Garden launches winter openings on Valentine’s weekend

Date night winter Talar
The University of Alberta Botanic Garden will launch a series of winter openings with “Date Night Under the Stars” on Valentine’s weekend, Feb. 11-14, 2021. Photo courtesy Explore Edmonton.

The University of Alberta Botanic Garden is inviting people to put on their snow pants and toques, and enjoy some unique winter fun this Valentine’s weekend, Feb 11-14, 2021.

In a weekend filled with activities aimed at grownups, guests can embrace the beauty of winter, play a little, and indulge in a one-of-a-kind outdoor dining experience.

“This is date night with a twist,” said Garden event coordinator Georgina Bull. “We’re inviting guests to let their inner child out to play and have some fun, but we’re remembering the traditional elements of a date night out, too – a stroll through a beautiful winter garden, live musicians providing ambiance, and of course, incredible food. All the activities are outdoors, and we work closely with public health officials to make sure we meet and exceed Covid-19 safety requirements.”

“We’ve partnered with the best of the region’s dining establishments to create a unique eating experience we’re calling Northern Light Tapas,” said Bull. “It’s an assortment of gourmet savouries and sweets that can be enjoyed while strolling through the Garden, gazing at the sky, sipping hot chocolate or a fine BC wine or local craft beer.”

Guests can take a whirl down an ice slide designed for adults, declare their love on a tree sculpture built  for initials and hearts, and take in the sounds of live music as they stroll through the Kurimoto Japanese Garden. And when it’s time to slow things down, a warmup by a firepit, a selfie on an ice chair in the Aga Khan Garden, and some time spent gazing at the stars around the Calla Pond will round out the evening.

Guests can also sign up for activities like guided Moonlight Snowshoeing or Indigenous Dark Skies Storytelling, or create a memory with a light painting photo portrait session.

This is the first of a series of winter activities that will be offered until mid-March, and establishes the Garden as a year-round destination. “Now, the public can have access to the beauty of the Garden in all four seasons – we’re not just a summer place anymore,” said Bull. 

Advanced registration is required. Admission tickets, activity slots and tapas are available in limited quantities and are expected to sell out quickly.

The University of Alberta Botanic Garden is a 240 acre / 97 hectare property with extensive plant collections, cultural gardens and natural areas. Established in 1959, it is located 15 minutes SW of Edmonton, 5 km north of Devon on Hwy 60.

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Media contact:
Kerry Mulholland | Communications Coordinator | 780-492-3303