden at Brand ParkEnjoy over 4,000 rose bushes in a public garden
See a Show at Glendale Community CollegeAttend public dance, music, and theater performances
Relax in Cerritos ParkEnjoy a picnic or relax in a park with an ornamental lake
Visit the Museum & Archives of Brand LibraryExplore Glendale’s history and culture in a museum
Cheer on the Gauchos at Glendale Community CollegeWatch various sporting events at the college
Play Pokémon Go! Around GlendaleEngage in Pokémon Go in various Glendale locations
Experience Magic and Comedy at Flappers Comedy ClubEnjoy free comedy and magic shows

From museums and galleries to outdoor spaces and events, you can experience much of what makes Glendale special without spending a dime. Enjoy art, culture, nature, shopping, sports, and more with this list of top free things to do in Glendale.

Walk Along Brand Boulevard and The Americana at Brand

Name and Location: Brand Boulevard and The Americana at Brand are located in the heart of Glendale, California. Brand runs north-south and the Americana spans both sides.

History and Significance: Brand Boulevard has been the main street of Glendale since the 1800s. The Americana opened in 2008, transforming downtown with retail, dining and entertainment.

What to Expect: Visitors can stroll Brand Boulevard for shopping and dining. The Americana features patio cafes, fountain shows, and activities like ice skating in winter.

Visitor Information: Both are open daily with store hours varying. Parking garages and street parking available. Glendale Beeline bus serves the area.

As the main thoroughfare running through the heart of downtown Glendale, Brand Boulevard offers vibrant pedestrian-friendly sidewalks perfect for strolling. Visitors can window shop at the eclectic mix of stores featuring everything from antiques to the latest fashions.

The sidewalks are lined with trees, outdoor cafes, fountains, and parks inviting stopping to relax. Public art installations add visual interest. Historic architecture like the Alex Theatre and Hotel Glendale also provide beautiful backdrops while walking.

Nearby, The Americana at Brand provides a European-inspired outdoor shopping and dining promenade without any admission needed to enter. Street performers are often found entertaining crowds with music and dance. Both Brand Boulevard and The Americana at Brand allow you to soak in charm without spending money.

Visit the Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Name and Location: Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale is located at 1712 S Glendale Ave.

History and Significance: Founded in 1906, Forest Lawn Glendale is one of the first memorial parks in the US. Many celebrities are buried here.

What to Expect: This 300 acre park features rolling hills, art museums, statues, fountains, and notable graves. Self-guided tour maps available.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily 8am-5pm. Entrance is free. Public programs offered regularly. Metro Bus 201 stops nearby.

This sprawling 300-acre cemetery provides beautiful, contemplative outdoor spaces along with fascinating museums, architecture, and artwork free to the public. Forest Lawn Memorial Park contains elaborate tombs, fountains, courtyards, and blooming gardens perfect for tranquil walks.

Visitors can also access Forest Lawn’s museum housing paintings, stained glass, sculptures, and other precious works by famous artists for no admission fee. Docent-led tours are available to provide context about the park’s art and history. With its beauty and cultural offerings, Forest Lawn Memorial Park is an enriching free experience.

Attend a City-Sponsored Event in Downtown Glendale

Name and Location: Downtown Glendale, centered around Brand Blvd between Broadway and Colorado.

History and Significance: Glendale hosts many community events downtown like festivals, expos, concerts, and block parties.

What to Expect: Events range from food festivals to arts and crafts fairs. Some are one day and others span weekends. Fun for all ages.

Visitor Information: See Glendale’s event calendar. Free parking structures available downtown. Access by Beeline bus.

Throughout the year, Glendale hosts fun community events centered around holidays, arts, food, and culture. Many take place downtown along Brand Boulevard or adjacent parks. Event calendars list plenty of family-friendly options like live music performances, craft fairs, food festivals, and much more.

Popular annual events range from the Armenian Food Festival to craft beer tastings and block parties celebrating Earth Day and Halloween. Glendale really shines during the winter holiday season with elaborate light displays, ice skating, and a parade. Taking part in a city event allows you to mingle with locals and feel the festive community spirit.

Hike the Trails of Deukmejian Wilderness Park

Name and Location: Deukmejian Wilderness Park in Glendale is located at 3429 Markridge Road.

History and Significance: This 700 acre park opened in 2013, named for former governor George Deukmejian. It provides hiking in an urban setting.

What to Expect: Over 7 miles of trails through foothills, canyons and streams. Picnic areas available. Some steep inclines. Dogs allowed on leashes.

Visitor Information: Open daily sunrise to sunset. Free admission and parking. Restrooms onsite. Closed rainy days due to mud.

Just north of downtown, this 709-acre park provides picturesque hiking trails up into the San Gabriel Mountains foothills. The park contains a mix of natural chaparral landscape along with pine and oak forests. Trails range from easy to strenuous inclines.

You can spot wildlife native to the area while exploring the park. Benches are located periodically for resting and enjoying scenic overlooks. Interpretive signs explain facts about the local habitat. With its proximity to central Glendale and free access, Deukmejian Wilderness Park is an easily accessible outdoor retreat.

Peruse the Weekly Farmer’s Market

Name and Location: The Glendale Farmer’s Market takes place on Brand Blvd between Wilson & California.

History and Significance: Running since 1995, the weekly market offers fresh local produce, baked goods, and craft vendors.

What to Expect: Vendors sell fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, food items. Live music and activities occur. Tables are available for eating.

Visitor Information: Held every Saturday from 9am-1pm. Parking garages nearby. PET friendly. Beeline bus accessible.

Every Saturday along Brand Boulevard, local farmers and vendors run lively booths at the downtown farmer’s market. Open from 9am to 1pm, visitors can browse fresh, seasonal produce straight from regional growers.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, the market sells cut flowers, baked goods, jams, honey, and food truck fare. Live music livens up the atmosphere. The compact downtown location makes the farmer’s market easy to incorporate into a day exploring Glendale without having to divert far off course. It offers tasty snacks and take-home goodies.

Stroll through the Rose Garden at Brand Park

Name and Location: The Rose Garden is located within Brand Park at 1601 W Mountain St in Glendale.

History and Significance: The park was a estate donated in 1920. The Rose Garden was added in 1947 and features over 3,500 roses.

What to Expect: Visitors can wander stone pathways through rose beds, fountains, and arbors. Peak blooming is May-June. Ideal for photos.

Visitor Information: Open daily from 6am-10pm. Free admission. Parking available at Brand Library lot. PET friendly.

Found along the southern edge of Brand Park, the rose garden contains over 4,000 rose bushes representing over 140 cultivars. Blooms peak in April and May but plants flower into the fall. The garden features both hybrid tea and floribunda roses in vivid colors and fragrances.

Brick paths meander through the formal flower arrangements and arched trellises. Visitors can identify different rose types using a directory while wandering this sweet-smelling piece of Brand Park. The bright blossoms make this a favorite spot for photos. Best of all, entrance to the rose garden and rest of Brand Park is free.

See a Show at Glendale Community College

Name and Location: Glendale Community College Performing Arts Center, 1500 N Verdugo Rd.

History and Significance: The GCC PAC opened in 1991. It hosts student and professional music, theater and dance productions throughout the year.

What to Expect: The 1,140 seat theater presents high quality shows spanning many genres at affordable rates.

Visitor Information: Show schedule and tickets available online. Parking lots onsite. GCC Dash shuttle accessible.

This community college hosts public dance, music, and theater performances in its auditoriums and black box theater spaces. From big band concerts to cabarets and one-act plays, the schedule always contains affordable events across artistic genres.

Many shows are completely free. At others, tickets run just $3-5 per person, allowing visitors on even the tightest budget to experience live performing arts. Performance schedules are posted for fall and spring semesters. Supporting the talented students provides free cultural enrichment.

Relax in Cerritos Park

Name and Location: Cerritos Park is located in Glendale at 3750 San Fernando Road.

History and Significance: Cerritos Park was created in 1920. It offers green space, recreation, and events in downtown Glendale.

What to Expect: The park spans 6 acres with lawns, trees, picnic areas, playground, gazebo, and wading pool. Community events held regularly.

Visitor Information: Open daily 8am-10pm. Free admission. Metered street parking nearby. Walkable from Brand Blvd.

Found near City Hall in downtown Glendale, this small but lovely park provides green space amidst the city. Willow trees shade expansive lawns ringed by restored historic homes now serving as offices. An ornamental lake sits at the park’s center and is home to ducks, turtles, and other wildlife.

Visitors can enjoy a picnic on the grass or rest on benches dotted around the park. An adjacent children’s playground has swings and slides. Cerritos Park’s fountains and flowers further enhance its beauty. This oasis of nature and historic charm costs no money to visit.

Visit the Museum & Archives of Brand Library

Name and Location: The Museum & Archives of Brand Library is located at 1601 W Mountain St.

History and Significance: Founded in 1956, Brand Library has archival collections related to Glendale history and California art.

What to Expect: The library has art exhibits, lecture series, and research archives. The museum holds Glendale historical items.

Visitor Information: Free admission. Open Tu-Sa 12pm-8pm. Parking at Brand Park. Tours available by appointment.

Inside the historic Brand Library building, this free museum displays exhibits about the history and culture of Glendale and the surrounding region. Visitors can explore the photo archives, see Native American artifacts, and learn about past community events and leaders.

Rotating art exhibits feature local artists and topics like the citrus growing industry’s influence on the area. Interactive children’s programs take place periodically. The museum provides free opportunities to understand Glendale’s rich heritage through art, objects, photos, and educational materials.

Cheer on the Gauchos at Glendale Community College

Name and Location: Glendale Community College Athletics – 1500 N Verdugo Rd.

History and Significance: GCC has fielded competitive sports teams since 1969 known as the Vaqueros. Sports include football, basketball, baseball, and more.

What to Expect: Catch Vaqueros games throughout the year on campus. Team spirit, affordable tickets, and concession stands onsite.

Visitor Information: Game schedules posted online. Parking lots available for events. Dash shuttle accessible.

Glendale Community College fields over a dozen varsity athletic teams across sports including baseball, basketball, football, track and field, swimming, and more. The college’s gymnasium and stadiums host energetic competitions where you can cheer for the Gauchos.

Check the schedules for upcoming events and seasons. As community college teams, these events provide high-level sports with an approachable, hometown atmosphere. Supporting the student-athletes makes for a fun, free activity.

Play Pokémon Go! Around Glendale

Name and Location: PokéStops and Gyms are located throughout Glendale. Top spots include Brand Blvd, Central Park, Americana at Brand.

History and Significance: Glendale has many locations tied to the popular Pokémon Go mobile game. Players can explore while catching Pokémon!

What to Expect: Walk around downtown to spin Pokéstops for items and battle gyms. Search for rare Pokémon. Meet other players.

Visitor Information: Free to play. Download the app on a mobile device. Bring portable phone chargers and power banks!

The augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go has seen a major resurgence in popularity lately. Glendale provides a dynamic place to hunt Pokémon with its historic neighborhoods, parks, college campus, shopping districts, mountain forest trails, and other locales.

Visit the Alex Theatre to catch some Psychic types or head to Palmer Park to find Grass, Bug, and Water types. The game is free to download and play. Exploring Glendale through the lens of Pokémon Go leads you to new spots while adding some friendly competition.

Experience Magic and Comedy at Flappers Comedy Club

Name and Location: Flappers Comedy Club, 102 E Magnolia Blvd in downtown Glendale.

History and Significance: Flappers opened in 1978, pioneering comedy clubs in Southern California. It hosts standup shows and magic acts.

What to Expect: Intimate comedy shows in a historical venue. Talented lineup of comedians. Full bar and food menu available.

Visitor Information: Show schedule and tickets online. Two drink minimum. Valid ID required. Paid parking lot behind club.

Flappers Comedy Club located in downtown Glendale offers free comedy and magic shows every week. Amateur comedians and magicians try out new material on Sunday nights. On Tuesdays, students from Hollywood’s Magic Castle perform an impromptu cabaret-style magic show.

While there is a two-item minimum for the paid shows on weekends, the Sunday and Tuesday free shows have no requirements. Enjoy up-close stand-up routines and sleight-of-hand tricks at no cost. Laughing is one of the best free activities around.


Glendale provides plenty of opportunities to experience the city’s vibrant arts, culture, shopping, and outdoor offerings without emptying your wallet. The walkable downtown along Brand Boulevard offers historic architecture, public art, and a lively urban energy. Tranquil green spaces, hiking trails, and blooming gardens invite you to unwind amidst nature.

Explore the city’s heritage through exhibits and architecture. Take part in community-wide events and performances that showcase local talent. With these free things to do, Glendale offers an engaging budget-friendly getaway in the Los Angeles area.

The family-friendly city has activities for all interests from sports to music to food. Trying a new restaurant, browsing eclectic shops, and strolling tree-lined neighborhoods all come with no price tag attached. Glendale invites visitors to slow down and appreciate the finer things in life that don’t cost anything.

From the Rose Garden at Brand Park to comedy evenings at Flappers, enjoy the top free activities Glendale has to offer.

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