By Liz Potasek
As we kick off a new year, we’re looking forward to a fresh start. Connect with nature, explore art indoors and out, snowshoe under a full moon and more this month at the Arboretum.
1. Make reservations for the Spring Flower Show.
Our Spring Flower Show returns Feb. 4-27 after its 2021 hiatus. Be among the first to see the show during a special opening night preview on Feb. 3 or enjoy the show with live music and dinner during After Hours with the Flowers. Our popular Flower Show Teas will also be offered on select dates throughout the month. Tickets for these special Spring Flower Show events go on sale at 9 a.m. Jan. 5. Make reservations to visit the Spring Flower Show during regular Arboretum hours 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 4-27.
2. Full Wolf Moon Snowshoe Hike.
Hike under January’s Full Wolf Moon on Jan. 16. Meet at the Marion Andrus Learning Center for a scenic, candlelit hike. Warm up by a bonfire and sip on hot cocoa. Tickets are $5 for Arboretum members and children 15 and younger, and $20 for non-members. (Tickets are also available for full moon hikes in February and March.)
3. Shop the Winter Market.
Find nourishment for the body, mind and soul at the Winter Market from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 15. Shop the market, featuring more than 50 local artisans; dine in the cafe; and enjoy the great outdoors with snowshoeing and hiking. The Winter Market is included with your Arboretum reservations (free for Arboretum members and children ages 15 and younger; $15 for non-members).
4. Loosen up at Winter Yoga.
Practice yoga at the Arboretum in a class led by instructors from the Arboretum or local studios. Sessions are for all levels and classes are available on Jan. 2, Jan. 20 and Jan. 30. Please bring your own mat and water bottle. Register for Arboretum yoga classes.
5. Winter Hiking.
Spending time outdoors in nature is proven to help fight the winter blues, so lace up those boots, get some fresh air and take in the clean lines and muted colors of the winter landscape. The Arboretum’s Three-Mile Walk is maintained (weather permitting – please check our trail conditions in advance of your visit) throughout the winter. If there’s little to no snow, visitors are also welcome to explore hiking trails throughout Arboretum grounds.
6. Snowshoe or Cross-country ski.
If you love winter sports, let’s hope for some more snow. The Arboretum maintains about 8 miles of ski trails and 8 miles of snowshoe trails.
Snowshoe trails are open for the season, but the snow is a little patchy in places. The trailhead for snowshoe trails is behind the Oswald Visitor Center next to the Japanese Garden. Snowshoe rentals will be available in the balcony of the Oswald Visitor Center. Snowshoe rental is $7 for the first hour, and $5 for each additional hour.
Cross-country ski trails remain closed until we have enough snow to start grooming them – we need a six-inch base of snow. The trailhead for cross-country ski trails is at the Farm at the Arb. Enter using the gate at 3210 W. 82nd St. Trails are labeled easy, intermediate and difficult.
7. Look for birds.
Not all birds fly south in the winter. Watch for turkeys, cardinals, blue jays, chickadees and more. Get started with the Arboretum Bird Checklist. Find hard copies of the checklist in the Oswald Visitor Center.
8. Get ready for summer camp.
Seasoned parents know that summer camp registration is no joke. Registration for the Arboretum’s summer children’s program – including summer day camps – opens on Jan. 18. Watch for more details on programs coming in mid-January.
9. Discover the Harrison Sculpture Garden in winter.
The Harrison Sculpture Garden is designed to be enjoyed in all four seasons, and with Three-Mile Drive and Three-Mile Walk open throughout the winter (weather permitting – please check trail conditions before your visit), it has never been easier to enjoy the Harrison Sculpture Garden in the snow. Walk through the space and note how the changing scenery transforms how the sculptures are perceived.
10. Arboretum Photographers Society: Patterns in Nature
Enjoy the stunning images in the Arboretum Photographers Society 14th annual juried show and sale in the Cafe Gallery. This year’s theme is patterns in nature, highlighting visible regularities of form found in the natural world. Each photographer worked to find these patterns and express them in an artistic manner. The show will be on display in the Cafe Gallery through Jan. 24.
11. Winter Through an Artist’s Eye
Appreciate winter in a new way at this show in the Reedy Gallery. Four talented artists reveal aspects of winter that others may overlook. Join featured artists – Charlotte Laxen Helfritz, Greg Lecker, Jim Meyer and Neil Sherman – as they immerse you in the spectacular scenery that winter has to offer. The show will be on display through Jan. 31.
12. Forever Green: Conifers from The Genus Pinus
Study exquisitely depicted cone-bearing trees from the Andersen Horticultural Library’s rare 1842 edition of “A Description of the Genus Pinus” on display in the Skyway Gallery. Many of the images were created by renowned Austrian artist Ferdinand Bauer. Scan the QR code below each illustration to locate that species on the Arboretum grounds, and compare the living trees to the historical artists’ renditions. The images will be on display through March 19.
13. Arboretum Cafe
Warm up in the Arboretum Cafe with soup, sandwiches, salads and baked goods on your next visit to the Arboretum. The cafe is open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
14. Beyond the Catalog: Seed & Nursery Artifacts
Take a glimpse into gardening history. Explore artifacts from the Andersen Horticultural Library’s Historic Seed & Nursery Catalog Collection – including wooden seed boxes, colorful seed packets, belt buckles, toy trucks, seed testers and more – on display through March 19 in the library.
15. Gift & Garden Store
Browse through the large selection of horticulture books and find the perfect volume to inspire your summer gardens at the Arboretum’s Gift & Garden Store. The store is open 9-4 p.m. daily to Arboretum visitors with reservations and features books, puzzles, children’s activities, home decor, jewelry and more. (Note: The Gift & Garden Store will be closed on Jan. 18 for inventory.)