Take a road trip to enjoy some winter sights and culinary delights in Burlington! Winter Wonders at Royal Botanical Gardens is back for another year. This is one of the Greater Toronto Area’s best walk-through holiday light attractions. The light show operates on most Thursdays through Sundays between November 23, 2023, and January 7, 2024. It’s easy to make an evening of it and take in some of the best Burlington has to offer!
On top of the 1.5-kilometre outdoor walking trail, you’ll also find live music, an indoor model train display, cozy spots for snuggling around a fire, and much more. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your festive night out at Winter Wonders at Royal Botanical Gardens. Whether for a cozy date for two or a family outing, it’s one of the best things to do in the GTA this holiday season.
What is there to see at Winter Wonders at Royal Botanical Gardens?
The magic starts in Hendrie Park, where you’ll enter through the tunnel from the RBG Centre into a winter wonderland! You’ll pass by a colourful gumdrop forest, life-sized snow globes, pathways lit by candlelight and lanterns, and much more.
Step up to the Singing Tree’s microphone to belt out some holiday carols, and it will respond with a shimmering dynamic light display. Say hello to the performers walking the grounds—you may need to look way up! And search for the golden stars along the path to find the jokes tucked alongside them. This is the height of holiday humour.
In the feature tent, there’s a new element this year. Pause to warm up and watch some winter-themed shorts from the National Film Board of Canada. Once you’re completed the trail, head back to the RBG Centre to see the elaborate toy train display and walk through the Mediterranean Garden, which is also lit up for the holidays.
Is there food and drink available at Winter Wonders?
You’ll find stands throughout the walking trail offering snacks, treats, and warm beverages. (The drinks are optionally available spiked for the adults in your group.) The Atrium Bar inside the RBG Centre has drinks available in a warm indoor setting.
How long does it take to walk the trail at Winter Wonders at Royal Botanical Gardens?
The walking trail takes roughly an hour to complete. You can extend your visit much longer if you like by pausing to watch some short films or lingering with a cozy treat at one of the many fire pits.
Is Winter Wonders at Royal Botanical Gardens outside?
Much of the experience at Winter Wonders is outdoors, so it’s important to dress for the weather!
Which days will Winter Wonders be open?
Winter Wonders at Royal Botanical Gardens is open on weekends, including most Thursdays through Sundays, from November 23, 2023, to January 7, 2024. The event is closed on Christmas Eve (December 24), New Year’s Eve (December 31), and select other dates.
How can I buy tickets to Winter Wonders at Royal Botanical Gardens?
For 2023, tickets cost $20 for adults and $16 for kids aged 3 to 12. Infants and toddlers up to age 2 are free. There are also special rates for RBG members to take in Winter Wonders at Royal Botanical Gardens, and a combination ticket for admission and GO Transit fare is available. Tickets are timed and need to be purchased in advance. Visit rbg.ca for more information.
Make it a festive night out by visiting downtown Burlington
If you’d like to make an evening out of your visit to Winter Wonders at Royal Botanical Gardens, head into downtown Burlington! There are plenty of tasty eats and festive treats to be discovered.
Downtown Burlington is packed with great restaurants. We find ourselves going back time and again to Burro for its fantastic variety of tacos and other Mexican-inspired dishes. Burro also happens to be 100% gluten-free and offers plenty of vegan options, which means it’s a great choice for groups with a variety of dietary restrictions.
Just down the street, Kelly’s Bake Shop is a gluten-free and vegan bakery famous for amazing cupcakes, cookies, and other desserts. For vegans or people who need to eat gluten-free, downtown Burlington is a perfect destination.
Put it all together and you have one fantastic festive night out well worth the road trip to Burlington!
2024 Lexus RX 450h+
For our day trip to Burlington, we took the 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ for a spin. 2024 marks the first time the Lexus RX has ever been available as a plug-in hybrid. With 304 horsepower, up to 60 kilometres of electric-only range, and a total range of 818 kilometres per tank of fuel, it’s a compelling option for urban and suburban drivers.
That all-electric range is great if you drive less than 60 km per day. This range is also higher than the Lexus RX’s competitors offer such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe (42 kilometres) and the BMW X5 xDrive45e (50 kilometres). But even if you drive more in a day, the RX helps save plenty of fuel. We started this drive with no charge left on the battery and still averaged 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres. That’s very efficient for an SUV of this size.
On the downside, we would prefer a traditional transmission to the CVT equipped here, though it does make a big difference to fuel efficiency. And on that front, the Lexus RX PHEV is more fuel-efficient than its competition. The 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ is available in a single trim level in Canada, the RX 450h+ Executive, priced at $90,276 including fees. If your budget can accommodate that and you’re looking for eco-conscious luxury, the 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ is worth a look.