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Now is the perfect time to moon bathe in L.A. This is the right way to do it -

Now is the perfect time to moon bathe in L.A. This is the right way to do it


After the year we’ve all had, here’s your chance to let loose and really howl at the moon during a full moon forest bathing session at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

Forest bathing is inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku and “has been scientifically proven to boost immune strength, reduce stress, and improve cognitive functioning,” according to organizers. “There’s no right or wrong way to do it and it’s great for all ages; just come and be yourself.”

The bathing sessions are also an opportunity to take a tranquil, guided walk through the arboretum when the grounds are typically closed. (The arboretum closes at 7 p.m. Forest bathing sessions run until 8 p.m.) Classes during the full moon are available May 25 and May 26. There are also two-hour morning and evening forest bathing classes on Saturdays. Enrollment is limited to 15 people per class. Advance registration, masks and social distancing required. The cost is $35 ($25 for members). Find out more at


The moon bathing sessions come as we’re seeing more in-person plant-related activities after our year of being virtual. Here are some of our favorites for May. If you have other real-time garden- or plant-related activities to report, email me at and we may include them in a future story.

The Theodore Payne Foundation native plant nursery and demonstration gardens are now open to in-person shopping Tuesdays through Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., for people who reserve their visits ahead of time. Each reservation is for one vehicle with no more than four people, and visitors are expected to stay within the 90-minute time slots specified on their tickets. Free.

Through May 28
The Theodore Payne Foundation’s Wild Flower Hotline offers updates every Friday on the best places to visit and view wildflowers in Southern and Central California, narrated by actor Joe Spano. The number is (818) 768-1802, Ext. 7. Visitors are reminded to stay on paths and bare ground in wildflower zones and please, please, please leave the flowers where you see them, unmolested.


Through July 31
The Soar Tropical Butterfly Pavilion at the South Coast Botanic Garden allows visitors to wander through a sunny, plant-filled chamber and observe multiple species of butterflies so close, they might land on your clothes! (No touching of the butterflies is permitted; a docent will gently move them along). The exhibit also includes up-close inspection of multiple cocoons, some with emerging butterflies. Tickets include admission to the gardens and must be purchased in advance. The cost is $22 ($18 for students and seniors 62 and older, $12 ages 5-12, $7 ages 2-4 and $5 for members, who enter the gardens for free.)

May 9
The California Botanic Garden is offering free admission to moms on Mother’s Day with advance reservations between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Additional tickets for family members can be purchased at the gate at 1500 N. College Ave. in Claremont or at Tickets are $10 ($6 for students and seniors 65 and older, $4 children ages 3-12. Members and children under 3 enter for free.)

May 15
Botanizing the San Gabriel Mountains with Theodore Payne Foundation Director Evan Meyer, 8 a.m. to noon. This gentle three-mile hike to the summit of Mt. Lowe is geared to people just learning about the wild plants of Southern California, including oaks, big-cone Douglas fir, mountain mahogany, California bay, poodle plant, live-forevers, California lilacs, manzanitas and (fingers crossed) wildflowers. Hikers should bring sturdy shoes, sunscreen, wide-rimmed hat, snacks and at least 2 liters of water. The hike starts at the Eaton Saddle Trailhead on Mt. Wilson Red Box Road in the Angeles Crest area north of Altadena. Advance registration required. The cost is $30 per person ($20 for members).


May 16
The Magic of Golden Light is an in-person garden photography class by commercial photographer Jeanine Hill, hosted by Sherman Library & Gardens, from 4 to 6 p.m. at 2647 East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. The class focuses on how to capture afternoon sunlight, often called the “golden hour” or “golden light,” and will discuss backlighting, bokeh and macro photography. Participants can use whatever cameras they have available, including cellphone cameras, DSLR, mirrorless cameras or “point and shoot” digital cameras. Participants must register in advance and wear a mask during the class. The cost is $65 ($55 for members).

May 22
Sherman Library & Gardens hosts a class to create a monarch butterfly garden for children and their adults from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Participants will learn about the life cycle of monarch butterflies and the plants they need to survive, and can pot up a few of those plants to take home and grow in their gardens. Participants must register in advance and wear masks at the gardens, 2647 East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. The cost is $50 or $40 for members.

May 24-June 7
The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is offering its six-week Acorns & Oaks classes every Sunday for parents and babies, toddlers and children up to age 5. The hourlong classes are designed to introduce children to nature and encourage tactile play with songs, stories, crafts and other outdoor activities in the arboretum gardens. Cost is $108 per person ($216 for one adult and one child, siblings require additional ticket), members pay $103 per person. Advance registration required.


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