Purchasing a membership

Can I upgrade my membership?
You are welcome to upgrade your membership at any time. To upgrade, just the difference in cost between the two membership tiers is paid. The original expiration date of the membership does not change. To upgrade your membership, please visit us in person at Baker Hall or call us at 757-441-5830 ext. 0.

Can I delay the start of a gift membership?
Memberships are active immediately upon purchase. As another option, you can purchase an NBG gift card either online or at the Gift Shop in Baker Hall for the monetary amount of a membership. NBG gift cards can be used for memberships, class registrations or purchases in the gift shop. If the recipient uses their gift card toward a membership purchase, the membership will be active when the gift card recipient redeems the gift card.

Is there a discount for the Garden Family & Friends membership?
There are no senior or military discounts available on the Garden Family & Friends membership.

How can our membership purchase qualify for either the senior or military discounts?
For our Garden Family membership, only one cardholder is required to be either military (active duty, veteran, retired, or dependent) or a senior (65+). For our Garden Individual membership, the cardholder must either be military (active duty, veteran, retired, or dependent) or a senior (65+).

If I qualify for a senior or military discount, can the membership I am purchasing for someone else have that discount?
We are only able to apply either discount if one of the cardholders on the membership qualifies. If only the purchaser qualifies, the discount cannot be applied.

Do you offer monthly memberships?
We do not offer monthly memberships.

Is my purchase of a membership tax deductible?
Yes, as a non-profit, your purchase of a membership is considered a donation and is 501 (c)3 tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

I want to purchase a Garden Family or Garden Family & Friends membership. Does my second cardholder have to be in the same household?
Yes, Garden Family and Garden Family & Friends level memberships can have up to two cardholders within the same household.

What if I purchase a membership but don’t use it?
Memberships are only valid for a year and cannot be extended. Memberships are non-transferrable and non-refundable.

I want to visit in person before becoming a member. Can my admission ticket apply towards the membership?
You are welcome to visit our campus before becoming a member. On the same day of your visit, please bring your admission receipt from the Tollbooth to our Front Desk in Baker Hall. We will credit the applicable admission tickets from your same-day membership purchase.

Do you offer corporate memberships?
We do not offer corporate memberships.

How long is a NBG membership valid for?
A membership is valid for a full 12 months from the date of purchase.

Membership Cards

Can I add a third cardholder to my family membership?
Up to two membership cards may be assigned per family membership. We do not offer adding a third cardholder.

Can I add/switch a cardholder later?
Yes, you can add a second cardholder or switch the second cardholder at any time. To add a cardholder, please give us a call at 757-441-5830 ext. 0 or visit us in person at Baker Hall Visitor Center. To switch a second cardholder, please visit us in person at Baker Hall Visitor Center and bring the card you would like to switch out. If you switch the second cardholder on your membership, the original second card will no longer be valid and will be disposed of.

Can I put two different names on my membership card?
Only one name is allowed per membership card. If you need to switch the name of the second cardholder, please visit our front desk.

What if I forget my membership card when I come to the garden?
As long as you have a photo ID with you, we are able to look you up in our system and verify your membership status.

What happens if I lose my membership card?
If you can’t locate your membership card, please bring a photo ID with you when visiting the garden. We can look you up in our system and verify your membership status. We are happy to print out another copy of your membership card for you at our front desk in Baker Hall Visitor Center.

I just signed up for a membership, and I want to come to the garden today. I don’t have a membership card yet; can I still come?
As long as you have a photo ID with you, we are able to look you up in our system.

I just signed up for a membership. How long will my cards take to reach me?
Once in the mail, membership cards often arrive within 1-3 weeks. If you still have not received your card(s) after a month, please give us a call at 757-441-5830 ext. 0.


How do I get class discounts with my membership online?
The email you provided when you signed up for your membership is the key to getting your class discounts. Using the email on file, you can register an account on our website. The “Register” button appears either in the top left or top right corner of the screen once you reach the ticketing page for a class. When doing so, please make sure to use the same information attached to your membership, including your phone number and mailing address. By using all the same information, the website links up to your membership in our system. Next time you log in and try to purchase class tickets, you should see your member discount. If you already have an account with our website, choose the “Sign In” button instead and follow the prompts. If you experience any issues with this or need to confirm what information is on file, please give us a call at 757-441-5830 ext. 0.

I don’t have regular access to a computer, but I still want to sign up for classes and get my member discount. Am I able to sign up in person?
We are happy to assist you with signing up for classes in person or over the phone. Visit us at our Front Desk in Baker Hall, or give us a call at 757-441-5830 ext. 0.

Does my membership include photography sessions?
Membership levels of Garden Family or higher receive one complimentary photography session per year. Members must provide their own photographer and advanced reservations are required. Please review the photography policy on our website or call 757-442-5830 ext. 320 for details.

I am a member of Norfolk Botanical Garden, and I want to visit another garden participating in in the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program. How should I use my membership to do so?
A membership at NBG gets you reciprocal benefits to 360+ gardens across the United States. We recommend calling or emailing the garden you plan on visiting beforehand to ensure you know their policies.

Visiting the Garden

Do I have to make an online reservation to visit the Garden?
As an NBG Member, you can visit any time on any date, as long as parking is available on campus. During high visitation periods, such as spring break, when our azaleas are in full bloom, and festival days, we strongly encourage reserving your ticket in advance online. This guarantees your entry at your designated arrival time. With limited parking due to The Garden of Tomorrow construction, securing your ticket in advance ensures a smoother overall experience for you.

Do all my guests have to be in the car with me?
Guests coming in under your membership card either need to be in your vehicle or in the vehicle directly behind you.

My friend is coming in later under my membership; can you take their name to let them in?
Due to our high volume of guests and shift changes, we are unable to hold any names at our tollbooth. Guests coming in under your membership card either need to be in the car with you or in the vehicle directly behind you.

Can I leave and come back in the same day with my membership card?
Yes, you are welcome to leave and come back within the same day. Please present your membership card or ID each time you enter.

Since we have two cardholders for a Garden Family & Friends membership, can we bring 12 total people in a day?
While our family level memberships allow for up to two cardholders, both the primary and secondary cardholders still share one membership. Therefore, a Garden Family & Friends membership only allows for six people total per day.

Why do you ask how many people are in the car when we come in?
Our membership tiers differ by how many people are let in under a single membership. By asking how many people are visiting, we are able to keep an accurate guest count both within a membership and for the entire garden.

I’m a member of a garden participating in the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Garden Network, and I forgot my card. Can you look me up in your system?
Although we participate in the AHS Reciprocal Garden Network, our membership systems are not connected with the systems of other gardens. Please bring your current member card or other member identification for the garden you are a member of.

I’m a member of a garden participating in the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Garden Network. How do I make reservations to visit?
Please call our Visitor Services team at 757-441-5830 ext. 0 and ask to speak to a supervisor.

I am bringing additional guests that will not be covered under my membership. Do my guests get a discounted admission rate?
We do not offer additional discounts for general admission tickets in conjunction with a membership. Admission can still be purchased under the military and senior rates.

Is your holiday light show included with the membership?
Tickets to our Dominion Energy Garden of Lights are an additional fee, but members get the best discounts on those tickets.

My membership just expired, but I want to renew in person. How can I visit?
If your membership is expired, you’ll first stop by our tollbooth to pay regular admission into campus. Please bring your receipt from the tollbooth to the Front Desk in Baker Hall, where we will credit the applicable admission tickets to your membership renewal.

Can my friends, family, Airbnb guests, etc. use my membership when I am not present?
No. A cardholder must always be present with guests. If a cardholder is not present when visiting our campus, you will be asked to pay regular admission. Memberships are for personal use only, not commercial use. Norfolk Botanical Garden reserves the right to cancel and revoke membership privileges if memberships are abused or used outside these guidelines.


As a member, am I allowed to bring a kayak to launch out of the garden?
The garden does not offer any boat launch access for guests or members.

As a member, am I allowed to fish in the lake?
The garden does not allow any fishing from our shorelines into the lake. Please see the City of Norfolk’s regulations on fishing in public lakes and shorelines, or visit the nearby public access boat ramp located on Shore Drive.

I recently moved and need to change the address on file for my membership. How can I change my information?
We are happy to do that for you in person, via email at membership@nbgs.org or over the phone at 757-441-5830 ext. 0.

Still have questions?

Please email membership@nbgs.org or call 757-441-5830 ext. 0.