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

Summer Camps 2017

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.

GENERAL REGISTRATION opens Thursday, March 9,  at 10 AM.

*Please note, the most up-to-date status of camp availability is shown in our online store. 

Hours: 9:30 am – 4 pm, with drop off available from 9 am
Prices: $305 5-day week | $250 4-day week
Members with Family categories receive a 10% discount, applied with promo code NATUREKIDS2017 (case sensitive!) at check-out. Memberships are checked for validity.

Read the Summer Camp waiver here>>

CANCELLATION POLICY: All cancellations must be made IN WRITING to at least 14 days before the first day of camp. Refunds are subject to a $15 administration fee. No refunds are given for any cancellations made with less than 14 days notice.

Browse our camp themes below.

  • +Artists inspired by Nature

    Ages 5-7: July 4 – 7 (4 days) SOLD OUT, Get on the waitlist>>
    Ages 8-10:  July 10 – 14 SOLD OUT  Get on the waitlist>>

    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

    Ages 8-10:  July 17 – 21 REGISTER>>
    Ages 5-7 : July 24 – 28 SOLD OUT – Get on the waitlist>>

    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

    Ages 8 – 10: July 4 – 7 (4 days) REGISTER>>
    Ages 5 – 7: July 10 – 14  SOLD OUT. Get on the waitlist>>
    Ages 5 – 7: July 17 – 21 SOLD OUT. Get on the waitlist>>

    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 

    Ages 8-10:  July 24 – 28 REGISTER>>

    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

    Ages 8-10: July 31 – Aug 4 REGISTER>>
    Ages 5-7: Aug 8 – 11 (4 days) SOLD OUT, Get on the Waitlist>>

    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

    Ages 5-7: July 31 – Aug 4 SOLD OUT. Get on the waitlist>>
    Ages 8-10: Aug 8 – 11 (4 days) REGISTER>>

    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

    Ages 5-7: Aug 14 – 18 SOLD OUT, Get on the waitlist>>
    Ages 8-10: Aug  21 – 25 REGISTER>>

    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

    Ages 8-10: Aug 14 – 18 REGISTER>>
    Ages 5-7: Aug  21 – 25 SOLD OUT, Get on the waitlist>>

    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”


Spring Break Camps

For kids ages 6- 9

March 13 – 17 and March 20 – 22
9:30 am -3:30 pm with drop off from 9:00 am.

Cost per day: Member $55 / Non-member $65



Read the Spring Break Camp waiver here>>

  • +March 13: Hungry Plants: The Curious World of Carnivorous Plants

    This camp is now SOLD OUT. Get on the waitlist>>

    Join our “little shop of horrors” as we investigate carnivorous plants.  Learn how and why pitcher plants, sundew traps and Venus flytraps catch and consume their prey.  Play the “bug in a bog” challenge, test a myriad of plant strategies for catching prey, and dissect a pitcher plant to see exactly how successful it is, and count the corpses inside.

  • +March 14: Fantastic Fairy Gardens

    This camp is now SOLD OUT. Get on the waitlist>>

    Flutter in for a whimsical day in the world of fairies.  This day will get you started preparing your own fairy garden.  Learn tips about which plants are best-suited for the scale of a fairy garden, and 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.

  • +March 15: Living Fossils

    This camp is now SOLD OUT. Get on the waitlist>>

    Journey back in time for a tour of VanDusen Botanical Garden’s prehistoric plants.  Explore these plants’ defenses against the predators of the era and learn to make a stegosaurus salad. Have an up-close look at an array of real fossils.  Take home your own cast preserving an ancient plant.

  • +March 16: Citizen Science: The Birds in Your Backyard

    This camp is now SOLD OUT. Get on the waitlist>>

    Discover the birds of VanDusen Botanical Garden and take part in international science activities. Identify and observe birds, learn which ones stay and which are migratory, and how to participate in citizen science initiatives like the Great Backyard Bird Count.

  • +March 17: Life in the Leaf Litter

    Scuttle in to investigate the amazing life on the forest floor of VanDusen!  As budding entomologists, you will uncover fascinating facts about worms, pill bugs, millipedes and more!  Learn how these partners help our garden and how to tell them apart from look-a-likes.

  • +March 20: Art of Rain and Rainbows

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

  • +March 21: Secrets of Seeds

    This camp is now SOLD OUT. Get on the waitlist>>

    Get your hands dirty while learning all about seeds. Plant your own miniature garden, learn the various ways seeds get around, predict how many seeds will be hidden inside a variety of fruits, and make a seed mosaic!

  • +March 22: Flowers Inspiring Artists

    This camp is now SOLD OUT. Get on the waitlist>>

    Follow in the footsteps of artists like Van Gogh, Monet, and O’Keeffe as you let flowers inspire you. Hunt for the first signs of flowers in the Garden, try printmaking, and learn a variety of painting and cutting techniques as you make your own paper flower bouquet to take home.

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.