Winter Lights at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Stroll through the Arboretum gardens decked out in Winter Lights. Enjoy fresh air as you explore outdoor light displays, highlighting flowers, trees and the beauty of nature, on a .75-mile walking route. See the new 16-foot weeping willow tree and walk through the giant apple, which pays tribute to our Horticultural Research Center’s apple research. Stop by s’mores village to warm up near a fire and buy s’mores kits to roast marshmallows.

The Arboretum’s Oswald Visitor Center and Snyder Building will also be decorated for the season — and we’re delighted to announce the return of our 25-foot Poinsettia Tree, created using more than 500 red, white and pink poinsettias. Make plans to get dinner at the Eatery at the Arboretum before or after your walk through the lights. You might also hear holiday tunes from local performers from our live Music Series, offered on select nights.

Special theme nights are available for families and photographers as well as date nights for adults and a New Year’s Eve celebration for all ages. Explore what's on the calendar by visiting this page. Highlights include:

  • Opening night, November 17: Be among the first to experience the magic of Winter Lights, and join the fun as we “officially” light up the Arb. The lighting ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Oswald Visitor Center with remarks from Arboretum director Peter Moe and a countdown to light up the Great Hall. 
  • Family nights, December 1 & December 15: This family-friendly evening features smaller crowds and a craft project. Get some fresh air before bedtime, and bring your children to explore the Arboretum at night as they walk through the magical Winter Lights displays under the beautiful night skies. 
  • Photography nights, December 7 & December 14: The Arboretum's mesmerizing Winter Lights display opens for a limited-admission, photographers-only night, these two Wednesday nights only! Registrants will also receive access to a pre-recorded webinar with Night Sky Photographer, Dr. Mike Shaw, to help them to make the most of the onsite photography experience. Photographers may view the recording of the webinar any time before their ticket date. This premier experience provides ample time for long exposures.
  • Date nights, December 8 & December 22: Make reservations for a romantic night under the stars with your favorite person. Stroll through the lights displays with smaller, adult-only crowds as well as a dance class from Costa Rica Ballroom and live music.
  • New Year's Eve Party, December 31: Bring family and friends together to celebrate the end of 2022 with a magical walk through the Arboretum’s Winter Lights display, family-friendly games and live music from Traveled Ground. Take your picture in a photo booth, add your wishes for 2023 to the New Year Wish Tree and make a craft to bring home.