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We're Committed to your Safety: Visiting Safely during COVID-19

The Great Pumpkin Trail

The Great Pumpkin Trail

October 22, 23 & 24, 2020

It’s a magical evening on the Pumpkin Trail! Follow the candlelit glow of hundreds of jack-o-lanterns guiding your way through Hendrie Park, and along the South Bridle Trail. Encounter roaming entertainment and other special guests who are ready to share some cool facts about bats, spiders, and of course PUMPKINS! Don’t miss the unique opportunity to take part in this family-friendly event celebrating the fall 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.

Event Entry Times:
5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 9 p.m.
Entry time selected during ticket purchase. Maximum of 50 people per time-slot. The experience is approximately 1 hour long.

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.

  • Children in costume standing around large carved pumpkin
  • Clown carved on jack-o-lantern lit at night in Hendrie Park
  • owl carved into jack-o-lantern on hiking trail with visitors in background
  • mandala carved into jack-o-lantern
  • children in costume looking at classic jack-o-lantern

Photos 1, 3, and 5 by MarkZelinski.com

Special Event Tickets

The Great Pumpkin Trail requires pre-purchased tickets, available online at the dates below. This event does NOT include access to all RBG’s garden areas.

UPDATE: At the time of the scheduled Member Pre-Sale Tuesday at 12 noon, we unfortunately experienced some technical issues with our website and therefore made the decision to delay the sale until those issues were resolved.

The pre-sale and public sale dates for the Great Pumpkin Trail have been changed to the dates below:

  • Member Pre-Sale: Thursday September 24 at 12 noon
  • Public Sale: Tuesday September 29 at 12 noon
Category Ticket Price
Adult
Ages 13 and up
$19 (+ HST & Service Fee)
Child
Ages 3 to 12
$13 (+ HST & Service Fee)
Infant
Ages 0 to 2
FREE (registration and ticket still required)
  • Members will receive a presale 
  • 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.

Tips for Purchasing Tickets

The Basics:

  1. Check back at this page when the sale goes live, and locate the “purchase tickets” button in the “Special Event Tickets” section. If you open the page very close to the beginning of the sale time and do not see the button, try refreshing your page or opening in a new browser tab. Click the button to proceed to Eventbrite.
  2. If purchasing during the member pre-sale: the first page will ask you for a password. Use the member password (emailed to current members September 15) 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 “full price” (adult), and child tickets you wish to purchase. Reminder: anyone 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 social 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!

Member Pre-Sale

MEMBER PRE-SALE SOLD OUT! Check back on Tuesday when the remaining tickets are released for the public sale.

Update September 24: The Member Pre-Sale for the Great Pumpkin Trail sold out VERY QUICKLY when tickets went on sale at 12 noon. Though this has always been a popular event, COVID-19 restrictions mean that even after adding a third day, the number of tickets we are able to offer in 2020 is a small fraction of what we could in a typical year (around 600 available for the pre-sale in comparison to around 2,000 in 2019).

RBG has thousands of members, and though we’d love to accommodate everyone who wishes to join us, it just isn’t going to be possible to do so in a safe way that cooperates with provincially-set restrictions.

We understand that a number of families will be disappointed and unable to attend due to these limited numbers, but we’re doing the best we can to bring this event back to the gardens in a safe way. This year is tough for everyone, and to those who will not be able to join us, we hope to bring this back in 2021 with more spaces than ever.

Members do have a second chance when the remaining 50% of the tickets are available to the public next Tuesday at 12 noon.

Thank you to all our members and fans for your patience and understanding!

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 Format and Time Ticketing

Due to challenges presented by COVID-19 the format of The Great Pumpkin Trail will be modified to meet recommended guidelines as issued by the Ontario Ministry of Health. Historically this event has been unstructured, meaning that guests were free to roam the event at their leisure while enjoying science shows, face painting, and arts and crafts activities.  

This year, the event will become a 1 hour, linear experience that will allow groups of guests to move through the event in the same direction. Along the 1.5 km route which will include pathways in Hendrie Park and the South Bridle Trail you will safely encounter roaming entertainment and special guests.    

Event Entry Times: 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 9 p.m.

Entry time selected during ticket purchase. Maximum of 50 people per time-slot. The experience is approximately 1 hour long.

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

Held in Hendrie Park

The Great Pumpkin Trail takes place in Hendrie Park. Park and enter at RBG Centre, 680 Plains Road W. Burlington.

Our largest cultivated garden area, Hendrie Park has something for everyone. This garden truly illustrates the diversity of both plants and garden design.

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. 

RBG Member Pre-Sale

RBG Membership cardholders have access to 50% of the total number of tickets before the public sale date. The remaining 50% of the tickets will be available for purchase for the public starting on Thursday September 24 at 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. Check back at this page when the sale goes live, and locate the “purchase tickets” button in the “Special Event Tickets” section. If you open the page very close to the beginning of the sale time and do not see the button, try refreshing your page or opening in a new browser tab. Click the button to proceed to Eventbrite.
  2. If purchasing during the member pre-sale: the first page will ask you for a password. Use the member password (emailed to current members September 15) 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 “full price” (adult), and child tickets you wish to purchase. Reminder: anyone 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 social 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 / over the phone 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. PLEASE NOTE that RBG Staff will be using the same interface as those purchasing online at home, therefore we will be in the same cue as other ticket purchasers which could result in sold out time slots. Registering 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!

Event Capacity

In order to promote physical distancing and provide a healthy and safe environment for our staff, volunteers and guests, we have reduced the number of tickets available per timeslot. Please ensure you have reserved your ticket(s) in advance to avoid disappointment!

Arrival / Entry Times

This event is time-ticketed. Please arrive at your scheduled time and expect to spend 1 hour here experiencing the Pumpkin TrailWhen 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 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 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: 

  • 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. 
  • 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

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

Trail Length & 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

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, teahouse, 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.