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Winter Wonders, discover the magic of nature and light! Graphic with snowy starlight night illustration

Winter Wonders

Wednesdays to Sundays, Nov 18 to Dec 23
Additional Dates: Dec 27-30, Jan 2, 3

5 to 10 p.m.; Hendrie Park (entry at RBG Centre, final entry 9 p.m.)

A brand new RBG experience! Follow incredible festive lights through picture-perfect Hendrie Park and discover something new at every turn.

Experience the magic of the holiday season under the stars as historic Hendrie Park transforms into a winter wonderland of nature and light. This unique outdoor experience guides visitors along Hendrie Park’s picturesque pathways adorned with charming festive lights, including 7 magical displays that tell the stories of unique winter wonders!

Discover the origins of popular holiday traditions while strolling through our breathtaking garden to the rhythm of festive music and indulging in the warm tastes and fragrances of the holiday season.

Included in your General Admission or Membership

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Garden entry will be closed between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. as our teams prepare for Winter Wonders. Visitors may wait for entry outside RBG Centre during this time. RBG Members and those who had joined us earlier in the day will be allowed entry into RBG Centre until 4:30 p.m.
  • The walk is 1.5 km, and takes approximately 1 hour. The final entry into the garden will be at 9 p.m.
  • General Admission tickets pre-purchased online can be used on a day of your choosing; all tickets will be scanned, either from a printed confirmation or off your digital device. Please consider this option to reduce contact at the door.
  • Please leave your pets at home for this experience (service dogs excluded).
  • Pack your patience! Due to interest in this event and COVID-19 safety procedures, there will likely be a line upon arrival, especially for those arriving between 5 and 7 p.m. Please consider visiting on a weekday, or arriving later in the evening.
  • Dawn redwood tree wrapped in lights at Winter Wonders
  • Rose Garden gazebo wrapped in lights during winter wonders
  • Ornaments hang from a tree wrapped in lights at winter Wonders
  • Grouping of trees lit with flood lights and wrapped lights along path in Winter Wonders

Included in Your General Admission or Membership!

Purchase admission tickets at the door, or save time by pre-purchasing online. Are you an RBG Member? Simply show your membership card upon arrival.

Operating Dates

  • Wednesday Nov 18 – Sunday Nov 22 
  • Wednesday Nov 25 – Sunday Nov 29 
  • Wednesday Dec 2 – Sunday Dec 6 
  • Wednesday Dec 9 – Sunday Dec 13 
  • Wednesday Dec 16 – Wednesday Dec 23 
  • Sunday Dec 27 – Wednesday Dec 30 
  • Saturday January 2 – Sunday January 3 

This activity is NOT available: December 24, December 25, December 26, December 31, January 1.

Join us for the day! RBG opens daily at 10 a.m. Round out your visit with a ride on the RBG Express, lunch at the Greenhouse Café, a walk through historic Rock Garden, a visit to Shop @ the Gardens, and more. Keep reading to learn more about daytime activities.

Admission Tickets

This display is included in your General Admission or Membership; an additional $5 donation is suggested, though not required.

Pre-registration is NOT required for a General Admission / Membership visit; tickets purchased online are valid for any date of the experience. RBG Membership holders can simply show your membership card and identification for entry.

General Admission tickets can be purchased online, or at the door upon entering the Gardens. All tickets will be scanned, either from a printed confirmation or off your digital device. Please consider this option to reduce contact at the door.

Visitor General Admission
Adult $18
Youth/Student* $15
Senior** $15
Child age 4 to 12 $10
Child under age 4 FREE
Family
(2 adults and up to 2 children under age 18)
$40
RBG Members
(See your membership type for the number of guests your membership accommodates)
Included
  • All rates include HST.
  • Student ticket requires showing a student card indicating full-time attendance in a recognized post-secondary institution.
  • RBG considers a senior to be a person of 65+ years of age.
  • Admission is based on a first come, first served basis

Suggested $5 Donation 

Royal Botanical Gardens is Canada’s largest botanical garden and one of the nation’s earliest nature sanctuaries. RBG dedicates its expertise in horticulture, conservation, science and education to connect people, plants and place for the purpose of nurturing and preserving healthy growing life on our planet.

As a registered charity, donations make it possible for us to create unique nature experiences like Winter Wonders for our members and visitors. We thank you for considering a donation today 

Sips & Bites

Winter Wonders Menu

Enjoy light fare available for purchase along your journey through Hendrie Park! Available 5 to 10 p.m. on the dates listed above.

All prices subject to HST.

Snacks:

  • Assorted Cookies $3
    Gingerbread, Shortbread, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Double Chocolate
  • Candy Cane Bundle $3
  • Chocolate Covered Pretzel $5
  • Holiday Scones $6
    S’more, Gingerbread, Candy Cane, Cookie Dough
  • Assorted Pastries $6
    Parmesan Leek, Spinach and Feta, Chocolate Avalanche, Maple Walnut

Beverages:

  • Soft Drinks $3
  • Hot Chocolate $3
  • Coffee or Tea $3
  • Bailey’s Shot $4.50
    Shot added to Coffee or Hot Chocolate.
  • Assorted Micro-Brews $8.50-$12.50
  • House Red/White Wine $7

NOTE: Alcohol will not be served after 9 p.m.

Craft Brew Thursdays

We’ll be featuring a new brewery every week; check back for updated schedule!

Fairweather brewing co hamilton 2017
November 19th:
 Fairweather Brewing Co.

Big Rock Brewery logo featuring a rooster
November 26:
 Big Rock Brewery

KW Craft Cider Kitchener Waterloo
December 3:
KW Craft Cider

Dinner Reservations

Available Fridays & Saturdays

Join us for a Prix Fixe dinner at the Greenhouse Café before or after enjoying Winter Wonders.

$42.50 / person (+HST & Service Fee)

Reservation times (1 hour seating): 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

  • Drinks available for purchase separately. Does not include gratuity
  • Maximum of 4 people per order/table (including infants)
  • Payment at time of reservation
  • Reservations close at 5 p.m. on the day prior
  • Pre-registration required. We will be unable to accommodate walk-ins during this time
  • General Admission or Membership also applies to access Winter Wonders
  • Upon arrival, please bypass the main line into RBG Centre and present your dinner tickets to the available staff member.

Route Map

Map of Winter Wonders route through Hendrie Park with 7 stations

Route: 1-way, 1.5 km path through the garden. Paths are paved, or finely packed gravel. Access Hendrie Park via the tunnel from RBG Centre.

Held in Hendrie Park

This display is placed in Hendrie Park. Enter at RBG Centre, 680 Plains Road W. Burlington. Parking available on site.

Our largest outdoor garden area, Hendrie Park features gentle paths that allow for a magnificent winter stroll through beautiful gardens celebrating the diversity of plants, accented by the inspiring International Sculpture Collection. Our cheerfully decorated Turner Pavilion Teahouse offers a peaceful respite to warm your hands with a hot holiday beverage and delicious snack.

Daytime Activities

Winter days at the Gardens are filled with gorgeous seasonal displays highlighted by our inspiring Breezeway and Mediterranean Garden.

Discovery activities teach visitors of all ages about seasonal plants and other fun winter topics while our trails offer truly amazing winter hike experiences. After building up an appetite, be sure to stop by the Greenhouse Café for delicious fare from a seasonal menu that incorporates local produce, meats and cheeses and features wines and craft brews exclusive to Ontario. Whether you’re looking for unique gifts or ornamental decor, you can bring the holidays home with a visit to Shop @ the Gardens.

All Aboard! Don’t miss a ride on the RBG Express. Purchase tickets at the door to take a round-trip train ride through beautiful Hendrie Park to round out your RBG experience.

Credit: MarkZelinski.com

Ride the RBG Express

Wednesdays to Sundays Nov 18 to Dec 23
+ Dec 27-30, Jan 2, 3

Available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Hendrie Park

All aboard! Take a ride on the RBG Express through the winter beauty of Hendrie Park. The train is available for paid rides throughout the garden.

$5 per train car (for a maximum of 4 people per car). General Admission or Membership also applies.

Learn More

Discovery Activities

Dates Vary

See Schedule; RBG Centre

Join us for a holiday edition of Discovery in the Gardens! Join our garden interpreters to learn about seasonal plants and other fun winter topics. More details to come!

All included in your General Admission or Membership.

Learn More
Credit: MarkZelinski.com

Shop @ the Gardens

Open Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(open until 10 p.m. during Winter Wonders!)

Find unique gifts for every age! Offering a beautiful selection of merchandise as diverse as our gardens, Shop @ the Gardens features an ever-changing selection of unique items for that special gift.  Many of our products showcase the talents of local artisans.

Learn More

Mediterranean Garden & Seasonal Displays

Open Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.*

Explore the plants of the Mediterranean Climate and the Cacti and Succulent collection, PLUS the incredible seasonal display in the Breezeway, all at RBG Centre. Don’t forget your camera!

Included in your General Admission or Membership

Reminder: Masks are required while enjoying indoor spaces.

*Some date and time exceptions may occur. Please check RBG Centre updates at rbg.ca/hours prior to your visit.

Winter Hikes

Available Daily

RBG’s nature sanctuaries feature more than 27 km of nature trails in Burlington & Hamilton, with three major trailheads. Find your route with maps and more at rbg.ca/onthetrails.

FREE to hike. Parking charges apply, or get a free parking pass with your General Admission or Membership.

Learn More

Taste of the Gardens

Daily; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At the Greenhouse Café you’ll find fresh, seasonal ingredients on a new menu that incorporates local produce, meats and cheeses and features wines and craft brews exclusive to Ontario.

Learn More
  • Pathway lit with blue and white lights at Winter Wonders
  • Scented Garden and Hendrie Park Gates lit for winter wonders
  • Looking over the rose garden during winter wonders to the gazebo wrapped in lights
  • Looking down oak alee lit up for winter wonders

Winter Wonders FAQ

Have a question about Winter Wonders? 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-purchase your general admission tickets online or purchase at the door. Online tickets can be used on a day of your choosing. Please note, this display will not be operating December 24, December 25, December 26, December 31, and January 1

Winter Wonders is included in your RBG Membership. Become a member for unlimited visits to the garden all year long!

Pre-registration is NOT required for a General Admission visit. Tickets purchased online are valid for any date of the experience. RBG Membership holders simply show your card and identification for entry.

As a registered charity, donations make it possible for us to create unique nature experiences like Winter Wonders for our members and visitors. Please consider adding a $5 donation to your experience. Donations can be made at the door, while purchasing General Admission tickets, or through our online donations portal.

Entry Time

Winter Wonders is available from 5 to 10 p.m. on the dates listed above.

Entry to RBG Centre / Hendrie Park will be closed between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. as our teams prepare for Winter Wonders. Visitors may wait for entry outside RBG Centre during this time. RBG Members and those who had joined us earlier in the day will be permitted entry into RBG Centre until 4:30 p.m.

As the walk takes approximately 1 hour, the final entry time will be at 9 p.m.

Due to interest in this event and COVID-19 safety procedures, there will likely be a line upon arrival, especially for those looking to join us closer to 5 or 6 p.m. Please consider visiting on a weekday, or arriving later in the evening.

What is Included?

Purchasing General Admission tickets gives you access to Winter Wonders after 5 p.m. on the dates available. Food, drink, and purchases at Shop @ the Gardens are available for additional costs.

General Admission also provides access to RBG’s other spaces from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (for the same day).

  • Indoor Mediterranean Garden & Seasonal Displays at RBG Centre
  • The historic Rock Garden
  • A parking pass for use at RBG Trailheads (available at the RBG Centre kiosk upon request)

Additional activities may be available for an additional cost. See the full calendar to learn more about what’s happening during your visit.

Can I Reserve a Specific Date?

The Winter Wonders experience is part of general admission to Royal Botanical Gardens and is not a time-ticketed, special event. As capacity restrictions to outdoor activities change frequently in response COVID-19, RBG cannot guarantee admission during a specific event or time. General admission tickets are valid for admission to Royal Botanical Gardens during any day of operation.

Food & Drink

Light snacks will be available for purchase from the Turner Pavilion located ¼ into the light display. This is a licensed event; some alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase for those age 19+. A valid I.D. is required for beverage purchase. 

Outside food and alcohol will not be permitted

Washrooms

Washroom facilities are available at the start of the route (lower level of the Atrium at RBG Centre) and approximately half-way through (smaller facility at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse). Please note masks are required for use of all indoor spaces.

Parking & Directions

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. Additional parking is available the small Cherry Hill Gate parking lot (across the street), though this will require crossing the street and a short walk to RBG Centre for entry.

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.

Are Masks Required?

Royal Botanical Gardens’ (RBG) is making every effort to help ensure your visit is enjoyable 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 while standing in any lineup (either indoors or outdoors). We also 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. 

Will Santa be Available?

Unfortunately due to COVID-19, RBG’s Santa experiences are on hold for 2020. He’ll be staying safe at the North Pole!

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) or you can attend on another day of your choosing. 

Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment

Pets & Service Animals

With the exception of service animals, personal dogs/cats/animals are not permitted during the evening portion of Winter Wonders.

Pets are welcome in RBG’s outdoor spaces between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. so long as they remain leashed, and cleaned up after.

Accessibility

The one-way, 1.5 km route for this display takes visitors along wide, paved or gravel pathways, with one short stretch over grass. If accessing with a wheelchair / walker / stroller, and outdoor model is suggested. Some benches will be available for those who require them.

Accessible parking spaces are available outside RBG Centre. Visitors access the garden through RBG Centre, descending through the Atrium via stairs or an elevator.

If you have any further questions about accessibility at this event please contact us by phone (905-527-1158) or use the form at rbg.ca/contact-events.