Without trees, humans wouldn’t have anywhere to carve loving messages to one another, but without humans, trees wouldn’t have anyone to hit with well-tossed apples. Examine arboreal antagonists more closely with today’s Groupon: for $9, you get two non-member admissions to Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (an $18 value) in Chanhassen. Arboretum members, University of Minnesota students, and children under 15 get in for free upon solving the riddle of the oak tree. Choose between the following dates:
- Saturday, June 11
- Sunday, June 12
Sprawling across 1,137 acres, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum entices explorers with 12.5 miles of winding hiking trails and color-dappled garden paths displaying more than 5,000 dazzling plant specimens in their natural habitats. The steel-and-bronze sculptures of the Steelroots exhibition silently guard the path to the Maze Garden, twisting their curvilinear heft into evocative anthropomorphic angles that call to mind passionate love or celebratory end zone dances. Wander amid the 16 towering statues, created by Pennsylvania artist Steve Tobin as allegories for the entwined roots of modern communities, or join trained Arboretum guides as they thread guests through the facility’s lustrous forest on a one-hour guided Arboretum Highlights walking tour departing at 1 p.m. each day. Indoors, the Reedy Gallery celebrates the shadowy side of nature’s beauty with Here Comes the Sun, an exhibition of 26 sun-splashed landscapes, salt-sprayed ocean scenes, and syrup-drizzled pancake sculptures rendered by local and national artists.
Because the arboretum also includes Weekend Family Fun events, visitors can make the most of their visit with Root Lab activities such as sprouting seeds, growing plants from root cuttings, and checking the venus fly trap for missing scientists in the Marion Andrus Learning Center from 12 to 4 p.m. Guests can also sate aural cravings with the satisfying sounds of each day’s 2 p.m. concert, floating on the melodious waves of either the 50-musician Eden Prairie Community Band on Saturday or the 70-member Two Rivers Chorale on Sunday.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
More than 1,200 acres worth of gardens, prairies, and woodland trails grace the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Upwards of 5,000 plant species call the arboretum home, including trees, shrubs, and Minnesota’s state flower, the Showy Lady’s Slipper. Expert naturalists happily lead visitors through the verdant space via tram or on foot, though guests can also go it alone along the arboretum’s 12.5 miles of trails and walkways. Journeys can lead anywhere from the boardwalk running through Green Heron Pond's bog to Color Me Spring’s vibrant stretch of thousands of annuals.
Amongst these pillars of the natural world stand sculptures made by world-renowned artists. More manmade artwork awaits inside the arboretum’s two galleries, which host seasonal displays of watercolors, acrylics, and photography. Guests can also get involved with the arboretum by attending forums and symposia with scholars, or participating in classes that teach skills such as flower arranging or pruning magical beanstalks so giants can't climb down.
3675 Arboretum Dr.
Chaska, Minnesota 55318Get Directions