Field Trip FAQ
School Programs FAQs and Policies
We are working hard to be able to support you this year! For over 70 years, Royal Botanical Gardens has been dedicated to creating meaningful learning opportunities for students of all ages. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to offer a variety of types of programs for school groups this fall, modified to ensure participant safety while remaining as engaging and relevant as ever. Due to regulations and best practices not all school programs are available for booking and some program elements have been modified to accommodate current health guidelines. To ensure the health and wellbeing of everyone involved with our programs we require everyone who is involved with a program to wear a face covering for the duration of the program. Currently, indoor spaces are not available for use. All materials that are used in programs are sanitized after use.
Our Educational Mission: Education at Royal Botanical Gardens encourages environmental stewardship by providing meaningful and diverse learning experiences that connect people with the wild and cultivated plant world and help them to understand the crucial role that plants play in sustaining and enhancing our lives and the environment.
Parking and Directions
RBG’s School Programs are held at one of two locations: The Nature Interpretive Centre (at the Arboretum), and RBG Centre. Walking between these locations is NOT possible, so be sure to check with your program coordinator for the correct address, and if travelling by bus confirming your driver has the correct address.
Bus parking is available at both locations. There is no charge for school busses at the Arboretum or at RBG Centre. Private vehicles at all sites other than RBG Centre must either display their members’ parking pass or purchase a ticket from the machine.
School Program Fees (2023)
Listed rates may be subject to change without notice.
One free adult is allowed for every 4 Primary students, one free adult for every 5 students above the Primary level. Additional adults are charged the program fee. Ratio is 1:1 for preschool programs except Exhibit programs. Support workers are exempt from additional fees.
Paying For Your Visit: RBG accepts cash, cheque, debit, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express. Invoicing is available upon request.
For 2023, participant rates listed below apply to groups of 12 or more students. Groups of 11 or fewer students will be charged $10 per student per half-day program.
|Program Type||Price per student|
|Half-day Guided Program (2 hours)||$8.75|
|Half-day Special Program* (2 hours)||$9.75|
|Half-day Program and Self-guided Add-On||$12.50|
|Half-day Special Program* and Self-guided Add-On||$13.50|
|Full-day Programs (or 2 x Half-day Programs)||$15.50|
|Full-day Programs (Incl. a Special Program*)||$16.50|
|Full-day Programs (Incl. two Special Programs*)||$18.50|
Stand alone access to trails and/or garden areas
|Groups with 14 or fewer participants: Flat rate of $150;
Groups with 15 or more participants: Per person rate of $10
*Special Programs are indicated in the program descriptions
Canoe and Overnight Experiences
Due to COVID-19, we are not able to offer these programs until further notice.
|Overnight Program: 1 overnight, 3 programs||$50/participant|
|Overnight Program: 2 overnights, 4 programs||$65/participant|
|Half-Day Canoe (2 hours)||$440 for max. 24 students|
|Full-Day Canoe (4 hours)||$660 for max. 24 students|
Additional Program Add-Ons
- Custom program fee +$3 per participant*
- Firepit rental +$25 (+HST) per group*
*Fee is in addition to applied day-package rate
Book an Educational Program
Do you have a question about your school trip to Royal Botanical Gardens? Check the frequently asked questions below. If you can’t find an answer, please contact us at 905-527-1158.
How do I book a program?
To book your program, please fill out and submit our online booking request form. You may also send us an email at or call us at 905-527-1158 ext. 340.
If you are having difficulty using our online registration form or would like to book multiple and/or custom programs, call 905-527-1158 ext. 340 for assistance. Learn more about booking your visit.
I sent in my booking request. What happens now?
Immediately after you submit your application, you will see a confirmation of receipt of your form when you hit the submit button. If not, please look for highlighted errors on the form. You will receive correspondence and booking confirmation regarding your request once details are confirmed. Please share its contents with all participating teachers/leaders.
Our education interpreters will follow-up by email to discuss your program details.
• Payment is due upon arrival based on the number of participants.
Is there a fee for parking?
There is no charge for school busses at the Arboretum or at RBG Centre. Private vehicles at all sites other than RBG Centre must either display their members’ parking pass or purchase a ticket from the machine. The parking fee is $5/hour to a maximum of $15.
Can we stay for a while after lunch?
If you would like to stay for a self-guided hike in the afternoon, please book your trip as a half-day program + self-guided.
How long are the programs?
Half-day programs are two hours, Full-day programs are four hours. We can adjust times to allow for snack or early departure; please advise at the time of booking.
Do you have a gift shop?
We do not recommend that students bring money for safety and timing reasons. There is a gift shop available at RBG Centre only.
Is there a place to purchase food?
Students and chaperones should bring snacks and lunches with them if you plan to eat on site. There is no food available at the Nature Centre. We may offer meals for special events such as our Senior Student Symposium.
Is the facility wheelchair accessible?
Both RBG Centre and the Nature Centre are partially accessible. Our trails are rugged and partially accessible. Please advise us in advance if you have students or chaperones using wheelchairs so that we may accommodate appropriately. We recommend the use of all-terrain wheelchairs or wide tires if possible.
Do programs still run if its raining or snowing?
Our programs run rain, snow or shine, so please dress for the weather. In case of thunder or lightning, many of our programs can be adapted to indoors. If you have booked a program which cannot be adapted, such as canoeing or geocaching, please call in advance to rebook if the weather is threatening.
What if we have to cancel?
If you must cancel, please give us as much notice as possible – at least thirty days prior to your booked trip date to avoid cancellation fees. Should you need to reschedule due to weather or unforeseen circumstances, please let us know in advance. Confirmed trips that are no shows on the day of arrival will be charged the full price as booked.
Should we worry about ticks / mosquitos?
We do have insects on our property that may bite or sting, although occurrences are rare. Proper precautions such as staying on the trails and wearing light-coloured clothing are recommended. Should you wish to apply bug spray, please do so outside and well away from any entrances.
How many chaperones are allowed?
One free adult is allowed for every 4 Primary students, one free adult for every 5 students above the Primary level. Additional adults are charged the program fee. Ratio is 1:1 for Special needs groups, support workers are exempt from additional fees.
Are there washroom facilities?
Washrooms are available at RBG Centre and the Nature Interpretive Centre.
There are no facilities at Rock Chapel or Princess Point. There is a seasonal outhouse near the Fishway.
Is there a place we can eat lunch?
We have picnic tables available outdoors at the Nature Centre. Should you wish to stay for lunch, please advise us at the time of booking. Classroom space may be available indoors if booked in advance.
Can we do a custom program?
We can do custom programs. Please contact us to work out the details of your request.
Can we visit the Fishway for a public lift?
If you wish to visit the Fishway, we recommend booking in advance as a guided tour. This will ensure the best possible experience for your students. Public lifts do not cover the same curriculum expectations as a guided school program. If you choose to show up for a public lift, please be advised that lift times may change or be cancelled without notice depending on weather, fish and staff conditions.
Is public transit available?
Burlington Transit has busses running with stops near RBG Centre, and the HSR has stops near Princess Point. Please check with transit companies for schedule information. Please note that there is no public transit available to the Nature Centre, and no sidewalk access along Old Guelph Road.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Payment is due upon arrival based on the number of participants (cash/cheque/debit/VISA/MasterCard/AmEx) or the minimum fee, whichever is greater. You can also choose to be invoiced.
What if we come with fewer students than booked?
Please confirm your number of students two weeks prior to your visit by phone or email. Payment is due upon arrival based on the confirmed number of participants. For tracking purposes, we will need to know the actual number of students and the number of chaperones on the day of the trip.
Are programs available in French?
RBG is proud to be able to offer educational programs delivered in French. This service is available for select programs and at the availability of French-language educators. When submitting a program request select “I would like programs delivered in French if possible”. Our education team will follow up and confirm if your requested program is available to be led in French.
School Program Policies
If you must cancel, please give us as much notice as possible. Cancellations must be made at least thirty days prior to your booked trip date, otherwise you are charged the minimum booking fee (winter storms/school closures are exempt), unless program is rebooked.
Failure to confirm your visit does not constitute a cancellation.
Payment is due upon arrival and based on the confirmed number of students. We accept cash, cheque, debit, VISA, MasterCard and AmEx.
Please review your confirmation package closely for program location details. Our programs run at multiple sites on RBG’s property. Please direct your bus driver’s attention to the program location details on your booking confirmation.
RBG is a rain or shine facility. Please be prepared to be outdoors during your visit. Please share the ‘What to Bring’ handout with your class. Also note that it is highly recommended that all students wear closed-toed shoes.
Please have your class bring Litter-less lunches. Share the ‘Litterless Lunches’ handout with your class. To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all of our guests, please ensure that lunches and snacks are free of nuts, nut products and traces of nuts.
Special needs and accessibility
Both RBG Centre and the Nature Centre are partially accessible. Our trails are rugged and partially accessible. Please advise us in advance if you have students or chaperones using wheelchairs so that we may accommodate appropriately. We recommend the use of all-terrain wheelchairs or wide tires if possible. Please contact us at 905-527-1158 ext. 340 to discuss any special needs or accessibility requirements in advance of your program date.