Gamble House: Special Summer Tours

Venture into rarely seen spaces at the Craftsman gem.

Summertime? It's a stretch when a number of pastimes and destinations shutter, or at least observe more relaxed hours, and a no-rush, no-fuss, let's-not-overdo-it schedule takes hold.

This is understandable, totally, what with the heat and the fluctuating schedules of families during the season. But there are a few places that add fresh happenings when the temperature heads upward, destinations that weave a special something into the schedule during a time period when activities are often stripped back.

The Gamble House in Pasadena greets the summer with some unique goings-on, including both Family Tours and Upstairs Downstairs walk-arounds, too.

The Family Tour has a fantastic twist: It's headed by a former junior docent, which means a high school student, trained in the facts, tales, and quirks of the Craftsman landmark, will be at the lead.

Created for guests ages 5 to 16, and their parents, the Family Tour includes a "find and seek" element as well as an approach that connects young fans of architecture with one of the great houses of Southern California.

The dates? "(S)elect Sundays in July," and, you bet, spots do fill up.

And starting on July 27, the Upstairs Downstairs Tour returns, giving Gamble House mavens a chance to view the servants' quarters. This tour has been on the home's schedule before, but note that "(n)ew information recently emerged about the Gamble family and their servants" which allows docents "to share more of the personal history of those who lived and worked at 4 Westmoreland Place."

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Upstairs Downstairs runs through Sunday, Aug. 13.

As with all limited-time tours, tickets do often sell out, so look into either, or both, before the lingering days of summer meld into fall. 

Also? The Gamble House, as always, offers its slate of traditional, year-round tours, too.

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