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Making Spirits Bright at the Arboretum


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When I think of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, my mind immediately pictures the beautifully manicured springtime gardens in full bloom. It’s a wonderful resource to have here in our Twin Cities community. However, as many of our readers know, there are many activities taking place at the gardens year-round, especially during this holiday time of year during the “Making Spirits Bright” series of live music, Santa visits, and holiday décor that runs through Jan. 5.

  • Of course, with the attraction being an institution devoted to supporting horticulture, you would expect to find a holiday tree. But you would also expect to find something unique as well—this year’s “tree” is actually made of hundreds of live white poinsettias, which soar to the upper timbers of the Oswald Visitor Center Great Hall. Artist Craig Mitchell Smith created the art glass-art tree-topper. You will also find four balsam fir trees decorated for the holidays using mostly natural materials.
  • Enjoy live holiday music this weekend when local music groups perform traditional favorites along with new songs in the great hall. On Saturday, Dec. 14, bass soloist Thom Dreeze and the Minnetonka Association of Music will lead visitors in the 34th Annual Messiah Sing-Along, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the MacMillan Auditorium. The Minnetonka Choral Society will perform earlier in the morning from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. On Sunday, Dec. 15, performances include F Sharp piano duo from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and the Ovation chorus, from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • This weekend, readers will also have a chance to meet authors and perhaps obtain a few signed books as gifts. Robin Wall Kimmerer will sign copies of her book “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants” on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Arboretum Gift Store, followed by an informal talk from 11:30 to noon. Author Bruce Giebink, aka “Bruce the Bug Guy” will give a live bug demo and sign copies of his new children’s book “Minnesota Bug Hunt,” on Sunday, Dec. 15, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Arboretum Gift Store.

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Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

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