I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life, only miles away from the Los Angeles Arboretum. Even though it was just minutes down the road I really never visited except for school functions like taking Senior portraits around the grounds. That changed completely after I had my son – it has become my family’s new, huge playground complete with fountains, ponds, a waterfall, oak grove, orchid greenhouse and historic home. To say we love this San Gabriel Valley treasure is an understatement.
When it comes to botanical gardens in the San Gabriel Valley, the Arboretum might not be quite as lush as some other locales, but their gardens are beautiful when in bloom and I love that is is much more accessible, which makes you feel like it belongs to you. Your family can enjoy a picnic on the lawn, then your kids can explore the eucalyptus grove or engage in a game of tag without feeling like you’re doing something you shouldn’t be. You can feed the ducks, geese, fish and turtles the bread you’ve saved from home. It’s your garden and you are welcome to enjoy it.
The Arboretum has many events throughout the year such as Pasadena Pops concerts, art shows, plant sales, and lectures. Maybe you’ll choose to stroll through the historic train depot and Queen Anne Cottage and see what life was like for Elias “Lucky” Baldwin. Kids can have a fun summer learning about nature through the Arboretum Summer Nature Camp which runs June through August.
Admission for an adult is only $8.00 and children 5-12 are $3.00. Kids under five years old are free! The best value I believe is the Family Membership which is only $75.00 and allows two adults and all your children to enter. Here’s the bonus: with a membership you also have free admission to more than 270 participating gardens throughout the United States and Canada!