Now that the kiddies are officially on Winter break here in LA, I’ve had to plan a few extra special outing just to keep my little ones from going stir crazy. Although the weather has been pretty cold here, to LA standards, the days have been relatively clear and sunny. So I have been trying to incorporate as much of the outdoors as possible.  While going to our favorite park is always fun, sometimes we need a little change of atmosphere. Luckily for us, there is a gem of a botanical garden located not too far from our house that we love to visit. 

Spanning over 87 acres of reclaimed land, the SouthCoast Botanical Garden is a favorite spot of ours when we need to reconnect with nature. Home to over twelve specialty gardens, hiking trails, small lake, and even some local critters, the SCBG is a tranquil release amid the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city. Located in Rancho Palos Verdes the South Coast Botanical Garden was founded in 1961 and sits on what was originally a mining site during the early 1900s. Once mining commenced, some 50 odd years later, the city of Los Angeles bought and utilized the land as a trash receptacle center. Yes, you read that correctly. Before the founding of the South Coast Botanical Garden, the land was used as a landfill. In a fascinating and astonishing use of land reclamation, “one man’s trash became one man’s treasure” and the SCBG was created.

Unlike most botanical gardens, the SCBG is not just your typical showcase of flora and fauna. From walking tours to kids camps, the SouthCoast Botanical Garden serves as a community hub by offering children and their families a chance to get out and explore nature. So whether you decide to just meander through the gardens or take advantage of the various activities offered by the SCBG, you’ll find there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

But before you start planning your visit, there are a few things that are good to know. Admission is free every third Tuesday of the month. So if it is your first time visiting this is a great opportunity to take advantage of.  On any other given day, (Sunday through Saturday 10am-5pm) entrance into the garden cost $9 per adult and $2 for children five years and older. Parking is always free and usually abundant. It is also good to know that when visiting the South Coast Botanical Garden there are a few rules or “garden etiquette” that visitors must abide by. Besides keeping a peaceful atmosphere and respecting the environment no outside food, music, or picnic blankets are allowed in the gardens. Although a more than ideal spot for a picnic, the SCBG asks visitors to keep food to the designated picnic benches located outside the main entrance. 

So whether you are looking to keep the little ones occupied or simply enjoy the outdoors the SouthCoast Botanical Garden is the ideal location. For more information on planning your visit, make sure to check out their website


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