Victoria’s Butchart Gardens is amazing from July until early September with its flowers, evening concerts, nightly illuminations and Saturday fireworks.
THE GARDEN’S STATUS
Victoria’s world-famous attraction suspended operations in the spring of last year due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The venue remained closed for a number of weeks but then reopened in May. As of mid-May 2021, the attraction is still open.
To help everyone maintain appropriate physical distancing, guests are asked to follow directional signs and stay on the right side of paths. Boat tours and the carousel are not operating until further notice.
For details about the status of the venue see the Butchart Gardens website.
Summer at Butchart Gardens
Summertime is the peak season for Butcharts, with thousands of tourists and local residents visiting the gardens each day. Highlights of the summer season at the gardens include the Saturday night fireworks displays, nightly garden illuminations and the Summer Festival outdoor concerts.
For information about the venue in the summer, see below. For information on the attraction in general, including activities at other times of the year, click Butchart Gardens Victoria.
From June 15 until September 15 (most years) Butchart Gardens is open from 9 am until 10 pm. This is when admission is at its highest, costing close to $32 for adults and half price for youth ages 13 to 17. Summer admission for children is still a great deal though, with those ages 5 to 12 getting in for just $3 and kids even younger being free.
Although appearing on the pricey side for adults, admission prices are actually fairly reasonable given what’s offered in the summer. This is especially the case if you go frequently and buy an annual pass which doesn’t cost too much more.
Also, if you go on a Fireworks night or when there’s a major artist performing in concert, $32 ends being a pretty good deal.
Butchart Gardens Fireworks
The Saturday evening summer fireworks displays at Butcharts are impressive and start at dark. They feature both traditional fireworks displays in the sky overhead and also creative pyrotechnic illuminations close to the ground. All of it is cleverly choreographed to music which makes the experience especially entertaining.
Fireworks Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your fireworks experience at the gardens.
TIP #1: Find a place to sit well before the pyrotechnics start. It gets busy, so get there early or at least clearly mark your spot with some belongings in advance. On especially busy summer Saturdays there can be as many as 12,000-15,000 visitors at the gardens over the course of the day, although the first couple of Saturdays are often the quietest at fireworks time with an average of only around 5,000 fireworks spectators instead of the more usual 8,000. Of course, if it’s more of a rainy night there will likely not be as many people there.
TIP #2: Arrive an hour or two before dusk so you can enjoy the gardens in the light before the live music entertainment and fireworks in the evening. Re-entry is not permitted on fireworks nights, so don’t plan to visit in the morning and then get back in later with the same pass.
TIP #3: Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on, as well as warm clothing. The evenings can get cool, especially later in the summer. Fortunately, blankets are available for sale if you forget to bring one, and they are relatively inexpensive.
TIP #4: Dogs are welcome at Butchart Gardens during the day if kept on leash, but they are not permitted during the fireworks. If you plan to stay late and watch the show, leave Fido at home.
Butchart Gardens Nightly Illumination
From mid-June until mid-September Butchart Gardens lights up at night. After enjoying the evening’s live music or Saturday night fireworks in July and August, go for one final stroll around the gardens and admire the place all lit up. The Sunken Garden is especially beautiful with all the illumination.
Butchart’s Summer Festival
Every night from early July until the first weekend in September the attraction hosts live music starting at 8 pm. Bands perform outdoors on the lawns of the gardens, and the concerts are included in the regular cost of admission, except for the odd “special event” when a major artist performs. In 2015 special performance artists included Canadian singer Jann Arden and the band Spirit of the West. For the higher-profile names annual passes are not valid for concert entry.
TIP: For big name bands, book your tickets in advance as they usually sell out early. You don’t have to pay extra, but spaces are limited.
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