Color Spirits Bright
Happy Holidays 2016: The Fifth Season of the Arboretum

First Snow Bittersweet by Mark PaulsonLive Holiday Music, Dicken's 'A Christmas Carol', Breakfast and Photos with Santa & More!

'Tis the season for celebrating the serenity of winter beauty, the gifts of family and friends ... and childlike wonder.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum presents a holiday season brimming with merriment and wonder with a festive connection to nature. Stately live trees and stunning decorations adorn the Visitor Center, Cafe and Snyder Building. Color Spirits Bright runs Nov. 25-Jan. 1. (Need another reason to visit? The Arboretum offers free gate admission every third Monday, November through March, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.)  
Here are details of this special season:

Many thanks to Holiday Decor Community Partners:

Event Lab

Jan's Sand Country Trees

Double Discount Days: 

Friday, Nov. 25 - Sunday Dec. 4
Gift & Garden Store

Arboretum members qualify for a 20-percent discount on all regularly priced merchandise (double the usual member discount). Just show your member card at the cash register.

Bonus! Naturalist Jim Gilbert will be signing the 2017 Minnesota Weatherguide Environmental Calendars on Sunday, Dec. 11, from 1-3 p.m. in the alcove outside the Gift & Garden Store.

Live Holiday Music:

Enjoy live musical performances of holiday favorites by talented local chiors, instrumental groups and more!

Scheduled are... 

  • Saturday, Nov. 26, Minnesota Chorale, 11-12:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 27, Partners in Praise Girls Chior, 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 3, Westwind Big Band, 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 4, Celebration Brass Quintet 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 10, Minnetonka Chamber Chior 11:30-12:30 p.m. and Messiah Sing Along 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 11, Crosstown Community Band 1:30-3 p.m. and The Holiday Singers 5-6:30 p.m. for Burce Munro: Winter Light at the Arboretum ticket holders
  • Friday, Dec. 16, The Prairie Brass 7-8:30 p.m. for Burce Munro: Winter Light at the Arboretum ticket holders
  • Saturday, Dec. 17, Jazz on the Prarie 1:30-3p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 18, Arbor Bells 1-2:30 p.m.

(All performances are free with gate admission)

Sponsored by:    Ovation

Holiday and Traditional Teas:

Enjoy  a delightful tea with friends and family... and start  (or continue) a tradition. Choose monthly or special holiday teas. Menu includes freshly baked scones, sweets and savories and a delicious trifle. Tea with lemon and cream served throughout. Holiday Teas are scheduled for select Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 2:30-4 p.m. on Dec. 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20 and 22. All Teas are served in the Snyder Building Tea Room and are priced at $26 member/ $29 non-member. Reserve online at or call 651-626-3951.

Auxiliary Holiday Sale:

  • Friday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Syder Auditorium

Kick off the holiday season with gorgeous gifts handmade by Auxiliary volunteers. Unique gift items including potpurri, Hand-knitted and felted items, room decor, gift cards and ornaments. Plus designer wreaths and arrangements made with dried material. All proceeds benefit the Arboretum.

Herb Society Winter Sale:

  • Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. &
  • Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Oswald Visitor Center Balcony

Shop for handmade herbal gifts-from potpourri to lotion to herb vinegar-crafted by Minnesota Herb Society members. Cash of check only, credit cards not accepted. 

Santa at the ArbBreakfast And Photos With Santa:

  • Saturdays, Dec. 3,10, & 17, 9 a.m.-noon
    Macmillan Auditorium

Bring  the family to enjoy a delightful breakfast with the Joll Old Elf himself! Santa will also be available for photos, with a variety of options and price packages available. Reserve at:

Photos With Santa:

  • Saturdays, Dec. 3,10, & 17, 1-4 p.m.
    Oswald Visitor Center

Bring the family for photos with the Jolly Old Elf! A variety of options and price packages available.

Pet Photos With Santa:

  • Sunday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Snyder Auditorium

Photos and Pet Photos sponsored by: Ovation

Arboretum Outdoors With Hoigaard's:

  • Sunday, Dec. 16, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Oswald Visitor Center

Guided snowshoe tours by Arboretum staff and Hoigaard's staff, equipment provided by Hoigaard's.

A Christmas Carol By Gerald Charles Dickens

  • Thursday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 16, 1 & 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 17, 11 a.m.
    Snyder Auditorium

The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the power of redemption and goodness is a timesless holiday classic. Performed as a one-man show by the great-great grandson of auther Charles Dickens, actor Gerald Charles Dickens amazes with his talent and interpretation. Set in the grandeur of the decorated Snyder Building. The message of positive change and devotion is perfect for the holiday season. For ticket packeges:


  • Saturday, Dec. 31, All Day

Free admission to cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Bring your own ski gear (snowshoe rentals in Visitor Center) and hit the trails on a 'self-guided' adventure for the whole family. Hot chocolate for sale in the Arboretum Cafe.

Holiday Bright! Give a gift from the Arboretum. Special holiday gifts for your gift list ranging from WILD (bird feeders and more) to WHIMSY (home decor) to YUMMY (delicious treats).

Plant-Maker Studio: Every Saturday & Sunday, Noon-4 p.m. (drop-in basis), Learning Center. December theme: "Spicy Gingerbread." Keep your spirits bright with the heavenly smell of baking gingerbread! Free with gate. More Information.

Art at the Arboretum: 

  • "Light Sculptures and Installations Created Around the World 1999-2016," showing through April 9, Reedy Gallery.  Breathtaking images from Bruce Munro installations around the world, some limited editions, all signed and most available for purchase through the Gift & Garden Store. More Information.
  • "Hidden Treasures: Affordable Art by Emerging Artists" now through Jan. 3, Cafe Gallery. The local artists featured in this show work in a variety of mediums and are eager to establish themselves in the Minnesota art scene.The artwork ranges from $100 to $300, making this original artwork affordable for the beginning collector or as a lovely Holiday gift. More Information.

Classes at the Arboretum this season

Holiday Wreath Making

Annual Wreath-Making Class Returns!
Saturday, December 3, 9:30 a.m. - noon
Join the holiday merriment and check "hang a wreath" off the season's to-do list! A fun and social annual tradition at the Arboretum, Adult Enrichment Manager Laura Vogel will guide participants in a step-by-step process to design and create a full, botanically-diverse fresh wreath using fresh seasonal cuttings. Head home with a personally customized (and oh-so-fragrant!) wreath, a pomander ball, and some cool new botanical knowledge to boot. Hurry, pre-registration is required and only a handful of spots remain. $89 member/$99 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and all supplies! Call 612-301-1210 or register online here.

Saturday in the Kitchen: Super Foods!
Saturday, December 10, 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

As the season of rich holiday eating descends upon us, balance your diet and keep up your energy with some SUPER FOODS! These foods are some of the most nutrient-dense ingredients around, giving you the biggest impact for the least amount of calories. You'll feel healthy and energetic throughout the winter season with the help of these delicious ingredients and recipes. Join this fun social setting with instructor Kris James to create recipes including Black Garlic & Mushroom Pate, Jicama Citrus Salad, Rainbow Kelp Noodle Salad with Lemon-Ginger Dressing, Customized Hard Kefir Cheese with Herbs. 
$39 member/$49 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and all supplies! Call 612-301-1210 or register online here

Walks with Matt: The Arboretum on Ice
Saturday, Dec. 17, 10 a.m. - noon
Naturalist Matt Schuth will begin with a show-and-tell about winter flora and fauna, then lead guests outdoors to see them in their winter form.$12 member/$24 non-member, includes Arboretum admission. Call 612-301-1210 or register online here

Make the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum your holiday destination!  For more details on any of the above events, check the website at or call 952-443-1400.

Sorry, this event is now cancelled:  New! Sunday Supper January 8, 2017

Classic Menu

Caesar Salad
Vegetable and Meat Lasagna
Garlic Breasticks
Mashed potatoes and Gravy
Roasted Root Vegetables
Blueberry Cobbler

Arboretum Gift Card

The perfect holiday gift for the person on your list who has most everything … Arboretum Gift Cards, in your choice of denominations starting from $10, $25, $50, $100 or more. Order online or by phone at 612-301-7619 and have gift cards shipped OR pick up at the Gift & Garden Store. 

Arboretum Gift Cards can be redeemed at the Gift & Garden Store, Arboretum Cafe ...and also used towards admission, memberships, children's and adult classes. Plus, they never expire and can be used all year-long.

Note: a portion of gift store purchases support the Arboretum.