Yesterday, I went on an adventure since it was the LA Arboretum free day. Every third Tuesday of the month you can go to both the LA Arboretum and Descanso Gardens for free. If you have the time both places are worth seeing so I would recommend planning to spend a few hours at each location. Parking is free at both locations so this really is a great option for something to do by yourself or with family and friends without having to spend a lot of money. Please note that free days do require that you book a ticket online in advance. You’ll find the ticket link at the bottom of this post. 

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If you can’t make it on a free day you can always enjoy the arboretum at a low price through Streetfood Cinema over the summer. Be sure to look for discounted tickets for Streetfood Cinema on Goldstar.

la arboretum free day

My first visit here was for a Beach Boys concert a few years ago. This is such a fun place to see a concert so if you’re in the area be sure to check out the music schedule for the summer. The only bummer about that concert is that I wasn’t able to explore.

The arboretum and botanical gardens are the perfect places to come and enjoy nature. This is such a fantastic place to walk around. It was much bigger than I thought which was a nice surprise. Since I went on a free day I was able to walk right in. I immediately saw several peacocks. They were really loud which freaked me out a bit when I could hear them but couldn’t see them. However, they were harmless and really fun to look at.

los angeles arboretum botanical gardens

Even though I enjoyed exploring the various areas of the arboretum and botanical gardens I was really excited to see the places that have been seen in movies and tv shows. Various areas have been used as a filming location on and off since 1936. Two of the Jurassic Park movies filmed scenes here and the house pictured below was used in Fantasy Island and Murder, She Wrote.

la arboretum botanical garden

The Queen Anne cottage is a California historical landmark and a beautiful building. I can see why it has been used as a filming location. A few years ago they started giving tours of the inside of the cottage so you might want to ask when you arrive if tours are being offered while you are there. This must be one of the most popular places to see at the Arboretum because it was one of the few places where I saw other people.

los angeles arboretum botanical gardens

The next time that I’m here I want to check out the Santa Anita Depot which has some railroad memorabilia and has been used as a filming location. I wanted to save a few things for when I come back with my family or friends. It is $9 if you do not go on a free day and it is worth the price of admission. However, if you’re available to go to the LA Arboretum free day I highly encourage you to go. Not only will you be able to get in some exercise with all of the walkings you will do but it is such a beautiful place to explore.

You can find free day tickets here.

Interested in checking out their special event the Moonlight Forest Lantern Art Festival? Find discounted tickets on Goldstar.

About The Author

Michelle Mink is the founder and creative director of LA Dreaming. I have a passion for Southern California and love sharing about 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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