VanDusen Botanical Garden offers a variety of nature-based camps for children ranging from 4 -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.”

Preschool Nature Camp (4-5 years old)

Each day is a new adventure at our nature based camp! Discover the amazing world of birds, bugs, and plants through fun and games.  Camp starts with a story in the Yosef Wosk Library and Resource Centre, followed by exploration activities in the Garden and a hands-on craft. For children aged 4-5.

August 7 – 10 2018

9 am – 12 pm. Drop off  from 8:45 am. Camp starts promptly at 9:00 am
1 pm – 4 pm. Drop off from 12:45 pm. Camp starts promptly at 1:00 pm

Member $108 / Non-member $120

Summer Camp (5-10 years old)

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 Bloedel Conservatory.

9:30am to 4:00pm. Drop-off available from 9:00 am

Full week camps: Member $274.50 / Non-member $305
4-day camps (Jul 3 – 6 & Aug 7 -10): Member $225 / Non-member $250
Capacity limited to 24 campers per week.

Members must have Family or Individual plus one child categories in order to qualify for discounts.

Cancellation Policy: 
All cancellations must be requested in writing to at least 14 days in advance of your camp start date. Refunds are subject to a $15 administration fee. Cancellations with less than 14 days notice will not receive a refund.

  • +Science in the Garden
    • Ages 5-7: July 3 – 6 & July 16 – 20 SOLD OUT
    • Ages 8-10: July 9-13

    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.

  • +Artists inspired by Nature
    • Ages 5-7: July 9-13 & July 23 – 27 SOLD OUT
    • Ages 8-10: July 3 – 6 SOLD OUT

    Investigate connections between art and nature through the work of Claude Monet, Andy Goldsworthy, Vincent van Gogh, 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.

    This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.

  • +Eco Sleuths
    • Ages 8-10: July 16 – 20

    Who do these bones belong to? Where did all the seeds go? Eco-Sleuths 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. Available for ages 8-10 only.

    This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.

  • +Dirt to Dinner
    • Ages 5-7: July 30 – August 3 SOLD OUT
    • Ages 8-10: July 23 – 27 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.

  • +Aquatic Adventures
    • Ages 5-7: August 7-10 SOLD OUT
    • Ages 8-10: July 30 – August 3

    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.

  • +Zoomed in on Nature
    • Ages 8-10: August 7-10

    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. Like our other camps, this one includes active games, but will also have calm, quiet moments, to allow campers to watch wildlife or do other activities in the Garden. For ages 8-10 only.

    This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.

  • +Nature’s Architects
    • Ages 8-10: August 13-17

    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. For ages 8-10 only.

    This camp includes a field trip to Bloedel Conservatory.

  • +Budding Birders
    • Ages 5-7: August 13 – 17 SOLD OUT
    • Ages 8-10: August 20 – 24

    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.

  • +Bugs and Beyond
    • Ages 5-7: August 20 – 24 SOLD OUT

    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. For ages 5-7 only.

Pro-D Camps (6-10 years old)

For children ages 6-10. Registration is limited to 24 participants in each camp. Like all of our camps, participants will have plenty of fun, hands on activities to keep them busy while learning something new.

Members must have Family or Individual plus one child categories in order to qualify for discounts.

Fees: Member $58.50 / Non-member $65 per camp

Cancellations must be made one week before scheduled camp date in order to receive a refund less a $15 admin fee.

Upcoming Pro-D Camps: Oct 19 2018, Feb 15 2019, Apr 29 2019 and May 17 2019.  Themes will be posted in Sep 2018. Registration opens Sep 18 2018.

Spring Break Camp (6-10 years old)

Spring Break 2019 runs Mar 18 – 29. Each day offers a unique nature-based theme, so you can register your child for the camps that interest them.  Registration opens Dec 4 2018 is limited to 24 participants per day. Daily camp themes will be posted in Nov 2018.

Program Bursaries

The VanDusen Botanical Gardens 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.