The Twilight Picnic Experience

Get the most out of the season.

Couple at the U of A Botanic Garden enjoying a picnic at twilight

Meander down a leafy path with someone you care about. Spread a blanket, enjoy a wine or beer and let everything slow down. Open your picnic box of beautiful food, nibble and sip to live music, and rediscover the pleasure of eating, together.

Isn’t it time to mark a special occasion, celebrate a friend or reconnect on a date night?

Reserve your Twilight Picnic

Your Twilight Picnic Experience includes admission to the garden for two people, live musical entertainment and gourmet picnic box for two.

Halal, gluten-friendly and vegetarian options are also available.

$125 + tax for two people

Reserve Your Picnic

New for 2024: Themed boxes!

We’re pleased to introduce themes to our picnic boxes this season. The new themed boxes will each be offered on different dates. Before you order, look through the themes below and choose a corresponding date when booking your picnic.

  • Canadiana (Indigenous and Canadian flavours): June 7 to July 12
  • Taste the World — Mediterranean: July 19, August 3, and August 9
  • Taste the World — Middle Eastern: August 10, August 30, and September 1
  • Taste the World — East Meets South Asian: September 6 and 13
  • Garden Harvest (Autumn Harvest Celebration): September 27 and 28

Please note, themed menus are only available on the specific dates they’re listed. For more information contact or 780-492-3267

Reserve Your Picnic

Detailed Information

Food and Box Ingredients

  • Your box will contain a beautiful assortment of locally sourced savoury and sweet goodies (proteins, breads, dips, fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, desserts and more).  Offerings will change with the seasons and with the theme and are subject to availability. Boxes, plates and utensils are made of sustainable, compostable materials.
  • You will have the option to request a halal, gluten-friendly or vegetarian choice when you order.
  • We cannot guarantee food is allergen-free, as cross-contamination may exist in the facilities where some of the picnic foods are prepared. Please contact the Guest Services Team at for dietary restrictions outside of our halal, gluten-friendly and vegetarian boxes.


  • Picnics need to be ordered in advance. Although we can’t guarantee availability, we can usually accommodate last minute picnic orders until noon the date of the picnic.
  • Picnic guests can arrive at the garden anytime after 5 p.m. Picnic box pickup is anytime between 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. Picnic guests can stay and enjoy the garden until it closes at 10 p.m.

Refunds and Cancellation

There are no refunds for picnics.

Up to 24 hours before your picnic

  • You can either reschedule to another date, or
  • Arrange curbside pickup of your box on the day of your picnic (includes admission passes for a future visit to the garden)

Within 24 hours of the date of your picnic

  • You can arrange for curbside pickup of your box on your picnic date (includes admission passes for a future visit to the garden.
  • If there is a severe weather warning issued by Environment Canada, the garden may cancel picnics. If possible we will notify you by phone ahead of time and you can get curbside pickup with admission passes for a future visit, or reschedule to another date. 
  • If the weather becomes suddenly inclement during your picnic and you wish to leave, you can take your box home and we will give you admission passes for a future visit.

What to Bring (and What Not To Bring!)

  • To take full advantage of the garden before or after your picnic, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
  • Because it’s summer in Alberta, mosquito repellent is a good idea, as well as outerwear to be prepared for any kind of weather.
  • You can bring your own picnic blanket or folding chairs.
  • This year, the garden is allowing dogs in the garden on a trial basis. As long as your dog is well-behaved, in your control and on leash at all times, you’re welcome to bring Fido along. There is a $5 admission charge for dogs. Water stations will be set up around the garden, and there are Dear Dog treats available for purchase in the Welcome Centre. If you want to share your picnic, dog-friendly foods from the picnic box will be noted on your menu.
  • Outside food is not permitted at the garden, with the exception of bottled water and small snacks (e.g., granola bar, apple). Bringing your own picnic is not permitted.
  • Outside alcohol is not permitted. The garden is licensed and you can purchase wine, beer, cider or non-alcoholic beverages from our bar carts. Bottled water is included with your picnic.
  • There is no smoking of any kind at the garden.

When You Arrive

  • Picnic guests can arrive at the garden anytime after 5 p.m. Picnic box pickup is anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. Picnic guests can stay and enjoy the garden until it closes at 10 p.m.
  • You can set up your picnic anywhere in the garden. Bar carts will be available in the Kurimoto Japanese Garden, the Aga Khan Garden and near the Dining Domes. Musical performances will be held in one area of the garden.
  • If you would like to come and enjoy the Garden and listen to the music during Twilight Picnic evenings without ordering a picnic box, you are welcome! You can purchase beverages and light snacks at the bar carts. Please note that you won't be able to purchase a picnic box on site; they are only available by booking in advance. Regular admission will apply.
  • You can help keep the garden a beautiful, special place by leaving your picnic area clean (and picking up after your dog if you bring one). Learn more about garden etiquette »