Spring is in the air at The Huntington

By Nadia Urbina, Mar. 15, 2022

The lush trees, evergreen foliage and captivating flowers about to bloom took over The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens on its monthly Free Day on Tuesday, March 1.

Located in San Marino, California, about 30 minutes away from Pomona, The Huntington offers an entrancing and ethereal atmosphere for guests to enjoy nature, fine art and learn about culture. The Huntington, opened in 1928, is a collections-based research and educational institution driven by the arts, humanities and botanical science. Guests and members are enticed to visit due to the picturesque landscaping and 13 themed gardens.

“Definitely our gardens are what we’re most know for,” said Keisha Raine, communications associate for The Huntington. “It’s 128 acres of grounds featuring diverse botanical collections including an expansive Chinese garden, gorgeous Japanese garden and my personal favorite is the Australian dessert garden.”

Courtesy of Office of Communications at the Huntington Library

Pricing varies between the week and weekend with the admission for adults $25 on weekdays and $29 on weekends. Student admission with a valid college ID costs $21 on weekdays and $24 on weekends. The institution also offers a College Card admission that allows any fulltime undergraduate student a year free admission for $36. Those interested in a one-time visit can also take advantage of Free Days tickets that are released to the public the last Thursday of every month at 9 a.m.

“A lot of our programs are available online and they are included with the price of admission. Our programs offer a lot for students in terms of some of the top scholars discussing various topics from gardens, to libraries, to art,” said Raine. “There’s a little bit for everyone.”

Lectures ranging from humanities to American history and culture as well as academic conferences are free to students with prior reservations. These lectures vary from in-person or through Zoom.

Classes and activities are available to children as well. Norma Serano, a member of The Huntington and mother of two twin boys, utilized the outdoor space and children’s garden.

“We like to go to the kid’s garden; there’s a lot of interactive activities for the little ones,” shared Serano, as she watched her toddlers run around a miniature greenhouse that lets children sit down inside and see the leaves and flower petals under a microscope. “This place is really close to the city I live in, and also, it’s a lot of open area. I plan family outings, and this is definitely our No. 1 spot. For the kids, they really like to explore, and this specific area of the garden has a lot of science related things for them to play with and to learn about.”

The Huntington prides itself on being an educational institution, and evidence of this can be seen in their gardens and galleries. Their shrubs, flowers and trees all have a placard next to the roots letting guests know more about the foliage. Guests are also exposed to plants from different regions of the world, all separated into different areas to mimic their native environment.

“I really like the Japanese gardens; it almost gives you the sense that you’ve left and entered into the Japanese culture,” said Stephen Williams, a frequent visitor. “It’s surreal; it’s a very calm environment. To put it in a simple way, when you walk through the bamboo you kind of end up in another world or any emotional state of calm.”

Currently, The Huntington’s art galleries, library and gardens are open to the public. The next Free Day is scheduled for April 7, and reservations will be available on Thursday, March 31 at 9 a.m.

Students interested in attending can visit The Huntington’s website for information and registration.

Feature image courtesy of Office of Communications at the Huntington Library

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