There is something wonderful about stepping outside and breathing that first breath in, and feeling the sun and breeze on your skin....feeling the soft grass under your feet as you step barefoot on the lawn.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a peaceful, fun and great way for the whole family to get out into nature!
There are great interactive exhibits, informative touch screen kiosks so you can learn all about the nature you are enjoying, and a beautiful teaching garden.
The Marion Andrus Learning Center, features A Growing Place for Kids, which hosts year-round family programs and classes, as well as children's garden and summer camp programs, which will really teach children not only about nature and how it's important, but WHY it's important.
Outside the center there is a natural style physical play area also good for imagination and role play, where they can run, hide, climb and enjoy nature.
There is also a very fascinating sensory garden which may be of particular interest to those with young children and children with additional needs. What do the flowers smell like? Do they petals feel soft? Or prickly? It's a great way for kids to really get to know and understand nature.
There are guided, self guided and tram tours available here, the latter at additional charge. Plus seasonally you can enjoy cross country walks and snowshoe trails so it's not just a summer experience, which a lot of families think parks will be! Parks in the wintertime are just as magical!
The arboretum is at 3675 Arboretum Dr, in Chaska. That is only nine miles west off I-494 on State Hwy, just over 5 miles west off Chanhassen on Hwy. 5.Get directions
$12 (ages 13 and up)
Groups of 15 or more
All of the buildings have been environmentally planned and designed, so it's certainly worth learning about while you're there because they have really taken into account looking after the environment.
The Arboretum Restaurant is on the 2nd floor of the Oswald Visitor Center. Enjoy tasty sandwiches, soups, salads and bakery items for lunch, and if you fancy a fine dining gourmet dinner then you don't have to go far! The restaurant also hold delicious Sunday brunches over winter, traditional tea times and themed brunches for the holidays!
There is free entry Thursday all day from November through to May, and from April to October it's free after 4pm every third Thursday of the month!
If you do take something home, you will be supporting talented local artists! Jewelry, entertaining children's books, and beautiful painting and photography can all be taken home and enjoyed!