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Effective November 15: Visitors required to show proof of vaccination. Learn more about visiting safely during COVID-19.

Pumpkin Hollow

October 22, 23 & 24, 2021
5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m.
Rock Garden

Deep within the recesses of the historic Rock Garden lies Pumpkin Hollow, a drowsy, dreamy, magical place where pumpkins come to life. Stroll amidst the candlelit glow from hundreds of jack-o-lanterns that adorn the gardens’ path while enjoying live entertainment, pumpkin-themed activities, and fall inspired treats. Be sure not to miss this unique family-friendly event celebrating the wonders of the autumn season. Don’t forget your costume!

Pre-Purchased Tickets Required.

  • rock garden visitor centre at night
  • Clown carved on jack-o-lantern lit at night in Hendrie Park
  • Fallen maple leaves in fall colours
  • mandala carved into jack-o-lantern
  • Great Pumpkin Trail Jack O Lantern On Hay Credit Markzelinski.com

Photos: (1) Ryan Moran, (5) Mark Zelinkski

Event Format and Timed-ticketing

Due to the Seeing the Invisible exhibition taking place in Hendrie Park until November 6 our Halloween event is being relocated to the Rock Garden. The Great Pumpkin Trail has been a family favourite event for many years and in order to continue providing a unique family Halloween experience we had to modify the event to the garden space. Guests will still be able to enjoy the candle-lit glow of hundreds of jack-o-lanterns, be entertained by special guests, encounter discovery stations and more!

Time slots: 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m.
*Guests should only arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of their timeslot.

Please note sunset is 6:20 p.m.

See the FAQ below for more specific information regarding attending this event during COVID-19.

Pumpkin Hollow Event Tickets

Member Pre-Sale: Monday, September 27, 12 p.m. (SOLD OUT)
Public Tickets Available: Wednesday, September 29, 12 p.m. (SOLD OUT)

This event has sold out. If you would like to join the waitlist, please complete the form below. Tickets are not guaranteed. (Please note: The waitlist is now closed)

Not only will this wait list help us to accommodate more families should any tickets become available from cancellations, but it will also aid us in gathering important data in regards to how many people in our community are interested in attending this event.

Category Ticket Price
Adult
Ages 13 and up
$20 (+ HST & Service Fee)
Child
Ages 3 to 12
$14 (+ HST & Service Fee)
Child under 3
Ages 0 to 2
FREE (registration and ticket still required)
  • Pre-registration is required for this ticketed event.
  • This event requires a specific event ticket (NOT included in General Admission or Membership)
  • Everyone attending the event must have a ticket including children under the age of 3. You will not be admitted without a ticket. Tickets will be scanned upon arrival.
  • After a purchase is complete, the tickets are the property of the ticket-holder, and RBG will be unable to accommodate any date or time changes.
  • Tickets are non-refundable and final sale. General admission discounts and coupons are not applicable to this ticketed event.

When placing your order, make sure to confirm:

  • Have I purchased a ticket for everyone in my party? Children must be accompanied by an adult. Everyone requires an event ticket, including children under the age of 3.
  • Have I purchased tickets for my entire party in the same entry time?

Tips for Purchasing Tickets

The Basics:

  1. When the sale goes live, select the “Get Tickets” button in the “Tickets” section. At the beginning of the sale time, this button will be linked to proceed to Eventbrite.
  2. If purchasing during the member pre-sale: the first Eventbrite page will ask you for a password. Use the member pre-sale code (emailed to current members prior to the pre-sale date) and click the blue arrow. The page will open. If purchasing during the public sale, skip to the next step.
  3. Use the “select a date” button to open your date options, then click the “tickets” button for the appropriate date.
  4. Scroll through the available time-slots and ticket types, and select the number of Adult (13+), Child (3 to 12 yrs), or Child (0 to 2 yrs) tickets you wish to purchase. Reminder: everyone attending the event requires a ticket. If the slot indicates “sold out,” there are no further spaces available. See “Selecting a Timeslot” section below for some more details and a screenshot.
  5. Select the “checkout” button, and complete the transaction (be sure to fill out all fields and agree to Terms and Conditions). Please note a time-limit exists to complete the purchase from this point.

Selecting a Timeslot:

Screenshot of eventbrite ticket purchasing screen. Boxes indicating where time slots and capacities are shown in the system.

  • You can see the total number of tickets remaining in this time-slot where the blue box indicates above. You will not be able to proceed with your order if you select a total number of tickets higher than the indicated “remaining” number.
  • If the group you wish to attend the event with is larger than the number of tickets remaining in a specific timeslot, DO NOT purchase those tickets unless you are willing to attend with that smaller group. Due to strict capacity and physical distancing guidelines, we are unable to add additional spaces to any time, and due to demand switching timeslots after purchase will not be possible.
  • If you see only 1 ticket remaining, DO NOT purchase it unless you already have other tickets for that time from a previous purchase and you wish to add one more individual.

PLEASE NOTE: screenshot above is from 2019’s event. This year’s registration will appear very similar, though some details shown here may differ slightly.

General Tips:

  • If possible, use a desktop computer. With a larger screen than a phone or tablet, this makes it easier to see your time-slot options
  • Before the sale begins, make a list of all the time-slots / dates you will be able to make in order of preference; tickets go fast and it is possible your ideal time-slot will be sold out, so know your back-ups ahead of time.
  • Have your credit card and billing information ready.
  • If you are a member purchasing during the pre-sale, you will require your membership number during this purchase. Have your membership card handy, and be sure your membership has not expired.

A note on in-person registration: Due to the popularity of this event, tickets go quickly and we strongly encourage you to register online, or have a friend/family member do so for you. A small number of RBG staff members will be available for in-person registrations, though this is a time-consuming process and there is no guarantee the tickets you wish to purchase will still be available by the time we are able to assist you. Registering yourself online as soon as the sale begins is the fastest way to purchase your tickets for this event. 

This is a popular event, and with limited capacities due to COVID-19, we understand that not all interested families will be able to attend. We thank you for your patience and interest in this event, and encourage you to sign up for event email notifications to be sure you hear first about what’s coming up at RBG!

RBG Member Pre-Sale

RBG Membership cardholders have access to 50% of the total number of tickets before the public sale date. The member pre-sale will open on Monday, September 27 at 12 p.m. The remaining 50% of the tickets will be available for purchase for the public starting on Wednesday, September 29 at 12 p.m. A membership discount will NOT apply for this event.

Accessing this pre-sale will require a member pre-sale code, which will be sent prior to the pre-sale date to the email addresses we have on file for all current RBG Members. Members will also require their membership number during the purchasing process.

If you are a current member, confirm with our membership team that we have your current email address on file. There are several reasons you may not be receiving RBG emails, including:

  • We have an old email address on file
  • You have previously unsubscribed from our email communications
  • The message was sent to your spam / promotions folder
  • You are a new member / your membership lapsed during the time the email addresses were pulled for code distribution

If you do not receive a pre-sale code and instructions prior to the Member pre-sale date, you can request a code via a Membership Code Request Form.

Thank You for Supporting RBG!

Royal Botanical Gardens is a registered charitable organization dedicated to connecting people, plants and place. By attending this event, you’re supporting our efforts in areas like plant science, conservation, horticulture and education.

Food & Drink

Food & Drink

Don’t have time to make dinner before the event? The Haunted Café will be serving up some delicious seasonal favourites available for purchase!

Sweets

Halloween Cookies, Marshmallow Frankenstein’s, Rice Krispy Mummies $3
Caramel Corn $3
Apple Cider Doughnuts with Cardamom Ginger Crumble $3

Savory

Roasted Pumpkin Soup $7
Salted Pretzel w/ Calvados Cheese Sauce $7
Smoked Pork Sandwich with Crispy onion and Corn Pepper Salsa $9
Buffalo Blue Cheese Dog with Scallion $8
BBQ Dog with Smoked Provolone and Crispy Onion $8

Beverages

Hot Chocolate, Coffee, Tea $3

Hot Apple Cider $4

Canned Soft Drink $3
Coke | Diet Coke | Sprite | Ginger Ale

Assorted Juices $3
Apple | Orange

Beer 
Craft – Bottle $7
Craft -Tall Can $9

Specialty Coffee $9

Held at Rock Garden

Pumpkin Hollow takes place at RBG’s Rock Garden. Parking is available in the large lot across the street, included in your daily admission. Accessible spaces are available directly outside the building.

Opened to visitors in 1932, the historic Rock Garden is considered the birthplace of Royal Botanical Gardens. Following a significant rejuvenation, the Rock Garden reopened in 2016 to embrace sustainable trends in garden design and management while respecting the integrity of its heritage setting.  Bold swaths of brilliant perennials provide sweeps of inspiring colour and texture throughout all seasons.

Pumpkin Hollow FAQ

Have a question about this event? Click the topics below for more information. If you have a question that is not answered, give us a call at 905-527-1158.

Tickets

Pre-purchased tickets are required for this special event, and typically sell out quickly. Upon purchasing, you will be required to select an entry time. Tickets are final sale. When purchasing your tickets, please ensure you select the appropriate date/time, as switching your tickets after purchase will not be possible. Please note a maximum of 10 tickets per transaction applies. 

A note on in-person registration: due to the popularity of this event, tickets go quickly and we strongly encourage you to register online, or have a friend/family member do so for you. A small number of RBG staff members will be available for in-person registrations, though this is a time-consuming process and there is no guarantee the tickets you wish to purchase will still be available by the time we are able to assist you. Registering as soon as the sale begins is the fastest way to purchase your tickets for this event. 

RBG Member Pre-Sale

RBG Membership cardholders have access to 50% of the total number of tickets during the Member pre-sale on Monday, September 27, 12 p.m., before the public sale date. The remaining 50% of the tickets will be available for purchase for the public starting on Wednesday, September 29, 12 p.m. A membership discount will NOT apply for this event. 

Accessing this pre-sale will require a special member code, which will be sent prior to the pre-sale date to the email addresses we have on file for all current RBG Members. Members will also require their membership number during the purchasing process. 

Tips for Purchasing Tickets

The Basics:

  1. When the sale goes live, select the “Get Tickets” button in the “Tickets” section. At the beginning of the sale time, this button will be linked to proceed to Eventbrite.
  2. If purchasing during the member pre-sale: the first Eventbrite page will ask you for a password. Use the member pre-sale code (emailed to current members prior to the pre-sale date) and click the blue arrow. The page will open. If purchasing during the public sale, skip to the next step.
  3. Use the “select a date” button to open your date options, then click the “tickets” button for the appropriate date.
  4. Scroll through the available time-slots and ticket types, and select the number of Adult (13+), Child (3 to 12 yrs), or Child (0 to 2 yrs) tickets you wish to purchase. Reminder: everyone attending the event requires a ticket. If the slot indicates “sold out,” there are no further spaces available. See “Selecting a Timeslot” section below for some more details and a screenshot.
  5. Select the “checkout” button, and complete the transaction (be sure to fill out all fields and agree to Terms and Conditions). Please note a time-limit exists to complete the purchase from this point.

Selecting a Timeslot:

Screenshot of eventbrite ticket purchasing screen. Boxes indicating where time slots and capacities are shown in the system.

  • You can see the total number of tickets remaining in this time-slot where the blue box indicates above. You will not be able to proceed with your order if you select a total number of tickets higher than the indicated “remaining” number.
  • If the group you wish to attend the event with is larger than the number of tickets remaining in a specific timeslot, DO NOT purchase those tickets unless you are willing to attend with that smaller group. Due to strict capacity and physical distancing guidelines, we are unable to add additional spaces to any time, and due to demand switching timeslots after purchase will not be possible.
  • If you see only 1 ticket remaining, DO NOT purchase it unless you already have other tickets for that time from a previous purchase and you wish to add one more individual.

PLEASE NOTE: screenshot above is from 2019’s event. This year’s registration will appear very similar, though some details shown here may differ slightly.

General Tips:

  • If possible, use a desktop computer. With a larger screen than a phone or tablet, this makes it easier to see your time-slot options
  • Before the sale begins, make a list of all the time-slots / dates you will be able to make in order of preference; tickets go fast and it is possible your ideal time-slot will be sold out, so know your back-ups ahead of time.
  • Have your credit card and billing information ready.
  • If you are a member purchasing during the pre-sale, you will require your membership number during this purchase. Have your membership card handy, and be sure your membership has not expired.

A note on in-person registration: Due to the popularity of this event, tickets go quickly and we strongly encourage you to register online, or have a friend/family member do so for you. A small number of RBG staff members will be available for in-person registrations, though this is a time-consuming process and there is no guarantee the tickets you wish to purchase will still be available by the time we are able to assist you. Registering yourself online as soon as the sale begins is the fastest way to purchase your tickets for this event. 

This is a popular event, and with limited capacities due to COVID-19, we understand that not all interested families will be able to attend. We thank you for your patience and interest in this event, and encourage you to sign up for event email notifications to be sure you hear first about what’s coming up at RBG!

Arrival / Entry Times

This event is time-ticketed. Please arrive at your scheduled time and expect to spend at least an hour here experiencing Pumpkin Hollow. When you arrive at the Rock Garden (1185 York Blvd. Waterdown) for your start time you will be greeted by our staff team who will check you in.

You will be required to present your pre-purchased tickets upon arrival, either printed out or digitally on your personal device. Each ticket will be scanned. The confirmation receipt is not a ticket. Your tickets were sent to you as an attachment in the confirmation e-mail you received after booking.

Weather

Pumpkin Hollow is held rain or (moon)shine and is 100% outdoors, so come prepared for the weather! RBG reserves the right to cancel the event due to inclement weather.

Directions & Parking

This event is held at the Rock Garden, 1185 York Blvd. Waterdown. Parking is included and available in the large lot across the street. Accessible spaces are available directly outside the building.

Bike racks are available outside the Rock Garden visitor centre, and in the parking lot across the street.

This location is also accessible via Burlington Transit, with bus stops within easy walking distance.

Accessibility

All garden paths are paved. The lower bowl of the garden includes flat pathways with some arched bridges. Two paved and sloped pathways around the outer edge of the garden provide access to the lower bowl for those unable to take the stairs. All event activities will be in accessible areas of the garden.

Please note: Certain areas of the garden will be dimly lit for optimal viewing of the jack-o-lanterns.

If you have any questions about accessibility at this event, please contact us at 905-527-1158.

Food & Beverage

Don’t have time to make dinner before the event? The Haunted Café will be serving up some delicious seasonal favourites available for purchase! Menu coming soon.

Costumes

Visitors are encouraged to wear costumes however please keep costumes fun and family friendly since the majority of children present will be 10 and under

What do I do if I feel ill?

As part of our commitment and shared responsibility for the health and safety of our guests, staff and volunteers, we ask that event attendees perform a self assessment to help reduce the spread of COVID – 19 prior to entering the event. Should you feel ill please stay home and contact your health care provider. Your tickets can be transferred to other family members or friends (no transfer fee required).

Do I need to wear a mask?

As we welcome our community and visitors back to experience the beauty of Royal Botanical Gardens’ (RBG), we are making every effort to help ensure your visit is enjoyable, entertaining and, above all, safe.

Following the advice of public health authorities, masks are required to access the indoor spaces (entry to the garden, washrooms, etc.), and we ask that you wear a mask or face covering during the outdoor portion of this experience if possible. Please observe all markers and one-way indicators upon arrival and stick with your group for the duration of the event, following physical distancing guidelines.

Pets & Service Animals

With the exception of service animals, personal dogs/cats/animals are not permitted at this event. 

Terms & Conditions

Tickets purchased to special events are final sale and non-refundable. Tickets for this event can be transferred to someone else if you can no longer attend the event.  Please keep your tickets and confirmation: it is proof of your purchase and allows entry into the event. 

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. 

Filming/Photography Release: Please be advised that all photos, audio-video, and static images taken at this event may be used for exhibit, reproduction, and/or distribution for RBG related promotional use, including all forms of print, television advertisement, social media and /or website display. In consideration of your participation as a guest or attendee of this event, you authorize Royal Botanical Gardens, its legal representatives, suppliers, invited media and assigns unrestricted right and permission to copyright and use such photos and images under their sole discretion. Royal Botanical Gardens, its legal representatives, suppliers, invited media and assigns are released without limitation of any claims for libel or invasion of privacy. 

By purchasing tickets and participating in this event on RBG properties, you are agreeing to the above release for yourself, and on behalf of your guests. 

Upcoming Family Events

Check out these other events, activities, and programs where your family can experience nature together! View the full events calendar at rbg.ca/events.