Arboretum News

10 Things to do in October 2020

Pumpkins, scarecrows, fall colors and more at the Arb this month.

COVID-19 Update: All members and visitors need to make a reservation in advance of their visit to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Find updates and information here.

By Liz Potasek

We’re ready for the crisp days of autumn. Bring on the pumpkins, scarecrows and astounding fall colors. Here are the top 10 things to do at the Arboretum in October:

1.  Fall Color Trail Run/Hike, Oct. 10-17

Register today for the Fall Color Trail Run/Hike. This choose-your-own adventure race allows participants to safely physically distance while enjoying beautiful fall colors at the Arboretum. Pick your course (1k, 5k or 10k options available), pick your pace (run, hike or walk), pick your day (Oct. 10-17) and time (9 a.m.-6 p.m.) to customize a race that’s ideal for you. Participants will receive a water bottle and moisture-wicking seamless bandana. 

Jenny Thull organizes the Cucurbita “key” on Sept. 29. The key shows all 290 varieties of pumpkins, squash and gourds grown at the Horticultural Research Center this season. The Cucurbita will be on display in October at the Arboretum. Photo by Susie Eaton Hopper.

2. Marvel at the world of pumpkins

Arboretum staff planted 290 varieties of squash, pumpkins and gourds this year in the research fields at the Horticultural Research Center, and they’ll be on display throughout the month in the Dahlberg Terrace outside the Oswald Visitor Center. The Cucurbita come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes and textures, and they’re grown throughout the world. Many of the varieties are also on sale at the Arboretum’s AppleHouse (7485 Rolling Acres Rd., Victoria).

3. Take in the fall colors

Fall colors started making an appearance in September this year, and the sugar maples are putting on a show as October begins. Stay up-to-date on fall colors at the Arb with our weekly fall color report featuring observations from Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations. 

Autumn Glow by Leanne Hanson is part of the Artists Rx show opening Oct. 15 in the Reedy Gallery.

4. Enjoy fine art in the Reedy Gallery.

There are two do-not-miss exhibits in the Reedy Gallery this month. The majestic “Trees as Sanctuary” exhibit, featuring paintings from Ashley Dull, Catherine Hearding and Dan Wiemer, is on display through Oct. 11.  

“Artists Rx: Responses during COVID-19” features work created by Minnesota artists since the pandemic started. The artworks – many rooted in nature, others finding inspiration from the built environment – are joined by the desire to find connection and joy, often amid isolation and fear. The exhibit is open Oct. 15 though Jan. 6, 2021 and features work from Mary Calengor, Susan Davies, Leanne Hanson, Katy Noun and Darren Terpstra.

North Star Donuts are available at the AppleHouse on Wednesdays through Sundays. Photo by Susie Eaton Hopper.

5. Grab a snack at the AppleHouse

Stock up on apples, frozen apple pies and crisp, apple chips and other gourmet treats at the Arboretum’s AppleHouse (7485 Rolling Acres Rd, Victoria), open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 612-301-3487 for an updated list of available apples. In addition to the apples, shoppers will find an amazing array of pumpkins, gourds and squash, as well as apple cider mini donuts from North Star Donut, available Wednesdays through Sundays.  Since the AppleHouse is separate from the main Arboretum grounds, there’s no reservation needed to visit the AppeHouse.

Find this playhouse guarded by scarecrows on Scarecrow Hill near the YouBetcha stick sculpture. Photo by Liz Potasek.

6. Snap a picture with a scarecrow.

A whimsical, creative group of scarecrows have arrived on Scarecrow Hill as a part of the Arboretum’s annual Scarecrows in the Garden display. Meet the scarecrows, explore the pumpkin house and snap a few selfies. After you’ve seen all the scarecrows, make sure to vote for your favorite scarecrow online.

7. Ride the Trumpet Creeper Tram.

Hop on a narrated tram tour highlighting our varied collections, display gardens and demonstration gardens. This 55-minute tour is offered at 10 a.m., noon or 2 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays at the Marion Andrus Learning Center. Tram tours end for the season on Oct. 17. Tickets for the tram must be purchased online in advance of your visit to the Arboretum. Tickets are $20 for a row of four seats. 

8. Take a free yoga class.

Restore your balance and connect with nature at a Yoga in the Gardens class in the Sensory Garden this month. Classes are offered Oct. 4, Oct. 15 and Oct. 25 and taught by yoga instructors from local yoga studios. Join the classes in-person or via zoom. Register in advance on our Yoga in the Gardens webpage.

9. See the Flights of Fantasy in the Andersen Horticultural Library, through Oct. 31.

Ceramic artist Susan Feigenbaum created a whimsical exhibit of Minnesota birds in their habitats on display in the Andersen Horticultural Library through Oct. 31. The library is open to the public, but the Snyder Building remains closed, so library visitors should check in at the Oswald Visitor Center information desk or call the library at 612-301-1239 to see the show.

This little bear visited the Japanese Garden on Halloween of 2019.

10. ArBOOretum , 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 31.

Celebrate Halloween by visiting the Arboretum, and checking out our World of Pumpkins and Scarecrows in the Gardens displays. Wear your costume to take full advantage of the many great photo opportunities on Scarecrow Hill and throughout the gardens. Children can pick up a treat bag on the Dahlberg Terrace outside the Oswald Visitor Center (weather permitting; treat bags will be in the Reedy Gallery if it’s rainy or too cold). Face masks must be worn in buildings. Visitors will need to make a reservation to visit the Arboretum before 2 p.m. on Oct. 31 to experience ArBOOretum.

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