Activities & Resources
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden551in Arcadia, CA 91007
about Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden:
The Los Angeles Arboretum is well worth the drive for a pleasant afternoon of walking and playing. The 127-acres of plants are divided by the continent of origin.
Children will want to linger by the shores of Baldwin Lake, to search for turtles sunning on the rocks or the families of ducks and geese who have settled among the reeds. Be sure to take the window-peeking tour of the Queen Anne Cottage, the summer house of turn-of-the-century millionaire "Lucky" Baldwin, perfectly furnished in its original splendor. Also open are the Coach House, a wonderful wooden barn, and the Hugo Reid Adobe, a restored structure from the Spanish Colonial era. There's an odd little collection of African-style grass huts - reportedly left over from when early Tarzan movies were filmed here - which makes a great place for pretend play.
Roaming peacocks (they won't be caught; it's been tried, believe me), bamboo groves, water falls, rose gardens, fountains; all are here; paved paths wind their way throughout. A tram, costing $2 and driven by guides, makes a circuit every half-hour between 11am and 3pm.
Another treat for kids is the tram that runs around the gardens. Schedules change all the time; if there's a tram-lover in the family, it's a good idea to call ahead for the schedule.
The Arboretum Nature Nuts Summer Camp offers kids between the ages of eight and 12 the opportunity to find out about strange and wonderful plants and water features, play nature games and go on nature expeditions. Kids also learn to cook from the garden, make natural crafts and garden art, and plant seedlings: flowers, veggies, herbs, and more.
Food: Try the Peacock Cafe for lunch and snacks; it's open from 9am-4:30pm (closed on Mondays). Or you can bring lunch to the picnic grounds, just outside the Arboretum, south of the main parking lot. Food is not allowed on the grounds; feeding the gardens' many wild animals is also a no-no.
Admission to the Arboretum is free on the third Tuesday of every month; however, the tram does not run on free days.
The California Philharmonic Orchestra performs its summer series of outdoor concerts here.