Shopping or Nature?

This past weekend, I had to go buy a new tennis racquet for Sunday.  We packed the family in the car and headed over to Westfield Shoppingtown Mall (not a generic name at all) to shop at Sports Chalet.  Now, I’m not a fan of shopping in general and malls, specifically, but it was such a nice day, the last thing I expected was to spend 15 minutes driving around looking for parking.  We eventually found a space close to Baldwin Ave. and hiked over to & through the mall to get my racquet.

After spending 20 minutes there, I had to get out.  The lightbulb went off.  The Arboretum is just down the street from the mall.  Imagine my chagrin when I pulled into the parking lot and immediately found parking.  While there were many people there, we kept seeing the same 20 or so people and the other people were there for a wedding. 

Madagascar Garden
Madagascar Garden

Los Angeles has so many natural wonders that go unvisited. I have friends who are in their 40s, born and raised in Los Angeles who haven’t been to the Arboretum since a 5th grade field trip.  Or the transplants who’ve lived here for a few years and have never even heard of the place. The last time we went to the Arboretum was in April and we were blown away by the changes that have taken place with new art installations and revamped gardens.

Sunday, Oct. 26th, the Arboretum will be hosting a Halloween Family Festival:

Come dressed in your favorite Halloween costume for great photo opportunities and spend a fun- filled day celebrating fall, nature, and, of course, Halloween! Explore the wonders of The Arboretum – Slither Along the Serpent Trail, Creep Through the Catawampus, Scavenger Hunt Around the Historical Section, go on the Scratch and Sniff Tour of the Herb Garden, and Journey Through the Tropical Jungle!

You can find out more infomation on the website for the Arboretum.  Even if you don’t make it there this weekend, just remember that it is there.  For urban gardeners, it’s a must see to learn about drought-tolerant/native plantings.  There are classes for such and many gardens laid out.  There are a couple of vegetable gardens on-site.  This helps us in Southern California figure out what can be planted and when during our long growing season.

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is located at 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA, 91007.
Open daily from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; admission closes at 4:30 pm.
Arboretum members are admitted free. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors (62 and over), $5 for students with ID,and $2.50 for children 5- 12. Children under 5 are admitted free.
Parking is free.
The Arboretum is a 127-acre botanical garden and historical site jointly operated by the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information, call 626-821-3222.

10 thoughts on “Shopping or Nature?”

  1. I’ve noticed the same sort of thing at museums on weekends. People here shop for amusement and do little for enrichment culturally it seems. I’ve been to the Arboretum on a weekend as well as LACMA twice on Saturdays in the past couple months. Both were sparse in attendance.

    It calls to mind the cliche about the only culture here being in the yogurt– but that’s not true. There is a strong cultural life in LA with a lot of options but so many people just don’t seem that interested.

  2. Fraz, I don’t even have your number, but I did think of you while there. I only have a little digital camera, but I’d love to go with you to shoot some photos.

    Chal, I have noticed that too, but we went to the Getty the weekend before last and it was packed! Maybe it’s my preference, but I’m not dazzled by the Getty’s offerings, but it amazes that that museum can pull such a huge crowd ($10 parking!), yet LACMA is deader than a weekend at a commuter school.

  3. I drive by the Arboretum at least twice a week and every time I think, “I’ve really got to stop and spend an afternoon there.” And yet…

    I haven’t been since at least the fifth grade, maybe earlier. I’ve really got to stop and spend an afternoon there.

  4. faboomama I’d gladly go on a shoot with you or vice-versa.

    The Getty Villa by far is by far one of my most favorite museums. The old version was nice but very packed. When the new one opened and they remodeled this one, wow what an impact both places made. The Getty Villa is a very cool place to introduce kids to antiquities and they have a great play area for them to help them retain what they saw that day.

    There is ample culture and places to go to soak it in. I think people get so busy in their grind they forget what LA has to offer. I think part of the problem is that malls have worked so hard at being the new main street that people forget there is more to the city than shopping.

  5. Shoot, faboomama, I don’t know who you’re talking about. I took a day off last week and drove all the way down to Santa Ana from Agoura Hills just to see the last day of the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the Bowers Museum.

  6. Darleene is my hero. Even I didn’t get a chance to see the Warriors and I pretty much guilted everyone I know into going down there.

    Fraz, I know what mean. And I’m not faulting anyone, but I hear so often after our excursions, “Oh, I’ve always meant to visit there.” This is my push: Visit!

  7. I’m up for a crawl.

    And the Terracotta Warriors were here? Damn! I saw them in Xi’an, China last year, but would’ve liked to have seen them again here. They are amazing. (If anyone’s interested, pics begin here: )

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