Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, California is an incredible place to visit. If you are looking to spend a day in the great outdoors this is one of the best spots to check out in Southern California. You can walk around, take pictures, or sit on a bench and read a book. Admission is $15 for adults, $11 for seniors and students, and $5 for children 5-12. However, there is a Descanso Gardens free day on the third Tuesday of every month. Parking is always free.

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descanso gardens

What to Know About Descanso Gardens Free Day

  • The Descanso Gardens Free Day takes place on the third Tuesday of every month
  • You must pre-register for a ticket to attend on a free day. The free tickets are released on the first day of each month at 10 am. If the first day of the month is a weekend free tickets will be available on the first Monday.
  • Sometimes the tickets fill up right away and other times you can book them at the last minute. I always recommend planning ahead so you can try and make sure you are able to get them.
  • Tickets are for specific time slots. However, on two occasions I showed up late and had no issues getting in
  • The train does not run on free days

Dates Tickets Will Go Live Each Month in 2023

  • Tickets for 7/18 will be available on 7/3.
  • Tickets for 8/15 will be available on 8/1.
  • Tickets for 9/19 will be available on 9/1.
  • Tickets for 10/17 will be available on 10/2.
  • Tickets for 11/1 will be available on 11/21.
  • Tickets for 12/19 will be available on 12/1.

descanso gardens free day

At the entrance, you can purchase tickets to ride the railroad that goes through various areas of the gardens. The cost is $3 per person or $25 for a booklet of 10 tickets. The train only runs on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for limited hours.

What surprised me the most about Descanso Gardens is how large it is. There is a rose garden, a Japanese garden, a camellia garden, an oak forest, and so much more. In addition to all of the beautiful scenery, there are two other points of interest, the Boddy House, and the Sturt Haaga Gallery. Both of these buildings are included with your admission. This is a great way to see some art and learn more about the gardens.

I visited in the spring but I would love to come back in the fall for the Carved event as well as in November or December for the Enchanted: Forest of Light. It is a nighttime event that lights up a one-mile area of the gardens. I have heard a lot of good things about it so I can’t wait to check it out for myself.

descanso gardens la
There is so much beauty here that it is a perfect place to take pictures. This would be such a fun place to take family or engagement photos. Almost everywhere you look here you will find a picturesque spot. Descanso Gardens has been used as a filming location for a few movies like Legally Blonde and Four Christmases. If you’re hungry while you are here you can eat at Maple Restaurant or Café Descanso.

You can find the Descanso Gardens free day tickets here.

Interested in other gardens you can visit for free? You can check out the Huntington Library and the LA Arboretum.

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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