I’ve lived in Los Angeles for a few years now and have heard a lot about the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino (right near the border of South Pasadena) but had never been there. Well, this week we finally went to check it out!
I was a little nervous because this was one of my first outings with the baby and toddler by myself but it was a huge success!
Parking was easy and free (score!) Admission prices to the park depend on the day you go so check HERE for prices. I paid $25 for myself and the two little ones were free.
Once we headed in, we went straight to the Children’s Garden. It was amazing! There were miniature fountains that the children could splash in and get wet. (Side note: a bathing suit and an extra set of clothes would have been a good idea.)
There was a prism tunnel where the children could crawl through and see halos of light and color. They could make music with pebbles, play with magnetic sand, play with a vibrating fountain that would make the water bubble up and appear to be dancing. There’s also a fog grotto that was a lot of fun.
It is a beautiful area where you enter through a tiny, children sized blue door. My three year old loved it! She didn’t want to leave.
However, mom wanted to explore some of the other gardens. 😊
There are so many! More than you can explore in one day (at least when you have a baby and toddler with you, that is).
Here is a list of the gardens:
- Australian Garden
- California Garden
- Camellia Garden
- Children’s Garden
- Chinese Garden
- Desert Garden
- Herb Garden
- Japanese Garden
- Jungle Garden
- Lily Ponds
- Palm Garden
- Ranch Garden
- Rose Garden
- Shakespeare Garden
- Subtropical Garden
The Japanese Garden was one of my favorite spots. There was a large pond with a bridge that connected one side to another. There was a beautiful Japanese House, a ceremonial tea house, lots of beautiful trees and flowers, and lots of water. It was absolutely magical! There were benches everywhere to stop and take in the amazing scenery.
Another one of my favorite gardens was the rose garden. I have never seen so many different colored roses! My daughter loved running up and down an arbor-covered pathway lined with roses.
We also loved the huge grass area that surrounded a beautiful 17th century Italian fountain. This is considered the North Vista and Camellia’s area. There was lots of room for my daughter to run around and play. This particular garden area was surrounded with flowers and sculptures, with the fountain right in the middle.
There is art and culture everywhere throughout the gardens! They have an American Art building as well as a European Art building. There are over 650 paintings and 440 sculptures.
In addition to the gardens and art buildings, they also have a famous library full of 420,000 rare books and seven million manuscripts. Needless to say, the library is HUGE! You need a whole day just to explore this awesome, historic library.
All in all, we had an amazing day at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. We spent most of our time exploring the gardens but would love to explore more of the library next time.
If you visit the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend you make a trip here. The kids will love the Children’s Garden as well as the rest of the beautiful grounds. There are benches everywhere to stop and take a break and to just take in the gorgeous surroundings. Even though I went by myself with a baby and my three year old, it was still very relaxing and peaceful. There is something about those gardens that just sets you at ease.
Also, make sure to check the calendar ahead of time! They often have lots of interesting tours and classes going on for the public.
For other awesome ideas on where to take your little ones, check out http://toddlinaroundtidewater.blogspot.com/?m=1. This blog is run by another amazing mom sharing about where she loves taking her son and other awesome mom stories!