Looking for some family fun during holiday break? Here are a few ideas from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to cure "cabin fever" and even "burn off" a few calories.
Arboretum buildings will close early Christmas Eve day (at 3 p.m.) and buildings and grounds will be closed entirely on Christmas Day—Tuesday, Dec. 25—but open the rest of the week.
The holiday decor will still be up, the Restaurant open and lots of fun to be had.
- Check out the Arboretum's amazing 25-foot high live poinsettia tree and festive seed sculptures in the Visitor Center's Great Hall. Don't miss the candy-themed Restaurant decorations!
- Storytime at the Library. Thursdays, Dec. 27 and Jan. 3, 10:30 a.m. Favorite stories for the preschool set.
- Arboretum Outdoors with Hoigaard's! Friday, Dec. 28, 11 a.m., 12:30 & 2 p.m., Oswald Visitor Center. Learn snowshoeing techniques from Hoigaard's staff who will also provide equipment to try out, free of charge. (If there's no snow, this will be a Nordic walking event.)
- Hot Chocolate Walk: Winter Wonderland. Saturday, Dec. 29, 10 a.m.-noon, Oswald Visitor Center, $5 member/ $12 non-member. Join naturalist Matt Schuth to look for animal tracks in the snow and learn to identify trees in winter. Visit www.arboretum.umn.edu/walksandfitness.aspx.
- Weekend Family Fun: Ginger & Spice. Noon-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 29 & 30, Learning Center. Discover plants that spice up and flavor the holiday season. Follow your nose through the greenhouse, sniffing out spices and aromatic herbs. Create a scented ornament and plant a fragrant herb to take home. Free with gate admission. In January, the theme is "Wintergreen Mysteries," all about hardy evergreens (every Saturday & Sunday, noon-4 p.m.).
- Weekly Sunday Brunch. 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Arboretum Restaurant. Enjoy breakfast potatoes, sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, omelets, caramel rolls and fruit. No reservations necessary. $10.99 adults; $5.99 ages 12 & under. Free for ages 5 & under.
- Monday, Dec. 31- Ar-BRR-etum! Bid 2012 farewell with an invigorating ski or snowshoe jaunt at the Arboretum. Free admission for everyone arriving with cross-country skis or snowshoes.
- January Admission Special! Enjoy two-for-one gate admission during the month of January (a savings of $12) and free admission every Thursday, all day, through March.
- Guided Cross-country Ski Outing. Saturday, Jan. 5, 10 a.m.-noon. Meet in Snyder Building. Gate admission waived for participants. Bring your own skis.
For more info, visit www.arboretum.umn.edu or call952-443-1400.