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    Fall Fun at South Coast Botanic Garden
    • October 13, 2023

    South Coast Botanic Garden embraces the untraditional year-round, and fall is no different. There are no pumpkins or scary decor, but there is plenty of fall fun to be had. So, grab a sweater, put on your walking shoes, and head to this oasis located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. And with 87 acres to explore and the West Coast premiere of Thomas Dambo’s TROLLS: Save the Humans, you’ll want to set aside a few hours for your visit.

    As one of the first botanic gardens to be built on a sanitary landfill, South Coast Botanic Garden is a testament to land reclamation. Staying true to its original mission, it regularly hosts exhibits that are not only immersive in nature but have strong conservation messages. TROLLS: Save the Humans is a whimsical exhibit from renowned Danish artist Thomas Dambo featuring massive trolls made of reclaimed wood. Dambo, recognized across the globe for his stunning, large-scale artwork from recycled materials, creates trolls to reconnect people with nature. In this exhibit, the trolls are here to “save the humans” and divert them off the path of destroying Mother Nature. Dambo gets his message across with whimsical, folklore-style storytelling.

    Speaking of whimsy, the exhibit also includes Ibbi Pip’s Playhouse in which more than 150 colorful birdhouses are hung from the ceiling. Human-sized nests are ready to welcome guests for the ultimate photo moment. Once you exit the Playhouse, you’ll follow the trail of birdhouses to the Garden’s new concessions station, Dottie’s. Now open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday, guests can grab a latte, beer, wine or one of the Garden’s new craft cocktails to sip on while continuing to explore, or take a seat and order a bite to eat from the new botanic-inspired food menu. If you’re looking for a fall beverage, The Old Orchard – made with bourbon, Angostura bitters, spiced apple, Luxardo, and topped with a dried apple slice – is highly recommended.

    Later in fall, you’ll be able to take your beverage to Sakura Meadow where the large oak trees will lose their leaves during the colder months. Kids can enjoy playing in the pile of leaves while parents take in the scenery. Guests can also enjoy fall blooms like the large Ceiba speciosas (floss silk trees) and seasonal plantings. While the Garden’s new Pollination Garden has been full of colorful wildflowers, it will be replanted with native plants this November creating a new experience for guests.

    With so much to see, taste and touch, you’ll want to make sure you also tap into your sense of smell during your visit. The Osmanthus fragrans (sweet olive) planted along the Upper Meadow gives off large wafts of ripe apricots and Hedychium coronarium (butterfly ginger) produces white fragrant blooms.

    The Garden is located just 30 minutes from Downtown L.A., but you’ll forget you’re in the middle of a bustling metropolitan area during your visit. Don’t miss fall in the Garden, get your tickets at

    ​ Orange County Register