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Reduced Hours during Winter Wonders: RBG Centre and Hendrie Park will close at 4 p.m. during Winter Wonders (final admission 3 p.m.). Timed-tickets required to access these areas for the evening Winter Wonders experience.

The Great Pumpkin Trail

This Event Has Passed

This page contains details for a 2022 event. Check back for updated information for the 2023 season!

Want to be notified of RBG’s upcoming events? Sign up for our email newsletter at rbg.ca/erbg.

The Great Pumpkin Trail is back, with more evenings than ever! – SOLD OUT

October 21 to 23, 28 to 30, 2022
Time-ticketed, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Hendrie Park

It’s a magical evening on the Pumpkin Trail! Follow the candlelit glow of hundreds of jack-o-lanterns guiding the way through the garden, and along the Hendrie Valley South Bridle Trail. Enjoy 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!

Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Menu coming soon.

Note: only a ¼ km loop of the Pumpkin Trail is fully wheelchair accessible and stroller-friendly. The remainder includes rough terrain.

Pre-Purchased Tickets Required.

The 2022 event is SOLD OUT! Want to hear first for next year’s event? Sign up for event notifications at rbg.ca/erbg

  • Clown carved on jack-o-lantern lit at night in Hendrie Park
  • Children in costume standing around large carved pumpkin
  • mandala carved into jack-o-lantern
  • Great Pumpkin Trail Jack O Lantern On Hay Credit Markzelinski.com
  • Man And Child Looking At Pumpkins

Event Tickets

SOLD OUT!

Category Ticket Price
Adult
Ages 13 and up
$20 (+ HST & Service Fee)
Child
Ages 4 to 12
$16 (+ HST & Service Fee)
Infant / Toddler
Ages 0 to 3
FREE (registration and ticket still required)
  • All prices are subject to HST and applicable service charges
  • Tickets are non-refundable and final sale. General admission discounts and coupons are not applicable to this ticketed event.
  • Pre-registration is required for this ticketed event. Tickets will not be sold at the door.
  • Everyone attending the event must have a ticket. You will not be admitted into the event without a ticket. Tickets will be scanned upon arrival.
  • Tickets provide access to Hendrie Park during this after-hours event. Separate Garden Admission would be required for those wishing to visit any RBG garden areas during regular admission hours.

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:
  • 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 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; 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 an exclusive pre-sale before the public sale date. The member pre-sale will open on Thursday, September 22 at 11 a.m. A membership discount will NOT apply for this event.

Accessing this pre-sale will require a member pre-sale code, which was sent on September 16 and 21 to the email addresses we have on file for all current RBG Members. Members will also require their membership number during the purchasing process.

Are you a current member who didn't receive the pre-sale email?

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.

Event Format and Timed-ticketing

The Great Pumpkin Trail is returning to Hendrie Park! Due to challenges presented by COVID-19 the format of The Great Pumpkin Trail was modified over the past 2 years to meet recommended guidelines as issued by the Ontario Ministry of Health. We are excited to return to its historical structure, allowing guests to roam throughout Hendrie Park at their leisure while interacting with roaming entertainers, viewing interpretive displays and enjoying the autumn air by the campfires. The Hendrie Park Valley trail portion will be a one-way route with volunteers posted to help direct guests along the way.

Timeslots

Guests will be required to select an entry time-slot upon registration. Expect to spend at least 1 hour in the experience. Guests should arrive no sooner than 15 minutes prior to the start of their timeslot.

2022 timeslots: 5:30 p.m., 5:45 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:15 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 8:35 p.m., 8:40 p.m.

Due to the high demand of this event, we will be unable to accommodate date or time changes after registration is complete.

Please note sunset will be approximately 6:30 p.m.

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

Don’t have time to make dinner before the event? The RBG mobile kitchen will be serving all your handheld favourites, with additional snacks and drinks available at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse. Valid ID required for purchasing alcoholic beverages.

RBG’s Food Trailer

Pack a picnic blanket! RBG’s food trailer will be operating in Hendrie Park during the event with a selection of delicious grab-and-go fare.

Turner Pavilion Teahouse

Surrounded by Hendrie Park‘s new, innovative Rose Garden, the Teahouse offers an ideal spot to relax in nature’s tranquility while enjoying a light snack or drink.

Full Menu

Sandwiches

  • Ham and Cheddar w. Maple Aioli and mixed greens on Ciabatta Bun $9
  • Roast Beef and Cheddar w. Mayonnaise, Mustard, and mixed Greens on Multigrain Bun $9
  • Turkey Provolone w. Maple Aioli and mixed greens on Multi Grain Bun $9
  • Italian; Soppresata and Genoa Salamis, Prosciutto, Provolone, Mayonnaise, Mustard, Mixed Greens on Ciabatta Bun $9
  • Grilled Vegetable Wrap w. Zucchini, Red Onion, Bell Pepper, Mushroom, Hummus, Mixed Greens $9

Boxes

  • Charcuterie; Genoa and Sopressata Salamis, Prosciutto, Gherkins, Olives, Mustard, Crostinis $12
  • Cheese & Fruit; Cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, Grapes, Berries, Fig Jam, Crackers $12
  • Veggies & Hummus Carrot, Celery, Cucumber, Red Pepper, Grape Tomato, Red Pepper Hummus $7

Salad

  • Caesar; Romaine, Crouton, Parmesan, Bacon Bits, Creamy Dressing $11 (W/ Chicken $16)
  • Garden; Spring Mix, Grape Tomato, Cucumber, Heirloom Carrot, White Balsamic Vinaigrette $9 (w/ Chicken $14)
  • Potato; Yukon Gold Potato, Celery, Red Onion, Red Pepper, Creamy Dressing $12
  • Pasta; Grilled Vegetables, Penne Pasta, Sundried Tomato Dressing $12

Hot Buttered Popcorn: $3

Baked

  • Cookies; Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Oatmeal Raisin, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut $3
  • Scone w. preserves $3
  • Muffin $3
  • Spinach and Feta Pastry $6
  • Danish; Assorted Flavours $6
  • Croissant w. preserves $6

Beverages

  • Assorted Soft Drinks – $3
  • Brewed Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate – $3
  • FLOW Boxed Water $3.50
  • Espresso $3.50
  • Hot Apple Cider $4
  • Americano $3.75
  • Latte/ Cappuccino $4

(add 0.50 for Non-Dairy Alternatives)

Warmers

  • The Great One: Coffee or Hot Chocolate, 1oz Wayne Gretzky Canadian Cream, Whipped Cream $9
  • Spiked Cider (1oz) Hot Apple Cider, Gretzky No.99 Red Cask Whisky $9

Beer

  • Domestic Bottles $7
  • Import/ Premium Bottle $8
  • Craft Beer & Spirits Can $9
  • No Boats on Sunday Cider $9

Wine: 6oz $7, 9oz $11

  • Good Natured Chardonnay or Merlot / Gamay
  • Peller Estates Pinot Grigio or Cabernet / Merlot

XOXO Botanical Wine Spritzers $9 (Peach Orange Blossom, Raspberry Rhubarb)

Indoor Atrium Bar

Grab a drink for your journey! The bar in the Atrium at RBG Centre is the perfect place to start your walk with a cup of something warm, sweet, or extra.

Bar Menu

Little Ghouls

  • Hot Chocolate w/ Bloody Brain Whipped Cream $3
  • Hot Apple Cider $4

Corpse Warmers

  • Ghost of the Great One (1oz)  Coffee or Hot Chocolate, Wayne Gretzky Canadian Cream, Whipped Cream $9
  • Fermented Spider Cider (1oz) Hot Apple Cider, Gretzky No.99 Red Cask Whisky $9

Witch’s Brews

  • Creepy Craft Cans $9
  • No Boats on Sunday Cider $9

Wicked Wines 6oz $7, 9oz $11

  • Good Natured Chardonnay or Merlot / Gamay
  • Crush Pinot Grigio or Merlot

Bonechilling Botanical Wine Spritzers $9 (Peach Orange Blossom, Raspberry Rhubarb)

Programming & Entertainment

Interpretive Stations

  • Pretty Peculiar Pumpkins
    Explore the diversity of pumpkins and vote for your favourite.
  • Pumpkin Exploration Station
    Examine some pumpkins as you discover their form and function, from seed to peduncle.
  • Magical Plant Potions
    How many of these magical plant potions have you had before?
  • Discover Nature at Night
    Discover what’s happening in nature at night and the cool animals that prefer the dark.
  • Pumpkin Field Games
    Enjoy some fall festive games.

Special Guest

Speaking of Wildlife

Meet a variety of native Ontario nocturnal wildlife and learn all about what makes each special.

Show Times: 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m.

Find them under the Rose Garden tent!

Held in Hendrie Park

The Great Pumpkin Trail returns to Hendrie Park! Parking is available on-site.

680 Plains Rd. W. Burlington ON.

The Great Pumpkin Trail 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.

Member Pre-Sale

RBG Membership cardholders have access to a presale starting September 22 at 11am. 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 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; 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!

Can I bring a youth group?

Consider bringing your guide, scout, or youth group to our specialized Pumpkins in the Park event October 24!

Details at: rbg.ca/events/youth-group-night-pumpkins-in-the-park

Arrival / Entry Times

This event is time-ticketed. Please arrive at your scheduled time and expect to spend at least an hour here experiencing the Pumpkin Trail. When you arrive at RBG Centre (680 Plains Road W., Burlington) for your start time you will be greeted by our staff team who will check you in and direct you to the Pumpkin Trail.

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

The Great Pumpkin Trail 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 in Hendrie Park – please enter through RBG Centre at 680 Plains Road W. Burlington Ontario. Parking is included, available in the large lot at RBG Centre. Should the lot at RBG Centre become full, alternate parking locations are:

  1. Street parking along Botanical Dr. and Spring Gardens. Rd. From this area, cross the parking lot and make your way to RBG Centre main entrance to check in.
  2. Staff Parking Lot / Classroom 5 – south side of Plains Rd. W. at Botanical Dr., Burlington. From this lot, make your way to RBG Centre main entrance to check in.

Please note that the Hendrie / Cherry Hill Lot will not be open. You will not be able to enter the event through the Rose Garden Kiosk.

This garden is located along bus routes for Burlington Transit, with stops a short distance from the entrance. See rbg.ca/directions for more details.

Accessibility

Only a ¼ km loop of the Pumpkin Trail is fully wheelchair accessible and stroller-friendly. The remainder is along the RBG trail system which includes rough terrain. 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 Teahouse will be serving up some delicious seasonal favourites available for purchase!

Trail Length and Lighting

The Great Pumpkin Trail is a 1.5 km loop, beginning in Hendrie Park, and continuing along the South Bridle trail before returning to Hendrie Park. Please note only a ¼ km section of the trail is fully wheelchair accessible and stroller-friendly.

The route is lit by the jack-o-lanterns along the trail. You are encouraged to bring a flashlight as it can get dark out there!

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

Pets & Service Animals

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

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?

Effective May 5, visitors are no longer required to wear masks at Royal Botanical Gardens.

Terms & Conditions

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

COVID 19 Rights and Responsibilities: Royal Botanical Gardens understands and respects the rights of all staff, volunteers, and event attendees to be protected from infectious diseases. Royal Botanical Gardens follows the public health and workplace safety measures and regulations as indicated by local public health units, local municipalities, and the Province of Ontario. As such, guests are mandatorily required to adhere to the processes and policies that are put in place to mitigate effects of infectious diseases. Such processes and policies include, but are not limited to: face coverings, daily medical screening, and social distancing. It is the right of Royal Botanical Gardens to restrict the access to or remove from its events and properties any individual who does not adhere to such processes and policies. By agreeing you understand the above statement and agree to its contents for yourself and those individuals attending the exhibition with you.

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 tour 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.