Except, this particular field trip happened on a Monday.
With Maga in town, and the girls out of school, we thought we’d continue our field trips here and there.
A good friend recommended we take her to the Huntington Botanical Gardens, just because it’s beautiful. So we packed up the car and drove out there for the day.
I’d say off the bat, that a membership there would be worth it if you can go three or more times. The gardens are very open and spacious, and a good place to let the kids run around and be outdoors, especially during the summer months.
And on that note, when bringing children, I would encourage packing a backpack of food, drinks and snacks. You technically aren’t allowed to take any outside food into the grounds, but there is an area before you enter where you can sit and eat before exploring. If anything, we found the food inside the cafes and tea houses were a little overpriced for what it was.
There is a lot to see — beginning with Huntington’s old home with all the European Art collection. My kids were not as interested to stay in the building (granted that everything else was outdoors), but we did go into the hall where the Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough was located.
We were able to go around a little bit and explore the library. The girls sat on typical chairs the Huntingtons would sit on back in their time.
Needless to say, we didn’t enter the American Art museum because the girls just wanted to stay in the gardens.
The Rose Garden is very colorful, and reminds me distinctly of Beauty and the Beast’s Gardens. Who knew there would be more than one type of rose? I didn’t.
We also downloaded a QR scanner on our phones to learn a little bit more about the roses in that garden.
My personal favorite was the Japanese Garden.
The docent explained that the Japanese Garden was a surprise gift by Mr. Huntington to his wife. She didn’t like it at first but then she eventually grew accustomed to it. They used to have tea in the Japanese tea house up the hill. This was transported out of Japan during the great earthquake in the early 1900s and brought here.
I love that the girls get a little bit of history as they appreciate some natural beauty all around them.
The Japanese gardens also have a Bonsai Court — my guess is it’s Jamie’s favorite since she said “all the trees are smaller than me!”
We walked past the Chinese Gardens too, and some Lily Ponds to get to the Desert Gardens, which was sprawled very widely. There were a lot of cacti. And a lot of animals as well — I think the girls liked these gardens best.
I would go to the restrooms before heading over to these gardens — you wouldn’t want to rush through cacti when you need it!
Before we left for the afternoon, we went through the Brody Botanical Center, which housed a learning lab for the kids. It was pretty humid inside, but the girls still loved going around and trying the different experiments that were laid out.
They loved looking through the microscopes and magnifying glasses to learn about the seeds and plants. There was a whole lot of information to take home.
At the end of the day, our heads and hearts were full as our feet were tired. I feel like a massage at the end would be a great profit-generator for them. You can’t deny though, you’ll definitely get you your steps in!