Family Fun at the Huntington Library

The Huntington Library in San Marino, CA is a fantastic place to take your kids. The trick is to become a member. Members gain entrance to the facilities free. This place is truly amazing. It has several themed gardens, including a children’s garden. There will be a lot of walking, so if you have kids who are not in a stroller anymore, it is a great way to get exercise in a safe environment. There are several lakes and ponds, wildlife to enjoy and wonderful statues and architecture everywhere you look.

OVERALL PROS

Beautiful, clean, safe, full of learning opportunities, kid friendly high tea service

OVERALL CONS

No picnics allowed, pricey if you are not a member.


When I visited recently, I kept in mind activities that families could do while they visit the grounds.

  1. “Book” a Garden: There are 16 gardens to choose from. Each is spectacular. For toddlers, you may want to give special preference to the Children’s Garden, The Chinese Garden and the Jungle Garden. Bring a book that you read to your child often and matches a garden theme. Then, as you visit, you can look in the book and try to find examples of some of the plants. Kids can imagine dinosaurs or other characters as they amble along.

  2. Count Your Steps: It is very easy to trek over 2 miles in a leisurely walk around one garden. This is a great way to help kids get generate healthy habits. I recommend using the Chinese Garden for this. You can walk around a stunning lake, look at Koi fish and other wildlife. The architecture there transports you into another world. It is so rich and vibrant, no one will realize they have walked 2 miles! There is also a Chinese food place there to grab a bite. It’s convenient and has outside seating.

  3. Portrait Extravaganza: The collection of portraits in the museum is mesmerizing. There are so many to see, it probably can’t be done in one or even two days. The collection has several portraits of older kids, so that makes it more relevant and easy to start a discussion with your own kids about what they see in the painting.

  4. Find a Hobby: One of the best things a parent can do for kids is to help them find a hobby; something they can do throughout their schooling years. This teaches coping strategies and skills that so many of us lack. The Japanese Garden has the most extensive Bonsai display around. These are world class examples of how beautiful they are and how it is possible to make a 50 foot Oak tree grow into a 1 foot miniature.

    The Rose Garden, when in bloom, is a great way to introduce kids to the art of rose care and development. There must be 100 different rose varieties there.

    The Rose Garden Tea room offers an experience in high tea. Older kids can see how food can be taken to an art form in detail and presentation. Finger sandwiches and small baked sweets are things kids can learn to make at home.

  5. Geocaches: If you geocache as a family, there may be one or two that are hidden around with the permission of the owners. That can add to your days of fun too.

Panos Productions Photography: We create showpiece images for modern moms who want to remember everything they love about their kids, forever. See our packages for Maternity, baby, kids, teens.

Why Isn't My Child Talking Yet?

As a parent, it can be frustrating and scary to realize that your child is not hitting their speech development milestones. Before you start to panic, it is important to understand some of the reasons why your child is not talking yet and what you can do to encourage this development. Here are three of the most common reasons why your child might not be talking yet:

Not Being Talked to Enough

This source recommends, “although many parents might feel silly constantly talking to a person who cannot yet talk back, the regular and persistent verbal communication that you share with your infant is imperative to their speech development. Infants respond to any kind of verbal communication, regardless of whether it is baby talk or more adult vocabulary and inflections.” Young impressionable brains are wired to soak up all of the sounds, tones, and words so that they are able to process those into a vocabulary. By being intentional about speaking with your infant from its first days of life, you will be encouraging it to develop its own language skills when the time comes.

Hearing Issues

This source explains, “one baby in a thousand is born profoundly deaf. Another two to three are born with partial hearing loss. Hearing loss is the No. 1 birth defect in America. Many studies have shown that early diagnosis of hearing loss is crucial to the development of speech, language, cognitive, and psychosocial abilities. Treatment is most successful if hearing loss is identified early, preferably within the first month of life. That's why 39 states require some type of hearing test before the baby leaves the hospital.” Common hearing problems can be negated with proper intervention, making it important to ensure that your child is tested.

Older Siblings

Oftentimes, children with older siblings are delayed in their speech capabilities. This source reports, “babies and toddlers with siblings are more likely to let the older kids speak for them, rather than talking for themselves. After a while, they will start to become dependent on the sibling to speak for them out of habit.” If your baby appears to be delayed in speech acquisition, it is a good idea to instruct any older siblings to encourage their younger brother or sister to speak up for themselves.

Take care to remove any obstacles out of your child's way when it comes to language development. By doing so, you can do your part to encourage normal patterns of speech development from a young age.


Life with children just seems to go by so fast. They may be dealing with these challenges now, but it could feel like this is only a passing second. That’s why it’s so important to take photos of your children, especially in their first couple years of life!