The Huntington Library to reopen most of its gardens starting July 1
The bonsai, orchids and camellias are once again ready to accept visitors. The gardens portion of the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens will reopen to the public on July 1 — with a preview period for members beginning on June 17.
The museum is opening the gates to its outdoor spaces under state and county guidelines that allow for the reopening of outdoor museums under certain conditions. This will include the Huntington’s 130 acres of gardens, which feature 16 themed areas, including a desert garden, a palm garden and Japanese and Chinese gardens.
High-touch areas, such as the Children’s Garden and the Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science, will remain closed.
Naturally, there will be safety precautions: Timed, advance reservations will be required for visits, which will be limited to 1,500 people a day. (About a third of the museum’s typical attendance during its busy spring season.) Guests will also be required to don face masks, and mandatory temperature checks will take place upon entry.
“There will be hand-sanitizing stations,” said Susan Turner-Lowe, vice president of communications and marketing at the museum, who also served as co-chair of its reopening task force. “And we have moved benches around so that they are spaced apart.”
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To accommodate additional visitors, the museum will remain open on Tuesdays throughout July and August (the day on which it is typically closed). In addition, there will be two free days in July instead of one.
Museum galleries for the time being will remain closed. But Turner-Lowe says they are planning to reopen in the fall.
“We are planning for September,” she says. “We’ll probably be doing a phased reopening of the galleries, with some interior spaces opening sooner than others.”
For now only frontline visitor services staff, such as admission desk attendees and security, will be working at the museum. Nonessential staff will continue to telecommute.
Full admission will be charged for garden visits. (Adult admission on a weekend is $29.) To make a reservation, visit huntington.org.
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