Earlier this week, my daughter and I visited the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington to see Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks, a whimsical exhibit which opened on May 20th and is on display in Hendrie Park until August 20th. The exhibit is part of the RBG's year-long celebrations showcasing the province's diversity and unique landscapes for Canada and Ontario's 150th in 2017.
Nature Connects is an award-winning exhibition of sculptures of plants and animals built entirely with LEGO bricks by New York artist Sean Kenney. The exhibition is currently on tour in the U.S. and in Canada. The colourful artwork draws parallels between the interconnecting LEGO pieces and how everything in nature is interconnected in a delicate balance.
There are 14 installations created with over 300,000 LEGO pieces on display at the Royal Botanical Gardens. One of the sculptures is featured inside the RBG Centre while the others are found outdoors around Hendrie Park. There is a post beside each one of the sculptures featuring information and fun facts including the number of bricks that have been used in the installation. My favourite was Monarch Butterfly which was built using more than 60,000 LEGO bricks. I can't even imagine trying to build something with that many bricks! The gardens were quite busy the afternoon that we were there and we chatted with visitors of all ages that were fascinated by these intricate works of art.
There are a number of Nature Connects activities taking place in Hendrie Park while the exhibition is in place including guided tours with an interpreter who will provide more in-depth information about each installation. Families can pick up an activity book at the Information Desk to keep the kids busy and will enjoy playing with LEGOs at The Brickyard and attempting some of the weekly challenges. There will also be a Nature Connects Pop-Up Museum in Hendrie Park on August 13th where visitors can display their own nature-themed original sculptures created with LEGO bricks. Registration is required for the Pop-Up Museum (details coming soon on the Royal Botanical Gardens website).
This is a great day trip idea for anyone in the Greater Toronto Area this summer (with or without kids). We always enjoy strolling around the Royal Botanical Gardens on a summer afternoon but the Nature Connects exhibit is a fun addition that made this year's visit all the more memorable.
What You Need To Know:
- The Royal Botanical Gardens are located at 680 Plains Road West in Burlington, Ontario.
- Nature Connects is on display until August 20, 2017 - included in regular admission.
- The Gardens are generally open daily 10am - 8pm. Check the RBG calendar for special events.
- Admission pricing is available on the website. Admission is free for children under the age of 4.
- The property is smoke-free.
- Dogs on leashes are allowed in designated areas.
- The RBG is committed to accessibility. Wheelchairs are available for use free of charge. Service and companion animals are permitted in all buildings and garden areas.