The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is, as usual for this time of year, decorated to the hilt. The annual event, called Making Spirits Bright, is—as always—a delight to visit.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

One of each year’s highlights is the towering poinsettia tree, brilliant red and a stately centerpiece for the smaller trees, snowflakes, and other décor.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Some of that décor comes in the form of handmade gingergread houses, provided by volunteers and adding a great deal of whimsy and joy to the display.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

There are all kinds of construction involved: gingerbread walls with candy sprinkles for a walkway to a skating pond…

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Candy stones and gingerbread trees…

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

A log cabin made of pretzels…

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

A vine-hugged cottage with an outdoor fire pit and, ahem, plenty of adult beverages to enjoy around it…

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

There’s even a gingerbread version of the Arboretum’s historic Berens Cabin.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Decorations outdoors are fewer, but just as festive.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

And sometimes, Mother Nature gives all the decoration one could ask for.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

This weekend, Dec. 12-13, the Arboretum will have live music on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the Minnetonka Chamber Choir will perform at 11 a.m. and noon, and the annual Messiah Sing-Along will begin at 2 p.m. On Sunday, Jazz on the Prairie will perform at 1 p.m.

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

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