Day Camps

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

Registration:

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

    Monday, March 19th, 2018

    Discover nature’s weird, wonderful, and unique treasures! From green giants to ancient plants, and stinky flowers to carnivorous plants, delve deeper into the wonders of the Garden with microscopes, observation tools, and activities.

  • +Secrets of Spring

    Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

    Marvel at the first signs of spring by getting outside to hunt for flowers, leaf buds bursting open, birds, bugs and more. Dissect buds and bulbs to explore what’s happening inside, and plant wildflower seeds to take home in your own decorated container.

  • +Living Fossils

    Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

    Journey back in time with a tour of VanDusen’s prehistoric plants.  Explore fascinating plant defenses against the predators of the era, learn how to make a stegosaurus salad, and marvel at an array of ancient fossils.

  • +Plants with a Purpose

    Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

    A look at the many ways we use nature in our day-to-day lives through hands-on exploration. We will learn how to craft with natural dyes, make tea, create earth art, and explore traditional plant uses. You’ll never look at a garden the same way again!

  • +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!

  • +Marvelous Rainforests

    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

    Thursday, March 29th, 2018

    Let your creativity flow during this “art-full” camp dedicated to rainbows, clouds and rain. Make and decorate a rain stick, learn the science behind colour and rainbows, and maybe even paint with rain if the weather permits!

Summer Camps

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.

  • +Citizen Science 

    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.

     

  • +Budding Birders

    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”

 

Program Bursaries

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!

Contact Us

Have questions about the programs, or having difficulty registering online? Call 604-257-8443 or email us.