One of Burlington’s best kept secrets and rising weekend events, the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) merges the best of botanicals and the bite of dinosaurs. An oasis of beauty that feature 2,400 acres of natural land that can be accessed by 27 kilometers of walking trail, the Gardens are home to more than 50 at-risk species and serve as a stop-over point for thousands of migrating birds.
The RBG (680 Plains Road W., Burlington ON) is the perfect family or romantic weekend ideas and the best part is that Burlington is just a short drive from Toronto. It has been recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada and with admission, you can receive an interpretive guided tour and even a demonstration. Garden Discovery Carts are available from May to Labour Day (imagine how fun riding a golf cart around would be).
From the heart of the RBG Centre, it’s only a couple of kilometers to the Laking Garden, Rock Garden, Arboretum, Fishway and Hendrie Valley Boardwalk.
The Laking Garden features various vegetation and sports collections of iris and peony species as well as day lilies and various grasses. It is open from May to October, and you can see different flowers depending on which month you go. For a complete list of what is in bloom and when, check out RBG.ca
The Rock Garden was originally constructed on the site of an abandoned gravel pit and it is now anything but that. The Garden features spring bulbs, tulips, cherries, and conifers and is considered to be the most relaxing place at the RBG. It also features a tea house (open in April and May) which is the perfect place to enjoy lunch in-between enjoying the majestic landscape. The Rock Garden will reopen in the Spring but you can check out a list of what is in bloom and when
Like roses? Hendrie Park has one of the most extensive rose gardens in the world, featuring many rare hybrids. It also houses two calming reflecting pools, another tea house and the Centennial Rose Garden. While Hendrie Park will also reopen in the Spring, you can check out a list of what is in bloom and when.
Just because you have to wait until the Spring to see the flowers, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to do now. The RBG has an indoor garden that is open year-round and also has some special winter exhibitions that are currently open.
Royal Botanical Gardens has installed a brand-new model train. Brought to you by Applied Imagination Trains, an award winning crew of creative artists, botanical architects and landscapers have built a special display that includes a train show that runs on weekends. The train installation has been built using botanic materials exclusively and features landscapes that are a nod to celebrate Canadian landmarks. The RBG Train Show runs until January 6.
While the Royal Botanical Gardens will not be running it’s “Glass Under Glass” showcase this year, it will serve as the opening location of the “Dinosaurs: Battle of the Titans” exhibit before it embarks on a North American tour. The exhibit will teach you and your kids about the ecology and environment that the large creatures of yesteryear lived through.
- Figuring out who would win in a showdown between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Triceratops
- A digital dig pit where you can use your hands to brush way dirt to reveal images of the fossil bones of various dinosaurs and put together a skeleton
- Dino-Prints where you can step into a dinosaur’s “shoes”
- Advance computer simulation where the dynamics of a dinosaur’s walking position will be deconstructed
- Dino-Vision where you can get inside the head of the beast
More information about the exhibits, hours of operation and admission prices is available at RBG.ca