Things To Do
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The arrival of spring flowers, followed by glorious summer gardens, is reason to celebrate in Vancouver and Victoria. From cherry blossom and tulip festivals to exclusive tours of private gardens, here are nine festivals and events that will lift your spirit.
This annual festival celebrates the pink season, when about 50 different cultivars of flowering cherry trees come into bloom, painting neighbourhoods in shades from blush pink to snow white. (You can learn more about the history of Vancouver’s cherry trees here.) A series of events includes a haiku contest, gala dinner, lunchtime concert, hanami picnic in Queen Elizabeth park, and more.
Part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, this garden fair features a Japanese tea ceremony, culinary demonstrations, Japanese festival food and sake, guided walks, haiku readings, and more.
Part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, this is an interactive group bicycle ride through the city to admire the cherry blossoms. Bring your own bike – the ride is free!
Led by Vancouver Photowalks, this two-hour walking tour of Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood takes you to see the blossoms and learn how take better pictures of them.
Located in the Fraser Valley about 75 kilometres (47 miles) east of Vancouver, this festival features colourful tulip fields in a natural setting. There’s a U-pick area and a covered picnic area as well. Tickets are available online in advance; the price varies by weekday or weekend and time of day.
At the inaugural festival, visitors can learn about the history of Japanese cherry blossom festivals and celebrate spring through crafts, haiku writing, walking tours, and musical performances.
Held over Mother’s Day weekend, this self-guided tour features private gardens and special musical performances by Victoria Conservatory of Musicstudents.
This annual event offers a rare opportunity to look into some of Victoria’s most beautiful backyard gardens as a dozen garden owners open their gates. The self-guided tour showcases a variety of gardens ranging from the truly teeny tiny to larger gardens too good not to share. Highlights this year include edible gardens, creative water features, terraced gardens, and meandering trails laden with eclectic surprises.
Live music in a spectacular setting. This major fundraiser for the HCP has become one of Victoria’s finest art events.
For updates on garden events, see Gardens British Columbia.
Opening image: The Butchart Gardens in Victoria. Photo: The Butchart Gardens.