Answers to some of our frequently asked questions about our Telling Tales Festival held September 16 & 17, 2023 at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hendrie Park.

Visit our Telling Tales Festival page to find all the information you need on planning your visit, presenters, schedules, and more.

It’s free! However, Telling Tales is a non-profit organization supporting literacy in our community, so donations will be gratefully accepted here or at the gate.

Our 2023 Festival will be live and in person!  It will be a two-day Festival at the Royal Botanical Gardens on September 16 & 17.

Yes, the Festival is free! We encourage you to register in advance as you may be required to show proof of registration when entering the RBG main entrance. . Check out our author schedule to be sure you don’t miss your favourite author presentation!

Telling Tales runs rain or shine. There are tents and buildings that offer some shelter.

Feel free to bring blankets and lawn chairs. Bring sunscreen and a hat, and bug spray doesn’t hurt either. We highly recommend that you bring your own reusable water bottle to fill up on fresh, free water at RBG refilling stations indicated on the map. Bring an umbrella to chase the clouds away. Bring a few slightly used children’s books to donate to the Giant Book Swap & Shop and pick up a book bag from the Access Storage tent for your new treasures.

The Festival is a family friendly event that will have programming for children from birth to teens!  Visit the full schedule to see the recommended ages for each presentation.

The Telling Tales 2023 Festival Map & Guide is available online and can be viewed and downloaded from our site. In an effort to reduce our environmental impact, this has been reduced to a smaller handout but still has all the information you need, including maps and schedules. Printed Festival Guides will be available at the Information Booth at the entrance to Hendrie Park.

Check out our Reading List to find your new favourites from this year and past seasons. You can sort by author, title, age, and theme.

Families are encouraged to pick up a scavenger hunt card from the Telling Tales information booth.  Once completed please return your card to the large dragonfly box—located at the Telling Tales Info Booth on your way out. For each completed card, you will receive a complimentary book from Scholastic Canada and be entered into a draw for a Telling Tales Book/Swag bag (value $100).

Six winners will be chosen and contacted by email shortly after the Festival.

Sorry, pets are not allowed in Hendrie Park on the day of the Festival, but service dogs are always welcome.

We encourage you to bring a few gently used children’s books to swap at the Festival. You can also purchase books at great prices. Remember to pick up a book bag from the Access Storage tent! The Giant Book Swap & Shop is run by Hamilton Literacy Council and is located in a tent near the Cherry Hill Gate.

Yes. A Different Drummer Books will sell the new books from our presenters. They are waiting for you at the Rose Garden Tent beside our Autograph Tent.

Yes, refer to the autographing schedule online and plan for this!  The tent is located behind the Rose Garden. Authors love meeting their fans and vice versa.

Select Telling Tales merchandise will be available at this year’s Festival. You can find plush dragonfly mascots, Telling Tales satin capes, and other neat swag at the Telling Tales Information Booth located after you pass through the tunnel and enter the gardens. All proceeds fund the Festival and literacy programming for our community.

Yes, the washrooms have change tables. We will also have a special baby changing/nursing tent available for families to use in the White Garden

This one’s easy: subscribe to our Dragonfly Newsletter for updates on what we’re up to. You can find a sign up form at the bottom of every page. Don’t forget to connect with us on social media too!

Hendrie Park is completely accessible. Only the RBG nature tour has limited access as part of it is on a ramp with a steep incline and in the woods.

Yes, RBG’s gift shop will be operating in its normal location during the Festival this year. Go to to view regular operating hours.

No, but in an effort to offer cashless solutions square will be available at the Information/Merchandise Booth, the Giant Book Swap & Shop will be accepting cash donations, and RBG Food Services accept debit and credit cards.

There is free parking at the main entrance to RBG.

However, we encourage you to take public transit, or make use of our free shuttle bus service  from downtown Hamitlon, provided thanks to Hillfield Strathalan.

If this lot is full, overflow parking may be available at the Bayfront Funeral Home and on the side streets behind the RBG main office.

We have a food truck and BBQ station offering a variety of takeaway foods near the Rose Garden Stage and also at the Tea House you may request some food options for takeout. If you’re interested in dining in, please reserve your space on RBG’s website in advance of the Festival to avoid disappointment. RBG does not allow picnicking on the grounds.

There are vegetarian and dairy-free options and gluten-friendly choices.

Report this to any Telling Tales volunteer or RBG employee you see, or go to the Telling Tales Information Booth at the entrance to Hendrie Park.

Washrooms can be found in the main building and near the Tea Room in Hendrie Park.

Yes! Scan the code you see posted around the Festival—this will take you to the 5-minute survey. Tell us how we did! We want to make the Festival the best possible experience for everyone. As thanks for helping us out, you could win a family pass to a famous Ontario Tourist location.