Visiting the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens is an awesome day trip to take from Edmonton – it is peaceful and so so beautiful. The Botanical gardens have so much to explore and discover, that you could easily spend a whole morning or afternoon here just taking it all in and exploring the gardens. Keep reading to find out everything the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens has to offer for your next visit.
Practical Information for Visiting the Garden
Where the Gardens are Located: Just outside of Edmonton, Alberta (around 25 minutes). It is not located at the University of Alberta!
How to Get There: There is no public transportation to the gardens. Therefore, you must drive to the gardens.
- Adult: $18.75
- Youth: $9.50
- Student: $9.50
Best Time to Visit: The gardens are open from May to September
- For a beautiful, crisp, fall experience, visit the gardens in September (but you could risk snow)
- For a nice, hot summer day, visit June – August
- For a spring visit, head to the gardens in May
Main Highlights of the Garden
AGA KHAN GARDEN
The Aga Khan Garden is a very cool place at the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens. This portion of the gardens was gifted back in 2018 by His Highness Aga Khan, and it is a nice, modern area of the garden with a huge pond that is perfect for peace and enjoying nature.
KURIMOTO JAPANESE GARDEN
This was my favourite part of the gardens. It was so peaceful here with a beautiful bridge and trees, koi fish in the little river, and beautiful structures that reminded me of Japan.
PATRICK SEYMOUR ALPINE GARDEN
The Alpine Garden is a nice place in the Botanical Gardens because it is left quite wild, there are not a lot of paths and you’re basically free to explore the area however you like. There are fun things around the area like a cute little waterfall and pond hidden away for you to discover, and if the gardens are not too busy it feels like you are completely surrounded by nature and peace.
The Indigenous Garden (I think) is a slightly newer addition because when I visited it seemed a little unfinished. Overall it was a nice area, but some of the signs that taught about the different plants in the area were broken and there were droppings from animals all over the place. One beautiful thing in the Indigenous Garden though was an awesome structure with vines growing all around it. With a little bit of upkeep the Indigenous Gardens could become my favourite spot at the Botanical Garden.
TROPICAL PLANT & BUTTERFLY SHOWHOUSE
Unfortunately, the butterfly showhouse was closed when I visited the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens – but it is my main incentive to go back because I looooove being surrounded by tropical plants and butterflies!
Seasonal Events at the Garden
Luminaria is such a cool event that the University Gardens host every December. There are candle lit paths for a more romantic feel, but also fun things for families to do as well. The event usually sells out pretty fast, so if you are hoping to visit I wouldn’t wait to book once tickets go on sale!
Other Fun Things to do at the Garden
Outside food isn’t allowed into the University Gardens, so you can order a picnic basket in advance for two people to enjoy an incredible picnic if you were hoping to have a romantic picnic or a cute picnic with friends while there! The picnic basket includes a meal, sparkling water, and admission to the gardens. You just have to make sure you book in advance!
Cost: $125 for 2 people
NORTHERN LIGHT DINING EXPERIENCE
The Northern Light Dining Experience is offered when Luminaria is running (in December), and includes a 3 course fondue meal, a private (indoor) location to have dinner in, and admission to Luminaria. This experience also books up quite fast, so if you’re interested I wouldn’t wait to book once tickets go on sale!
Cost: $125 per person
YOGA IN THE GARDEN
If you’re looking for a beautiful place to have a yoga class, the University of Alberta Gardens is a great option! The yoga session is in the Patrick Seymour Alpine Garden and includes a one hour session plus admission to the gardens. You can book your class on the website under the events tab.
Cost: $40 per person
The Botanical Gardens hosts art walks during different days of the summer, which basically provides you the opportunity to enjoy and purchase art from local artists. Check out the upcoming events tab to find out when the next art walk is so you can plan your visit around that!
From around 5-9 pm, there is live music at the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens. So, if you’re thinking you want to explore the gardens and enjoy some music while doing so, try to plan your visit between 5-9 pm to make the most of it!
HOST YOUR WEDDING
I thought I’d throw this in here just because it is something the University Gardens offers! If you are looking for somewhere to host your wedding, the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens does offer wedding packages.
So, there is all of the information you might need if you are planning a visit to the University of Alberta Botanical Gardens! It’s a great and beautiful place to spend a morning or afternoon if you’re in the area.