Summer Fun at Government House

The sunshine has arrived in Victoria and with it comes the most beautiful time of year to visit Government House. There are activities for all ages and interests at the ceremonial home of all British Columbians:

Music on the Lawn
July 4, 11 & 18
6:00-8:00 pm

Over three Thursday nights in July, Music on the Lawn invites all music lovers to the bandshell at Government House for groovy tunes and tons of fun. With tracks ranging from top 40 to rock and roll to disco to funk and soul, this free outdoor event takes place rain or shine, and guarantees a good time. Pack a picnic or grab dinner at a food truck, and make sure to bring along your own chair or blanket and sun protection. Well behaved, on-leash furry friends are welcome too!

There’s limited parking onsite, so walking, biking or taking public transit is highly encouraged. Find the best way to get to Government House here.

Tours of Government House
June 8,15, 22, 29
July 1, 6, 13, 20, 27
August 3, 5, 10, 17, 25, 31
September 2
10:00 am, 11:00 am or 12:00 pm

Take a peek into the residence of the Lieutenant Governor and the ceremonial home of all British Columbians with a free tour of Government House, covering history, points of interest, and art and architecture. Tours are free but space is limited, and visitors must register in advance.

Rudi’s Tea Room
May 31-August 30, 2024
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday to Friday (closed Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Statutory Holidays)

Rudi’s Tea Room is a delicious stop for any visitor to the Government House gardens. Named for philanthropist Rudi Hoenson, the Tea Room is set in the historic Butterworth Cottage, the former home of the estate’s head gardener. There’s patio seating for sunny days, and a cozy dining room staffed by friendly volunteers from the Friends of Government House Gardens Society, with views of fields, forest and flowers, and the snowcapped mountains of the Olympic peninsula in the distance.

With a menu created by Government House sous chef Andrew Dickinson, the Tea Room serves classics such as salads, sandwiches, scones, and other tasty treats. Take a peek at the menu and plan your perfect lunch date, or pop by on July 7 to celebrate Rudi’s birthday, when all proceeds from desserts sold that day go to Broadmead Lodge, the veteran’s home that held a deep place in Rudi’s heart.

Cary Castle Mews & Costume Museum
May 31-August 30, 2024
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday to Friday (closed Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Statutory Holidays)

Learn the fascinating history of Government House and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, with stories of the estate, its residents, and British Columbians, told through gowns, uniforms, daily dress, artifacts, and images. Curated and operated with a passion for the past by volunteers from the Friends of Government House Gardens Society, the costume museum is set within the Cary Castle Mews, a historic cluster of buildings including a stable, poultry house and root cellar, that once played important roles in maintaining the grounds of Government House.

Government House Gardens
Open daily and year round
Gates open dawn to dusk

The Estate of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia is a National Historic Site, with its beautiful gardens noted as a “rich mosaic of picturesque, pastoral and natural landscapes.” Lovingly maintained by the Friends of Government House Gardens Society, the gardens of Government House take visitors through lush rose gardens, native Gary oak meadows, towering rhododendrons, terraced paths with spectacular views of the Juan de Fuca strait and Olympic peninsula, and through fragrant patchesa of herbs and edible plants, cultivated for use in the Government House kitchen for banquets, diplomatic dinners and more.

Looking for plants to create your own garden? Head to the nursery (located near Rudi’s Tea Room) to choose from starters grown by the talented Friends. Visiting with kids? Pick up a scavenger hunt map at the front door of Government House, and use it to explore and learn interesting facts about the grounds.

Entry to the grounds is free, on-leash pets are welcome, and a plethora of accessible pathways means everyone can enjoy this enchanting oasis in the heart of Rockland.

ArtisTREE Festival
Saturday, July 27 – 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, July 28 – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

The grounds of Government House will play host to ArtisTree, a weekend festival showcasing the work of 150 artisans, alongside live music, food trucks, and performance artists, nestled throughout the gardens.