Activities & Resources
The Huntington552in San Marino, CA 91108
about The Huntington:
Paved pathways make the 150 acres of gardens easy-going for parents with strollers. Toddlers can have a tougher time of it, as there are miles of trails winding up and down hills through the gorgeous gardens, containing some 15,000 varieties of plants, shrubs and trees. Be prepared to stop and rest at any one of the many benches!
There are plenty of interesting things to look for and learn from: a desert garden full of unusual cacti; waterfalls, shaded by lush ferns and flowers, in the tropical section; a perfect Japanese garden, complete with Bonsai, ornamental statues, koi ponds, and a furnished Japanese house; the Shakespeare Garden, a wonderful English-style garden, blooming with color; and an Italian-style garden lined with fountains and statues of Roman gods and goddesses! Don't miss the rose garden - breathtaking to the point of intoxication when it's in bloom.
The Children's Garden was designed with kids ages two to seven in mind, though all are welcome. Its many squirting fountains, "misters," mazes, and underground tunnels create lots of happy squeals - and lots of wet, dirty kids; it's wise to bring along a change of clothes.
Older children will enjoy a look at one of Gutenberg's Bibles and some early editions of Shakespeare's plays, both in the Library, or a serene re-creation of an entire room by Arts & Crafts designers Charles and Henry Greene, in the Virginia Steele Scott Gallery of American Art.
The Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science opened in 2005, and contains a tropical rain forest, a cloud forest, and a bog environment as well as a plant lab where visitors can use real science equipment and perform real experiments.
Picnicking is prohibited, but of course parents may carry drinks and snacks for children. There are refreshment stands near the entrance and gift shop, or, try the English tea in the Rose Garden Tea Room. It can get crowded on weekends; reservations are a good idea.
Check the website for the latest information about special workshops for children (usually $20, including materials plus one free adult admission). Educational as well as fun, these usually run about two and a half hours. During the summer, kids ages five to 12, who are crazy for art and nature, can spend a week with The Huntington Explorers.
Membership: Basic membership is $100 per year and includes free admission for two adults and accompanying children under 18, 10% discount on most merchandise at The Huntington's Bookstore & More, invitations to special members' only events, a festive shopping day during the holiday season, a subscription to The Huntington's bi-monthly newsletter, 10% discount at Smith & Hawken (Pasadena store), and discounts on select lectures and tours.
The Huntington is closed Mondays and major holidays. Summer hours: June through August 10:30am-4:30pm daily, except Monday.