VanDusen Nature Camps

Summer Camps and Covid-19: learn more

VanDusen Botanical Garden offers a variety of nature-based camps for children ranging from 5-10 years old including summer, spring break, and Pro-D programs. All of our camps include learning about the natural world and inspire youth to understand their role in ecosystems. Programming is developed and run by the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA).  Want to keep up-to-date on our programming and registration dates? Sign up for our monthly Education Updates.

Here’s what parents have to say 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.”

Summer Camps (5-10 year olds)

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, or at Bloedel Conservatory. Find the camp themes and descriptions below.

Registration:

Please note: Children must have completed kindergarten to register and attend VanDusen & Bloedel summer camps. There are no exceptions.

Camp Fees:

Full Day Camps: (9.00am-4.00pm)

VBGA Members Non-Members
4 day camps $238.50 $265.00
5 day camps $288.00 $320.00

Half Day Camps: 9.00am-12:30pm 

VBGA Members Non-Members
Rates $162.00 $180.00

After Camp Care: 4.00pm – 5:00pm 

VBGA Members Non-Members
Rates $40 (no member discount) $40

 

Camp Themes and Descriptions

Half Day Camps for Ages 5-6

9.00am-12:30pm

  • +Nuts about Nature 

    July 13-17 and Aug 10-14 

    Budding naturalists will explore a variety of themed activities in this half-day camp for younger campers. We will read books, sing songs, create craft projects and play games, all while fostering curiosity, play, and connection to nature and the garden. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

    Please note: After camp care is not available for this camp.

Full Day Camps for ages 5-7

9.00am – 4.00pm

  • +Blooming Artists

    June 29- July 3 (4 day camp, due to Canada day on July 1) SOLD OUT
    July 13-17 LIMITED SPACES REMAINING
    July 20-24 SOLD OUT

    Investigate connections between nature and art while gathering inspiration from the plants and animals at the Garden. Keep a nature sketchbook, complete a painting on canvas, and practice using various mediums and techniques such as watercolour, pastels, and mixed media. Campers will strengthen their personal connections to nature while inspiring creativity and collaboration. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Bogs to Beaches SOLD OUT

    August 4-7 (4 day camp due to stat) and August 17-21 SOLD OUT

    Dive into the wonderful world of water and get to know the plants and animals that live there. Peer into a pond to find and identify the creatures that lurk below, tour VanDusen’s lakes and streams, and comb the beach for crabs and kelp. Explore freshwater and saltwater ecosystems and splash around at the Stanley Park water park. This camp includes a field trip to Stanley Park. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Budding Birders

    June 29- July 3 (4 day camp, due to Canada day on July 1)
    July 6-10 SOLD OUT

    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. Campers will explore the new Backyard Bird Garden and over 300 tropical birds living at the Bloedel Conservatory. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Bugs and Beyond

    July 27-31 SOLD OUT
    August 4-7 (4 day camp due to stat)

    Focus on the weird and wonderful world of insects and other amazing arthropods. Junior entomologists will explore ecology from the bugs-eye view: as pollinators, decomposers, predators, and prey. Search under logs, in the pond, in a flower, or in the air for bugs and learn which are helpful, harmful, or edible to plants or people. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Dirt to Dinner SOLD OUT

    July 27-31 SOLD OUT
    August 4-7 (4 day camp due to stat) SOLD OUT

    Get your hands dirty and discover what it takes to make your meal from the ground up. Starting from the soil we will explore decomposition, experiment with soil pH, dissect seeds, and plant micro-greens. Every day we will prepare and enjoy some delicious food together. Veggies, fruits, herbs and honey have never tasted so good! This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Science in the Garden

    June 29- July 3 (4 day camp, due to Canada day on July 1)
    July 6-10 SOLD OUT
    July 13-17 SOLD OUT

    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. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Science in the Rainforest SOLD OUT

    August 10-14 SOLD OUT

    Explore rich tropical and temperate rainforest ecosystems through a scientific lens. Get up close with tropical plant and animal life under the lush Bloedel Conservatory dome and adventure through Queen Elizabeth Park in search of native BC plants, bugs, birds, soil, and more. This camp includes a field trip to VanDusen Botanical Garden. Location: Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Conservatory. 

    Please note: After camp care is not available for this camp.

  • +Sprouting Imagination

    August 10-14 SOLD OUT
    August 17-21 

    Through imaginative and creative play children will learn about the natural world. Naturally creative kids will explore storytelling and myths, learn about music, dance and natural rhythm, create our own instruments from plant materials, and enjoy expressive performance art through the whimsical world of plants and animals. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Wild Investigation SOLD OUT

    July 20-24 (Ages 5-7) SOLD OUT

    Who do these bones belong to? Where did all the seeds go? Campers will solve the daily nature mystery by exploring the Garden in search of clues. Campers will learn new investigative techniques such as water pH tests and plant dissections, and use tools such as compasses, maps, binoculars, and microscopes. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Full Day Camps for ages 8-10

9.00am – 4.00pm

  • +Blooming Artists

    July 6-10

    Investigate connections between nature and art while gathering inspiration from the plants and animals at the Garden. Keep a nature sketchbook, complete a painting on canvas, and practice using various mediums and techniques such as watercolour, pastels, and mixed media. Campers will strengthen their personal connections to nature while inspiring creativity and collaboration. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Bogs to Beaches SOLD OUT

    August 10-14 SOLD OUT

    Dive into the wonderful world of water and get to know the plants and animals that live there. Peer into a pond to find and identify the creatures that lurk below, tour VanDusen’s lakes and streams, and comb the beach for crabs and kelp. Explore freshwater and saltwater ecosystems and splash around at the Stanley Park water park. This camp includes a field trip to Stanley Park. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Dirt to Dinner SOLD OUT

    July 20-24 SOLD OUT

    Get your hands dirty and discover what it takes to make your meal from the ground up. Starting from the soil we will explore decomposition, experiment with soil pH, dissect seeds, and plant micro-greens. Every day we will prepare and enjoy some delicious food together. Veggies, fruits, herbs and honey have never tasted so good! This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Nature’s Architects SOLD OUT

    August 17-21 SOLD OUT

    Find inspiration from nature’s master builders such as ants, plants, and spiders to build your own structures. Observe birds closely to inspire the design of your own kite. Build a parachute that floats like a seed blowing in the wind. Use sonar like a bat or create a new communication system like a bee. Practice using nature-inspired technology such as collecting energy from the sun like a leaf or design your own nature-inspired invention. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

  • +Science in the Rainforest

    July 13-17 

    Explore rich tropical and temperate rainforest ecosystems through a scientific lense. Get up close with tropical plant and animal life under the lush Bloedel Conservatory dome and adventure through Queen Elizabeth Park in search of native BC plants, bugs, birds, soil, and more. This camp includes a field trip to VanDusen Botanical Garden. Location: Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Conservatory. 

    Please note: After camp care is not available for this camp.

  • +Wild Investigation SOLD OUT

    July 27-31 SOLD OUT  

    Who do these bones belong to? Where did all the seeds go? Campers will solve the daily nature mystery by exploring the Garden in search of clues. Campers will learn new investigative techniques such as water pH tests and plant dissections, and use tools such as compasses, maps, binoculars, and microscopes. This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory. Location: VanDusen Botanical Garden.

After Camp Care - Ages 5-10 (4pm-5pm)*

*Please note that after camp care is not available for Science in the Rainforest camp or Nuts about Nature half day camp. 

After Camp Care is located in the VanDusen Botanical Garden Classroom. Space is limited to 24 children per day. There will be a fee charged for late pickup.

We will not provide any food including snacks or dinner. Please provide your child/children with extra snacks for after-camp care (No nuts please).

Camp Themes and Dates


Spring Break Camps 2020: (5-8 year olds)

For inquiries about Spring Break Camps in 2020 contact cmartin@vandusen.org


Registration

For registration inquiries please contact cmartin@vandusen.org or 604-257-8443. We strongly recommend contacting us with registration inquiries prior to the registration opening day.

*A Family OR Individual plus Child membership is required to qualify for priority registration and a 10% discount. Instructions for priority registration will be emailed to all eligible membership holders prior to the registration date. Contact cmartin@vandusen.org for member registration instructions after the registration date.


Pro-D Camps 2020: (Grades 1-4)

Like all of our camps, participants will have plenty of fun, hands on activities to keep them busy while learning something new.

Time: 9:30am-4:00pm and drop-off is available from 9:00am.

Cost: Members $58.50 per day / Regular $65 per day

Registration

For registration inquiries please contact cmartin@vandusen.org or 604-257-8443.

*A Family OR Individual plus Child membership is required to qualify for priority registration and a 10% discount. Instructions for priority registration will be emailed to all eligible membership holders prior to the registration date. Contact cmartin@vandusen.org for member registration instructions after the registration date.


Camp Bursaries

The Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association is pleased to provide bursaries for families in financial need. Apply for a bursary, or contact 604-257-8443 for information.

To make a donation to the bursary program and give a child the opportunity to go to camp, contact Josh Coward.


Contact Us

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