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 Fall 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.

small bonsai tree

Home Gardening

Start a new hobby of bonsai! Once practiced only by skilled masters of the discipline, bonsai is an activity that can be enjoyed at any age with any level of skill. With a few key horticultural techniques and some basic design concepts, these living sculptures can be created from many of the plants we find in today’s nurseries. In this introductory course, Mike McCallion, president of the Bonsai Society at RBG, demonstrates the techniques involved in creating a bonsai.

Fee: $40 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 30

Register Now

Change it up and develop a natural garden area that includes carnivorous plants. In the wild, these plants grow in sunny, acidic, nutrient-poor wetlands called bogs. This environment can be replicated in a mini-bog planter and grow an array of species like sundews, pitcher plants, and butterworts. Dr. Varun Anipindi demonstrates the process of creating a habitat for these insect-eating plants

Fee: $40 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 12

Register Now

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

Fee: $35 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 3

Register Now

Learn first-hand on a walk through the garden with Charlie Briggs, RBG native plants gardener, as he explains various gardening topics — a great opportunity to ask questions.

  • Fall Interest in the Garden: Monday, September 17; 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at RBG Centre
  • Preparing the Garden for Winter: Monday, October 1; 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at RBG Centre

Fee: $20/session (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 7 / 21

Register Now


canoeing on Cootes Paradise

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

Birders of all stages are encouraged to join Jackson and friends to help track the bird species that pass through RBG’s Arboretum. As birds make the exodus to more warmer climates, this region becomes an important stopping ground.

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

Please pre-register by September 19

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

Here is an opportunity to come out and experience nature at night. This is the start of a full moon and if clouds cooperate, your path will be illuminated. Night time provides a very different experience and your guide points out many pertinent and fascinating points as you go along. Please bring a flashlight and proper footwear.

Fee: $20 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 16

Register Now

Expand your photography knowledge. Matthew Tiegs covers the basics of consistently capturing better quality images, including camera settings, shutter speed, aperture and ISO, composition basics and much more. Dress for the weather as parts of the classes are outside.

Fee: $40 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 1, September 5

Register Now

Expand your photography knowledge. Matthew Tiegs covers the basics of consistently capturing better quality images, including camera settings, shutter speed, aperture and ISO, composition basics and much more. Dress for the weather as parts of the classes are outside.

Fee: $100 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 1, September 5

Register Now

Come and 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 the 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. Arrive 15 minutes early and be prepared to paddle rain or shine. In the event of high winds or threatening weather, please call the Weather Update Line at ext. 404. Meet at the Nature Centre 15 minutes before start time.

  • Tuesday, August 14; 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 18; 1 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 28; 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 8; 1 p.m.

Fee: $45/person/tour (Members 10% off)

Register Now

Ever wonder how trees spread themselves around? Do you know which food-bearing trees are favourites of wild creatures? Learn to identify those trees with Nadia Cavallin, RBG’s herbarium curator and field botanist, and discover the fascinating relationship between wildlife and the trees that depend on them with Felicia Radassao, RBG’s assistant terrestrial ecologist.

Fee: $20 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 30

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 September 10

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 September 11

Register Now

Artist Shelley Prior explains the basic techniques and elements to paint rocks, skies, trees, water and fall scenes. Learn and practice these tips during this eightweek course. Discover the beauty of fall 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 September 16

Register Now

rug hooking

Art in Nature

Madeleine Carere introduces how flowers, roots, nuts and leaves hold potential to produce colours that can be used to dye wool, cotton and many other things. She outlines gathering materials for dyeing, making the dye solutions, preparing the fabric for the dye bath as well as colour fixatives. There is an outdoor tour of RBG to observe plants often used for natural fabric dyes.

Fee: $45 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 30

Register Now

Beer is the main ingredient in this DIY three-hour hands-on workshop with The Eco Well. Make and takehome a balm, bath bomb and body scrub. Learn about the ingredients, their formulations, therapeutic and environmental effects, and how to customize your recipes to YOU. Included is a choice of one beer or kombucha. The products are all-natural, eco-friendly and vegan.

Fee: $55 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by November 3

Register Now

Under the guidance of Lisa Meecham, learn traditional rug hooking while you design your own unique piece — sure to be an instant heirloom treasure! This unique 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: $80 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by October 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 September 10

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 September 14

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 September 22

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 September 16

Register Now

small bottle of oil with greenery

Herbs and Oils

Locally aromatic herbs can be made into herbal preparations that can aid in self-care wellness. Enjoy the scents of mid-summer through tea tasting and working with fresh plants while learning about the beneficial properties of herbal aromatics. In this workshop Zoe Hayes guides participants in making an herbal hydrosol (floral water) and aromatic herb bundles for tea or bath.

Fee: $45 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 5

Register Now

Join Elizabeth Boyd, registered herbalist, to learn 16 herbs that are most effective for treating a wide range of ailments, and get experiences making herbal remedies to take home including tinctures, decoctions, medicinal vinegar, and cough syrup, poultice, infused oil, salve and guidelines to proper dosages. This workshop explores the healing properties of four medicinal herbs per session.

Fee: $120 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 5

Register Now

Essential oils are naturally-occurring aromatic compounds found in plants and have been used for centuries. Learn about these oils, where they come from and how to use them effectively and safely. Meillyn Kelly teaches you to make a natural cleaning product, mood boosting diffuser blends and many other preparations. Participants receive an essential oils usage guide and a 5 ml bottle of essential oil to use at home.

Fee: $40 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 9

Register Now

Let’s celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week by looking at how essential oils can support our mental health. Through the olfactory system, molecules from essential oils go to the limbic system which is the emotional centre of the brain. Meillyn Kelly and Leslie Bennett outline various oils and how to use them to help with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and more.

Fee: $40 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 24

Register Now

hands drumming

Wellness

Women’s busy lives can benefit from a retreat/reprieve. This one-day retreat focuses on aspects of women’s health. Recharge your batteries and learn new life skills while meeting like-minded women. Includes healthy snacks and vegan lunch, plus: mindful movement yoga, healthy posture, nia, women’s pelvic health, drumming circle, and laughter yoga

Fee: $145 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by October 17

Register Now

Join Kiran Yashpal, Indian and Canadian trained in mediation, and be lead through a gentle flow of yoga, pranayama and meditation to harness energies within you and encourage relaxation. These exercises bring balance and harmony to your mind, spirit and body, and can assist to a healthier you. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing. Bring a yoga mat. 6-week session.

Fee: $75 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 8

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 September 4

Register Now

woman demonstrating re-potting a plant to seniors

Horticultural Therapy

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

Fee: $225 (refreshments and workshop materials)

Please pre-register by October 9

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.

closing a jar of kimchi

Fermentation Workshops

Learn the fundamental concepts of vegetable brine fermentation and make your own custom-seasoned fermented dill pickles and spiced carrots. Take home two jars equipped with a reusable airlock system. Please bring a medium sized cutting board, vegetable peeler, and a large chef’s knife.

Fee: $70 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by August 28

Register Now

Learn the basics of vegetable fermentation and its health benefits, and experiment with flavours. Take home two jars of custom-flavoured sauerkraut, each equipped with reusable airlocks. Please bring a medium sized cutting board and a large knife.

Fee: $65 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by October 1

Register Now

holding a cup of tea

All About Tea

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.

  • September 16 — Northern Fujian style Oolong (Rock Tea): Da Hong Pao/Big Red Rope
  • October 21 — Southen Fujian style Oolong (Green Oolong): Tie Guan Yin/Iron Goddess, ZP Narcissus
  • 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 September 6, October 11, November 8, December 6

Register Now

Delight your taste buds with a fabulous, afternoon herbal tea menu prepared by Linda Barnett of the Travelling TeaRoom. Enjoy savoury and sweet delectable food with perfectly brewed teas, and tour RBG’s herb garden to experience the wonderful smells up close. A memorable way to share an afternoon with someone special.

Fee: $65 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 6

Register Now

Tasseomancy is the art of tea leaf reading. Join Amy Taylor in this fun, educational six-week program. While drinking tea, learn the interpretation of the patterns made by the tea leaves remaining in the teacup. Students receive an instruction booklet and Certification of Completion.

Fee: $140 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 8

Register Now

Come and experience the elegance of a Victorian Christmas afternoon tea with Linda Barnett of The Travelling TeaRoom. Enjoy traditional holiday favourites of scones served with thick cream, preserves, scrumptious savouries, delightful sweets, and perfectly brewed tea while relaxing to peaceful holiday music. Share this special holiday celebration with your friends and family.

Fee: $65 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by November 22

Register Now

child pouring tea

Don't Miss the Tea Festival!

Saturday November 3 and Sunday November 4; RBG Centre

Warm up with a hot cup of tea and sample different varieties from around the world. From green to rooibos, oolong to herbal and everything in between, learn all about your favourite types of tea with tastings and educational presentations.

Tickets and More Information >>

bee on yellow flower

For the Bees

Honey tasting, the experience of savouring different flavours of honey, is similar to wine tasting. It uses the same technique of swirling the honey in the glass and exploring the colour, aroma and taste. Try to distinguish the floral sources. Different foods are paired with the different honeys. Cathy Kozma, honey sommelier, guides you through this truly sweet afternoon.

Fee: $45 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by October 18

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

Join us for an enchanted evening with fairy stories and fairy folklore. "If your eyes are quick and the light is just right, you may see the fairies about to take flights." Keep your eyes peeled and you may spot a fairy about to fly - don't miss the magic.

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

Please pre-register by August 8

Register Now

Hone your pumpkin carving skills! With the guidance of an RBG instructor, create your masterpieces. One goes home with you and the others line our trail for our famous Great Pumpkin Trail on October 25, 26. Every child receives a free pass to visit their pumpkins during our event. For children 6 to 12 years old.

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

Please pre-register by October 11

Register Now

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

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 August 25

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: $120 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 2

Register Now

carved pumpkin face

Fall Fun

Join RBG for a fun adventure that lasts all night. Bring your sleeping bag, a grownup and your jammies for a sleepover in the woods. There’s pizza and salad for supper, a night hike, campfire, continental breakfast and morning games. You have all the fun and we do the work and supply the tents. Ages 5 and up. A list of supplies is provided prior to program start date.

Fee: $55 (individual) or $200 (family of 4) (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by September 6

Register Now

Still get caught up in the excitement of the holiday? Join your peers and have an evening of creating something scary to display at home. This is for serious pumpkin carvers! Join RBG master carver, Sherri Earl, as she shows you some cool designs and provides the tools to truly make your two pumpkins first rate. Geared to ages 13 to 16.

Fee: $15 (Members 10% off)

Please pre-register by October 13

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