August 18, 2009 | Gardens Ambassador Volunteer, Visitor Services

Ambassador Jan here! Summer is in full bloom and we look forward to seeing you at the Gardens soon. We want to help make your experience as magical and enjoyable as possible, so here are tips for planning and preparing for your next visit:

  • Come early or come late to avoid crowds. Come the minute we open, or come two hours or so before we close. Come on a weekday if possible. Visit the Gardens York Street page for hours of operation and a link to early closings. 
  • Wear a hat, comfortable shoes, and carry a bottle full of ice-cold water. You can keep extra bottles of water in your car, purchase them at the outlets inside the Gardens (be prepared to wait in line if it’s a Free Day) or fill up around the Gardens – but be sure to start with a full bottle for everyone in your group. Drink extra water before you leave home.
  • Wear sunscreen and lip balm and bring the containers with you to share or reapply.
  • Bring a pretty umbrella if you have one. Get dressed up with the girlfriends and make it a Ladies Day Out! ;-)
  • Dress the kids in their fairy wings or dinosaur t-shirts and hats!
  • Bring a picnic brunch, lunch or early dinner. Food and coolers are allowed in the gardens and there are lots of cool places to savor your repast. Remember those early or late hours? You have a better chance of securing the ideal picnic spot if you come then, at the “magic hours”.
  • We also invite you to enjoy breakfast, lunch or brunch in our new Offshoots At The Gardens bistro! I could write an entire blog about what I love to eat there.... I love an iced coffee at mid-afternoon. Or visit the Monet Deck Café located next to the Monet Garden and enjoy viewing the magnificent waterlilies while dining on a freshly grilled burger or made-to-order sandwich.
  • Bring snacks, or plan to pick some up at the bistro. I find that our little ones are able to concentrate on the garden experience a little better (or a lot better!) when they have food in their fingers and something to munch on. Try it – it works! Bring non-sugary, healthy treats for less mess and more energy. Bananas, apple chips, animal crackers, baby carrots, granola, grapes, nuts…. Tell us: what are your suggestions?
  • After your picnic or lunch, make your way through the gardens and then enjoy a cold, creamy frozen bar or treat at the Monet Deck Café.
  • Bring strollers for kids and/or wheelchairs for seniors even if you think you won’t need them.

Enjoy your visit!



About Picnics

Greetings I will like to know if wine is allowed at the gardens and/or any alcoholic beverages. Are glass containers prohibited? Thabjs

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