The Huntington Library is a popular place to visit in Southern California. What began in 1902 as a private home has turned into so much more than a traditional library. Beyond books and art, you’ll also find several different types of gardens. You can easily spend hours walking around the property. If you have a flexible schedule you can skip the $25 ticket fee by going to the Huntington library free day.

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How To Get Tickets To The Huntington Library Free Day

the huntington library & gardens

Tickets for Huntington Library free days are given out on the last Thursday of every month at 9 a.m. The tickets are good for the first Thursday of the following month. For example, on August 31st the tickets for September 7th will become available. Starting at 9 am you can fill out the ticket request form here. You can only request up to five tickets and every member of your group including babies needs a ticket. If you are planning to go with a larger group you will need to have a second person to help get tickets.

the huntington chinese gardens

Recently, both my husband and I attempted to get free tickets. He was on the website before I was and while they say the number in the virtual queue for tickets is random he got a low number and I had the number 1975. Since I had such a high number the free tickets were gone before I got to the ticket page but luckily he was able to get them. The free tickets are very popular so it is not guaranteed that you will be able to get one. But, definitely try before you pay for a ticket.huntington library gardensThe downside to the free tickets? They sell out incredibly fast. I have checked the website within three minutes of the tickets going live and have seen them all gone. If you want to try to go to The Huntington Library Free Day it is possible but you will need to be prepared by being on the website before 9 am.

If you are unable to get the free tickets but want to check out several fun things to do in Los Angeles consider the Go LA Pass. It includes admissions to the Huntington Library, Warner Bros Studio, and more.

What To Know Before You Go To The Huntington Library

huntington library free day

Botanical Gardens at The Huntington

The Huntington features 16 different botanical gardens. You can find over 15,000 plant varieties across 120 acres. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes and sunscreen as you will be spending a lot of time outdoors. The Children’s Garden is a must-visit if you have little ones with you.

huntington library japanese gardens

Two of my favorite gardens are the Japanese and Rose Garden. Here is a full list of the botanical gardens:  

  • Australian Garden
  • California Garden
  • Camellia Garden
  • Children’s Garden
  • Chinese Garden
  • Conservatory
  • Desert Garden
  • Herb Garden
  • Japanese Garden
  • Jungle Garden
  • Lily Ponds
  • Palm Garden
  • Rach Garden
  • Rose Garden
  • Shakespeare Garden
  • Subtropical Garden

Art Collections

It can be very easy to spend all of your time in the botanical gardens but I want to encourage you to make time to see some of the spectacular art. Especially in the Huntington Gallery which is the former home of the Huntingtons where you can see European Art. A highlight for many visitors is seeing The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough.

  • Huntington Gallery 
  • Virginia Steele Scott Galleries 
  • MaryLou and George Boone Gallery 
  • Research Library

Places to Eat

  • Rose Garden Tea Room

This is one of the most popular places for tea in the Los Angeles area. Admission to The Huntington is required in order to dine at the tea room. Reservations are strongly recommended, some people have even had to wait 3 months for an open time. You can make reservations via Open Table here

  • Red Car Coffee Shop

At the coffee shop, you will find espresso, pastries, ice cream, sandwiches, and other grab-and-go options. 

  • 1919 Cafe

At the cafe, you will find soup, sandwiches, salads, tacos, and tostada bowls. Guests can also purchase wine and beer here. 

  • Freshwater Pavilion

The freshwater pavilion is located in the Chinese Garden. They serve milk tea, iced teas, macaroons, and other treats. They also have grab-and-go options like a noodle salad. 

  • Jade Court Cafe

This cafe is a newer addition serving pot stickers, noddle, and more. 

What To Know Before You Go To The Huntington Library

♥ Parking is free. 

♥ You cannot bring food or a picnic with you. However, there are food options available if you would like to eat here on your visit. The Tea Room is an excellent option if you are bringing your Mom, Grandmother, or your girlfriends.

♥ They are open daily from 10 am-5 pm except for Tuesdays when they are closed.

What Movies Or TV shows Have Filmed At The Huntington Library?

huntington library

The Huntington Library has been used as a filming location for several TV shows and movies. The exteriors for the masquerade ball in A Cinderella Story were filmed near the rose garden. Bridesmaids, The Wedding Planner, Monster-In-Law, and The Holiday are just some examples of movies that have been filmed on a property. Notice how many of the movies are romance-related? I told you it was a great place to bring a date! TV shows that have been filmed here include 90210, The West Wing, The Bachelor, Scandal, and The Good Place.

If you have ever thought about visiting or are looking for something new to do I encourage you to check out the Huntington Library free day when you get a chance.

About The Author

Michelle Ares is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing my adventures and experiences with you. I love to travel, find new places to check out, and watch movies. You can follow me on Instagram @la.dreaming

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