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 Spring Programs

Registration for spring programming started Wednesday February 6 at 12 noon. Scroll down to browse available programs by category and register online via the link in the descriptions.

Download PDF Guide

RBG Members receive 10% off most RBG Experiences programming when using the member discount code. This code was distributed to existing members via email on Monday, February 4, and is included in the member package for new members. Enter this code in the “promotional code” field on the top right of the registration screen BEFORE selecting your programs. If you are a member but did not receive the code, please contact us.


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

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

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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

Do you find gardening a pain in the back, literally? Get hands-on outdoor experience with Kayleigh May Holden, RBG gardener, who discusses different postures, equipment, and practical techniques to lessen the impact to your back, knees, wrists, etc. She suggests ways to save time, build strength and balance so gardening can be fun again.

Fee: $40 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 3

Register Now

Join Nancy Lee-Colibaba in RBG’s Veggie Village. Get your hands dirty and learn the fundamental skills to grow your own produce at home. It doesn’t get any more local than your own backyard!

4 sessions available:

  1. GETTING STARTED Thursday, April 25. PRE-REGISTER BY APRIL 17.
  2. PLANTING THE GARDEN Thursday, May 16. PRE-REGISTER BY MAY 7.
  3. GARDEN MAINTENANCE Thursday, June 27. PRE-REGISTER BY JUNE 18.
  4. HARVESTING THE YIELD Thursday, September 12. PRE-REGISTER BY SEPTEMBER 3.

Fee: $40/class or $140 for all 4 (Members 10% off)

Register Now

Design a garden and understand the plants used in the production of spirits, liqueurs and bitters. Jaclyn Harriman, professor of distillation at Niagara College, outlines the number of locally cultivated botanicals used in the distillation and maceration process and explains the method of extracting flavour and colours from these plants.

Fee: $40 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 24

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Advance your photography skills beyond the basics! Matthew Tiegs reviews the basics, and goes in-depth about sharpness, colour, composition and alternate techniques in nature photography.

Fee: $120 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 25

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Learn in the comfort of your home - this free webinar by Susan Poizner outlines a number of action points as to how to care for your trees. It covers pest and disease prevention, fertility management, fruit selection and more.

Special Opportunity: after the webinar, you will receive a special discount code to purchase and access the in-depth training on fruit trees course. A portion of the proceeds will be used to purchase a fruite tree for RBG's Junior Gardening club. Space is limited, so don't delya. For course outline, visit www.orchardpeople.com/workshops

FREE

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.

overhead view of marsh boardwalk in the fall

Wild Nature Experiences

As world travelling birds migrate to their breeding grounds, let’s comb the trails and see who’s turning up! Test your eyes and ears with Jackson and his squadron of special guests as we welcome the arrival of spring and these winged wonders. While this is geared to beginner and intermediate birders, all are welcome.

Fee: $25/class or $90 for all 4 classes (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 3

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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: $50/session or $260 for all 6 (Members 10% off)

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

Explore Cootes Paradise by canoe to get a glimpse of the astounding life that depends on the health of the marsh for its survival. We supply canoes, paddles and life jackets, you bring your camera and binoculars. Canoes have single bench seats only so bring pads to sit on for extra comfort. Water bottles and pockets snacks also recommended. Please arrive 15 minutes early and be prepared to paddle rain or shine. In the event of high winds or threatening weather please call the Program Update Line

Fee: $40/person/tour (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register a minimum of 5 days in advance

Register Now

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. Dress for the weather

In the event of inclement weather or uncertain conditions (high winds, ice, extreme windchill, heavy rain, thunderstorms or hazardous driving conditions), please check our Program Update Line at 905-527-1158 ext. 404 one to two hours before the start time to see if the walk has been cancelled. Updates are also posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Free Guided Hike!

View Schedule

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

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

Fee: $175 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 8

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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: $175 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 9

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Take painting to the next level with proven techniques for creating depth and more involved watercolour 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: $175 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 16

Register Now
closeup of rug hooking

Botanical Arts

Make your own Easter floral design for your home! With the guidance of our experienced RBG Auxiliary designers, you can create a fresh flower design in seasonal pastel colours, using floral foam and a basket container. Customize your Easter theme design with ribbons and picks. All floral materials are provided, custom accessories such as bunnies, birds and birds’ nests can be purchased.

Fee: $65 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 7

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Back by popular demand! With the guidance of Lisa Meecham, learn traditional rug hooking while designing your own unique piece using the hit & miss technique. This heritage art/craft celebrates the culture of Maritime Canada and upcycling of reusable materials. Suitable for beginners and seasoned artists. All materials are supplied.

Fee: $90 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 31

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Study botanical subjects through the art of ink drawn illustration. Artist Helena Rakic teaches the basic principles of big-form modelling using various techniques such as cross-hatching, stippling and other forms of mark making. With ink and nib, students learn to observe the beauty that surrounds them, and illustrate their chosen subject with mastery and intent. Last class (June 17) is an outdoor class. A supply list is provided prior to program start date.

Fee: $140 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 19

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.

When life is stressful, we often don’t get the deep sleep we need. Karen Cumming, Divine Sleep yoga nidra instructor introduces the antidote to modern life through this powerful meditation practice that takes you to the part of your nervous system where profound relaxation, integration and healing take place. All you have to do is lie down in savasana (corpse pose) and listen.

Fee: $50 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by February 9

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: $140 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 13

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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: $140 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 14

Register Now

Taught by Claudia Laurat, 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: $140 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 15

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Many have requested for this class to be an hour and a half in length so we have added time. Kerri Sherk focuses on breathing and gentle poses. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat. 10-week session

Fee: $140 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 19

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: $130 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 5

Register Now
yoga

Essentail Oils

Meillyn teaches about the hidden toxins, including fragrance, in the products we use in our homes and why it’s important to reduce our toxic load. She provides easy doit-yourself essential oil based solutions to make switching to more natural products easy. Recipes are provided. Take home a custom room spray!

Fee: $45 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 9

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Learn how to use essential oils such as frankincense, copaiba, lemongrass and lavender to reduce pain and inflammation in the body. Also covered is topical application, appropriate dilution and the benefits of various carriers (oils and water based) to add to your blends and increase their absorption and therapeutic benefits in the body. Mix an anti-inflammatory recipe and take it home!

Fee: $45 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 22

Register Now
yoga

Horticultural Therapy Training

This two-day training session covers special populations, writing proposals, plants, season programs and project ideas, and more. A certification of attendance is provided upon completion.

Fee: $300 (refreshments and workshop materials included)

Please pre-register by May 1

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Learn about the importance of light, proper seeding techniques, soil, containers and ways to engage your clients to achieve a meaningful program as well as successful seedlings for your summer garden.

Fee: $160 (includes handouts, materials and refreshments

Please pre-register by February 27

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Herbs are the most versatile plants in the garden. In this full-day workshop, discussions cover the 10 best herbs and how to use them in various ways. We also start herbs from seeds and make herbal activities that get you started on implementing these plants in your regular horticultural therapy programming

Fee: $160 (includes handouts, materials and refreshments

Please pre-register by March 27

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.

glass of gin with lemon and herbs

Mixology

There are many different processes for steeping and extracting properties from different botanicals. Jaclyn Harriman, professor of distillation at Niagara College, explains these methods and the benefits for your health, culinary use and mixology. This class explores the formulation of bitters and tinctures and participants take home a tincture to use at home.

Fee: $50 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 16

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Jaclyn Harriman, professor of distillation at Niagara College, introduces the history and folklore of this unique and old-world spirit and examines the botanicals used in the various production methods and techniques for distilling. As you go through the tasting process, let the flavours of the botanicals stimulate your senses.

Fee: $60 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 27

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Takes a sensory world gin tour with Jaclyn Harriman, professor of distillation at Niagara College. From garden to glass, learn about this well-liked spirit, its emergence in both Canada and beyond, and the various botanicals used in its production. Includes a blind tasting as a sensory lesson in appreciation of this popular spirit.

Fee: $60 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 15

Register Now
glass of gin with lemon and herbs

For the Bees: the Sweet Stuff

Bees visit a variety of flowers and as a result, honey can be as different as night and day. Let your nose and taste buds guide you through this fun, honey tasting experience which is very similar to wine tasting. Luc Peters and Dan Douma from Humble Bee, guide you through the process of observing the color, aroma, clarity, texture, taste, and (most importantly) flavour notes with food pairings.

Fee: $50 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 21

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In this new course, Katie Cyr, tea sommelier and owner of The Monarch Tea Co., and Luc Peters, beekeeper and owner of Humble Bee, walk attendees through the fascinating and tasty worlds of tea and honey! Guests are guided through an introduction to the different classifications, tasting notes, and how to develop their palate. Come prepared to enjoy lots of tea and honey samples throughout the class!

Fee: $50 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by February 22

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

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: $12 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $18 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by February 13

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Come to the woods at night and listen to the different sounds. Your guide helps you listen so you can pick out the various animals that are more active at night as well as the other sounds that bring the woods to life.

Fee: $12 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $18 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 6

Register Now

It seems like nature has been asleep all winter. Come on this walk and see what is waking up after being dormant for so long. Signs of spring are all around you and your guide explains what it is you are seeing.

Fee: $12 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $18 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by April 4

Register Now

RBG offers birding walks for adults but this walk is for families to see and learn about birds. Many birds are back from the south and are very active to build their nests. Bring your binoculars and be amazed at the variety

Fee: $12 Child (4 to 12 years), Free child (3 and under), $18 Adult (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by May 16

Register Now
boy watering garden with watering can

Junior Nature-Lovers: Gardening Programs for Kids

RBG’s popular winter exhibit club for kids aged 6 to 10 is back with Junior Araneology Club (the study of spiders) so come out and have fun. Look at the body of a spider up close, learn what they eat and explore why they are different from insects. Learn about these wonderful spiders through games, activities and exploration.

Fee: $60 or $20/class (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by March 6

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Each child is given a garden plot to plant, cultivate and harvest. All plants tools and supplies are provided. Activities include cooking, nature hikes, games, crafts and basic gardening techniques.

Fee: $200 (Members 10% off)

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Each child is given a garden plot to plant, cultivate and harvest. All plants tools and supplies are provided. Activities include cooking, nature hikes, games, crafts and basic gardening techniques. Must attend with a parent / caregiver.

Fee: $95 for one session or $160 for both (Members 10% off)

Register Now

Each child is given a garden plot to plant, cultivate and harvest. All plants tools and supplies are provided. Activities include cooking, nature hikes, games, crafts and basic gardening techniques. Must attend with a parent / caregiver.

Fee: $95 for one session or $160 for both (Members 10% off)

Register Now

Each child is given a garden plot to plant, cultivate and harvest. All plants tools and supplies are provided. Activities include cooking, nature hikes, games, crafts and basic gardening techniques.

Fee: $95 for one session or $160 for both (Members 10% off)

Register Now

Each child is given a garden plot to plant, cultivate and harvest. All plants tools and supplies are provided. Activities include cooking, nature hikes, games, crafts and basic gardening techniques.

Fee: $95 for one session or $160 for both (Members 10% off)

Register Now
children playing in a sandbox

Pre-School Programs

Outdoor Education Programs for Little Explorers. Join us throughout the year for fun and games as we explore and learn about our natural world. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from March 26 to May 2

Learn More

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
three children playing in a sandbox

Pre-school Programs

Outdoor Education Programs for Little Explorers. Join us throughout the year for fun and games as we explore and learn about our natural world.

Learn More

class leader demonstrating repotting plants to two senior citizens

Horticultural Therapy Training

Gain the knowledge needed to practice horticultural therapy confidently and competently, and know how to use horticultural therapy programming effectively.

Learn More

groups of camp children

Discovery Camps

Discovery Camps are about fun, education and respect set in one of the most biologically diverse natural areas in Canada.

Learn More