Make it a day at The Gardens where you can spend some quality time together with your kids. Enjoy the fresh air and the brilliant colours in surroundings which don't challenge little feet or strollers. Check out our totem poles which were carved by artists of the Tsartlip and Tsawout First Nations and statues collected by Butchart family members on various trips overseas. The Ross Fountain pond looks great any time of the year and any time of the day or night.
The Children's Pavilion and the Rose Carousel opened December 1st, 2009. The carousel runs daily from 9:30am to 30 minutes after the admission gate closes. Admission to The Gardens is required.
Make any birthday age special with a Birthday Party at the Children's Pavilion. Learn more
With strollers for infants, baby changing areas and park benches at strategic areas it makes a trip about the gardens easy.
Family Discovery Walk - New for families, fun and free too!
Kids can have fun with parents with our Family Discovery Walk. Stop by our Visitor Information Center for your copy of the Family Discovery Walk worksheet. Kids and parents (or grandparents!) can explore the gardens in a whole new way by discovering our history, drawing pictures and learning lots of fun facts.
If you are coming with a School Group we have a separate Discovery Walk program (not available on Fireworks Saturdays) which can be arranged and supports the BC Ministry of Education Science Curriculum: Life Science, Physical Science and Earth & Space Science.
You'll find more colours at The Gardens than in the best crayon sets. The Easter long weekend brings out the bunnies. Kids can take a special map from the Admission gate and head out on a hunt to find the ceramic bunnies. After marking the bunny locations on the map, you can return to the Info Centre for an Easter treat. This is also the time for kids to enter the contest to win a great prize.
Maybe it would be a good time to drop by and see Tacca in the Piazza and rub his nose for a bit of good luck to help you find all the bunnies.
With the autumn leaves falling and cooler days to come, this is a marvelous time for kids to come and admire the fall colours. Bring the family dog and make it a family stroll.
In Japanese gardens of old, wild boars could cause havoc. The Japanese designed a special boar scarer. When you enter the Japanese Garden stop and listen for the sound of someone chopping wood at a very slow speed, then see if you can help your parents find our boar scarer.
Of course Tacca is a statue so he never wanders into the gardens. You'll find him in the Piazza.
As if by magic, our creative and hard working gardeners transform the Blue Poppy restaurant into a springtime wonderland. Pathways are created, soil is brought in, bulbs and trees are planted and ponds created. Just about everything is brought indoors except tree houses. Even though it may be too early for spring flowers outdoors the indoor display will give you a sense of what will soon be here.
In the former home of the Butchart family an Historical Display is assembled. Several rooms are decorated with original furniture and artifacts from the early 1900s to the current day. For parents the displays are great to point out things your parents or grandparents used to use or wear. No computers, no iPods and no televisions, but you'll see early phonographs, games that involved the whole family, and musical instruments.
Each summer evening the Concert Lawn fills with visitors who enjoy the on-stage performances. On Saturday nights a grand Fireworks Display follows the Concert Lawn performance on an adjoining lawn. You'll find it hard to believe this complicated theatrical performance of fire on water and land, complete with music, is all controlled by hand firing.
Join in the tradition of so many families and stroll the various gardens all decked out with Christmas lights which come on at dusk. Maybe you'd like to skate on our outdoor ice rink first, then walk about? Just be sure to book your 40-minute skate time when you first arrive. Test your memory with the Twelve Days of Christmas displays. If you can't remember all the parts of the song, don't worry as you are likely to hear others singing it. At the end of your walk why not head to the Coffee Shop for a hot chocolate, then wander to the Piazza and listen to the carolers and festive brass?
During our Christmas season, kids (12 and under) are encouraged to help us build our window displays of snowflakes by bringing a hand made plain white paper snowflake no bigger than 8.5 x 11 inches. Our little helpers will be able to trade their snowflakes* at our Coffee Shop for a complimentary children's sized hot chocolate in the Coffee Shop.
*There is a limit of one snowflake per child per day.