There is no question that I am a city girl, but I love nature and being outdoors. The luxury of living in Los Angeles is that you get plenty of each-the best of both worlds! One of my favorite spots to savor the beauty of nature is at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA. Besides the fact that you can view collections of rare art and books, explore various gardens that boast some of the most beautiful flowers, plants, and trees in the world, the Library offers one of the most delicious high teas in town! It’s all you can eat, which is dangerously appealing.
The first Thursday of every month offers free admission, which requires an advanced reservation. I scored some coveted tickets a couple months ago so I took my three knights with me. The Library is elegant, as are the grounds-not exactly the kind of place I first think of to take my kids. I wasn’t sure how well it would go over with them, but in the end, I had to drag them away! It broke my heart a little to pass the tea room up this trip but I didn’t want to push my luck with my boys! Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite should you want to plan your own trip to the Huntington Library.
Quinn, Oliver, and Oakley inside the Rain Forest Conservatory! It was humid and damp inside and the boys enjoyed examining every nook and cranny!
If I wasn't a Believer already, these next photos would give me great pause for thought-they are so creatively designed!
The Venus Flytrap was a particular favorite! You can try to introduce your boys to culture and beauty but they will still be most fascinated by the plant that kills bugs! Boys WILL be boys!
There are various rooms with experiments set up for hands-on fun! Here's Oakley (4), trying one of them all on his own, like a big kid. Sniff, sniff.
The dome of the Conservatory let in the most perfect light through the canopy of leaves.
Of course, we headed to the Children's Garden next!
My boys got WET, which was fine by me! One of the things you learn to let go of as a boy-mom!
May he never lose his sense of wonder......
Next up, we took the scenic route towards the Rose Gardens and found some amazing fountains and statues!
I asked the boys to make up a little story about what they think might have happened to the men and women in the statues. They had some wild ideas!
In a moment that caught me off guard, Quinn told me that he thought this angel baby must be like our babies in Heaven....
This little guy was quite busy, buzzing.
I could have stayed all day looking at every rose, but the boys were on a mission so we moved pretty quickly through the girly rose section.
The Japanese and Chinese Gardens were the biggest hit with the kids!
Ahh, yes. KOI! Quinn was especially enamored with these big beauties! He was seriously bummed when it was time to move onward and upward!
Quinn (6) wants to be a scientist when he grows up. It was so evident at the Gardens where he lingered and explored while his brothers pressed on to see the next surprise around the corner. I love them all in their uniqueness!
Oliver (8) is growing up to fast for my comfort. His little bro worships the ground he walks on. Nothing better than brothers who love and admire one another!
When we went into some of the Library's buildings that held artwork, I kept hands held in mine and we moved rather quickly. My littlest is so tempted to touch the untouchable, that I only spent a brief time indoors-just enough to introduce them to the artwork.
And of course, where there are trees and boys....
Finally able to run wild and free!
They often hold hands, just because. Love....
As we headed out to lunch I got a few glimpses of my own favorites-SUCCULENTS!
I was a little nervous about taking the boys to such a widespread and pristine Garden and Art tour, but it was totally worth it! We squeezed it in right before school started and though our schedule is less open for these kinds of jaunts, will be going back soon!
The best part for me was stretching myself to let them find their own engagement, be their unruly selves in a rather dignified environment, and go with the flow. Taking three energetic boys to a pristine environment held lots of potential for me to micro-manage and get stressed out, but instead, I was purposeful to be kind and to speak to them with the same respect that I want shown to me, so we had a truly happy day together as a result. Which reminds me of this post, Have A Kinder Son By Tonight, that I am sharing over at The MOB Society today! Before you go, check it out and see how I cultivate kindness in my sons lives, then tell me what you think! And if you are local, schedule your own day-trip to the Huntington Library sooner than later!
YOUR TURN: Have you been to the Huntington Library? Did you have tea? What does your city offer in the way of Art and Gardens that I might want to check out if I come to your neck of the woods? Are there things that you shy away from with kids that you might decide to try even though it makes you nervous to think about how they will behave?