A recently discovered alternative to the indoors, going "outside" offers adventurous explorers exposure to things such as wind, sunshine, and the naturally occurring mazes found in corn fields. Leave the indoors with today's Groupon: for $35, you get a one-year family membership (a $70 value) to the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden in Arcadia.
The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden provides visitors with a 127-acre natural wonderland ready to be explored. Plant your feet, harvest them, and then plant them again in rapid succession to move about the arboretum’s expansive exhibits, which are organized into four continentally themed sections plus one historic circle, or rely on the tram ($4, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.) to transmit you around the grounds. Hungry eyeballs can feast on the visual victuals of more than 18,000 vegetal tenants—including numerous endangered species—occupying the arboretum’s lush real estate, from the floral fireworks of the Grace Kallam Perennial Garden in the Asiatic section to the peculiarly pink blooms of the South American tabebuia trees (also known as pink trumpet trees). The plant life shares its space with a variety of fauna, including peacocks and other small mammals, as well as a number of historical structures, such as a circa-1885 Queen Anne cottage and dome-like “kiys,” or brush shelters, like those used as discotheques by the area’s native Gabrielino/Tongva Indians.
Family membership grants two adults and any number of their under-18 children free access to the arboretum’s weed-free wonders for 365 days—and thanks to the American Horticultural Society’s reciprocal admissions program, members also have wallet-less walk-in privileges at more than 200 other North American gardens, arboreta, and conservatories. Additional perks include invitations to special events, special plant-and-garden book circulation privileges at the arboretum library, and discounts at an array of local nurseries.
- In addition to spectacular flora (every continent is represented here), the Arboretum boasts a bevy of resident peafowl who seem unafraid of humans -- one of the best treats here is being up close when the peacocks, attempting to impress passing hens, unfold their brilliant rainbow plumage. – Frommer's
- Incredibly nice place. Just really, really perfect atmosphere. I loved the paths of trees and plants, different world "zones" of vegetation. – Adam G., Yelp
Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
Nestled in the historic Rancho Santa Anita—a homestead originally inhabited by the Gabrieleno Tongva tribe—Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden houses wildlife and plants from all over the globe on 127 acres. Its creators opened the Arboretum in 1947 to promote environmental awareness in a sanctuary that reflects the distinct history, flora, and culture of southern California. The grounds reflect the founders' aim—hummingbirds flutter among the colorful blooms in the Grace Kallam Perennial Garden, and wildflowers, herbs, and veggies spring to life at the hands of community volunteers in the educational Garden for All Seasons. Tropical and temperate blossoms embellish the Meyberg waterfall's sun-drenched stone face and blue-gum trees stand guard in front of the Queen Anne cottage, one of several historic sites that was constructed in 1885 to encapsulate Victorian opulence. Peacocks and great egrets strut among living plant collections, which explode into flowery canopies whenever the right garden sprites are available to aid in pollination.
Members often gain exclusive access to the Arboretum's slate of events, which includes workshops, tours, Yoga in the Garden, and live music performances in the summer months. The Arboretum Summer Nights series kicks off with David Correa and Cascada on July 11, followed by Sour Mash Hug Band on July 25, Ooks of Hazzard on August 1, and closes out with Steve Rushingwind on August 8. Summer camps reawaken brains that usually hibernate until September, and Bookworms Story Time captures attention year-round. Members can also take advantage of free tram rides during SpringTopia on May 3–4.