Plan Your Visit
The University of Alberta Botanic Garden is a “garden in a forest”, a 240-acre (97 hectare) property with cultivated gardens, indoor showhouses, and extensive natural areas. Whether you come for a few hours, or have time to spend the day, you can expect a relaxing, peaceful, beautiful environment.
It’s a big place! What should I see first?
If you have a few hours: We suggest a visit to the Aga Khan Garden (new in 2018), the Kurimoto Japanese Garden and the Indoor Showhouses (including the Tropical House with butterflies from around the world). Make a stop for ice cream on your way out, then plan to come back when you have more time.
If you have half a day: All of the above, plus a 45-minute guided Tram Tour (with some stops along the way to smell the flowers). Or, you might want to use our new Bee Line unguided tram service, that lets visitors hop-on and hop-off at a series of stops around the Garden. Top your visit off with lunch or a snack at the outdoor Patio Café.
If you have the day: All of the above, plus a leisurely stroll through Garden to take a closer look at the Alpine Garden, Primula Dell, Herb and Sensory Gardens, Indigenous Garden, Trial, Vegetable and Fruit Gardens, rose, lily, lilac and peony collections and so much more. You can get even further into nature on the Imrie Wetland boardwalk. Or, you can simply find a quiet spot on a bench and breathe in the beautiful surroundings.
If you want even more: The Garden is an ever-changing feast for the senses, and a perfect place to recharge your batteries. If you would like to visit several times over the season, consider a Garden Season Pass or a Friends of the Garden membership for great savings.
Is there anything for kids to do?
You bet! Ask for a Children’s Activity Book at the Gift Shop for some suggestions, like the Hedge Maze, John’s Folly (a castle in the Garden), ringing the big bell in the Japanese Garden. And be sure to check our drop-in family activities and special events, many especially designed for children.
What about food and beverage?
The licensed outdoor Patio Café offers light lunch fare, snacks and ice cream. Or, you can bring your own picnic. No BBQs, cooking equipment or alcohol are permitted, and large groups should contact us in advance, as unreserved group picnic spaces are limited.
Tips for enjoying your visit:
- Bring your camera.
- Comfortable walking shoes will make your day a happy one!
- Dress for the weather – in Alberta, that means come prepared for any eventuality! If you happen to forget your sunscreen, mosquito repellent or umbrella, the Shop in the Garden has these items available for purchase.
- Gardening enthusiasts – bring your notebook so you can write down the names of amazing plants you’d like to try in your own northern garden.
- Leave animals at home. With the exception of certified service animals, pets are not permitted at the Garden.