After careful consideration, Descanso Gardens has made the decision to reopen to the public this Saturday, May 16. In order to ensure that staff and visitors are safe, the Gardens have made some adjustments to how they operate. The public garden will put a variety of new social distancing rules in place including:
• limiting the number of tickets they are selling to 30% of capacity
• selling timed tickets to limit the number of people at the entry at any given time
• reconfiguring the entry to make social distancing easier
• closing all indoor spaces, including the Sturt Haaga Gallery and Boddy House
• adding hand sanitizing stations in the courtyard
• closing drinking fountains
• cleaning restrooms every half hour
• there will be no programs, music or walks during this time. “We will bring programming back as soon as it is safe,” a spokesperson said.
• seating has been removed in the courtyard to give space for social distancing
• the Enchanted Railroad will be closed for now
• wheelchair rental will not be available
Tickets will go on sale Tuesdays at 10 a.m., starting tomorrow. The new hours for the public will be 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Members have special access to the Gardens early, from 8-9 a.m., and they do not need tickets to visit during the day. All other visitors will need advance tickets. Tickets can be purchased at descansogardens.org or by calling the Visitor Center at (818) 949-4200.
Masks and social distancing between guests will be required. Descanso is asking visitors to take the same precautions at the Gardens that they do when they go out in public. The county guidelines say that safe distancing is 6 feet apart.
Descanso’s restaurant, The Kitchen at Descanso (formerly Maple), will be open for limited hours. Attendees can purchase drinks, which can be taken into the garden, or food, which must be eaten in the picnic area or taken home. Because the drinking fountains will not be operational, guests are advised to bring their own water or purchase drinks at the Kitchen.
“We made the decision to close on March 19 due to an abundance of caution,” said Juliann Rooke, Descanso Gardens’ executive director. “We have been monitoring state and county guidelines to inform our decision and feel that it is safe for us to reopen in a limited way. 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. We look forward to seeing everyone again soon.