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Visitors are required to show QR code proof of vaccination. Learn more about visiting safely during COVID-19.

Winter Wonders

Please note: Winter Wonders outdoor evening experience will continue to operate under Ontario’s new Covid-19 restrictions until January 9. Live entertainment inside the Rose Garden tent has been cancelled.

The Greenhouse Café will be closed for the remainder of Winter Wonders. Full refunds for the Winter Wonders Dinner & Lights ticketholders will be issued.

Daytime Winter Wonders programs including rides on the RBG Express, Guided Winter Walks, and Discovery Stations will no longer be offered.

RBG requires all visitors aged 12 and up to prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Ontario’s vaccine certificate with QR Code (paper or digital) along with an official government-issued ID showing name and date of birth will be the only valid proof of vaccination accepted for entry into Royal Botanical Gardens as of January 4, 2022. Download your QR code here. Learn more about visiting RBG safety during Covid-19.

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

Wednesday to Sunday, November 24 to January 9
5 to 10 p.m.*; Hendrie Park

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.

Timed-tickets required. Tickets on sale now!

*This is a time-ticketed experience. Upon registration you will be required to select an entry time. Please note: You may arrive at any time within your timeslot (indicated on your ticket). Final admission is at 9 p.m.

Tips for Visiting:

  • RBG requires all visitors aged 12 and up to prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Ontario’s vaccine certificate with QR Code (paper or digital) along with official government-issued ID showing name and date of birth will be the only valid proof of vaccination accepted for entry into Royal Botanical Gardens as of January 4, 2022. Download your QR code here. Please see the FAQs below for details.
  • Upon registering you will be required to select one of two timeslots, 5 to 7 p.m. or 7 to 9 p.m. Please note that you may arrive at any time within your timeslot (indicated on your ticket). Staggered arrival times help RBG to offer a better overall experience by reducing lineups at entry. 
  • RBG Centre and 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.
  • The walk is 1.5 km, and takes approximately 1 hour.
  • Please leave your pets at home for this experience, pets are not permitted (service dogs excluded).
  • Outside food and alcohol will not be permitted.

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Share your visit with #RBGWinterWonders for a chance to win! Find RBG on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Throughout Winter Wonders, we’ll be holding a weekly draw for two complimentary general admission passes for a return visit to RBG in 2022. Each entry counts towards a chance to win the grand prize of one-year Family Plus RBG membership and a $50 RBG voucher to use at any RBG dining sites. The grand prize will be drawn at the end of Winter Wonders on Wednesday, January 11See full contest rules and regulations.

Selfie of two people in front of a Dawn Redwood tree decorated with Bright Christmas lights
Photo by Matthew Shortt
Young woman smirking and looking off to the right. Rainbow lights shine across her face
Photo by Evan Skjele
Bloodroot sculpture at the centre surrounded by lit christmas trees. Three people are walking down the path with a blurry exposure
Photo by Tom Jaffray
Woman with baby held in front carrier looking up towards the falling snow. Rainbow lights shine across them.
Photo by Mazin W.
Person in red winter coat looking up towards the lit Bloodroot sculpture
Photo by Billy Dhillon
Muskoka chairs around a small fire. A large christmas tree with lights in the background
Photo by John Nunez
close up of two polar bear figures made out of twinkle lights
Photo by @FearlessAndHappyPhotography
  • Dawn redwood tree wrapped in lights at Winter Wonders
  • The Global Garden decorated with christmas lights and displaying many different types of christmas trees
  • Looking over the rose garden during winter wonders to the gazebo wrapped in lights
  • festive candy cane décor with lights
  • Close up of silver christmas ball ornament hanging on tall tree
  • Oak Allee lined with festive lights and snowmen in the middle

Winter Wonders Tickets

Timed-ticket entry required. Tickets will be available onlineFood and drink available for purchase throughout the experience, or consider making a Dinner & Lights reservation at the Greenhouse Café (Available Fridays and Saturdays).

Upon registering you will be required to select one of two timeslots. Please note that you may arrive at any time within your timeslot (indicated on your ticket). Staggered arrival times help RBG to offer a better overall experience by reducing lineups at entry.

Please note, 9 p.m. is last entry time. Expect to spend approximately 1 hour at this experience.

  • 5 to 7 p.m.
  • 7 to 9 p.m.

RBG requires all visitors aged 12 and up to prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Ontario’s vaccine certificate with QR Code (paper or digital) along with official government-issued ID showing name and date of birth will be the only valid proof of vaccination accepted for entry into Royal Botanical Gardens as of January 4, 2022. Download your QR code here. Please see the FAQs below for details.

Visitor General Admission
Adult $19.50
Youth/Student* $16.50
Senior** $16.50
Child age 4 to 12 $11.50
Child under age 4 FREE
Family
(2 adults and up to 2 children under age 18)
$44
RBG Members
(See your membership type for the number of guests your membership accommodates)
FREE
  • All rates include HST.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • RBG Members must present membership card upon entry.

Winter Wonders: Dinner & Lights

UPDATE: Please note that the Greenhouse Café will temporarily close as of Wednesday, January 5. Guests with reservations will be issued a full refund.

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 

Operating Dates

  • Wednesday, Nov 24 to Sunday, Nov 28
  • Wednesday, Dec 1 to Sunday, Dec 5 
  • Wednesday, Dec 8 to Sunday, Dec 12 
  • Wednesday, Dec 15 to Sunday, Dec 19
  • Monday, Dec 20 & Tuesday, Dec 21
  • Wednesday, Dec 22 to Thursday, Dec 23 
  • Monday, Dec 27 & Thursday, Dec 30
  • Sunday, Jan 2
  • Wednesday, Jan 5 to Sunday, Jan 9

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 at the Gardens, and more. Keep reading to learn more about daytime activities.

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.

Featured Displays

Marvel at the thousands of charming lights adorning a 1.5 km path through the Garden, which guide you past seven magical displays that tell the stories of unique winter wonders with interactive and educational experiences.

Oak Allee lined with festive lights and snowmen in the middle

Winter Wonderland
Oak Allee (1)

Sparkling icicles and glimmering snowflakes are sure signs that Jack Frost has been through! A parade of snowmen welcome you winter wonderland.

festive candy cane décor with lights

Holiday Sweets
Helen M. Kippax Garden (2)

Take a trip through Candy Cane Forest and discover which of your favourite tastes of the season come from plants.  Chocolate, peppermint and more — now that’s sweet.

Arctic Fox art and light installation

Winter Wildlife
Prehistoric Grove (3)

Find out what all the Ontario wildlife get up to in the winter. Encounter a leaping Arctic fox and his glowing animal friends along this twinkling, forested path.

About Arctic Fox

The Arctic Fox installation was conceived of by CoBALT Connects, then designed and fabricated by Hamilton artist Tanis MacArthur.

The Arctic Fox lives in Canada’s coldest environment, the tundra. This small canine is well adapted to the Arctic’s frigid temperatures. Arctic Fox don’t shiver until temperatures reach -70 degrees Celsius when they will curl up in a cozy ball to maintain body heat. Using their keen sense of hearing and smell, Arctic Fox prey on small mammals and birds which are often found beneath the snow. Putting their strong back legs to work, they launch themselves into the air and dive nose first into the snow to snag their dinner.

These three light-weight inflatable sculptures rise to approximately 4.5 metres (15 feet) and are made from the same fabric as a kite or windbreaker. Each sculpture is kept inflated by a small fan and is tethered to the ground by guidelines. LED lights give each fox a wonderous glow that make them magical in any environment.

forest of christmas trees made out of string lights

Sounds of the Holidays
Mitchell’s Field (4)

Follow the sounds of jingle bells and dance along to the best songs of the season alongside our festive video wall. A gorgeous forest of light up trees offers the perfect place to prance and sing.

Tunnel of white twinkle lights arch over the fountain in the centre of the Scented Garden

Togetherness
Scented Garden & Rose Tent (5)

RBG’s holiday party is in full swing at the Rose Garden tent, with cozy firepits and festive sips and bites to share with your friends and family.

Enjoy a picture-perfect moment at the glorious Hendrie Gates or underneath the mistletoe hung from the lovely lighted archways in the Scented Garden.

Hanukkiah and Torah

Festive Lights from Children’s International Learning Centre
Veggie Village & RBG Centre (6)

Delve into the diverse holiday traditions that are celebrated in our communities and across the world. RBG thanks their friends at the Children’s International Learning Centre’s (CILC) for their collaboration on this display of light celebrations from different cultures.

Close up of a Fir Tree decorated with string lights. Bloodroot sculpture can be seen brightly in the background

Holiday Trees
Global Garden (7)

Have you chosen your tree yet? Come see the spectacular varieties on display at RBG’s mini Christmas tree farm to pick your favourite and find out the origins of this iconic tradition.

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Winter Wonders Sips & Bites

Grab some festive sips and bites to enjoy as you wander the garden! The team will be serving a rotating menu of festive snacks and warm drinks available for purchase from the Turner Pavilion Teahouse and the Collective Arts Shipping Container (Thurs to Sun, 5 to 10 p.m.). Before you head out into the Garden, stop by the Peller Estates Lounge in the Atrium for a winter warmer beverage or cocktail.

All prices subject to HST.

Outside food and drink will not be permitted.

Sweet

Assorted Holiday Sweets $3

Chocolate Covered Pretzel $5

Savoury

Hummus and Garden Vegetables $7 (VG/DF/GF)
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Cucumber, Heirloom Carrot, Bell Pepper, Celery

Gourmet Cheese and Fruit $12 (V)
Assorted Gourmet Cheeses, Grapes, Breton Crackers and Orange Fig Jam

Italian Charcuterie $12
Genoa Salami, Sopressata, Pancetta, Crostini, Roasted Vegetable & Herbed Dijon

Chips and Dip $4 (V/GF/DF)

Assorted Pastries $6 (V)

Hot Pretzel with Calvados Mornay Sauce $7 (V)

Roasted Chestnuts $7 (Available only at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse)

Hot Buttered Popcorn $3 (Available only at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse)

Winter Warmers

Royal Botanical Mulled Wine $11
Peller Family Reserve Merlot, St Remy VSOP, Seasonal Mulling Spices

The Teahouse Toddy $9
Gretzky No.99 Red Cask Whisky, Honey, Citrus

The Great One $9
Coffee or Hot Chocolate, Wayne Gretzky Canadian Cream, Whipped Cream/ Candy Cane Topping

Royal Botanical Gardens Winter Wonders Ale $9
A Collaborative Brew with Great Lakes Brewery, Brewed with Honey and Spices. 6.2% abv. Available only at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse.

great lakes brewing logo in black
rbg crest logo in green

Beverages

Coffee $3
Medium Roast | Regular or Decaffeinated

Espresso $3.50 (Available only at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse)

Americano $3.75 (Available only at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse)

Latte/ Cappuccino $4 (Available only at the Turner Pavilion Teahouse)

(add 0.50 for Non-Dairy Alternatives)

Tea $3
Orange Pekoe | English Breakfast | Earl Grey | Green | Lemon | Mint | Chamomile | Decaffeinated Black

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

Assorted Juices $3
Apple | Orange

Wine
6oz $7  9oz $11

Good Natured-  Chardonnay
Peller Estates- Pinot Grigio

Good Natured – Merlot/Gamay
Peller Estates- Cabernet Sauvignon

XOXO Botanical Wine Spritzers $9
Strawberry Hibiscus
Peach Orange blossom
Raspberry Rhubarb

Beer 
Domestic Bottle $6
Import Bottle $7
Craft Beer & Spirits Can $9

V =Vegetarian, VG = Vegan, DF = Dairy Free, GF = Gluten Free

Live Entertainment Schedule

Enjoy live performances and roaming entertainment offered every night of Winter Wonders.

Please note: Live entertainment inside the Rose Garden tent has been cancelled for the remainder of Winter Wonders in accordance with Ontario’s move to modified Step Two Covid-19 restrictions.

Michael Maguire playing guitar

November 24, 28, December 1, 5, 10, 15, 19, 23, 27, January 2
Michael Maguire

Learn More

Always the innovator, Michael consulted with his good friend and student Charles Tauber in the design and construction of his custom made seven string guitar. Michael brings this beautiful instrument with him to every performance. Michael Maguire creates musical magic with every performance. Familiar melodies and jazz standards instantly become new creations under his fingers and through his voice. For the adept or casual listener, Maguire’s music is pure delight.

Ginger Bread Girls

November 25, December 22, January 8
Hoop You

Gareth Bush sitting with his guitar on a lakeside dock

November 26, December 8, 17, 21, 29
Gareth Bush

Learn More

Born in Halifax and having moved countless times along the East coast, Gareth Bush now resides in Toronto, Ontario as a live performer and recording artist. Since 16, Gareth has been songwriting, Youtube-ing, busking, performing in local music venues and now ranks as Toronto’s best rated wedding and event musician.

While he finds inspiration from the likes of John Mayer, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Lifehouse, and Mumford & Sons, Gareth has been entertaining audiences over the past decade with an extensive repertoire covering all major genres, with over 700 hit songs in his pocket.

Gareth released his debut EP “This is For Keeps” in 2013 and has since recorded two full cover albums, “Try Again” Volumes 1 & 2, which are available digitally worldwide.  Volume I includes his acoustic cover of Paramore’s “Still Into You,” which has become a popular first dance selection at weddings across the globe.

Swag quartet headshots

December 2, 9, 12
SWAG Quartet

Learn More

SWAG is a women’s barbershop quartet based in the Greater Toronto area. Collectively, members Susanne, Wendy, Voula and Grace have more than seven decades of a cappella singing experience. We enjoy singing shows for local BIAs, corporate clients and at private events. After months of Zoom rehearsals, we are especially thrilled to be able to perform for live audiences once again. SWAG hopes to share with you the power of music this holiday season!

person in stilts dressed as a drummer boy

December 4, 20,
The Biggest Little Drummer Boy

person dressed as a nutcracker in stilts

December 11, 28
Nutcracker Stilt walker

Glisse on Ice logo

December 16, January 6
Glisse on Ice

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.

  • Dawn redwood tree wrapped in lights at Winter Wonders
  • Archway of white sparkling lights around fountain
  • cutout gingerbread person waving in front of the teahouse decorated like a gingerbread house
  • Arctic Fox art and light installation
  • Low angle of rainbow lights across a path. Two people walk in the distance
  • Snowmen cutouts in planters

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

Winter Wonders is included in general admission! Tickets must be pre-purchased online. Timed-ticket entry required.

Winter Wonders is included in your RBG Membership. Become a member for unlimited visits to the garden all year long! Members must present membership card upon 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.

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 at 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.

Arrival / Entry Time

When planning your visit, please note that you may arrive at any time within your timeslot (indicated on your ticket). Different arrival times allows RBG to offer a better overall experience by reducing lineups. You can expect to spend approximately 1 hour at this experience. 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 outdoor experience.

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.

Food & Drink

Festive snacks will be available for purchase from the Turner Pavilion Teahouse located ¼ into the light display and from the Collective Arts Container located ¾ into the 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 drink 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.

Am I required to be vaccinated to enter RBG?

RBG requires all visitors aged 12 and up, including all indoor and outdoor areas of RBG Centre, Hendrie Park, Rock Garden, and Laking Garden to prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This also includes those dining at the Greenhouse Cafe, attending on-site events and public programs, or visiting Shop at the Gardens.

What proof of vaccination is required?

Ontario’s vaccine certificate with QR Code (paper or digital) along with official government-issued ID showing name and date of birth will be the only valid proof of vaccination accepted for entry into Royal Botanical Gardens, public programs, on-site restaurants, and special events, as of January 4, 2022. Download your QR code here.

If you are visiting from outside of Ontario and have proof of vaccination from another province, territory or country, it is valid if you can show you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with documentation that includes your name, date of birth, number of doses, and the name of the vaccine you received. Please visit the Ontario.ca website for more information.

What if I have an approved medical exemption?

RBG will accept medical exemptions as outlined by the Province of Ontario. Please visit Ontario.ca for more information and be prepared to produce the document on arrival.

Visitors who do not present an official certificate QR code, or accepted documentation of medical exemption, will not be allowed entry.

I am not vaccinated and I already have tickets booked. What are my options?

If you have general admission or special event tickets, you are eligible for a refund. Please complete the form to request a refund.

If you have a dining reservation at the Greenhouse Café, please contact 905-527-1158 ext. 333.

Do children 11 and under need to show a negative test result to be admitted?

Children aged 11 and under are not required to be vaccinated and do not need to show negative test results at this time.

They will be asked a list of Covid-19 screening questions before entering. We ask that any visitors feeling unwell or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to please stay at home.

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. 

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). 

Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment

Weather

Winter Wonders is held rain or (moon)shine and is 100% outdoors, so come prepared for the weather! RBG reserves the right to cancel Winter Wonders due to inclement weather without notice.

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. Please be responsible and clean up after your pets.

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.

Terms & Conditions

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

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 experience 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 experience, 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 experience on RBG properties, you are agreeing to the above release for yourself, and on behalf of your guests.

#RBGWinterWonders Photo Contest Rules

The following are the rules (“Rules”) for Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) #RBGWinterWonders Photo Contest giveaway (the “Giveaway”) being administered by Royal Botanical Gardens.

OFFICIAL RULES & REGULATIONS (PDF)