There’s just something so peaceful about spending a day in nature— experiencing its calm, admiring its beautiful blooms and being amazed by its many wonders. This is especially true when nature comes in the form of an utterly beautiful garden. Lucky for us, one such gorg natural beauty is a quick drive away. We’re talking about Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), of course.
As the largest North American botanic garden, Royal Botanical Gardens spread over 900 hectares of land featuring 2,500 plant species, 400 wildlife species and 27 km of hiking trails.
While its massive size and impressive variety are a good enough lure for us, if you need more reason, we’ve got 6 stellar ones for you. Below are 6 reasons, or 6 amazing things to do, at RBG that make it a perfect summer day trip destination.
Find the invisible among the blooms
A couple of years ago, RBG introed a whole new experience to its existing plethora of offerings, the See the Invisible exhibit. This augmented reality exhibition lets you see 13 larger-than-life, moving artworks by several renowned international artists. This includes names like Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol and El Anatsui. To revel in this immersive experience, all you have to do is download the RBG app on your smartphone or tablet. And it’s included in the general admission.
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Learn about Indigenous culture through plants
Yes, it is possible! If you follow the Anishinaabe Waadiziwin Trail you can explore the many plants used for sustenance, medicine and trade. For example, you’ll find how Indigenous people used native plants such as Black Walnut and Highbush Cranberry to treat everything from leg cramps to uterine cramps.
Bring in some romance
Is there something more romantic than strolling hand-in-hand through fresh blooms and then grabbing a scrumptious lunch in the garden? We say, not! With two restaurants, a tea house and a food truck on-site (and plenty of gardens to supply them), RBG is a perfect destination for sampling dishes inspired by fresh, local ingredients. Now imagine pairing this with the best of Ontario wines and craft brews and you have yourself the unique date you’ve always fancied.
Get your creative juices flowing
There’s a reason why artists of all genres and calibres fancy nature. It’s because amidst nature is when your creative inspiration takes form. And RBG takes it further by hosting a variety of outdoor events throughout the summer. Take a paint-along class using a bouquet from the gardens as your inspiration; enjoy a concert with the gardens as your backdrop. Or create something beautiful with plant-based dyes. Heck, you can even sip a glass of wine as you learn!
Spend quality time with the fam
A day trip to a place as beautiful and as peaceful as a botanical garden is the kind of fun family bonding time we could all use. RBG’s garden interpreter tours, as well as self-guided tours, run year-round and are a great way to introduce the whole family to the beauty and wonder of the gardens. Or you can even take a self-guided mindfulness walk in nature. You can even check out one of their many kid-friendly activations that happen year-round— bloom festivals, performing arts, holiday celebrations, etc.
Catch a flick under the stars
Be it with the fam or with your SO, catching a movie outdoors, under the stars is an experience you neither forget nor tire of. And RBG is making it even more memorable by setting up a screen in the middle of all its plant beauty. You even get complimentary popcorn and exclusive access to “Seeing the Invisible.” Just remember to BYOC (bring your own chair).
Ready for your sunny day out in nature and beautiful blooms? Make sure you check out the Royal Botanical Gardens’ website beforehand to know everything there is to do and see. And also get your hands on other deets.
Where: 680 Plains Rd W, Burlington