Bring Nature to the Family With Night Garden at Descanso Gardens

Los Angeles is home to a dizzying number of attractions that will keep your days action-packed and full of vacation fun, but, when you travel with children, the L.A. nightlife scene isn’t always ideal for keeping the fun going after dark. Instead of opting for the usual, like a movie for nighttime entertainment, head to Descanso Gardens for a unique family night out.

People painting in Descanso Gardens

People painting in Descanso Gardens. Photo: Ehw258 |

Descanso Gardens, located about 20 minutes north of downtown Los Angeles in the city of La Cañada Flintridge, is a peaceful refuge within an otherwise bustling city. The grounds cover 150 acres and include a variety of gardens and habitats such as the Camellia Collection, the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Ancient Forest and the Oak Forest. Numerous species of wildlife can easily be viewed in their natural environments at Descanso, ranging from insects, amphibians and reptiles to birds and mammals like coyotes and deer. Nature’s Table is an edible garden that is a living example of  “farm to table” with its seasonal varieties of fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers.

From now until May, the gardens host a monthly evening event called Night Garden. After the garden closes for its regular day of business, the gates will re-open to let guests experience the park in its natural nighttime habitat. Not only do guests have a rare opportunity to explore the grounds at night, but the park created a unique agenda for each Night Garden event. Each program will showcase the natural beauty of the gardens by providing relaxing and informative activities, entertainment, talks and workshops designed to teach and encourage a respectful and positive relationship with nature.

April’s LA Blooms! event, scheduled for the 6th, will teach guests all they need to know about the beautiful floral life emerging in all its glory as spring gets underway. The final event on May 18, Science Quest, will focus on the biological aspects of the natural environment we live in.

Entrance for the Night Garden is $15 (or just $5 if you’re a member) and the events run 5:30–8:30 pm. Children under the age of 2 receive free admission.