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The Gift of Membership

Looking for a great, last-minute gift for friends and family? Give the gift of an Arboretum membership! Member benefits include free year-round admission to the Arboretum, free reciprocal admission at more than 270 botanical gardens, arboreta and conservatories around the country, the Arboretum News periodical and discounts on gift store purchases, classes and room rentals. Memberships start at $45. Special offer: With each purchase of a gift membership, you will receive a splendid 2012 Arboretum wall calendar to give away or keep for yourself. The calendar is illustrated with exquisite photos taken by members of the Arboretum Photographers Society. To purchase a gift membership, call 952-443-1440, click Join, or visit the membership desk in the Visitor Center to purchase in person.


Photo by Don Olson.


Photo by Mary Ann Land.

This Friday: Holiday Gourmet Dinner

Looking for a special way to share holiday joy with family and friends? Spaces are still available for our Holiday Gourmet Dinner this Friday, Dec. 16, in the Snyder Building's charming Fireplace Room. Guests will enjoy a multicourse meal with wine pairings. $65 for members/ $70 for non-members. Menu teaser: grilled swordfish with blueberry-sage relish, mixed greens salad with a salami & goat cheese-stuffed quail, tenderloin medallions, chocolate bread pudding with caramelized bananas and rum-raisin sour cream. Call 612-626-3951 or click here for reservations. Can't make it this Friday? You'll have another culinary opportunity at the Winter Gourmet Dinner on Friday, Jan. 13.


It's That Time of Year

Please consider supporting our Arboretum, its gardens and programs through a tax-deductible donation to the annual fund (call Terri Gustavson at 952-443-1432 or click here). The Arboretum would not exist without the loyal support of our many friends. All contributions are welcome and appreciated.



Making Spirits Bright & More

—Tis the Season! Enjoy the Great Hall of Storybook Trees (and storytimes at 10 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.), a Grinch-inspired gingerbread scene, photos with Santa, kids' holiday shop and more this weekend at the Arboretum. Here's the schedule of live musical performances: Arbor Bells, 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Saturday; Holiday Heralds of the Minnesota Chorale, 1:30 & 2:30 p.m. Saturday; and Waconia High School Select Chamber Choir, 1:30-2 p.m. and 2:30-3 p.m. Sunday. Celebrate the magic of the season with merriment, music and make-believe!

Explore the winter wonderland on a Hot Chocolate Walk this Saturday at 10 a.m. with Arboretum naturalist Matt Schuth. Matt will do a show and tell with his bird collection before departing on the walk.  Meet in the Visitor Center. $7.50 member/ $15 non-member. Call 952-443-1422 or click here to register.

—'Flavors of the Arboretum' cookbook-signing, Sat., Dec. 17, 10:30 a.m., Gift Store, with contributing chefs Beth Dooley and Kris James.

—Family Weekend Fun.
Check out "Gifts from the Bees," noon-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Learning Center. Discover who lives in a hive and what jobs they do. Get a close-up look at pollen. Sample honey and make your own beeswax lip balm.

—Sunday Brunch. Have you tried our Sunday brunch? Enjoy an ever-changing array of omelets, hot and cold menu items, delightful scones and more at our delicious Sunday brunch in the sunny Arboretum Restaurant. No reservations necessary! $10.99 per adult, less for children 6 and under.

Arboretum Outdoors with Hoigaard's.  Join us on Friday, Dec. 30, to try out snowshoeing on our pristine Arboretum trails, with equipment provided courtesy of Hoigaard's.  Guided tours at 11 a.m., noon, 1 and 2 p.m.  

Ar-BRR-retum.  Cap off  2011 with a swoosh down the cross-country ski trail or a joyful stomp on the snowshoe path!  On Saturday, Dec. 31, cross-country skiers and snowshoers will be admitted free at the gate, all day.

—Closings: The Arboretum is closed at 3 p.m. Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24 and all day Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec. 25. Wishing you and yours all the best this holiday season!

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