Arctic Arboretum Challenge

Arctic Arboretum ChallengePart of Hamilton Winterfest is about getting outside in February and embracing the winter season, and what better setting to do that than the Arboretum at Royal Botanical Gardens.

Filled with an incredible collection of trees and trails, the Nature Interpretive Centre, and the Anishinaabe Waadiziwin (a trail of plants used by Indigenous peoples of the region), the Arboretum provides an incredible home for a winter recreation event.

On February 10, the Arboretum will be transformed into a full-day family experience aimed to get your heart pumping. Two timed admission sessions from 10am to 5pm will attract up to 1000 visitors from across Hamilton & Burlington to a new winter tradition.

Featured Activities:

  • 12 obstacles designed for ages 6 and up
  • A mini course designed for ages 6 and under
  • The Rogers Winteractive – Air Hockey Tournament
  • Live music under the pavillion
  • Hot food and drinks, maple syrup taffy
  • Custom Fire Pit
  • Arts & Crafts by Culture for Kids in the Arts
  • Storytelling by the Hamilton Public Library
  • Pop-up Public Art
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Timed Heats

Guests are welcome to spend the day with us enjoying the incredible Arboretum grounds, storytelling by the Hamilton Public Library, live music, the warmth of the fire and much more.

Your admission includes a single timed-heat use of the obstacle course. As guest arrive on site they will be required to register at which time you’ll be given your specific heat time. To ensure we have adequate guest flow in the obstacle course, and so you can plan your adventure, you are required to select a heat window below.

  • 10am to 12noon
  • 12noon to 2pm
  • 2pm to 4pm


Parking is included in your admission price. Guests can either park onsite at the Arboretum, or in the Rock Garden parking on Plains Road and take the free shuttle to the Arboretum site.


Hamilton Winterfest is taking every precaution to ensure a safe course and environment during the Arctic Arboretum Challenge, but this is a physical activity during winter weather.

All guests or their guardians will be required to sign a waiver.

All guests are encouraged to dress for the weather, and Hamilton Winterfest reserves the right to refuse entry without refund to guests who arrive in what we’ve deemed as unsafe attire.

To encourage a safe and enjoyable experience we recommend guests where the following:

  • Dress in layers -inner layer keep you warm, outer layers keep moisture away
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Warm, waterproof boots
  • Snow pants
  • Coat
  • Ear protection (scarf, ear muffs, wrap, etc)

In the event of any injuries St. John’s Ambulance will have staff onsite in addition to multiple Winterfest staff and volunteers with certified First Aid and CPR training.


Hamilton Winterfest and the Royal Botanical Gardens want you to enjoy your adventure with us. We’ll be working on concert to monitor the weather and the grounds conditions at the Arboretum specifically and communicating those out via social media and our website.

The event will be cancelled should Environment Canada of the Hamilton’s Medical Officer of Health issue a weather warning. Weather warnings can be monitored at the following website:

The event will be shifted by one week to Sunday, February 17th should it be cancelled. Gu4ests unable to join us on that date will receive a full refund.

Event Details