Wander Minnesota: Making Spirits Bright

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An annual holiday tradition that’s a favorite of mine is a visit to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum for the Making Spirits Bright exhibit and related events. Combining the colors of the season with many natural items found on the Arboretum grounds makes for a cozy, beautiful display.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

The exhibits begin at the entrance to the Arboretum’s Oswald Visitor Center Great Hall.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Once inside the Great Hall, check out the 20-foot tall poinsettia tree:

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

The poinsettia tree isn’t the only tree. There are more, decked out with decorations reflective of the Arboretum grounds.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

There are garlands on newel posts and streamers hanging from the ceiling.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

The balcony overlooking the Great Hall gives a lovely perspective of the bounty of holiday decorations.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Not all the décor is large in scale. Wander down the hallway by the cafeteria and find this little charmer.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

And this homage to a popular winter activity at the Arboretum.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Even the outdoors gets a simple decorative treatment.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

There are lots of events still going on with Making Spirits Bright. There will be live music this Saturday, 12/21, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Santa will be available for visits on Thursday, 12/19 from 4-7 p.m. and again on Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Post-Christmas, there’s still plenty to do. Friday, Dec. 27 at 11 a.m., 12:30 and 2 p.m., Hoigaard’s will be on hand to teach visitors about snowshoeing (snowshoes will be available to rent). Saturday, 12/28 is a hot chocolate walk with a naturalist from 10 a.m.-noon. New Year’s Eve day the Arboretum will offer free admission to cross-country skiers and snowshoers (snowshoes again available for rental) to enjoy self-guided tours of the Arboretum’s trails.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Tuesday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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