Skip to content
Laking Garden reduced hours Saturday June 15: Laking Garden will be closing at 2 p.m. for a special event. Hendrie Park / Rock Garden remain fully open until 8 p.m.

The Great Pumpkin Trail

This Event Has Passed

This page contains details for a 2023 event. Check back for updated information for the 2024 season!

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

October 20 to 22, 27 to 29 2023

Time-ticketed, starting at 5:30 p.m.
Hendrie Park

Celebrating 10 years of magic, the Great Pumpkin Trail returns to RBG! Follow the candlelit glow of hundreds of jack-o-lanterns deep within the recesses of the Hendrie Valley. Enjoy live entertainment, pumpkin themed activities and fall inspired treats. New to this years event, guests will venture down a new pathway and emerge upon a mini midway exhibition, featuring rides and inflatables set upon Cherry Hill Gate.

Dressing up is optional, but definitely encouraged!  

Food and beverage will be available for purchase.  

Note: only a ¼ km loop of the Pumpkin Trail is fully wheelchair accessible and stroller-friendly. The remainder includes rough terrain. Strollers and wagons are not recommended.

Pre-Purchased Tickets Required.

  • Scarecrow performer on stilts walking through Hendrie Park at Pumpkin Trail event
  • Clown carved on jack-o-lantern lit at night in Hendrie Park
  • Children in costume standing around large carved pumpkin
  • Man And Child Looking At Pumpkins

Photos: (1) Incirque, (3 &5) MarkZelinski.com

Event Tickets

Early timeslots selling out quickly! Fridays and Saturdays prior to 8 p.m. are just about sold out. Space still available in later timeslots and on Sundays.

Pre-registration is required for this ticketed event.

Category Ticket Price
Adult
Ages 13 and up
$25 (+ HST and $1 Service Fee)
Child
Ages 4 to 12
$18 (+ HST and $1 Service Fee)
Infant / Toddler
Ages 0 to 3
FREE (registration and ticket still required)
  • Tickets are non-refundable and final sale. 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.
  • A limit of 15 tickets per person will apply during the purchase process.
  • Garden admission discounts and coupons are not applicable to this ticketed event. Membership does not provide access to special events, though members are eligible for an exclusive pre-sale.
  • 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.
  • Please note: Your admission to The Great Pumpkin Trail does not include access to the midway rides. Ride tickets will be available for purchase onsite. Rides are subject to height requirements.

Member Pre-Sale: Wednesday September 13, 11 a.m.
Tickets Open to the Public: Friday September 15, 11 a.m.

To access the member presale, simply log in to your RBG online account using the email address associated with your membership. Once your account is set up, visit the registration page during the pre-sale time and tickets will be available! That’s it! No pre-sale code required.

Do NOT make a new account; any new account created will not have access to your member benefits, and will not permit you access to the pre-sale.

How To Activate Your Account (do this prior to the sale date to avoid disappointment)

  1. Visit secure.rbg.ca/account/login
  2. Enter your email address and “submit” (NOTE: RBG members must use the email associated with their current membership)
  3. Check your email for a link to reset your password
  4. Log in with your new credentials and check your account information. Ensure your updated membership is showing.
  5. Optional but recommended: test your member benefits by checking tickets for Rock Garden Admission; if you see free member tickets, this account will have access to the pre-sale.

If you do not receive a password reset email within 10 minutes, or if you log into and your membership is not showing in your account information, it is possible that email address is not the primary contact on your RBG Membership. Get in touch with the memberships team for more information.

Our family events are incredibly popular and registration can feel competitive. To help manage site activity and make registration as fair as possible, RBG has implemented an online waiting room system.

The waiting room will open 1 hour prior to sale time. When the sale begins, you will be randomly placed in an online queue, with a limited number of registrants let into the site at a time. Complete your purchase, and close the browser tab when complete.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the popularity of this event and large number of individuals hoping to secure tickets, the waiting room time will likely be significant. Please factor a long wait into your planning.

Why use a virtual waiting room? A virtual queue allows a limited (and randomly selected) number of individuals into the ticket site at once. This practice:

  • prevents “cart-jacking” (a reduced number of individuals competing to add the same tickets to their carts at the same time)
  • ensures the ticketing site can operate without being overwhelmed by web traffic
  • accommodates those working with slower internet connections without fear of competing
  • creates a fairer system overall by randomly assigning places in the virtual line
Selecting a Timeslot:
  • 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.
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.

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.

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!

Event Format and Timed-ticketing

Guests can roam throughout Hendrie Park at their leisure while interacting with roaming entertainers, participating in pumpkin themed activities 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 should arrive no sooner than 15 minutes prior to the start of their timeslot.

2023 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.

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.

Event Map

Mini-Midway

Find the mini-midway in the paved lot (Cherry Hill) at the end of the trail! Ride tickets can be purchased from one of two ticket booths. Rides require one or two tickets per person. There will be three rides and one corn maze inflatable.

Midway ticket pricing: (all prices are subject to HST)

  • 1 ticket = $2
  • 2 tickets = $4
  • 20 tickets = $22

Height Restrictions:

  • Ferris Wheel: Kids must be 38″ or taller to ride.
  • Berry Go Round: Kids must be 32″ or taller to ride alone. If under 32″ they must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Ballistic: Kids must be 42” or taller to ride alone. Kids between 36” – 41” must be accompanied by an adult.

Held in Hendrie Park

The Great Pumpkin Trail returns to Hendrie Park! Parking is available on-site, with overflow parking with free shuttle available at Rock Garden (~2km from RBG Centre, 1185 York Blvd. Hamilton ON)

680 Plains Rd. W. Burlington ON.

Looking for a 19+ Alternative?

RBG After Dark: Boos and Brews

October 26
6 to 10 p.m., Hendrie Park

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 15 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. 

What's Included

Event tickets provide access to Hendrie Park and the Great Pumpkin Trail beginning at the timeslot chosen during registration. Any operating discovery activities and live entertainment are also included in your event tickets.

Midway ride tickets, food, and beverages are sold separately (purchasable on site the night of the event).

Tips for Purchasing Tickets

Selecting a Timeslot:
  • 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.
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.

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.

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!

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 event. 

Your tickets will be emailed to you as a pdf attachment shortly after online payment. You will be required to present these tickets upon arrival, either printed out or digitally on your personal device. 

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 and Shuttle

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. 
  3. A complimentary shuttle bus will be running from the Rock Garden Parking lot to RBG Centre.

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 Service gate. 

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? We’ll be serving up some delicious seasonal favourites available for purchase!

Trail Length and Lighting

The Great Pumpkin Trail is a 1km route, beginning in Hendrie Park, and continuing down into the Hendrie Valley. The trail ends at the Cherry Hill Trail Head. Please note only a ¼ km section of the trail is fully wheelchair accessible and stroller-friendly.

The trail route is lit by the jack-o-lanterns. 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 as 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. 

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.

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.