Family Activities:

Butchart Gardens


Butchart Gardens

800 Benvenuto Ave., Brentwood Bay

These 55 acres of gardens feature gorgeous flowers and trees in an abundance of colors and fragrances in what was once a limestone quarry. Because of Victoria’s mild climate it is known as the “city of gardens,” so visiting the city’s ultimate garden is a must. The Butchart Gardens, which is family owned, are situated about 30 minutes outside of downtown Victoria and allow families to stroll through the sunken garden that was once a limestone quarry, the rose garden, Japanese and Italian gardens and much more.

Kids will love the carousel rides, ice skating in the winter and the garden’s boat tours in the summer. There aren’t many gardens that feature a boat tour but from May through September, Butchart takes visitors out on the water for a 45-minute boat tour offering a unique water view of the gardens as well as wildlife of seals and eagles. The gardens also come alive at night time during the summer months. Free live music concerts on Saturdays in July and August draw large crowds to the gardens, which are illuminated at night. The grand finale is a fireworks display over the large pond that will not disappoint.

In the winter months, there are thousands and thousands of twinkling lights displayed throughout the gardens. The Magic of Christmas experience at Butchart brings carolers, ice skating at an outdoor rink and tons of holiday magic. Children 12 and under can even bring their very own unique white, paper snowflake to the gardens in exchange for a cup of hot cocoa. Families will be in awe of these gorgeous gardens in Victoria, no matter what time of year you visit. Families could spend as little as two hours here or as long as four hours here, depending how much you want to explore the 55 acres.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. or until 3:30 p.m. depending on the season

Things to Know/Bring: There are several sets of stairs situated throughout the paved garden trails but there are handicap accessible ramps as well, so there is no need to struggle with a wheelchair or stroller down the stairs. Just look for the ramp signs as you stroll along. Complimentary stroller and wheelchair rentals are available on a first come, first served basis. Dogs, on a leash, are also welcome at the gardens. Selfie sticks are not permitted inside the gardens.

Dining: Several dining options can be found on the property, including afternoon tea, a gelato cafe, coffee shop, casual dining cafe and a more formal restaurant with outdoor and indoor seating that welcomes children. Picnics in designated areas are also encouraged.

Parking:Free parking is available in the parking lot.