On every 1st of the month @ 9am the Huntington Library you can make reservations for the following month FREE first Thursday.
FOR FEBRUARY THEY WILL BE OUT ON THE 2ND OF JANUARY @ 9AM!!!
All you have to do is click here at exactly 9am...you don't want to be late cause they "sell" out within 5 minutes. You can get up to 5 tickets and they will mail them to you for free. My recommendation is to be ready 10 minutes until and refresh, refresh, and refresh until the time. You have two options 10:30am entry and 1:30pm entry. Remember that everyone needs a ticket, even babies.
The gardens are beautiful! I would recommend going there first and then making your way back and then visit the Chinese Garden, then the Children's Garden.
At the Chinese Garden you can have lunch at the restaurant there - Chinese Garden Tea House. Food is delicious and they allow for you to take it to go. But I would take a break and enjoy the view.
After that you can take the kids to cool off at the Children's Garden where they have water fountains for the kids to play in. Bring bathing suits and they have to wear shoes. The only negative about the Children's Garden is that there is not a lot of shade. They have a cool Earth that you can tell your kids to touch and they will feel the temperature of that place. My son loves the musical rocks and the magnetic rocks. It's just too bad that you will hate standing in the sun so long.
You can then follow a small path to the fountain and statues. We let the kids run around as we rest. Don't expect to do the Huntington Gardens in one visit. I haven't even covered the dessert or the museums!