Normally picnics are prohibited, but we were encouraged to bring a blanket or chairs and sit out on the lawn and dine while listening to live music. We have a real picnic basket. It is well over a decade old, and ended up here in the house when I couldn't find a box to move it in. It is cute, but turned out to be more of a burden.
The gardens were open and since most people stayed on the lawn until closing, it was a great time to explore without large crowds. They also opened the main house, which is newly remodeled. The last time I was in the house was with my mother, who had to go to the Huntington for a class she was taking at Santa Monica College.
We ended up going inside as it wasn't very crowded. B had the picnic basket and we got into one of the galleries when a guard came up and told us we needed to drop that off at the front. We came in a side entrance and the guard there didn't say anything. The guard who caught us admonished the guard who did not. The good news was B didn't have to cart it around any longer and put it in a cabinet for safe keeping.
I really wish we had had more time. The light around 7pm is currently that perfect dusky light. And it is so rare that people are allowed in the gardens then.
Still, we both had a good time. It did take us almost 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot though.