Descanso Gardens to reopen Saturday; social distancing guidelines in place

(Photo by Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Descanso Gardens will welcome back visitors starting Saturday, making adjustments to maintain social distancing as guests finally get the chance to enjoy spring blossoms.

The La Canada Flintridge grounds closed in mid-March to comply with coronavirus stay-at-home orders, leaving the community unable to take in the
fragrance of springtime lilacs or the brilliant color of tulip fields.

But as restrictions have begun to lift nearly two months later, Descanso Gardens announced Monday that it will begin selling a limited number of timed tickets to keep capacity at or below 30%, starting today.

"We feel that now, more than ever, people are searching for peaceful, relaxing places to go and we want to be able to provide that kind of tranquility for members and visitors,'' Descanso Gardens Executive Director Juliann Rooke said.

"We look forward to seeing everyone again soon.''

Social distancing rules will still apply, hand sanitizing stations will be available, and guests will be required to wear masks, according to officials: "The county guidelines say that safe distancing is 6 feet apart, which, in garden terms, is about 12 goslings or four rose bushes.''

In an abundance of caution, some features of the circa-1953 gardens will remain closed until further notice, including wheelchair rentals, drinking fountains, the Enchanted Railroad, Sturt Haaga Gallery and Boddy House.
Programming, including musical performances and nature walks, also are on hold.

New hours for the public will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Members --who do not need tickets to visit -- have special access to the gardens early, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The Kitchen at Descanso, which offers take-out, will remain open for limited hours.

Tickets for non-members must be purchased in advance online at, with a limited number to be sold and released weekly.
Tickets for May 16-22 were released starting at 10 past Tuesday. Tickets for
May 23-29 will be released at 10 a.m. next Tuesday.

Admission is $15 for adults; $11 for seniors and students with ID; $5 for children ages 5-12; and free for Descanso members and children under 5