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Things To Do By Season

Things To Do By Season

The gardens and trails are ever-changing, and so are the activities, events, and programming! Stay connected with nature all year long.

Purple Lilac Bunch In Spring Arboretum

Spring Blooms

The gardens come alive with brilliant and showy blooms in the spring months! From delicate and ephemeral flowering trees, to bright and showy perennials, the gardens are constantly changing; visit again and again to see all our key collections as they reach peak bloom.

Plant Faire Volunteer Helping Visitor Select Plants

Special Events

Celebrate spring with a host of special events at the gardens! Start the gardening season off right with Plant Faire, celebrate our key bloom collections, and enjoy brunches and taste the gardens with culinary events.

Some events require pre-purchsed tickets (separate from General Admission or Membership).

Staff Gardening With Children

Discovery Activities & Tours

Join us for daily activities in the late spring and summer! From mid-May through August, drop-in for daily tours, discovery stations, and more. Weekends include even more fun!

Activities rotate between RBG’s five cultivated garden areas depending on the bloom periods in each garden. Check the events calendar closer to your visit for more details on activity topics and locations.

  • Garden Tours
  • Discovery Carts
  • Wildflower Walks
Yoga Class In Royal Court Credit Markzelinski.com

Courses, Camps and Programs

Learn and grow in the gardens by registering for educational programs! From yoga and gardening courses to programs for kids and families, there are exciting learning opportunities for everyone.

These programs require pre-registration, and space is limited. Select from the list below for more information.

Yes Alliance hiking A Boardwalk Trail

Spring Hiking

Explore RBG’s Nature Sanctuaries with 27km of hiking trails through Hamilton and Burlington!

Seasonal Highlights: Spring brings new life to RBG’s conservation areas, including the return of migratory birds, and spring ephemeral wildflowers starting to bloom. Trails can be damp this time of year, so dress accordingly!

Enjoy a self-guided hike from dawn to dusk at one of RBG’s many trailheads or join us for a FREE guided Back to Nature Hike each Sunday at 2 p.m. Location rotates, so check the schedule to see where to meet each week.

In The Presence Of Sakra Sculpture Peter Killeen
In the Presence of Sakra, Peter Killeen

Art in the Gardens

Art brings beauty into our gardens, adds a human element, tells a story, and creates dialogue. Discover the abundance of art installations that grace our garden setting that include the Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection, Earth Art, and other lesser known works that have found their home at the Gardens throughout its rich history.

Turkey Club Sandwich On Wooden Platter

Dining

Each season offers a cornucopia of fresh new ingredients that grace our kitchens and with two restaurants and a teahouse on site, Royal Botanical Gardens is your destination for dishes inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients.

With unique culinary events infused with music, arts, and culture. Culinary experiences at RBG embrace sustainable choices and choice ingredients, many of them straight from our gardens to your plate. Now that’s fresh.

Shop Succulent Containers

Shop

Shop @ the Gardens is known for its distinctive merchandise including gardening accents and tools, containers and statuary, home décor, jewelry and fashion, educational games and toys for children, gardening and nature books, and more. Our trained staff and volunteers can help you select the perfect gift for any occasion!

Bee On Purple Betony Blooms

Summer Blooms

Brilliant blooms continue as the weather heats up! Visit our new Rose Garden in Hendrie Park and discover the history of this beloved species as you stroll through a spectacular display of roses and companion plants. The Rock Garden’s ever-changing display of brilliant perennials are pure magic while a walk through Laking Garden’s Iris and Peony Collection will take your breath away. Our gardens are constantly changing, so visit again and again to see all our key collections as they reach peak bloom.

Folk Musicians Performing On Stage Under Tent Credit Markzelinski.com

Special Events

Get the most out of summer with amazing events in the garden! Take in the music and theatre, explore the enchanted garden as a family, or join us for a 19+ garden party.

Many of RBG’s special events require tickets and are separate from General Admission or Membership. See the specific event requirements at the links below.

Child Smelling Edible Flower Credit Markzelinski.com

Discovery Activities and Tours

Join us for daily activities in the late spring and summer! From mid-May through August, drop-in for daily tours, discovery stations, and more. Weekends include even more fun!

Activities rotate between RBG’s five cultivated garden areas depending on the bloom periods in each garden. Check the events calendar closer to your visit for more details on activity topics and locations.

  • Garden Tours
  • Discovery Carts
  • Back to Nature Hike
Boy Watering Vegetable Patch Credit Markzelinski.com

Courses, Camps and Programs

Learn and grow in the gardens by registering for educational programs! From yoga and gardening courses to programs for kids and families, there are exciting learning opportunities for everyone.

These programs require pre-registration, and space is limited. Select from the list below for more information.

Group With Dog At Hiking Lookout Credit Markzelinski.com

Summer Hiking

Explore RBG’s Nature Sanctuaries with 27km of hiking trails through Hamilton and Burlington!

Seasonal Highlights: The nature sanctuaries are abuzz with life in the summer months! Explore the trails, see how many species you can spot, and take some time to relax and appreciate the views at our many lookouts.

Enjoy a self-guided hike from dawn to dusk at one of RBG’s many trailheads or join us for a FREE guided Back to Nature Hike each Sunday at 10 a.m. Location rotates, so check the schedule to see where to meet each week.

Canoeing On Cootes Paradise At Sunset

Paddle

Explore Cootes Paradise by canoe to get a glimpse of the astounding life that depends on the health of the marsh for its survival.

Join a tour by canoe with Paddling in Paradise! Register for these guided tours to view wetland plants and wildlife and hear about some of our restoration efforts that help keep Cootes a Paradise. We supply the canoes, paddles and lifejackets.

Have your own vessel? RBG is home to two canoe launches: Princess Point along Cootes Paradise, and Valley Inn at Grindstone Creek. Note: RBG does not supply canoes for general rental.

Group Looking at Bloodroot Sculpture
Bloodroot, Karl Unnasch

Art in the Gardens

Art brings beauty into our gardens, adds a human element, tells a story, and creates dialogue. Discover the abundance of art installations that grace our garden setting that include the Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection, Earth Art, and other lesser known works that have found their home at the Gardens throughout its rich history.

Turkey Club Sandwich On Wooden Platter

Dining

Each season offers a cornucopia of fresh new ingredients that grace our kitchens and with two restaurants and a teahouse on site, Royal Botanical Gardens is your destination for dishes inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients.

With unique culinary events infused with music, arts, and culture. Culinary experiences at RBG embrace sustainable choices and choice ingredients, many of them straight from our gardens to your plate. Now that’s fresh.

Shop Selection of Summer Garden Decor

Shop

Shop @ the Gardens is known for its distinctive merchandise including gardening accents and tools, containers and statuary, home décor, jewelry and fashion, educational games and toys for children, gardening and nature books, and more. Our trained staff and volunteers can help you select the perfect gift for any occasion!

Floribunda Rose In Fall

Fall Colours and Blooms

When the weather cools, our gardens and trails come to life with warm autumn hues. As a nature sanctuary between climate zones with incredible plant biodiversity, RBG is the perfect location to watch the seasons change.

Enjoy late Roses and companion plants in Hendrie Park, autumn perennials at Rock Garden, and stunning hues in trees throughout the garden areas and on the trails.

Great Pumpkin Trail Jack O Lantern On Hay Credit Markzelinski.com
Photo by Mark Zelinski

Special Events

Ease into fall with a host of autumn events! Enjoy floral society shows, celebrate Halloween as a family, or join us for a 19+ garden party with RBG After Dark.

Many of RBG’s special events require tickets and are separate from General Admission or Membership. See the specific event requirements and details at the links below.

Staff In Vegetable Garden

Courses and Programs

Learn and grow in the gardens by registering for educational programs! From yoga and gardening courses to programs for kids and families, there are exciting learning opportunities for everyone.

These programs require pre-registration, and space is limited. Select from the list below for more information.

Family At Lookout In Fall Credit Markzelinski.com

Fall Hiking

Explore RBG’s Nature Sanctuaries with 27km of hiking trails through Hamilton and Burlington!

Seasonal Highlights: Our nature sanctuaries are the perfect place to watch the seasons change. Experience peak fall colours while hundreds of migrating species pass through Cootes Paradise.

Enjoy a self-guided hike from dawn to dusk at one of RBG’s many trailheads or join us for a FREE guided Back to Nature Hike each Sunday at 2 p.m. Location rotates, so check the schedule to see where to meet each week.

School Of Fish Sculpture In Fall
School of Fish, Kakkee Negeoseak

Art in the Gardens

Art brings beauty into our gardens, adds a human element, tells a story, and creates dialogue. Discover the abundance of art installations that grace our garden setting that include the Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection, Earth Art, and other lesser known works that have found their home at the Gardens throughout its rich history.

Turkey Club Sandwich On Wooden Platter

Dining

Each season offers a cornucopia of fresh new ingredients that grace our kitchens and with two restaurants and a teahouse on site, Royal Botanical Gardens is your destination for dishes inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients.

With unique culinary events infused with music, arts, and culture. Culinary experiences at RBG embrace sustainable choices and choice ingredients, many of them straight from our gardens to your plate. Now that’s fresh.

Shop Fall Display

Shop

Shop @ the Gardens is known for its distinctive merchandise including gardening accents and tools, containers and statuary, home décor, jewelry and fashion, educational games and toys for children, gardening and nature books, and more. Our trained staff and volunteers can help you select the perfect gift for any occasion!

Aloe Candelabra Plant Bright Orange Bloom

Mediterranean Garden & Outdoor Winter Interest

Escape winter weather and keep the green thumb satisfied with a stroll through RBG Centre’s Mediterranean Garden! Don’t miss the seasonal breezeway display, the Orchid Case, and the Cacti and Succulent Collection.

Enjoy a winter walk through the gardens! Get some “winter interest” garden inspiration, and appreciate conifer displays, berry-producing shrubs, and the many textures of deciduous tree bark.

Winter Lights At The Rock Garden Lit At Night

Special Events

Ease into fall with a host of autumn events! Enjoy floral society shows, celebrate Halloween as a family, or join us for a 19+ garden party with RBG After Dark.

Many of RBG’s special events require tickets and are separate from General Admission or Membership. See the specific event requirements and details at the links below.

Christmas at the RBG

Holiday Traditions

In November and December, RBG is transformed into a festive wonderland! Experience the magic this holiday season with unique Santa Experiences, festive entertainment, train adventures and Winter Lights at the Rock Garden.

Some activities in Holiday Traditions are included in your general admission or membership, while others require separate event tickets. See individual activity descriptions for details.

Winter Exhibit Wildlife Rescue Setup In Atrium

Winter Exhibit

Each January to April, RBG Centre is transformed into an exciting family experience! Learn with hands-on stations, Meet the Animal Shows, special guests, storytime, self-guided activities, and more.

The Winter Exhibit changes each year, so check back in late fall for the following year’s theme.

Botanicals In Containers With Oils

Courses & Programs

Learn and grow in the gardens by registering for educational programs! From yoga and gardening courses to programs for kids and families, there are exciting learning opportunities for everyone.

These programs require pre-registration, and space is limited. Select from the list below for more information.

Boers Falls Frozen In Winter

Winter Hiking

Explore RBG’s Nature Sanctuaries with 27km of hiking trails through Hamilton and Burlington!

Seasonal Highlights: Plant life slumbers, but the nature sanctuaries are still full of life and interest. Enjoy ice skating, find animal tracks in the snow, explore indigenous plant use, and spot raptors and arctic waterbirds.

Enjoy a self-guided hike from dawn to dusk at one of RBG’s many trailheads or join us for a FREE guided Back to Nature Hike each Sunday at 2 p.m. Location rotates, so check the schedule to see where to meet each week.

Rejoicing Family Sculpture Covered In Snow
Rejoicing Family, Taurai Mutigwa

Art in the Gardens

Art brings beauty into our gardens, adds a human element, tells a story, and creates dialogue. Discover the abundance of art installations that grace our garden setting that include the Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection, Earth Art, and other lesser known works that have found their home at the Gardens throughout its rich history.

Turkey Club Sandwich On Wooden Platter

Dining

Each season offers a cornucopia of fresh new ingredients that grace our kitchens and with two restaurants and a teahouse on site, Royal Botanical Gardens is your destination for dishes inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients.

With unique culinary events infused with music, arts, and culture. Culinary experiences at RBG embrace sustainable choices and choice ingredients, many of them straight from our gardens to your plate. Now that’s fresh.

Mother With Child Looking At Christmas Decor Credit Markzelnski.com

Shop

Shop @ the Gardens is known for its distinctive merchandise including gardening accents and tools, containers and statuary, home décor, jewelry and fashion, educational games and toys for children, gardening and nature books, and more. Our trained staff and volunteers can help you select the perfect gift for any occasion!