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.
STORY UPDATED NOV. 11 TO REFLECT WINTER LIGHTS TICKET AVAILABILITY.
By Liz Potasek
October snow brought wintery vibes to the landscape a bit earlier than anticipated, but there’s no need to hibernate. Enjoy the beauty of the winter landscape in the gardens, take an online class, get a jump start on holiday shopping or cozy up in the Andersen Horticultural Library and find dinner inspiration with the library’s latest exhibit.
Here are 10 things to check out at the Arboretum this month:
1. Make your plan for New Year’s Eve. (Update: Winter Lights is completely sold out.)
Winter Lights 2020: Winter in Bloom opens Nov. 19 and shows through Jan. 3, and tickets for general admission and theme nights sold out quickly.
This year’s show features thrilling new light displays, including a new tent of lights in the Elizabeth Carr Slade Perennial Garden, an ice luminary display by Jennifer Hedberg and a 3D walk-through apple in honor of the 100th anniversary of the University of Minnesota’s first apple introduction.
2. Stock up at the AppleHouse through Dec. 20.
There’s still a great variety of apples at the Arboretum AppleHouse (7485 Rolling Acres Rd.), and there’s no need to make a reservation to shop — just make sure to bring a mask. In addition to the apples, pick up frozen apple pie for Thanksgiving, squash grown at the Arboretum and browse through the wide selection of gourmet foods.
On Nov. 6, celebrate the grand opening of the AppleHouse Holiday Boutique stocked with plenty of holiday gifts for you and your loved ones. Find apparel, puzzles, gourmet foods, home decor and more. The boutique will be open through Dec. 20.
3. Don’t miss Double Discount Days in Gift & Garden Store and AppleHouse Holiday Boutique, Nov. 19-Dec. 6.
Arboretum members always get a 10 percent discount by showing their membership card at the AppleHouse and Gift & Garden Store, and from Nov. 19 through Dec. 6, that discount is doubled!
Arboretum members enjoy 20 percent off everything in the AppleHouse and Gift & Garden Store from Nov. 19 through Dec. 6 — just in time for holiday shopping. Buy a gift for yourself or a loved one.
4. Fill your prescription for visual art with Artists Rx in the Reedy Gallery.
“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 through Jan. 6, 2021 in the Reedy Gallery and features work from Mary Calengor, Susan Davies, Leanne Hanson, Katy Noun and Darren Terpstra.
5. Take a hike on more than 12 miles of trails.
Three-Mile Walk will be maintained throughout the winter, allowing walkers to enjoy beautiful winter scenes in gardens throughout the Arb. This is a great time of year to check out the Arboretum’s other trails, too. The trails around the bogs are relatively bug-free, and tamarack trees in the bogs change to a beautiful golden color before they drop their leaves for the season. Find all of our trails on the Arboretum digital map.
6. Make a winter meal plan at Food in the Library?! in the Andersen Horticultural Library.
Enjoy heaping portions of cookbooks, magazines and recipes as the Andersen Horticultural Library celebrates the season of comfort foods with an exhibit highlighting ideas for enjoying root vegetables, savory soups, homemade breads and warm sweet treats. The exhibit will be on display Nov. 6 through March 17, 2021, and features a variety of recipes.
7. Take an online class led by Arboretum instructors.
Connect with the Arboretum without leaving your home. Check out online classes covering a variety of topics, including cooking demonstrations, nature “walks,” photography, art and painting.
8. Explore Winter Trails.
Once the snow really flies (and sticks around), new snowshoe and cross-country ski trails will provide expanded access to the Arboretum this winter. Get started on snowshoes at the Snowshoe Trailheads in the Sensory Garden or Japanese Garden, and enjoy 8 miles of trails leading all over the grounds.
Cross-country skiers can explore new trails starting at Farm at the Arb, which can be accessed from an entrance at 82nd St. W. There are trails for every level of skier: a 1.3 kilometer easy loop, 5.5 kilometers of intermediate trails and 5.7 kilometers of difficult trails.
Cross-country ski trails are maintained at the Arboretum once there’s at least six inches of snow on the ground. Call 612-625-9793 for trail updates throughout the season.
9. Relax at Yoga in the Gardens.
Yoga in the Gardens has moved inside and online for the season. Reserve a space in a yoga class at the Arboretum or local yoga studio or register to take a class via Zoom. Yoga instructors from local studios lead these classes, which are free for Arboretum members.
10. Members with a dog-added membership: explore the Dog Commons through Nov. 15.
The Arboretum’s Dog Commons — the only place where dogs are allowed at the Arboretum — closes for the season on Nov. 15. Members with a dog-added membership can bring their dogs on leash to hike a set of trails. Dogs (other than service dogs) are not allowed anywhere else on Arboretum grounds, and members must have a dog-added membership to use Dog Commons.