VanDusen Nature Camps

VanDusen’s camps are immensely popular and often sell out quickly. Our carefully crafted blend of science, exploration, games and crafts gives children the opportunity to learn and play throughout the beauty of VanDusen Botanical Garden, while fostering positive stewardship of the environment. Days are spent almost entirely outdoors with access to indoor and covered spaces available in extreme weather.

Our outdoor camps create a unique learning experience tailored for kids ages 5-10. Please note that all campers must be at least 5 years old and have completed or be currently enrolled in kindergarten.

Weekend Nature Club

Weekend Nature Club Fees:

VBGA Members $36.00 per day
Non-Members $40 per day

Required age to attend Weekend Nature Club:  5 – 10 on the day of the activity.

  • +September 11th: Seasons of the Garden SOLD OUT

    Date: Saturday, September 11th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    Sign your kids up to experience the seasonal changes at VanDusen Botanical Garden! Children will survey plants as they enter new lifecycles and learn about how animals adapt to the different seasons. Children will get creative with fall leaves and play migration games as they learn about the seasons of the Garden.

    Join the waitlist!

  • +October 9th: Lovely Leaves

    Date: Saturday, October 9th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    Fall for the magic of autumn leaves in this fun-filled Weekend Nature Club! Children will collect their favourite leaves for experiments and crafts as they learn to identify their favourite plants through the unique properties of leaves. Learn about photosynthesis and the hidden systems within each lovely leaf.

    Register my child!

  • +November 13th: Beautiful B.C.

    Date: Saturday, November 13th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    With Western red cedars, fabulous ferns, and hundreds of different plant and animal species, British Columbia is a magical ecosystem to call home. This camp will allow children to connect to the history of this land including the First Nations who have lived here since time immemorial, medicinal and edible plants, and some incredible First Nation stories.

    Register my child!

  • +December 11th: Crafty Crystals

    Date: Saturday, December 11th
    Time: 10:00am – 1:30pm

    With frost setting in at the Garden, this Weekend Nature Club will allow children to zoom in on the magical of crystals! Do an ice salt crystal experiment, use microscopes to explore ice crystals up close, and create natural art pieces inspired by crystals found throughout the natural world.

    Register my child!

Pro-D Camps

Pro-D Camp Fees:

VBGA Members $58.50 per day
Non-Members $65 per day

Required age to attend Pro-D camps:  5 – 10 on the day of the activity.

  • +September 24th: Awesome Autumn SOLD OUT

    Date: Friday, September 24th
    Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

    Come and explore awe-inspiring Autumn at VanDusen Botanical Garden! From colour-changing leaves and shedding trees, to gigantic fruits known as pumpkins. This fun filled Pro-D Day Camp is jam-packed with activities that children will love such as autumn apple taste-testing, pumpkin decomposition experiments, and beautiful autumn inspired crafts!

    Join the waitlist

  • +October 22nd: Creeptacular Creatures SOLD OUT

    Date: Friday, October 22nd
    Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

    Spiders, pitcher plants, and ravens oh my! This Pro-D Camp will explore the cool and creepy of creatures at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Children will learn about some fascinating fungi and their unique lifecycles and look for some of the creepy crawly bugs that call the Garden home! Halloween costumes are welcome as long as children are still prepared for outdoor navigation and exploration.

    Join the waitlist!

  • +November 26th: Fascinating Fossils

    Date: Friday, November 26th
    Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

    Dig into the fascinating world of fossils at VanDusen Botanical Garden! Children attending this Weekend Nature Club will explore the Garden in search of ancient and unique plants, try out your excavation skills as your dig for your own dinosaur, and learn about the earth below where fossils hide.

    Register my child!

Covid-19 Adaptations

Our Camp Programs have been running safely since June 2020 with adapted protocols and structure to ensure we follow guidelines and recommendations from the BCCDC, Vancouver Coastal Health, WorkSafeBC, and the BC Ministry of Health. Our camps are informed by an extensive COVID-19 Safety Plan that is updated seasonally and approved by the Director of the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association, the Park Board Garden Director and Business Team Lead, Park Board senior management, as well as the City of Vancouver Occupational Health and Safety team.

  • +Adaptations Include
    • Smaller group sizes by splitting themes into two cohorts of 14 campers.
    • An increased emphasis on hand hygiene and physical distancing will take place along with a reduction of shared materials.
    • Campers will be using outdoor porta-potties and handwashing stations to decrease use of shared indoor washrooms.
    • Increased cleaning and sanitation in camp spaces and of camp materials in accordance with the VGBA’s COVID-19 Health, Safety and Sanitation Policy.
    • Camps take place almost entirely outdoors as it is the safest place to be; this means campers will be asked to carry backpacks for up to 10 minutes at a time.
    • Camp planning ensures that games, crafts, and activities can all be done outdoors and allow for physical distancing.
    • Masks are mandatory for all staff and volunteers working directly with youth.
    • Youth participants are not required to wear masks in the Garden but are encouraged to wear masks in public indoor settings such as the Visitor Centre.
    • We are unable to provide 1 on 1 support for participants at this time due to the new program format.

    Please consider these changes when deciding if this program is right for your child. 

  • +Covid-19: Proof of Vaccination

    Children under 12 years old do not require proof of vaccination to attend camps. We encourage campers to wear a mask when entering the Visitor Centre, including the classroom and library.

Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel your program registration for any reason and provide at least 30 days’ notice in writing prior to the start of the camp in question, we will offer an education programming option in lieu of your cancelled camp(s). If we are able to fill the spot(s) with waitlisted participants, you will have the choice of receiving a refund minus a $15 administrative fee or registration in another education program. Program cancellation due to Public Health Restrictions will result in education program credit equivalent to the value lost.

  • No refunds will be issued in instances of expulsion due to disruptive behaviour, cancellations with less than 30 days’ notice, or absence from a Camp (including for illness or injury).

Here's what parents have to say about our camps!

“Excellent protocols, best of  any camp of school we attended.”

“This summer it was wonderful for him to have time to socialize  and play with other kids – he has some good social distance games he can now share with friends.”

“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.”


Contact Us

For inquiries about Weekend Nature Club, Pro-D Camps, camp refunds, cancellations, or waitlists, contact Natasha Friedmann (Camp Coordinator) at nfriedmann@vandusen.org or call 604-257-8443.

For other inquiries or for more information about VBGA youth programs, contact Hailey Moran (Youth Programs Manager) at hmoran@vandusen.org or call 604-257-8423.