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Descanso Gardens

  • Attractions
  • La Cañada
  • price 1 of 4
  1. Descanso Gardens, los angeles, california
    Photograph: Courtesy Descanso Gardens
  2. Descanso Gardens
    Photograph: Michael Juliano
  3. Descanso Gardens
    Photograph: Michael Juliano
  4. Descanso Gardens
    Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano

Time Out says

Reservations currently required.

This delightful tribute to the horticultural magic of Southern California includes more than 600 varieties of camellia (these are best seen between the middle of February and early May, when there are around 34,000 of the plants in bloom) and some five acres of roses. There are also lilac, orchid, fern and California native plant areas, as well as a tea house donated by the Japanese-American community.


1418 Descanso Dr
La Cañada Flintridge
Opening hours:
Daily 9am–5pm
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What’s on

Enchanted: Forest of Light

  • Festivals

Each year, the botanical garden’s nighttime experience masterfully mixes hands-on art installations with atmospheric, luminescent forests, all against a background of uplit trees and shimmery sound effects. This year’s event, which runs from November 19 through January 7, has shuffled some existing installations around and opened up a new glowing area around the rose garden. That’s where you’ll also now find HYBYCOZO’s familiar 3-D light sculptures, whose dizzying, spinnable versions return this year. The other big change comes on the main lawn, where sculptor Tom Fruin’s kaleidoscopic stained-glass–inspired houses now sit flanked by smaller ones that let you smash a button to control the lighting. Elsewhere, Enchanted delightedly looks much like it has in the past: a field of faux tulips ripples with waves of (seemingly more intense this year) twinkling color changes while the mist-filled “Ancient Forest” still beckons visitors with its straight-out-of-E.T. setting. You can still tap the “Rainbow Sycamore” columns, and the event is just as intuitively immersive as ever. And, true to its botanical garden location, most of the installations highlight the natural beauty of Descanso’s flora—with a refinement that sets it apart from most other light shows. Though some of the new additions around the rose garden feel a bit ordinary, Enchanted is otherwise mostly as magical as always—aside from the pricing. The $35 starting price is costly but common for these sorts of events now,

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