Gardeners, nature lovers and families are all springing up at Royal Botanical Gardens (the “RBG”) in Burlington. This living, interactive museum is the largest botanical garden in Canada and a National Historic Site with multiple gardens and nature sanctuaries.  Here are four ways to spend an afternoon amongst the blooms.

  • 1

    For the wandering spirit

    RBG offers plenty of guided tours and activities, but it is equally enjoyable to aimlessly wander the various gardens. Hendrie Park is a great starting point for a snap-worthy stroll. Blogger Linda Goodmurphy shared her favourite moments on a recent visit: “It makes me happy just to see the many vibrant flowers in bloom. With so many varieties of colourful flowers and diverse gardens, Hendrie Park is a photographer’s dream. It’s tempting to try and capture each lovely bloom so I have to remind myself to pause and just enjoy the beauty without looking through the lens of the camera. For me, strolling the garden paths is a mood-lifting experience. It’s impossible not to feel a sense of peacefulness in the natural setting of the park.” Hendrie Park is known for its extensive rose gardens, boasting many new and antique roses, and is also home to a fascinating Medicinal Garden.

  • 2

    For the nature lover

    RBG’s sprawling site of over 2,400 acres of land includes The Arboretum, where you’ll find the Nature Interpretive Centre and 27 kilometres of walking trails. These trails are home to more than 50 at-risk species and are a major stopover point for thousands of migratory birds.  Throughout the RBG lands, visitors can access various nature sanctuaries where they can climb observation towers, take part in bald eagle viewing, walk the marsh boardwalk, or hit the Escarpment Trail.

  • 3

    For the kids

    Outside at the RBG Centre, kids will love climbing and exploring at the Natural Playground, made entirely out of natural materials. Don’t miss the crowd-pleasing Mediterranean garden, Canada’s only Mediterranean greenhouse, where kids will get a kick out of the koi pond, cork trees and giant cactuses. Family-focused special events include Holiday Traditions featuring the RBG train show, and the annual winter exhibit with its Family Day and March Break programs.

  • 4

    For the garden groupie

    After smelling the roses at Hendrie Park, make your way to the 6-acre Rock Garden. A magical place, exuding an atmosphere of tranquility and mystery, this garden amphitheatre boasts a state of the art visitor centre, accessible paths, and a charming, irregular network of staircases, linked ponds, bridges, and waterfalls. A short drive will take you to Laking Garden, which offers the visitor an insight into the depth and breadth of perennial plants. If you are in pursuit of a certain bloom, check the RBG’s bloom calendar.  Highlights are the iris and peony collections at Laking Garden, one of the most diverse collections of lilac species in the world at the Arboretum, and the extensive narcissus collection in early spring at Hendrie Park.

The Royal Botanical Gardens are open year-round – generally daily 10am – 8pm. Check the RBG calendar for special events.

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Nith River Forest Winter Hiking Experience

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Trip offered on Saturday, Sunday or Monday from October 3, 2020 to April 30, 2021....

Now thru March 21

Family Weekend Getaway – Nature’s Escape

Grand Experiences Outdoor Adventure Company

115 Grand River Street North, Paris, ON, N3L 2M4

Trip available on Friday, Saturday or Sunday November 28 to March 21. Cost: $449

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Best Western C Hotel by Carmen’s-Hamilton

1530 Stone Church Road East, Hamilton, ON, L8W 3P9

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3175 Rutherford Road #55, Vaughan, Ontario L4K 5Y6 Canada

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7200 Appleby Line, Milton, ON, L9T 2Y1

Must request Ancaster location. Saturdays 10am to 4pm. $250 per person plus HST.

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Joseph Brant Museum

1240 North Shore Blvd, Burlington, Ontario

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399 Wayne Gretzky Parkway, Brantford, ON, N3R 8B4

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