Colors of Nature...and Joy

Live Holiday Music, Lighting of the Trees, Breakfast and Photos with Santa & More!

The glow of the holidays adds a special brightness to the Arboretum indoors and out. An outdoor holiday light show welcomes from the moment visitors enter on Alkire Drive. With LED lights, up-lighted hoops, and even a snow creature to show the way, the gatehouse takes on a festive air.

Take in the enchanting displays of outdoor lights, installed in nearby gardens and entrances, all within close proximity of accessible viewing areas. Open 5-8 p.m. Dec. 22-23 and Dec. 26-Jan. 1. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Free to members/$15 gate admission for non-members.

Many thanks to Holiday Decor Community Partners:

Jan's Sand
Country Trees

FREE EVENTS (with paid gate admission)

Outdoor Light Show

Final days! Open 5-8 p.m. Dec. 22-23 and Dec. 26-Jan. 1. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Seven themed displays of outdoor lights greet visitors from the minute they drive onto the grounds. Hot chocolate, cookies, S'mores, (outdoors) and beer and wine available for purchase.

  • Jingle All the Way, Entry and Gatehouse
  • Polar Pond, at flagpole outside Snyder Building
  • Winter Wonderland, Dahlberg Terrace, outside Gift Store entrance
  • Festive Farmstead, near Picnic Shelters
  • Snowball Terrace, at Morgan Terrace behind Snyder Building
  • Frozen Forest, viewed from Newton Terrace, outside Cafe
  • Light display by Trista Lights on Snyder Tea Room terrace

Tea Room Terrace lights sponsored by:

Live Holiday Music

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

Scheduled are... 

  • Saturday, Nov. 25, Minnesota Chorale, 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 26, Westwind Big Band, 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 2, Festive Flute Loops, 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 3, The Silverwinds Flutes, 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 9, Minnetonka Youth Choir, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 9, Messiah Sing Along, 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 9, The Holiday Singers, 5-6 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 10, Waconia Suzuki Ensemble, 1-2 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 10, Irish Christmas Music, 2-2:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 16, The Prairie Brass Quintet, 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 17, Partners in Praise Girls Chior, 1:30-3p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 23, Jazz on the Prarie Big Band, 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 30, Just One More! and Swype 1-3:30 p.m.

(All performances are free with gate admission)

Sponsored by:    Ovation

Auxiliary Holiday Sale

  • Friday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Syder Auditorium

Kick off the holiday season with gorgeous gifts handmade by Auxiliary volunteers. Knit wearing apparel, felted ornaments, potpourri, gifts for a favorite pet, holiday arrangements and wreaths, plus creative greeting cards. All proceeds benefit the Arboretum.

Photos With Santa

Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 9, 1-4 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 16, 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m.
Carlson Dining Room

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

Pet Photos With Santa

Sunday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Snyder Building Tea Room

Photos With Santa sponsored by:


Herb Society Winter Sale

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. &
  • Sunday, Dec. 3, 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 or check only, credit cards not accepted.

Gift & Garden Store Meet the Author & Book Signings

Sunday, Dec. 3, 1-3 p.m.

Arboretum naturalist Matt Schuth's long-awaited new book, "Nature at Our Doorstep". The author will be on hand doing book signings and sharing the vast knowledge he has gathered observing plants, birds, mammal and other natural phenomena throughout the years.

Saturday, Dec. 9, 1-3 p.m.

Professor Mary Meyer's new book, "Ten Plants that Changed Minnesota". Plants both beneficial and invasive that changed the plant landscape in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Saturday, Dec. 16, 1-3 p.m.

Arboretum Director of Operations Alan Branhagen's new book, "Native Plants of the Midwest--A Comprehensive Guide to the Best 500 Species for the Garden". Information about selecting the best plants for Midwest gardens.

Book Signing with Belinda Jensen
Saturday, Dec. 16, 2-4 p.m.

KARE 11 TV's Chief Meteorologist Belinda Jensen will be on hand to sign copies of her new book, "A Snowstorm Shows Off: Blizzards", part of her Bel the Weather Girl book series. Her "Stormy" adorable plush stuffed animals (inspired by Belinda's own dog) will also be available for purchase and makes a perfect present paired with a copy of the book.

Winter Gift Market

Saturday, Dec. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
MacMillan Auditorium, Snyder Building Auditorium and Tea Room

Finish or start your holiday shopping at the Winter Gift Market. You'll find unique and one-of-a-kind gifts made by local artisans. There'll be a great mix of Arboretum favorites and new artisans to discover.


Plant-Maker Studio

Every Saturday & Sunday, Noon-4 p.m. (drop-in basis), Learning Center. December theme: "Winter Wonderland. "Enjoy the frozen beauty of colorful winter berries, bare branches, evergreens, snow and ice in the Arboretum's winter landscape. Look for the hardy non-migratory birds that remain in Minnesota all winter long. Discover which plants you can grow to provide winter food and shelter for wildlife. Create a nourishing natural seed ornament to feed the birds outside your window. Free with gate. More Information.

Art at the Arboretum

  • "Arboretum Instructor Show," showing through Jan. 4, Reedy Gallery. Professional artists who are instructors for Arboretum art classes. Including painting drawing, mixed media, encaustic, fiber and photography. More Information.
  • "Finding Peace in Nature" now through Nov. 26, Cafe Gallery. Nature is filled with strength, resilience, beauty and mystery. Through these works, many on large canvases, the viewer becomes immersed in the nourishing aspects of nature. Taylor Moran, a recent fine arts graduate, is paired with Ken Pavett who has been practicing his art for decades.  More Information.
  • "The Artists of Carver County Consortium" Nov. 30, 2017-Jan.7, 2018, Cafe Gallery. Supporting local has become commonplace regarding food, why not art too! Showcasing talent in our own backyard. A variety of mediums. More Information.

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.


Especially for Members: Double Discount Days

Friday, Nov. 24 - Sunday, Dec. 3
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. Excludes clearance items.

Holiday Teas--SOLD OUT!!

Arboretum Holiday Teas
Wednesdays & Thursdays, 2:30-4 p.m.
Nov. 29 & 30
, Dec. 6 & 7, 13 & 14 and 20 & 21
$29 member/$33 non-member

Gather a group of family and friends and create a holiday tradition this year with the Arboretum's Holiday Teas in the beautifully decorated, historical Snyder Building Tea Room. Twinkling with sparkling lights and greenery, the room will be dressed for the holidays.
A four-course menu features a demitasse of house-made soup, a selection of prepared finger sandwiches, warm quiche and profiteroles, scones with clotted cream, fresh baked mini-pastries, chocolate truffles and a selection of specialty teas.
Reservations: 612-301-7602

Price includes gate admission.

Reservations are required. Holiday tea is recommended for guests 10 and older. For questions or to make reservations, please contact 612-301-7602

If guests are planning to be seated with a group of friends and are making individual reservations, let the catering manager know when calling. No refunds.


Additional tea service dates can be added for groups and holiday parties, ask the catering manager for options.

Lighting of the Great Hall and Trees

Thursday, Nov. 30, 5:30-8 p.m.
$10 member/$20 non-member, $5 children (ages 3-15)
Great Hall, Visitor Center

A special holiday indoor light display event:

  • Lighting the star atop the Poinsettia Tree, 6:30 p.m.
    Sponsor: Wagners Greenhouses
  • Great Hall live evergreen tree and decor light-up
  • Arbor Bells quartet, 6 & 7 p.m.
  • Holiday ornament-making activity
  • A Cup of Warmth and Inspiration: complimentary hot cocoa, hot cider and cookies. Plus s'mores available for purchase outdoors!
  • Cash bar: Beer and wine

Register at

Breakfast And Photos With Santa

Saturday, Dec. 9, 9 a.m.-noon
Macmillan Auditorium
Adults ages 16+ $26; Children ages 4-15 $20; Kids 3 and under are free

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

Photos With Santa sponsored by:


New Year's Eve Day Guided Walking Treks

Celebrate New Year's Eve Sunday, Dec. 31 with Daytime Trail Adventures!  All treks will depart from Visitor Center.

  • Early Birding, 10-11 a.m., $10 members/$20 non-members
    Your guide: Matt Schuth, Naturalist
  • Winter Landscapes, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $10 members/$20 non-members
    Your guide: Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations
  • Snowshoeing or Hiking on Wood Duck Pond Trail, 1-2 p.m., $10 member/$20 non-member
    Your guides: Arboretum Staff. NEW! Hoigaard's will provide snowshoes for trek participants (limited quantity and weather permitting)

Register at