Owned by the City of Vancouver, VanDusen Botanical Garden is 22 hectares, or 55 acres, of beautiful botanical gardens with plants from around the world.
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Located at 5251 Oak Street in Vancouver, VanDusen includes a large collection of gardens, so be prepared to do some walking and see lots of beautiful trees and plants.
At VanDusen Botanical Garden there are a couple of small lakes and ponds, a stone garden, a hedge maze and Japanese, Korean and Chinese garden areas.
The venue also boasts beautiful rhododendrons in the spring, large open lawns and beautiful plants, flower gardens and trees of all kinds throughout the property.
Admission Prices at VanDusen
Adults cost between about $8 and $11, depending on the season, although a bit more for special events. If you like gardens, this one is definitely worth visiting.
TIP: If you have an Entertainment Coupon Book don’t forget to take it so you can save on admission. The offer might change from year to year, but likely you’ll get two adult tickets for the price of one!
When to Visit VanDusen
VanDusen Garden is worth visiting most times of the year, but especially in the late spring with its blossoms and flowers in bloom. Other good times to visit include the summer, as well as in the fall when the leaves are changing colour. The holiday lights at Christmas time are also spectacular!
In the late fall, winter and early spring when many of the trees are bare and flowers are scarce, it’s still okay, but not as special. Year-round though, good times to visit are when there are events taking place.
Special Events at VanDusen Gardens
Exceptional times to visit VanDusen Botanical Garden are when there are special events and activities on site in the spring, fall and at Christmas.
VanDusen Gardens in Autumn
Autumn is an exceptional time to visit VanDusen Botanical Gardens. From mid-October until the first or second week of November, the fall colours in Vancouver are usually at their best.
Good autumn events to check out include the Luxury & Supercar Weekend in early September and the Halloween lights during the last few days of October.
Luxury & Supercar Weekend
The Luxury & Supercar Weekend is a major event showcasing all the latest and most impressive vehicles that money can buy. It usually takes place on the Saturday and Sunday after the Labour Day Weekend in September and features everything from Lamborghinis to Dodge Vipers, McLarens and Bentleys.
Admission to the car show costs over $100, so it’s definitely not inexpensive. The event though includes a car auction, fashion show, fancy foods, adult beverages and various luxury items to admire and buy, in addition to all the many high performance vehicles on display.
Click Luxury & Supercar Weekend for more information.
Halloween Glow in the Garden
Since 2016, the week leading up to Halloween is an extra good time to visit the city’s botanical gardens as that’s when the place hosts its Glow in the Garden event. During that time the venue is open in the evenings and features Halloween illuminations and displays of hand-carved jack-o-lanterns.
Click VanDusen at Halloween for more information.
The Gardens at Christmas
For many visitors, the most beautiful time of the year to visit VanDusen Gardens is at night time in December. That’s when the Festival of Lights takes place and the gardens sparkle with millions of holiday lights.
If you like Christmas and festive lights, then you’ll love the gardens in December.
Admission to the Festival of Lights is about $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and youth, and $12 or so for children ages 3-12 at the gate.
Click Festival of Lights for more information.
Spring at VanDusen Gardens
Spring Break at the Gardens
Most years VanDusen Gardens offers free admission to children under 13 years of age when accompanied by an adult, senior or youth paying regular admission during the school Spring Break in March.
Easter at VanDusen
The Gardens are also a great place to visit at Easter as that’s when the Great A-Maze-ing Egg Hunt takes place for children ages 0 to 8.
Sessions typically run hourly starting at 9 am, 10 am, 11 am and 12 pm and during those times kids hunt for eggs in half a dozen different areas of the gardens and then exchange their findings for candy.
The cost for the Great A-Maze-ing Egg Hunt, which includes general admission to the gardens, is around $15 for children, $11 or so for adults, around $9 for seniors and about $7 for VanDusen Garden members. GST and online service charges are extra.
In addition to the egg hunting for kids, in 2018 there was also an Easter egg hunt for adults. BC residents ages 19+ who visited the gardens over the Easter weekend had a chance to win tickets for two to Mexico. This may or not happen again in future years, but let’s hope so!
The adult egg hunt in 2018 involved an Aeromexico Easter egg hidden somewhere on the property. Adults had to snap a photo of the egg and post their shot on social media to get entered to win.
Cherry Blossom Season
April can be a pretty time to visit VanDusen Gardens. That’s when leaves are slowly starting to appear on the trees, tulips are beginning to bloom and cherry trees are turning pink.
Late April is usually the prettiest time of the month, but mid-April is when the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s Sakura Days Japan Fair takes place at VanDusen. That’s when, in addition to admiring the garden’s regular botanical features, visitors can experience a Japanese-style festival featuring Oriental foods and cultural exhibits.
Admission to Sakura Days costs between around $14 and $17 for adults, depending on whether you buy your tickets online or on the day at the gate.
Click Sakura Days Japan Fair for more information.
VanDusen Plant Sale
On the last Sunday of April each year VanDusen Gardens holds its annual Plant Sale. On that day admission to the site is free and thousands of plants are for sale.
Late April is when the trees are starting to turn green and spring flowers are starting to bloom, which makes the last Sunday of the month an especially pleasant and affordable time to visit VanDusen. It’s also a great time to pick up some new plants for your own personal garden.
May Long Weekend Car Show
On the Saturday of the May Long Weekend, so the Saturday before May 25th each year, hundreds of vintage British cars fill the lawns at the gardens. There are MGs, Jaguars, Rovers, Minis and all kinds of beautiful collectible vehicles!
If you like gardens and classic cars, then the Saturday of the May Long Weekend is the perfect time to visit!
Click VanDusen British Car Show for more information.
For further information about the garden, see the VanDusen Gardens Official Website.
For a map of the gardens, click VanDusen Map.
For similar places to visit, see Vancouver’s Best Parks and Places in Nature which includes free venues like Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth Park, but also comparable places to VanDusen that charge admission like the UBC Botanical Garden.