RBG Experiences

Let your mind grow at the Gardens! We offer over 200 courses and workshops for families, kids and adults in the areas of gardening, nature, botanical arts and wellness.

From award-winning children’s clubs to our popular children's gardening programs and special seasonal workshops, kids of all ages grow with us. Browse this season's programs by clicking through the categories below.

Master Your GardenInto the WildArts in the GardensHealth and WellnessTaste of the GardensKids and FamiliesSpeaker Series
front cover of 
RBG Experiences' guide

Register for Winter Programs

Pre-registraton is required for all RBG workshops and courses. Browse through the programs online by cateogry, (or download the pdf guide at the link below), and register for your chosen programs online, or by calling 905-527-1158 ext. 270.


picking tomatoes

Master Your Garden

Put your green thumb to work! Learn from experts on gardening techniques, solutions, and practices to help get your garden in shape!

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

Pruning in winter

Home Gardening

Kyle Berwick, ISA certified arborist, provides an in-depth introduction to how trees live and grow, respond to their environment, and common structural defects. Part of the day is outdoors and focuses on how to rate tree risk and methods of mitigating this risk in this professional and practical workshop. ISA approved course.

Fee: $180 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 15

Register Now

Conventional gardens often work against nature but with a few guidelines and informed decisions you can have a healthier, sustainable, more beautiful garden for your family, pets and the environment. In this four-part Landscape for Life course, Charlie Briggs, horticulturalist, outlines soil, water, plants and a garden’s impact on human health with lots of advice on gardening practices.

Fee: $130 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by February 1

Register Now

Planning construction on your property? Many times the processes involved in construction jobs can either damage your trees or even kill them. Join Kyle Berwick, ISA certified arborist, as he points out the potential dangers and how to navigate these concerns with the builders to assure the health of the trees throughout the construction project.

Fee: $35 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by February 26

Register Now

Many gardeners are hesitant to prune their trees and shrubs for fear of altering the appearance or even injuring the plant. Kyle Berwick, ISA certified arborist, teaches pruning techniques and helps build your confidence. Learn to prune for desired structure, reduced maintenance and long-term plant health, and avoid common mistakes.

Fee: $60 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 23

Register Now

Renaissance Painting

When Art and Nature Meet

This informative talk explores the art, architecture, and mythology surrounding the landscape and gardens in temples and buildings throughout Pompeii. Kelley Prendergast gives an overview of the ancient gardens and architecture in the city. This pictorial presentation explores some of the myths, religion, and symbols incorporated into the artworks of Pompeii.

Fee: $10 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 10

Register Now

Conventional gardens often work against nature but with a few guidelines and informed decisions you can have a healthier, sustainable, more beautiful garden for your family, pets and the environment. In this four-part Landscape for Life course, Charlie Briggs, horticulturalist, outlines soil, water, plants and a garden’s impact on human health with lots of advice on gardening practices

Fee: $10 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by February 1

Register Now


pulling out a piece of honeycomb from hive

Into the Wild

Sooth your inner adventurer! Take a paddle in paradise, or learn about local flora and fauna with experts in the RBG nature sanctuaries.

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

woodpecker on tree

Nature Study: Adult Education Series

If birds can withstand the immense pressures of weather and frozen habitats, then surely we can learn from them! Join the NJABC and venture through the land to find the bravest of them all — our winter residents. Acclimatize yourself to all that winter has to offer, and grow your hobby by growing hardy alongside these feathered phenoms. Geared to beginner and intermediate birders, but all are welcome!

Fee: $20/class or $65 for all four classes (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 19

Register Now

This course is for photographers that have learned the basics but want a little more in-depth instruction to advance their skills. Matthew Tiegs will review the basics, and go into more depth regarding sharpness, colour, composition and alternate techniques in nature photography.

Fee: $100 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 16

Register Now

Free every Sunday, now to August 26; 10 a.m. Hikes continue throughout the year with a 2 p.m. start time. Locations and details at rbg.ca/hike

Join a Back to Nature volunteer leader for a family-friendly hike through the vast ecosystems of RBG’s lands. Every 1.5 to 2 hours walk is a different adventure. Our trails are rocky and muddy and not suitable for most standard strollers, except those meant for off-sidewalk use.

FREE! No registration required.

overhead view of marsh boardwalk in the fall

Wild Nature Experiences

Veteran beekeeping instructors and honey bee breeders, Luc Peters and Dan Douma, give you hands-on experience with managing hives and provide you with simple steps to support honeybees and other important pollinators, to keep your own bees or just learn about their care.

  • Intro to Bees and Hive Equipment: Monday March 25; 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Plan the Season and Check the Spring Hive: Sunday May 26; 2 to 4 p.m.
  • The Summer Hive Check: Sunday June 16; 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Preparation and Honey Harvest: Monday August 19; 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Put the Bees to Bed: Sunday September 15; 2 tp 4 p.m.
  • Review: Monday October 7; 7 to 9 p.m.

Fee: $45/session or $250 for all 6 (Members 10% off)

Register Now

Even though the leaves, fruits and flowers are long gone, our trees and shrubs are still identifiable in the winter! Nadia Cavallin, field botanist and Sophia Muñoz, botany intern, point out the key characteristics of winter tree identification using twigs and buds. Dress for an outdoor hike.

Fee: $20 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by February 1

Register Now

Ridges and furrows, scales and plates, you can still identify trees on winter dates! Join Nadia Cavallin, field botanist and Sophia Muñoz, botany intern, to learn how to identify trees by their bark. Dress for an outdoor hike.

Fee: $20 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by February 22

Register Now


paintbrush with watercolour on canvas

Arts in the Gardens

Let your creativity flow with classes in painting, illustration, floral design, and more!

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

watercolour flowers

Painting

Let RBG inspire your artistic journey in this eight-week course. Julie Donec introduces skills and techniques used in botanical and landscape watercolours and offers encouragement and lots of demonstrations. A supply list is provided at the first lesson.

Fee: $165 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 7

Register Now

Take painting to the next level with proven techniques for creating depth and more involved painting styles to produce beautiful results. This intermediate class challenges experienced painters. Julie Donec critiques and assists everyone individually to help improve skills. A list of supplies is provided prior to program start date.

Fee: $165 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 8

Register Now

Artist Shelley Prior explains the basic techniques and elements to paint rocks, skies, trees, water and winter scenes. Learn and practice these tips during this eightweek watercolour course. Discover the beauty of winter landscape painting. Suitable for intermediate painters. A supply list is provided prior to program start date.

Fee: $165 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 6

Register Now

Evergreen door arrangement

Holiday Magic Evergreen Arrangements

Under the guidance of our experienced RBG Auxiliary designers, decorate for the holiday seasons with fresh evergreens in stunning designs. The container, mechanics and evergreens are included in the fee. Colour-coordinated accessories to decorate your design are available for purchase. Please bring a garbage bag, a small towel, wire cutters, scissors, secateurs, and an old knife. There are refreshments to purchase. Because of the advance ordering of supplies, there are no refunds available for this program.

Fee: $45 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by November 17

Register Now

Under the guidance of our experienced RBG Auxiliary designers, decorate for the holiday seasons with fresh evergreens in stunning designs. The container, mechanics and evergreens are included in the fee. Colour-coordinated accessories to decorate your design are available for purchase. Please bring a garbage bag, a small towel, wire cutters, scissors, secateurs, and an old knife. There are refreshments to purchase. Because of the advance ordering of supplies, there are no refunds available for this program.

Fee: $45 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by November 18

Register Now


group practicing yoga in Royal Court

Health and Wellness

Take some time for yourself with an array of programs to help keep your body and mind healthy!

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

yoga

Yoga and Movement

Yoga and Tai Chi programs take place in a variety of indoor spaces at RBG Centre. Location may vary week to week. Check posted information at RBG Centre on program day.

The 24 Movement Yang Style tai chi form is the most widely practiced form of tai chi. Joh Friedrich welcomes beginners as well as practicing students.

Fee: $125 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 6

Register Now

Chelsea Curran focuses on breathing and gentle poses. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat. 10-week session.

Fee: $115 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 11

Register Now

Louise Vien focuses on lengthening the spine, extending and opening the body, and quieting the mind through stretching poses, breathing and grounding exercises. Suitable for all levels. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing. Bring a yoga mat. 10-week session.

Fee: $125 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 12

Register Now

Taught by Chelsea Curran, experience a wider range of motion through your joints and more strength and flexibility in your muscles. Deepen your body awareness and ability to consciously relax. Props are used so please bring a mat, towel/blanket, straps and blocks. If needed, these can be provided for you. 10-week session. Geared to individuals with some previous experience of yoga.

Fee: $125 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 7

Register Now

With Leo Johnson, develop your inner sense of rhythm, learn a song, and most of all, play and have fun. Drums available for $5/night or rent your own drum from Long & McQuade.

Fee: $115 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 11

Register Now


overhead view of pouring tea

Taste of the Gardens

Satisfy your tastebuds all year long, with afternoon teas, beer-tastings, cooking classes, and more!

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

holding a cup of tea

Tastes and Sips

This is a unique opportunity to exchange your tea experiences with other tea enthusiasts while enjoying some excellent tea samples. Edward Qu, Chinese tea sommelier, certified tea reviewing specialist and a tea lifestyle enthusiast, takes you on a tea journey and encourages round table discussion on various topics of tea. With this series, Oolong tea and its subtypes are covered. Learn about this popular tea from plant to cup.

  • November 18 — Guangdong style Oolong (Pheonix Dan Cong): Mi Lan Xiang/Duck poop tea
  • December 16 — Taiwan style Oolong (Champagne Oolong): Oriental beauty

Fee: $30/class or $100 for all four (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by November 8, December 6

Register Now

This course is developed for tea enthusiasts and anyone wanting to broaden their tea knowledge. Gain tea expertise with solid facts and artisanal presentation in this exploratory course. Learn the history of tea culture and etiquette along with traditional brewing skills and artisanal tea lifestyle. Six tea families and distinguishing features about these families is explored. As you sample teas, learn and appreciate their various qualities. Each session includes handson instruction for tea brewing and each participant receives a Chinese Celadon tea set (1 gaiwan + 2 cups). This course is delivered by MING Tea, tea professionals specializing in hands-on tea education.

Fee: $170 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 17

Register Now

Celebrate with Linda Barnett, and The Travelling TeaRoom, tea’s international roots with an Afternoon Tea inspired by global cuisine. Come, relax and enjoy iconic flavors from around the world with freshly baked scones, savouries and sweets paired with teas for an international culinary tour that will not require a passport.

Fee: $65 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 14

Register Now

Come celebrate Robbie Burns with scotch tasting and bagpipes. Peter Rhind describes the distilleries in Scotland and the reasons for the distinct characteristics of the different scotches. Samples emphasize these differences. Before each tasting, enjoy the drone of Scottish bagpipes playing your favourite jigs for a memorable evening. There might even be haggis. Must be 19 years or older.

Fee: $65 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 15

Register Now

chopping chives

NEW! Cook Like a Chef

Each evening, local Chef Nicolas instructs a hands-on cooking class with full participation from the registrants. While he demonstrates the evening’s recipes, participants team up to prepare a meal that is then enjoyed by all. With Chef Nicolas coaching, you create an entrée, side dish, and dessert. Please bring a knife, cutting board, and towel

Enjoy making and tasting three different delicious soups that are sure to take the chill off. Fresh homemade bread and a dessert finish this scrumptious menu.

Fee: $55 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 7

Register Now

Coq au vin is a French dish of chicken braised with wine. This evening’s meal also features French mussels and dessert.

Fee: $55 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 28

Register Now

Ciao! Prepare homemade pasta, pork scaloppini, and, of course, cannoli as the main dishes; save room for dessert. Bon appetit!

Fee: $55 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 11

Register Now

Paella, green gazpacho soup, and churros make for a Mexican fiesta feast!

Fee: $55 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 11

Register Now


children in the veggie garden listening to an instructor

Kids and Families

Learn and grow as a family, with a wide variety of programs that are both entertaining and educational.

View Program Options

Click on the program name to reveal the description. Pre-registration is required for all programs, ideally by the date provided to allow the program organizers to best prepare. If the indicated "register by" date has passed, you may still be able to register for the program, provided there is space still available.

small girl petting turtle

Family Fun Days

A squirrel is a very familiar sight but what do you really know about them? Come to the Nature Centre and get a little squirrelly with games, hikes and lots of information to better understand this furry fellow.

Fee: $10 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $15 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by November 8

Register Now

Come on a guided hike through the woods at night, and then join us by a roaring bonfire to welcome the sun back and share stories that explore the turning of the season. It’s the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year but after December 21, the days do begin to get longer – and that’s worth celebrating.

Fee: $10 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $15 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by November 8

Register Now

Get outdoors this winter and join Nature Centre staff for an adventure of looking for wildlife that call RBG their home. Keep your eyes peeled for fur or feathers and any other signs they leave behind. Learn how many of these animals survive the cold. Great family program.

Fee: $10 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $15 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by January 17

Register Now

Volumes of myth, magic and folklore are testimony to the intrigue of owls in cultures all around the world. Explore some of these legends and learn about the ecology of RBG’s owls, then head out onto the trails with Barb McKean and John Hannah.

Fee: $10 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $15 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by February 13

Register Now

boy watering garden with watering can

Junior Nature-Lovers

Grow food year-round and get your hands dirty in RBG’s greenhouses. Learn about fantastic plants, seed saving, starting and growing winter vegetables, making (and eating) healthy snacks, all the while practicing gardening skills and interacting with others. For ages 6 to 12.

Fee: $120 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by December 28

Register Now

For the 7- to 12-year-old outdoor enthusiast, this club puts exploration at the forefront and lets Mother Nature be the teacher. Meetings are solely outside and a place where kids can be kids! Volunteer support from Hamilton Naturalists’ Club.

Fee: $80 (Members 10% off)

Register Now


man on stage speaking to crowd in the ballroom

RBG Speaker Series

We are excited to bring you a selection of lecture and workshop sessions with experts from across North America, speaking on topics such as gardening, wildlife, conservation, and more!

View Upcoming Lectures

Contact Program Bookings

Have questions about any of our programs? Contact us at 905-527-1158 ext. 270

Registration

Advance enrollment is required for all events with a registration fee. Participants may register online, in person or by telephone. Full payment must accompany each registration. To register by phone, please call 905-527-1158, ext. 270 (open Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Telephone registrations require payment by VISA or MasterCard. RBG reserves the right to cancel any event if the minimum number of registrants is not reached by registration deadline. Registrations may be accepted after the registration deadline provided the minimum registration number has already been reached. Non-member (public) fee applies to all after registration deadline.

Cancellation, Refunds and Receipts

Up to ten days prior to a program start date or the indicated program registration deadline, all cancellations by registrants are subject to a 25% cancellation fee if a refund for that program/course/event is applicable. Check specific program descriptions for refund-excluded programs. No refunds of any kind are made after the registration deadline. Should RBG cancel a program, registrants are notified by telephone and refunds issued. It is vital that you supply phone numbers where we can reach you both daytime and in the evening or on weekends, directly or by recorded message. We do not accept responsibility for inconvenience caused to those we cannot contact, whatever the reason.

Inclement Weather

Most of our programs are offered rain or shine. In the event of severe weather some courses, especially outdoor workshops and guided walks, may be postponed or cancelled. If you are unsure about conditions on the day of your program, please call our Program Update Line at ext. 404. A message will be posted there at least two hours before the program is due to start. It is your responsibility to verify that your program is being offered; though we try, we are not always able to reach participants.

Liability

RBG assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to property, or for personal injury or mishap; all activities are at the risk of the participant.

Green Angels

RBG is committed to giving every child, regardless of their financial situation, an opportunity to fall in love with nature. Become a Green Angel to a child in need today!

Learn More