Give your child a fun, activity-filled week of exploring the garden, learning more about the natural world around them, and their role in the urban ecosystem. Want to keep up-to-date on our programming and registration dates? Sign up for our monthly Education Updates.
Programming is developed and run by the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA) Questions about camp? Email us or call 604-257-8443
Spring Break Camps
Get whisked away by fairies, travel back in time to discover ancient plants, explore the rainforest, and get your hands dirty! Every day is a new adventure for 6-10 year olds at our nature based spring break camps. No matter the theme, our camps are carefully crafted for maximum fun with a blend of science, exploration, games, crafts, and art.
Limited to 24 participants per day
Member: $58.50 / Non-member $65
VBGA Members: Don’t forget to enter promo code “MEMBER” at checkout to receive your 10% discount. A family membership is required to qualify for the member discount. Contact 604-257-8675 if you have questions about your membership.
- +-Natural Curiosities
- +-Secrets of Spring
- +-Living Fossils
- +-Plants with a Purpose
+-Citizen Science: The Birds in your Backyard
Friday, March 23rd, 2018
Contribute to valuable international scientific initiatives! Learn how to Identify and observe birds in our brand new Backyard Bird Garden, and submit your data to citizen science programs like Project FeederWatch. We will master using binoculars, craft a bird feeder, and practice local bird calls.
+-Fantastic Fairy Gardens
Monday, March 26th, 2018
Flutter in for a whimsical day in the world of fairies. Create your own fairy garden with enchanting greenery, and hear folklore about which plants are most likely to attract fairies. Make mini toadstools, elaborate doorways and more charming miniatures for your own fairy garden at home.
+-Dirt to Dinner
Tuesday, March 27th, 2018
Get your hands dirty and discover what it takes to make stone soup from the ground up. Starting from the soil we will explore decomposition, experiment with soil pH, dissect seeds and plant microgreens. Finally, we will prepare and enjoy a simple veggie-based meal together!
Wednesday, March 28th, 2018
What does a poison dart frog and a Pacific tree frog have in common? They both live in the rainforest! Compare life in VanDusen’s temperate rainforest to the lush tropics in Bloedel Conservatory through stories, activities, and crafts. Get immersed in the beauty of tropical world on our field trip, where we will discover what life is like in a bromeliad.
- +-Art of Rain and Rainbows
VanDusen’s camps are immensely popular and often sell out very quickly. Our carefully crafted blend of science, exploration, games and crafts give children the opportunity to learn and play throughout the beauty of the Garden and the Conservatory, while fostering positive stewardship of the environment. Days are spent mostly outdoors, but may also include time in the classroom in the Visitor Centre, glasshouse or Bloedel Conservatory.
New Summer Camps will be announced early in 2018. Check back for more details. Browse past themes below for examples of what we offer at the Garden.
+-Artists inspired by Nature
Investigate connections between art and nature through the work of Claude Monet, Emily Carr, Georges Seurat, and other artists that find inspiration in nature. This fine art camp will teach the elements of art using techniques in watercolour, paint, pastels, and mixed media. Gather inspiration from the plants and creatures while exploring the Garden, keep a nature sketchbook, and complete a painting on canvas.
+-Naturally Crafty Kids
Crafty kids will make nature-based arts & crafts, using the Garden as inspiration and a resource for materials. The week’s activities will include print making, nature weaving, dyeing fabric with food scraps, paper making, and nature crowns. Camp will include plenty of time out in the Garden, as well as opportunities to explore and play with materials with open ended projects.
+-Science in the Garden
Unearth young biologists who want to learn about how the natural world functions. In the Garden, campers will explore trees, bugs, birds, soil, ponds and more. We’ll use microscopes, learn how to be a citizen scientist, and use words like ornithologist and metamorphosis as we have a fun week discovering the garden with a scientific focus.
All around the world, people are observing nature, recording what they see, and helping to collect information on living things on earth. By taking part in WormWatch, exploring eBird and other citizen science initiatives, campers will see how they can add to the world’s understanding of ecology and the visible effects of climate change. This camp will approach a serious subject in a fun and empowering way, and still include plenty of outdoor games.
+-Grow and Eat a Garden
Connect with fresh food, soil and gardening as we look at veggies and herbs from the ground up. Campers will explore how good food starts with healthy soil and grows as part of a dynamic ecosystem. We’ll work in VanDusen’s veggie garden, harvest food for the Food Bank, experiment with recipes, release beneficial ladybugs into our veggie garden, and much more!
+-Zoomed in on Nature
This camp is for kids who want to have a close look at nature, patiently taking their time for focused observations. We’ll use magnifying glasses and microscopes to examine and draw flowers, feathers, leaf skeletons, bees and our daily discoveries. Every camp must include active games, but this one will also have calm, quiet moments, to allow campers to watch wildlife or do other activities in the Garden. Camp will include a visit to Bloedel Conservatory.
+-Bugs in the Big Picture
Focus on insects and their relationships with the rest of the world. Junior entomologists will explore ecology from the insects’ perspective: as pollinators, decomposers, predators, and prey. Search all over the garden for insects and learn which are harmful to plants, and which are helpful.
Calling all junior ornithologists! Get to know birds at VanDusen, such as the barred owl, Anna’s hummingbird, spotted towhee and others. We’ll explore how birds eat, fly and build nests, and learn to identify and observe birds using our ears and binoculars. Camp will include a visit to Bloedel Conservatory, and the over 300 birds living there.
What parents are saying about our camps
- “This camp has ignited a spark – that it’s cool to be interested in nature, and all that’s in it.”
- “My child gained an appreciation for plants, nature, and relationships humans have with nature”
- “The leaders were enthusiastic, professional and caring, and got to know my child really quickly.”
- “She is gaining a greater understanding of the scientific model, learning a lot, and developing an appreciation for the environment”
The VanDusen Botanical Garden Association is pleased to provide bursaries for families in financial need. Apply for a bursary, or contact 604-257-8443 for information. If you are interested in donating to the bursary program, and giving a child the opportunity to go to camp, we would love to hear from you!