Luminaria FAQs

What safety measures are in place during COVID-19?

  • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, operational changes are in effect. We are following the guidelines of public health officials and the University of Alberta.
  • Proof of vaccination policies are in effect.  Guests over age 12 are required to present proof of vaccination and ID. Please review the University of Alberta’s Information for Visitors prior to visiting.
  • Visitors to all U of A facilities are responsible for monitoring their health for COVID-19 related symptoms. Please use the Alberta Health daily checklist before visiting the Garden. Any visitors who feel unwell are asked to stay home; should you feel unwell after coming to the Garden, we ask that you please leave immediately.
  • Please plan to arrive on time. Entry times are staggered to ensure adequate physical distancing for patrons.
  • Masks are required in all indoor spaces (eg. washrooms).
  • Please maintain physical distancing wherever possible.
  • There are no shuttles to the Garden from other locations this year. Because of the limited number of guests each evening, there is sufficient free parking at the Garden for everyone. Note: At the Garden, there will be a short shuttle from overflow parking to the gate – guests will be required to wear masks on the shuttle. 
  • With the exception of washrooms, indoor spaces are closed, including showhouses and Welcome Centre / gift shop.
  • Cider will be served in disposable compostable cups only (no reusable mugs accepted).
  • Choirs perform a minimum of 4 metres from the public.

What can I expect at Luminaria?

Luminaria is a unique event that falls during the festive season. While there are many great area events with a heavy focus on electric light and traditional holiday displays – Luminaria is a little bit different. You can expect to see the serene spectacle of thousands of real candles lining the pathways of the Kurimoto Japanese Garden, choreographed light and music in the Aga Khan Garden, Indigenous displays and programming and other unique moments of light, all while strolling through a beautiful winter garden. You’ll hear some familiar festive songs from the a capella choirs, but you may also hear Islamic-inspired music and Indigenous drummers and singers. Luminaria is, at its heart, a celebration of light in the darkest days of winter, a chance to gather, reflect and celebrate.

What is the cancellation policy?

Tickets are non-refundable. Dates may be transferred up to 24 hours in advance, subject to availability. The Garden is a snow or shine, outdoor facility. Please dress for the weather.

It’s supposed to be cold tonight. Is the event still running?

Luminaria is an outdoor winter event. Tickets are non-refundable. If the weather is cold, we recommend you dress warmly, enjoy the hot cider, and warm up by the fire. Please note that with current restrictions, all buildings are closed except for washrooms.

If there is a severe weather warning issued by Environment Canada or the temperature drops below a certain threshold we may cancel the evening’s activities. We will post information on our website and notify you by email. Please check this website for the most current updates.

Where is the Garden located? Are you on the University of Alberta campus?

The University of Alberta Botanic Garden is located in Parkland County – only 15 minutes from SW Edmonton (5 km north of Devon on Highway 60). We are not located on the University of Alberta campus.

How can I get to Luminaria? What about parking?

This season, we are not able to offer any off-site shuttles. The only way to get to the Garden is by car. Parking is free at the Garden. Note: At the Garden, there will be a short shuttle from overflow parking to the gate – guests will be required to wear masks on the shuttle. 

What time should I arrive? How much time should I allow to enjoy Luminaria?

Please plan to arrive within the half-hour entry time you have reserved. Your entry time is displayed at the bottom of your confirmation email. Entry times are staggered to ensure adequate physical distancing for patrons. Your time slot is for two hours, though we find most people spend about 1 to 1.5 hours enjoying a stroll through the light and candle displays.

Is there anything to eat or drink?

Beverages, snacks and hot food offerings will be available for purchase at the licensed Patio Cafe concession and at locations throughout the Garden. Complimentary hot apple cider will also be available.

Is Luminaria wheelchair accessible?

While all areas of the event are accessible by paved pathway, accessibility will depend on weather conditions. Luminaria is an outdoor event and subject to winter weather conditions, which might include freezing rain, compacted snow etc. Visitors should be aware there are some areas with grades where assistance is recommended for wheelchairs. Loaner wheelchairs are available in limited quantities.

Can I use coupons or passes?

Coupons and passes are not eligible for the Luminaria event. Friends of the Garden members and annual passholders receive a reduced admission rate.

Can I bring my pet?

Sorry, with the exception of certified service animals, pets are not permitted at the Garden.

What should I wear?

Luminaria is an outdoor winter experience. To maximize your enjoyment, please dress for winter conditions. You’ll be glad you wore your warm coat, mitts, hat and boots! And don’t forget your mask – they are required in indoor spaces like washrooms.

Can I take my wedding or engagement photos during Luminaria?

As Luminaria is a very popular experience, we are not able to accommodate any photo bookings.


For more information, contact uabg.info@ualberta.ca or 780-492-3267.